Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews leads the NHL with 52 goals in 55 games (0.95 goals per game) this season. Among those who have also played at least 500 games in their NHL careers, Matthews ranks third in goals per game (0.65) behind Mike Bossy (0.76) and Mario Lemieux (0.75).

Incredibly enough, Matthews is scoring at a greater clip than the top two goal scorers in NHL history; forwards Wayne Gretzky (894 goals; first) and Alex Ovechkin (838; second) each has a career average of 0.60 goals per game. So while Ovechkin is chasing Gretzky’s goal-scoring mark right now, Matthews could enter the same chat later in his career.

In the midst of one of the best NHL goals-per-game averages ever in a single season, Matthews currently ranks 11th (minimum 55 games) with one-third of his season to go. Matthews has a 13-goal lead in the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy race over Florida Panthers forward Sam Reinhart (39 goals in 57 games) and has scored 10 more even-strength goals (37) than Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon (27) for the League lead in that category.

TOR@VGK: Matthews gets a piece of the blast by Holmberg

Per NHL EDGE stats, Matthews leads the NHL in mid-range goals (18) and ranks sixth in mid-range shots on goal (84). The 26-year-old ranks third in high-danger goals (24) behind Zach Hyman (28) of the Edmonton Oilers and Reinhart (27) and fifth in high-danger shots on goal (90). Matthews also ranks seventh among NHL forwards in total miles skated at all strengths (188.20).

Matthews ranks third in the NHL in shots on goal (238) behind David Pastrnak (288) of the Boston Bruins and MacKinnon (280) but has a much higher shooting percentage (21.8 percent) than not only those players (Pastrnak, 12.5 percent; MacKinnon, 12.1 percent) but also his own NHL career average prior to this season (15.7 percent). This season, the only players with higher shooting rates (minimum 50 games) than Matthews are Reinhart (25.5 percent), Simon Holmstrom (25.0 percent) of the New York Islanders and J.T. Miller (22.1 percent) of the Vancouver Canucks.

On pace for 77 goals in 81 games after missing one game earlier this season, Matthews could shatter his previous career high (60 in 2021-22) and is closing in on his third Richard Trophy. He’s on pace for 112 points, which also would eclipse his previous career high (106 in 2021-22), and even with some regression he could become the League's first 70-goal scorer since forwards Teemu Selanne (76 in 84 games) and Alexander Mogilny (76 in 77 games) in 1992-93.