Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane will be the first U.S.-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL regular-season scoring champion.
Kane had two goals and an assist in Chicago's season-ending 5-4 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday to finish with 106 points, the most in the NHL since Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins had 109 in 2011-12. Kane will be the first Chicago player to lead the NHL in scoring since Stan Mikita in 1967-68.
Kane's 46 goals and 60 assists are NHL career-bests; he never had more than 30 goals, 59 assists or 88 points in any of his first eight NHL seasons.
"This year definitely I probably took it to another level," the 27-year-old Buffalo native said. "I obviously have to thank my teammates and my linemates (Artem Anisimov and Artemi Panarin). They were awesome this year. The power play was special, except for a little funk there for a bit, but that obviously helps to inflate the numbers a bit."
Kane is the first U.S.-born player to score 100 points since Doug Weight of the Edmonton Oilers had 104 in 1995-96, and the first Blackhawks player to do so since Jeremy Roenick had 107 in 1993-94. Kane had 40 points during a 26-game point streak from Oct. 22 to Dec. 15 that was the longest in Blackhawks history and the longest by an American-born NHL player.
"I take pride in playing for the U.S. and being an American kid," Kane said. "It's fun to break the point streak this year, and now to be the first American to win the scoring title is pretty special in itself."
Video: Kane on scoring title
Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars, who led the NHL in scoring last season, had an assist against the Nashville Predators on Saturday and will finish second with 89 points. Four teams play Sunday to end the regular season.
Pat LaFontaine was the U.S.-born player who had come closest to winning the Art Ross. Playing for the Buffalo Sabres, he finished second to Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-93 (160-148).
"Yeah, so many great players have come and went, and even in the League now, so that's surprising to think," Kane said. "I know Lafontaine had a big chance one year and Lemieux came back from injury and kind of stole it from him. There's been some great seasons by American-born players.
"I think I'm lucky and fortunate to be the first one to win it."
Video: CHI@CBJ: Kane nets a one-timer for his second goal