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NHL players who could join Ovechkin in 600-goal club

Marleau, Crosby, Kane, Laine among those with chance to hit milestone

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals became the 20th NHL player to score 600 goals with two goals against the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. NHL.com looks at who could be next to reach the 600-goal club.

Video: Reflecting on Alex Ovechkin following goal No. 600

 

LIKELY

Patrick Marleau, Toronto Maple Leafs

Goals to 600: 71

Average goals per season: 26

Marleau is 38 but has two seasons remaining on his contract. He's been remarkably consistent, with 20 goals for the 15th time in 20 seasons. Marleau also hasn't missed a game in the past nine seasons. If he can score 20-25 goals each of the next two seasons he'll have a shot at 600, assuming he doesn't retire when his contract ends.

 

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Goals to 600: 195

Average goals per season: 31

Crosby's scoring talent is undeniable, even if he has more assists (698) than goals (405). He led the League with 44 goals last season, and with 23 goals in 70 games this season he's on pace to score 30 for the ninth time in 13 seasons. The 30-year old has plenty of hockey left and could reach 600 in his mid-to-late 30s if he stays healthy.

Video: NYI@PIT: Crosby wins game in OT with blistering shot

 

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Goals to 600: 233

Average goals per season: 31

Malkin has 367 goals and likely will reach 400 at some point next season. He has 39 goals this season and could reach 50 for the second time in the NHL. He's in the prime of his career and a conservative effort of 35 goals per season would put Malkin at 600 in the next 6-7 seasons.

 

POSSIBLE

Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Goals to 600: 290

Average goals per season: 28

Kane, 29, is little more than halfway (310) to 600. He's scored at least 21 goals in each of his 11 seasons, including 25 or more in eight of them, and was second in the League with 46 goals in 2015-16. It may be a stretch to say he'll average 30 goals for the next 10 seasons, but if any United States-born player is going to reach 600 goals, Kane has the best shot.

 

Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

Goals to 600: 428

Average goals per season: 29

Tarasenko, 26, is the only player in the League to score at least 35 goals in each of the past three seasons (37 in 2014-15; 40 in 2015-16; 39 in 2016-17). He has 27 this season, and has averaged 36 in the past four seasons. If Tarasenko averages 30 goals for the next 10 seasons he'd still be 128 away, but he also could hit 40-plus goals during that span.

 

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Goals to 600: 521

Average goals per season: 26

McDavid showed his goal-scoring ability last season when he had 30 in 82 games. The 21-year-old has 33 in 68 games this season and could hit 40. One of the most exciting young players in the League, McDavid likely has plenty of 30- and 40-goal seasons ahead of him and should amass 600 goals before his NHL career is over.

Video: MIN@EDM: McDavid beats Dubnyk for second goal

 

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

Goals to 600: 532

Average goals per season: 34

The No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Matthews scored 40 goals last season, tied for second in the League. He has 68 goals in his first two seasons, and at age 20 likely will score 40 or 50 multiple times during the next few seasons. If healthy, Matthews could reach 500 goals in the next 10 seasons and 600 shortly after.

 

Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets

Goals to 600: 523

Average goals per season: 39

Laine, 19, has begun his NHL career with back-to-back 35-goal seasons, and with 41 this season, could lead the League. He's had one six-goal, two five-goal and one four-goal scoring streaks this season and tends to score in bunches. Laine had a stretch of four multigoal games in five games and is putting up impressive numbers for a teenager. It wouldn't be a surprise if he moves to the "likely" portion of this list in the next 5-10 seasons.

Video: #NHLMilestones: Laine scores 40th goal this season

 

LONGSHOTS

Rick Nash, Boston Bruins

Goals to 600: 163

Average goals per season: 29

Nash, 33, has an outside shot to reach 600. He has 21 goals in 68 games this season with the Bruins and New York Rangers, the 13th time in 15 seasons he's had at least 20. He's been one of the most consistent scorers since he entered the League in 2002, scoring at least 30 goals eight times and has 437 goals for his NHL career. He would need to average about 21 goals per season for 7-8 seasons to reach 600.

 

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

Goals to 600: 252

Average goals per season: 35

Stamkos never should be counted out because of his ability. He's 152 goals away from 500 (he has 348), a number more likely in his range. The No. 1 pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, Stamkos has five seasons of at least 35 goals, including four with at least 40 and two of at least 50. Stamkos, 28, likely would need to maintain an elite pace to reach 600.

Video: PHI@TBL: Kucherov feeds Stamkos for his second goal

 

Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins

Goals to 600: 276

Average goals per season: 27

Kessel is one of the more underrated scorers in the League, which comes with the territory when you play with Crosby and Malkin. But the 30-year-old has piled up goals wherever he's been, with five 30-goal seasons and eight of at least 25 goals. Kessel also has been remarkably durable; he hasn't missed a game in the past eight seasons.

 

Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

Goals to 600: 458

Average goals per season: 28

Kucherov is 24, has three-straight 30-goal seasons and has yet to reach the prime of his career. He has 34 this season after a career-high 40 in 2016-17. If he can score seven more goals this season, it would be the fourth straight season he's improved upon his goal total.

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