Just when Wayne Gretzky said Connor McDavid could hit 100 points just to “show people he can do it”, he did it. The Oiler needed just 53 games to hit the century mark, the fastest it has been done since Mario Lemieux did it back when he wasn’t even born.
On that note, the NHL odds have already been set for next season if McDavid or any other player can hit 100 points first and if they can do it under the 62-game mark.
Which Player Will be The First To Record 100 Points in 2022?
Connor McDavid (Oilers)
2021 Points (Games): 100 (53)
Connor McDavid is the obvious choice to reach the century mark first. The 24-year-old is averaging 1.37 points per game from the 2016-17 to the 2019-20 seasons. He recorded 100 points in just his sophomore year and would have had five consecutive 100-point seasons if he didn’t get hurt last year.
We’re discounting this season due to the divisional set-up, but that 1.37 points per game is the highest the NHL has seen since Sidney Crosby in the earlier half of his career. Barring another injury, McDavid should be the first to hit 100.
Leon Draisaitl (Oilers)
2021 Points (Games): 79 (53)
He’s the Jaromir Jagr to Connor McDavid’s Mario Lemieux, but Leon Draisaitl can be just as prolific as his Canadian counterpart. Last year’s Art Ross Trophy winner was the only player to break the century mark.
Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy asks Leon Draisaitl if he thinks 100 points means something to McDavid.
29 gave a thoughtful answer. To paraphrase, he said it means something to the team to get McDavid the milestone and that the Oilers are playing for him.
Good question. Good answer.
— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) May 5, 2021
Draisaitl’s 1.40 points per game from the previous two seasons is second only to McDavid. But it is arguable that he is a better goal scorer and is more threatening on the power play. Either way, he’s a right behind his teammate in the 100-point race.
Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche)
2021 Points (Games): 65 (50)
The dynamic duo in Edmonton may be hogging the spotlight, but Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon has arguably been more dominant. The 25-year-old is the heartbeat of the Stanley Cup favorites and he’s averaged 1.29 points in the previous three seasons.
Sure, MacKinnon has never hit three-digits in total points, but he’s been on pace to break it in three of the last four seasons including this year. He may be a distant third, but if anyone outside the Oilers is a lock to break 100, it’s MacKinnon.
Nikita Kucherov (Lightning)
2020 Points (Games): 68 (85)
Don’t forget the NHL’s most productive scorer from 2018-19: Nikita Kucherov. He’s out for this season due to a hip injury, but it only took him 62 games to reach the century mark. In comparison, it took McDavid 66 games and 77 the season prior. Draisaitl needed 65 in 2020.
Kucherov has yet to recapture this form. He’s seen a big drop off to his production in his last full season where he “only” scored 85 points in 68 games. But if he does come back 100% healthy, he could be a great underdog bet to win this race.
Still, it might be better to go with a more consistent scorer like McDavid or Draisaitl.
Pick: Connor McDavid (+200)
How Many Games Will It Take For Next Year’s 100-Point Scorer?
Hitting 100 points these days doesn’t seem like such a big deal. There have been 11 100-point seasons since the 2017-18 season with the 2018-19 season having six of that. Yet it’s only been six seasons since Jamie Benn took home the Art Ross Trophy with just 87 points.
The game is definitely faster now although hitting 100 points is still not easily achievable. Defenses adjust, goaltenders get better, and injuries happen. The NHL can be equal parts unpredictable and weird. It can get hot and cold for both teams and players.
With that said, even if we see a half a dozen players on pace to go over 100 points, it may still take them over 62 games to break it. In the last 20 years, only one NHL player, Nikita Kucherov, has been able to hit 100 points at the 62-game mark. ONE.
There may be more scoring and more 100-point scorers. But it will take more than 62 games for any to hit that mark.