Record Breakers: Helpers

April 7, 2012; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; Winnipeg Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom (39) hits Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tom Pyatt (11) along the boards during the third period at the MTS Centre. Tampa Bay wins 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE

Today we continue our look at the Jets 1.0 / Jets 2.0 / Thrashers record books. I have already taken a look at historical goal scorers and how the offensive contributions of Big Buff compare to others that we’ve seen. Today we take a look at helpers. Winnipeg fans grew to love Blake Wheeler’s set-up abilities, but how does he compare to franchise greats?

Let’s take a look:

Player

From

To

Pos

GP

A

A/GM

Ilya Kovalchuk

2002

2010

LW

594

287

0.48

Vyacheslav Kozlov

2003

2010

RW/C/LW

537

271

0.5

Tobias Enstrom

2008

2012

D

380

171

0.45

Marian Hossa

2006

2008

RW

222

140

0.63

Marc Savard

2003

2006

C

184

133

0.72

Patrik Stefan

2000

2006

C

414

118

0.29

Bryan Little

2008

2012

RW/C

356

103

0.29

Dany Heatley

2002

2004

RW

190

101

0.53

Todd White

2008

2010

C

221

93

0.42

Ray Ferraro

2000

2002

C

223

91

0.41

Nik Antropov

2010

2012

C

221

88

0.4

Frantisek Kaberle

2000

2004

D

272

82

0.3

Ron Hainsey

2009

2012

D

299

80

0.27

Rich Peverley

2009

2011

C

180

75

0.42

Yannick Tremblay

2000

2004

D

300

74

0.25

Dustin Byfuglien

2011

2012

D

147

74

0.5

Notes Worth Noting:

  • · Once again, Ilya Kovalchuk sits at the top of the list. Kovi isn’t known as a big time set up man and that can be seen in the assists per game column, but nobody in franchise history has combined the offensive ability and length of tenure to take the top spot from him.
  • · Vyacheslav Kozlov was a big time offensive producer. His contributions to the franchise were huge. The relocation probably hurts his legacy more than it does to any player. Some ATL fans believe his number would have been retired if the franchise stayed in Altanta. Not sure that happens here.
  • · Tobias Enstrom has been a big time player for the franchise. He has already climbed to third in all-time assists and his six year extension should give him plenty of opportunity to move up the ranks. Unless he struggles with injuries, I expect to see him as the franchise assist leader within the next four years. If he remains healthy, he could do it in as few as three seasons.
  • · Bryan Little ranks 7th in franchise history, but he is clearly not a great set up man. Little generates assists at similar rates to some defensemen and Patrik Stefan. That just isn’t enough for a top line centre IMO.
  • · Blake Wheeler is still relatively new to the team, so he doesn’t appear on this list, but he will before long. Blake’s 57 assists already have him ranked 23rd in franchise history. His .55 assists per game is good for 3rd in franchise history (behind Savard and Hossa), if he continues to put up 40+ assists a season, Blake will be flying into the top ten sooner rather than later.
  • · Ron Hainsey didn’t do much offensively last season, but his 80 assists rank him among the most productive D men in franchise history. His $3 Million salary for this season isn’t out of line.
  • · Dustin Byfuglien has been racking up huge point totals in his two seasons with the team. His .5 assists per game are impressive numbers for a defenseman. He may be able to jump into the top 10 this season.

Now let’s take a look at the top seasons in franchise history:

Player

Season

Age

Pos

GP

A

A/GM

Marc Savard

2005-06

28

C

82

69

0.84

Marian Hossa

2006-07

28

RW

82

57

0.7

Marian Hossa

2005-06

27

RW

80

53

0.66

Vyacheslav Kozlov

2006-07

34

LW

81

52

0.64

Todd White

2008-09

33

C

82

51

0.62

Vyacheslav Kozlov

2008-09

36

LW

82

50

0.61

Vyacheslav Kozlov

2002-03

30

RW

79

49

0.62

Ilya Kovalchuk

2008-09

25

LW

79

48

0.61

Dany Heatley

2002-03

22

RW

77

48

0.62

Ray Ferraro

2000-01

36

C

81

47

0.58

Blake Wheeler

2011-12

25

RW

80

47

0.59

Ilya Kovalchuk

2005-06

22

LW

78

46

0.59

Ilya Kovalchuk

2003-04

20

LW

81

46

0.57

Vyacheslav Kozlov

2005-06

33

LW

82

46

0.56

Andrew Brunette

2000-01

27

LW

77

44

0.57

Tobias Enstrom

2009-10

25

D

82

44

0.54

Nik Antropov

2009-10

29

C

76

43

0.57

Dany Heatley

2001-02

21

RW

82

41

0.5

Dustin Byfuglien

2011-12

26

D

66

41

0.62

Tobias Enstrom

2010-11

26

D

72

41

0.57

Notes Worth Noting:

  • · I extended this table a little farther than normal so we can see where our D men slot in. It shouldn’t be a major surprise to see Buff and Toby near the top. They are extremely productive players.
  • · To nobody’s surprise, Kozlov and Kovalchuk were near the top.
  • · On the other hand, Todd White sitting 5th might surprise a few people.
  • · Marc Savard and Marian Hossa are / were very good at hockey.

…and here is the all-time Jets record list:

Player

From

To

Pos

GP

A

A/GM

Thomas Steen

1982

1995

C

950

553

0.58

Dale Hawerchuk

1982

1990

C

713

550

0.77

Ulf Nilsson

1975

1978

C

300

344

1.15

Bobby Hull

1973

1980

LW

429

341

0.79

Paul MacLean

1982

1988

RW

527

270

0.51

Fredrik Olausson

1987

1994

D

496

249

0.5

Dave Babych

1981

1986

D

390

248

0.64

Willy Lindstrom

1976

1983

LW/RW

604

229

0.38

Laurie Boschman

1983

1990

C

526

227

0.43

Randy Carlyle

1984

1993

D

564

226

0.4

Peter Sullivan

1976

1981

C

439

224

0.51

Anders Hedberg

1975

1978

RW

286

222

0.78

Teppo Numminen

1989

1996

D

547

212

0.39

Morris Lukowich

1979

1979

LW

511

211

0.41

Doug Smail

1981

1991

LW/RW

691

208

0.3

Dave Ellett

1985

1991

D

475

204

0.43

Lars-Erik Sjoberg

1975

1980

D

374

196

0.52

Phil Housley

1991

1993

D

232

195

0.84

Brian Mullen

1983

1987

LW

372

172

0.46

Alex Zhamnov

1993

1996

C

235

164

0.7

Notes Worth Noting:

  • · Some big numbers, especially at the top end. In this day and age it will likely take a 12+ year career for anybody to challenge these records. I hope we are lucky enough to watch stars with that kind of success / tenure.
  • · Defensively, it wouldn’t be a shock if Toby or Buff eventually pushed towards the Carlyle, Olausson and Babych totals.
  • · There are a number of assists per game marks that will likely never be matched, unless the league eventually makes the nets bigger.

Now the top seasons of all time:

Player

Season

Age

Pos

GP

A

A/GM

Ulf Nilsson

1974-75

24

C

78

94

1.21

Ulf Nilsson

1977-78

27

C

73

89

1.22

Ulf Nilsson

1976-77

26

C

71

85

1.20

Phil Housley

1992-93

28

D

80

79

0.99

Dale Hawerchuk

1984-85

21

C

80

77

0.96

Dale Hawerchuk

1987-88

24

C

80

77

0.96

Ulf Nilsson

1975-76

25

C

78

76

0.97

Bobby Hull

1977-78

39

LW

77

71

0.92

Bobby Hull

1975-76

37

LW

80

70

0.88

Kent Nilsson

1978-79

22

C

78

68

0.87

Terry Ruskowski

1978-79

24

C

75

66

0.88

Bobby Hull

1974-75

36

LW

78

65

0.83

Kent Nilsson

1977-78

21

C

80

65

0.81

Dale Hawerchuk

1983-84

20

C

80

65

0.81

Norm Beaudin

1972-73

31

RW

78

65

0.83

Phil Housley

1991-92

27

D

74

63

0.85

Anders Hedberg

1976-77

25

RW

68

61

0.90

Thomas Steen

1988-89

28

C

80

61

0.76

Dave Babych

1982-83

21

D

79

61

0.77

Paul MacLean

1984-85

26

RW

79

60

0.76

Notes Worth Noting:

  • · Do they still make Nilssons? If they do, I want one.
  • · Ducky was pretty good eh?
  • · Bobby Hull was known for his goal scoring, but he put up some big assist totals too.
  • · Only two players across the entire NHL topped 60 assists this year (Giroux / H. Sedin).

Final thoughts:

Outside of Blake Wheeler, the current Jets team doesn’t have any big time set up men at the forward positions, but Toby and Buff are among the best of the best from the back end. As much as people may criticize the defensive lapses they have seen from our defensive group, Toby and Buff are instrumental in driving the team’s offence and the Jets need them in that role. I mean, the plays have to start somewhere.

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