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Top 25 Under 25: #1 Patrik Laine

Simply the best. Better than all the rest.

Winnipeg Jets v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Top 25 Under 25 -
#1 - Patrik Laine
6’5” 206 lbs - Winger - Shoots Right
NHL 2018-2019 Season: 16 GP - 8G - 2A - 10PTS - 10PIM
NHL 2017-2018 Season: 82 GP - 44G - 26A - 70PTS - 24PIM
NHL Career Stats: 171 GP - 88G - 56A - 144PTS - 60PIM

When the Winnipeg Jets became one of the winner of the NHL Entry Draft Lottery in 2016, it instantly appeared as though a immediate impact player was on his way to town. When the Jets selected Patrik Laine with the second overall pick in the draft, it became certain who exactly that player was.

Patrik Laine has quickly cemented himself as one of the top goal scorers in the NHL. His 88 career goals rank 12th all-time for players under the age of 21, and he won’t hit that mark until April 19th. His 14 career game winning goals has him fourth all-time.

The kid is very good.

“But Derek,” you will say, “he’s a one-trick pony, he only scores on the power play and his puck possession and defence are not strong”.

First of all, if I took away every power play goal he’s scored in his career, he’d still be sitting at 52 career goals, which would still be a good number. Not terrific, but good. You put the power play goals back in, and he is terrific. Since coming into the league in 2016, Laine’s 88 goals is second only to Alex Ovechkin, who has 94 on 216 more shots.

As far as the points about defense and stick handling go, there is room for improvement, and deficiencies in those areas have seen Laine fall down the depth chart to the third line this season. The good news is, most 20-year-olds aren’t great in these areas, and there is ample time and room for Laine to improve. Which is the scary part. This isn’t Laine at his prime, this is Laine still figuring things out and still putting up 0.51 goals per game.

He’s great. Hatrik Laine. Enough talk, roll the tape.