When looking at the NHL’s leading goal scorers, there are the typical names like Alex Ovechkin (32 goals), Patrick Marleau (35 goals – current league lead), Ilya Kovalchuk (30 goals), Dany Heatley (29 goals), and others. There’s also a few names that might come as a surprise to hockey fans. Let’s take a look at some of the lower profile top 30 goal scorers this season:
Alex Burrows – Vancouver Canucks
Why this is a surprise: Alex Burrows has scored 23 goals this season for the Vancouver Canucks while averaging 16-20 minutes of ice time per game. Burrows has scored 13 goals in his last 10 games and is probably the best bargain in the NHL with a cap hit of $2 Million for the next three seasons.
Ryan Malone – Tampa Bay Lightning
Why this is a surprise: Should we really be that surprised Ryan Malone has 21 goals this season for the Tampa Bay Lightning? After all, he is playing with stars like Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis, and others. I guess it’s the fact that Malone’s six goals shy of his career high (27) and has almost the same number of goals and points as he did in all of last season.
Patric Hornqvist – Nashville Predators
Why this is a surprise: Patric Hornqvist could probably be the most unknown 20 goal scorer in the NHL right now. He’s 23 years old and was selected 230th overall in the 2005 Entry Draft. This is Hornqvist’s second NHL season and he’s tearing it up on a low scoring Nashville team.
Stephen Weiss – Florida Panthers
Why this is a surprise: Stephen Weiss is already one goal away from tying a career best in goals for a whole season (20, back in 06/07) and is finally living up to expectations in Florida. For whatever it’s worth, Weiss’ shooting percentage is currently better than double what it’s been for the last two seasons.
Stay classy, surprising goal scorers.