Jamie Benn won the Art Ross Trophy this year with 87 points. The last time 87 points was good enough to lead the league in scoring (in a non-lockout shortened season) was in 1967-68, when Stan Mikita had 87 points in 72 games. Interestingly enough league-wide goals-per-game has stayed very consistent over the last few years, scoring just seems to be more balanced throughout the lineup.
Who will win the Art Ross next year? well I’ve made a prediction for the top-20 scoring leaders. I should add that, for the sake of this prediction, I’m assuming everyone stays healthy and plays a full 82 games.
1. Crosby – He had a career low season of 1.09 points-per-game this year, yet it still led the league. If he stays healthy, he’ll bounce back and score 100+ points again.
2. Seguin – He was second in the league with 1.08 points-per-game this year. He’s only 23 and could improve on his per-game totals while playing more than the 71 games he played this year.
3. Malkin – He scored “only” 70 points in 69 games this year, but we all know what he can do. Expect Malkin to be among the leaders again next year.
4. Tavares – Finished 1 point behind Benn for the league lead this year, and is still only 24. There’s no reason to think he can’t at least match his production from the last couple years.
5. P. Kane – Another player who missed some time due to injury this year, but should be good for about 90 points in a full season.
6. Datsyuk – He’ll be 37 this summer, but in terms of per-game production, he’s showing no signs of slowing down. With a full season he should come close to 90 points.
7. Giroux – Seems to be among the leaders every year. He had a bit of an off-year this year but still finished T-10 in scoring. Expect another top-10 finish.
8. Backstrom – He gets overshadowed by Ovechkin, but really they both wouldn’t have the success they are without each other. Expect 60+ assists again.
9. Ovechkin – Should finish with about the same amount of points as Backstrom, just way more goals.
10. Stamkos – Tied Tyler Johnson for the team-lead in scoring this year with 72 points. The Johnson line is great, but Stamkos has too much talent to not lead this team in scoring again.
14. H. Sedin
15. D. Sedin
HM (Thornton, Pavelski, Duchene, McDavid, Nash, Johansen, Johnson, Toews, Pacioretty, Hudler, MacKinnon, Gaudreau, Eberle, RNH)