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Scott Cullen

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Last season, five NHL players finished with more than 80 points, and league-leader Jamie Benn finished with 87, the lowest full-season, league-leading total since Stan Mikita in 1967-1968 (which was, incidentally, a 74-game season).

If someone is going to save the scoring race, and elevate the top total closer to 100 points, then the most likely candidate is Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby who is, incidentally, coming off a season in which he finished with a career-low 1.09 points per game. However, Crosby's on-ice shooting percentage crashed to 8.7% last season, after seven straight seasons over 10.5%, so if those percentages bounce back, Crosby's production could return to a more typical level.

Of course, adding a goal-scorer like Phil Kessel on his wing should raise Crosby's output, to say nothing of the dramatic improvement that Kessel should experience by moving from Toronto to Pittsburgh. Landing on Crosby's wing has Kessel projected for a career-best season.

But, the scoring race is interesting. Even if Crosby has the best offensive track record, he's only won the scoring title twice in his career, so there may be opportunities for other challengers (Tyler Seguin, John Tavares) to stake their claim. When handicapping the race, though, Sid's the pick.

 

 

TOP 300 PROJECTED SCORERS

 
RANK PLAYER TEAM POS GP G A PTS
1 Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh 77 31 67 98
2 Alexander Ovechkin Washington LW 80 53 34 87
3 Phil Kessel Pittsburgh RW 82 40 45 85
4 John Tavares N.Y. Islanders 79 38 46 84
5 Tyler Seguin Dallas C 76 37 45 82
6 Jamie Benn Dallas LW 80 34 47 81
7 Claude Giroux Philadelphia 81 25 53 78
8 Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay 77 45 32 77
9 Ryan Getzlaf Anaheim C 76 27 50 77
10 Jakub Voracek Philadelphia RW 82 26 50 76
11 Ryan Johansen Columbus C 82 31 42 73
12 Nicklas Backstrom Washington 75 16 57 73
13 Patrick Kane Chicago RW 67 30 42 72
14 Jonathan Toews Chicago C 79 30 40 70
15 Connor McDavid Edmonton C 78 27 43 70
16 Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh 65 24 46 70
17 Joe Thornton San Jose 80 15 55 70
18 Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis RW 72 32 36 68
19 Joe Pavelski San Jose RW 82 35 32 67
20 Erik Karlsson Ottawa D 80 22 45 67
21 Anze Kopitar Los Angeles C 80 19 48 67
22 Henrik Sedin Vancouver 78 16 51 67
23 Daniel Sedin Vancouver LW 79 19 47 66
24 Corey Perry Anaheim RW 75 32 33 65
25 Tyler Johnson Tampa Bay C 80 27 38 65
26 Henrik Zetterberg Detroit C 70 18 47 65
27 Max Pacioretty Montreal LW 75 34 30 64
28 Blake Wheeler Winnipeg RW 80 27 37 64
29 Jordan Eberle Edmonton RW 81 26 38 64
30 Pavel Datsyuk Detroit C 65 25 39 64
31 Taylor Hall Edmonton LW 70 22 42 64
32 Jason Spezza Dallas 78 20 44 64
33 Andrew Ladd Winnipeg LW 80 26 37 63
34 Johnny Gaudreau Calgary LW 80 25 37 62
35 Ondrej Palat Tampa Bay LW 78 20 42 62
36 Rick Nash N.Y. Rangers LW 74 36 25 61
37 Jarome Iginla Colorado RW 80 29 32 61
38 Eric Staal Carolina C 79 25 36 61
39 Matt Duchene Colorado C 78 23 38 61
40 Derek Stepan N.Y. Rangers 75 20 41 61
41 P.K. Subban Montreal D 81 15 46 61
42 Zach Parise Minnesota LW 73 31 29 60
43 Logan Couture San Jose 76 27 33 60
44 Marian Hossa Chicago RW 77 27 33 60
45 Kyle Turris Ottawa 82 25 35 60
46 Alexander Steen St. Louis LW 72 24 36 60
47 Jaden Schwartz St. Louis LW 77 26 33 59
48 Patrick Marleau San Jose LW 82 25 34 59
49 Patrice Bergeron Boston C 80 24 35 59
50 Filip Forsberg Nashville LW 80 23 36 59
51 Mike Ribeiro Nashville 81 15 44 59
52 Radim Vrbata Vancouver RW 77 26 32 58
53 Thomas Vanek Minnesota LW 78 25 33 58
54 Jeff Carter Los Angeles C 79 31 26 57
55 David Backes St. Louis 79 23 34 57
56 Jiri Hudler Calgary RW 77 23 34 57
57 Nathan MacKinnon Colorado RW 74 23 34 57
58 Jason Pominville Minnesota RW 81 23 34 57
59 Jack Eichel Buffalo C 80 22 35 57
60 Sean Monahan Calgary C 79 29 27 56
61 Nikita Kucherov Tampa Bay RW 81 25 31 56
62 Jaromir Jagr Florida RW 80 22 34 56
63 Bryan Little Winnipeg 76 21 35 56
64 Ryan O'Reilly Buffalo C 81 19 37 56
65 James van Riemsdyk Toronto LW 81 28 27 55
66 Tomas Plekanec Montreal 81 24 31 55
67 Gabriel Landeskog Colorado LW 80 23 32 55
68 Derick Brassard N.Y. Rangers 81 20 35 55
69 Wayne Simmonds Philadelphia RW 78 27 27 54
70 Chris Kunitz Pittsburgh LW 77 25 29 54
71 Bobby Ryan Ottawa RW 76 22 32 54
72 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Edmonton C 77 19 35 54
73 T.J. Oshie Washington RW 73 19 35 54
74 Paul Stastny St. Louis C 73 19 35 54
75 Kyle Okposo N.Y. Islanders RW 68 18 36 54
76 Mats Zuccarello N.Y. Rangers RW 77 17 37 54
77 David Krejci Boston C 74 14 40 54
78 Brandon Saad Columbus LW 80 22 31 53
79 Patrick Sharp Dallas RW 72 20 33 53
80 Mikko Koivu Minnesota C 75 14 39 53
81 Gustav Nyquist Detroit RW 80 27 25 52
82 Nazem Kadri Toronto 77 22 30 52
83 Mark Stone Ottawa RW 80 22 30 52
84 Nick Foligno Columbus RW 76 21 31 52
85 Kevin Hayes N.Y. Rangers RW 80 19 33 52
86 Brad Marchand Boston LW 79 26 25 51
87 Jordan Staal Carolina C 74 19 32 51
88 Ryan Strome N.Y. Islanders RW 79 19 32 51
89 Matt Moulson Buffalo LW 77 18 33 51
90 Tomas Tatar Detroit LW 78 25 25 50
91 Dustin Byfuglien Winnipeg D 74 18 32 50
92 Mark Scheifele Winnipeg 80 17 33 50
93 Keith Yandle N.Y. Rangers D 82 9 41 50
94 Duncan Keith Chicago D 80 8 42 50
95 Brendan Gallagher Montreal RW 81 24 25 49
96 Scott Hartnell Columbus LW 76 23 26 49
97 Alex Galchenyuk Montreal LW 76 21 28 49
98 Shea Weber Nashville D 79 18 31 49
99 Marcus Johansson Washington LW 79 17 32 49
100 Nikolaj Ehlers Winnipeg RW 76 17 32 49
101 Jonathan Huberdeau Florida LW 78 16 33 49
102 Brent Burns San Jose D 81 14 35 49
103 Kris Letang Pittsburgh D 60 12 37 49
104 Kevin Shattenkirk St. Louis D 75 10 39 49
105 Mike Cammalleri New Jersey LW 68 26 22 48
106 Nick Bjugstad Florida C 74 23 25 48
107 Tyler Toffoli Los Angeles RW 74 22 26 48
108 Patric Hornqvist Pittsburgh RW 67 21 27 48
109 Tyler Ennis Buffalo LW 79 20 28 48
110 David Pastrnak Boston RW 78 18 30 48
111 David Desharnais Montreal 81 15 33 48
112 John Klingberg Dallas D 78 10 38 48
113 Anders Lee N.Y. Islanders LW 78 28 19 47
114 Brayden Schenn Philadelphia 82 19 28 47
115 Milan Lucic Los Angeles LW 80 18 29 47
116 Evgeny Kuznetsov Washington 77 16 31 47
117 Frans Nielsen N.Y. Islanders 79 16 31 47
118 Carl Soderberg Colorado C 80 15 32 47
119 Jeff Skinner Carolina LW 73 24 22 46
120 Ryan Callahan Tampa Bay RW 74 22 24 46
121 Ryan Kesler Anaheim 75 20 26 46
122 Valtteri Filppula Tampa Bay 78 16 30 46
123 John Carlson Washington D 82 11 35 46
124 Mark Streit Philadelphia D 81 9 37 46
125 Alex Pietrangelo St. Louis D 81 8 38 46
126 Troy Brouwer St. Louis RW 82 24 21 45
127 Evander Kane Buffalo LW 67 22 23 45
128 Chris Kreider N.Y. Rangers LW 79 21 24 45
129 David Perron Pittsburgh LW 80 20 25 45
130 Mika Zibanejad Ottawa 80 19 26 45
131 Colin Wilson Nashville LW 75 19 26 45
132 Loui Eriksson Boston RW 75 18 27 45
133 Justin Williams Washington RW 81 18 27 45
134 Jussi Jokinen Florida LW 80 15 30 45
135 Brandon Dubinsky Columbus C 65 14 31 45
136 Mike Green Detroit D 71 13 32 45
137 Ales Hemsky Dallas RW 75 13 32 45
138 Mark Giordano Calgary D 67 12 33 45
139 Victor Hedman Tampa Bay D 71 11 34 45
140 Andrei Markov Montreal D 80 10 35 45
141 Marian Gaborik Los Angeles LW 62 21 23 44
142 Kyle Palmieri New Jersey RW 67 21 23 44
143 Oliver Ekman-Larsson Arizona D 81 16 28 44
144 Reilly Smith Florida RW 80 16 28 44
145 Max Domi Arizona LW 75 14 30 44
146 Ryan Spooner Boston C 78 14 30 44
147 Ryan Suter Minnesota D 80 5 39 44
148 Craig Smith Nashville RW 80 21 22 43
149 Mike Fisher Nashville 68 20 23 43
150 Clarke MacArthur Ottawa LW 70 19 24 43
151 Mikkel Boedker Arizona LW 72 16 27 43
152 Elias Lindholm Carolina RW 77 16 27 43
153 Torey Krug Boston D 79 14 29 43
154 Roman Josi Nashville D 78 13 30 43
155 Tyson Barrie Colorado D 74 12 31 43
156 Drew Doughty Los Angeles D 81 9 34 43
157 Tomas Hertl San Jose C 80 21 21 42
158 Nail Yakupov Edmonton RW 75 20 22 42
159 Aleksander Barkov Florida C 75 17 25 42
160 Mathieu Perreault Winnipeg LW 65 17 25 42
161 Patrik Elias New Jersey C 70 16 26 42
162 Sam Gagner Philadelphia RW 76 15 27 42
163 James Neal Nashville RW 67 21 20 41
164 Brock Nelson N.Y. Islanders LW 79 19 22 41
165 Jakob Silfverberg Anaheim RW 77 17 24 41
166 Alex Tanguay Colorado LW 60 16 25 41
167 Sean Couturier Philadelphia 82 15 26 41
168 Brad Richards Detroit 79 14 27 41
169 Mikael Granlund Minnesota C 67 11 30 41
170 Dougie Hamilton Calgary D 76 11 30 41
171 Justin Faulk Carolina D 78 11 30 41
172 Adam Henrique New Jersey LW 76 19 21 40
173 Shane Doan Arizona RW 76 17 23 40
174 Drew Stafford Winnipeg RW 75 16 24 40
175 Alex Killorn Tampa Bay LW 76 16 24 40
176 Josh Bailey N.Y. Islanders LW 73 15 25 40
177 Jonathan Drouin Tampa Bay LW 77 10 30 40
178 Mike Hoffman Ottawa LW 76 21 18 39
179 Cam Atkinson Columbus RW 77 21 18 39
180 Antoine Vermette Arizona 82 18 21 39
181 Teuvo Teravainen Chicago C 77 17 22 39
182 Cody Eakin Dallas C 80 17 22 39
183 Marko Dano Chicago RW 73 15 24 39
184 Tyler Bozak Toronto 74 15 24 39
185 Sami Vatanen Anaheim D 72 13 26 39
186 Jake Muzzin Los Angeles D 77 11 28 39
187 Alex Goligoski Dallas D 80 5 34 39
188 Boone Jenner Columbus LW 72 20 18 38
189 Brian Gionta Buffalo RW 75 17 21 38
190 Artemi Panarin Chicago LW 75 17 21 38
191 Michael Frolik Calgary LW 81 16 22 38
192 Victor Rask Carolina C 80 14 24 38
193 Niklas Kronwall Detroit D 80 10 28 38
194 Benoit Pouliot Edmonton LW 67 19 18 37
195 Carl Hagelin Anaheim LW 80 18 19 37
196 Joel Ward San Jose RW 80 18 19 37
197 Matt Read Philadelphia RW 78 16 21 37
198 Brad Boyes Toronto RW 79 16 21 37
199 P.A. Parenteau Toronto RW 64 15 22 37
200 Nick Bonino Pittsburgh C 76 15 22 37
201 Alexander Semin Montreal RW 63 14 23 37
202 Riley Sheahan Detroit C 74 13 24 37
203 Johan Franzen Detroit RW 55 13 24 37
204 Teddy Purcell Edmonton RW 80 12 25 37
205 Nick Leddy N.Y. Islanders D 80 11 26 37
206 James Wisniewski Carolina D 70 9 28 37
207 Jack Johnson Columbus D 80 7 30 37
208 Nino Niederreiter Minnesota RW 80 19 17 36
209 Milan Michalek Ottawa LW 73 14 22 36
210 Rickard Rakell Anaheim C 74 11 25 36
211 Ryan McDonagh N.Y. Rangers D 75 10 26 36
212 Justin Abdelkader Detroit LW 72 18 17 35
213 Sam Bennett Calgary C 72 17 18 35
214 Curtis Glencross Toronto LW 66 16 19 35
215 Christopher Higgins Vancouver LW 77 15 20 35
216 Aaron Ekblad Florida D 80 11 24 35
217 Brent Seabrook Chicago D 81 10 25 35
218 Dennis Wideman Calgary D 69 9 26 35
219 T.J. Brodie Calgary D 81 8 27 35
220 Jimmy Hayes Boston RW 78 19 15 34
221 Andrew Cogliano Anaheim RW 82 18 16 34
222 Jannik Hansen Vancouver RW 78 15 19 34
223 Mikael Backlund Calgary C 65 14 20 34
224 Artem Anisimov Chicago C 67 14 20 34
225 Tommy Wingels San Jose RW 76 14 20 34
226 Martin Hanzal Arizona 55 13 21 34
227 Jori Lehtera St. Louis C 68 11 23 34
228 Patrick Maroon Anaheim LW 74 11 23 34
229 Brian Campbell Florida D 82 6 28 34
230 Cody Franson Buffalo D 78 6 28 34
231 Dustin Brown Los Angeles RW 81 17 16 33
232 Chris Stewart Anaheim RW 74 16 17 33
233 Bo Horvat Vancouver C 75 16 17 33
234 Lars Eller Montreal 79 14 19 33
235 Kris Versteeg Carolina LW 65 14 19 33
236 Valeri Nichushkin Dallas LW 79 13 20 33
237 Daniel Winnik Toronto LW 79 9 24 33
238 Seth Jones Nashville D 80 8 25 33
239 Matt Niskanen Washington D 80 6 27 33
240 Brandon Pirri Florida RW 74 19 13 32
241 Brandon Sutter Vancouver 81 17 15 32
242 Vincent Trocheck Florida C 77 13 19 32
243 Travis Zajac New Jersey 77 13 19 32
244 Andre Burakovsky Washington RW 79 12 20 32
245 Anthony Duclair Arizona RW 74 11 21 32
246 Chris Tierney San Jose C 70 10 22 32
247 Olli Maatta Pittsburgh D 75 9 23 32
248 Justin Schultz Edmonton D 79 8 24 32
249 Dion Phaneuf Toronto D 75 8 24 32
250 Slava Voynov Los Angeles D 76 7 25 32
251 Morgan Rielly Toronto D 77 7 25 32
252 Cam Fowler Anaheim D 76 6 26 32
253 Travis Hamonic N.Y. Islanders D 72 6 26 32
254 Tobias Rieder Arizona LW 79 16 15 31
255 Andrew Shaw Chicago RW 80 16 15 31
256 Joffrey Lupul Toronto RW 56 15 16 31
257 Charlie Coyle Minnesota C 76 12 19 31
258 Zdeno Chara Boston D 72 11 20 31
259 Hampus Lindholm Anaheim D 79 7 24 31
260 Jake Gardiner Toronto D 79 6 25 31
261 Matt Beleskey Boston LW 65 17 13 30
262 Nathan Gerbe Carolina LW 79 13 17 30
263 Nikolay Kulemin N.Y. Islanders LW 78 13 17 30
264 Sergei Plotnikov Pittsburgh LW 75 13 17 30
265 Dylan Larkin Detroit C 74 12 18 30
266 Alex Chiasson Ottawa RW 78 12 18 30
267 Sam Reinhart Buffalo C 72 11 19 30
268 Sven Baertschi Vancouver LW 75 10 20 30
269 Alexander Wennberg Columbus C 77 9 21 30
270 Eric Gelinas New Jersey D 73 8 22 30
271 Michael Del Zotto Philadelphia D 68 8 22 30
272 Tobias Enstrom Winnipeg D 67 8 22 30
273 Jason Garrison Tampa Bay D 75 8 22 30
274 Anton Stralman Tampa Bay D 82 6 24 30
275 Andrej Sekera Edmonton D 73 5 25 30
276 Tanner Pearson Los Angeles LW 74 18 11 29
277 Steve Moses Nashville RW 75 17 12 29
278 Shawn Matthias Toronto LW 78 17 12 29
279 Nick Ritchie Anaheim LW 71 14 15 29
280 Colton Sceviour Dallas RW 74 14 15 29
281 Bryan Bickell Chicago LW 74 14 15 29
282 Zemgus Girgensons Buffalo C 72 13 16 29
283 Cody Hodgson Nashville RW 76 13 16 29
284 Mark Arcobello Toronto C 72 12 17 29
285 Erik Johnson Colorado D 67 11 18 29
286 Matt Nieto San Jose LW 76 11 18 29
287 David Legwand Buffalo 81 10 19 29
288 Alexander Edler Vancouver D 72 9 20 29
289 Matt Cullen Pittsburgh LW 69 8 21 29
290 David Savard Columbus D 78 7 22 29
291 Michael Raffl Philadelphia LW 70 15 13 28
292 Dmitrij Jaskin St. Louis RW 75 15 13 28
293 Mason Raymond Calgary LW 70 13 15 28
294 Dan Boyle N.Y. Rangers D 71 11 17 28
295 Alexander Burmistrov Winnipeg LW 78 11 17 28
296 Trevor Daley Chicago D 70 10 18 28
297 Leon Draisaitl Edmonton C 76 10 18 28
298 Jacob Trouba Winnipeg D 72 9 19 28
299 Joe Colborne Calgary RW 72 9 19 28
300 Johnny Boychuk N.Y. Islanders D 74 7 21 28
 

Scott Cullen can be reached at scott.cullen@bellmedia.ca