It's not surprising to find Steven Stamkos on lists with the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman on them. And by scoring his 250th career goal before the age of 25, Stamkos becomes the 10th youngest player to reach the mark at 24 years and 305 days.
Here is the list of the top 10 youngest NHL players to reach the 250 career goal mark:
1) Wayne Gretzky – 22 years, 28 days
2) Mario Lemieux – 23 years, 77 days
3) Dale Hawerchuk – 23 years, 289 days
4) Alex Ovechkin – 24 years, 126 days
5) Pierre Turgeon – 24 years, 199 days
6) Steve Yzerman- 24 years, 222 days
7) Jimmy Carson – 24 years, 241 days
8) Mike Bossy – 24 years, 275 days
9) Michel Goulet – 24 years, 302 days
10) Steven Stamkos – 24 years, 305 days
Stamkos, who was selected first overall in the 2008 NHL Draft, has solidified himself as one of, if not the, best snipers of the current generation of players as illustrated by his 0.569 goals per game pace and 17.5% career shooting percentage.
His goal scoring pace, among active NHL players, is only topped by Alex Ovechkin who has scored 0.618 goals per game.
But if not for a few events, he may have founded himself much higher on this list. There were two major events that happened during his march towards 250 career goals that delayed him from reaching the mark: the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, and his leg injury in the 2013-14 season.
During the lockout shortened season, Stamkos put up 29 goals in 48 games, which pro-rated to a full season is equivalent to 50 goals. Had that come to reality, he likely would have found himself reaching the 250 career mark sometime last season, which would've put him ahead of Ovechkin. And if not for the leg injury, he likely would've become just the fourth player to reach the mark before the age of 24.
Even if we step back from what ifs, one factor that makes this achievement even more impressive (as well as Ovechkin) is the era in which it was achieved. Among all of the players on the list, Stamkos reached the mark in the lowest scoring era. Here is a look at the league average goals per game during each players climb to 250 career goals:
|Player||First Season||250 Goal Season||League Goals/Game|
|Wayne Gretzky: 22 years, 28 days||1979||1982||3.81|
|Mario Lemieux: 23 years, 77 days||1984||1988||3.80|
|Dale Hawerchuk: 23 years, 289 days||1981||1986||3.89|
|Alex Ovechkin: 24 years, 126 days||2005||2009||2.91|
|Pierre Turgeon: 24 years, 199 days||1987||1993||3.55|
|Steve Yzerman: 24 years, 222 days||1983||1989||3.80|
|Jimmy Carson: 24 years, 241 days||1986||1992||3.62|
|Mike Bossy: 24 years, 275 days||1977||1981||3.65|
|Michel Goulet: 24 years, 302 days||1979||1984||3.84|
|Steven Stamkos: 24 years, 305 days||2008||2014||2.79|
But looking ahead, it will be fun to watch this elite sniper's career and see where Stamkos ends up for career totals in goals. My guess is that he still has another 400 goals in him and finds himself in the top 15 all-time.
Steve Stamkos 250 Career Goal Facts:
- 250 career goals in 439 games
- 87 power play goals
- 2 shorthanded goals
- 8 career hat tricks
- 34 game winning goals
- Didn't score his first NHL goal until his 9th game in which he scored two goals against the Buffalo Sabres. During his first season, he scored just four goals in the first half of the season while scoring 19 in the second half.
Using our IceTrack tool, here is heatmap of his goals since 2009: