Patrik Laine is only getting started

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    Patrik Laine

    Patrik Laine is heating up for the Winnipeg Jets. He is currently on an eight game point streak where he has had nine goals and six assists for 15 points in games played since February 16.

    On the season, Laine leads the Jets with 35 goals, leads the National Hockey League with 17 power play goals and is second on the Jets in points with 58 (only behind Blake Wheeler who leads Winnipeg with 74 points).

    A lot of Laine’s goals this season have been timely. He also has six game winning goals which is tied for the team lead with Nikolaj Ehlers.

    When Laine was first drafted by the Jets in the first round, second overall, in the 2016 National Hockey League Entry Draft, there were instant comparisons to Teemu Selanne. The expectations might have been a little high as Selanne, who was drafted in the first round, 10th overall, by the Jets in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft, had a remarkable rookie season as he set the NHL records for goals by a rookie with 76 and points by a rookie with 132 in 1992-93.

    However it should be noted that Selanne was not able to back up his fabulous rookie season a quarter of a century ago with a very good NHL sophomore season. In 1993-94, Selanne barely averaged just over a point a game as he had 54 points in 51 games and was a poor -23 after being a +8 in his rookie season. The Jets also missed the playoffs in 1994 as they were last in the Western Conference with 57 points.

    Laine on the other hand might not be averaging more than a point a game like Selanne was in his second year (58 points in 65 games), but has helped the Jets immensely in a category that means the most—wins. Winnipeg is currently second in the Central with 87 points. With Laine, Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, Ehlers, Matthieu Perreault, Bryan Little and Paul Stastny, the Jets have some incredible depth on offense that could help them in a deep playoff run.

    There is an interesting connection between Selanne and Paul Stastny. It is Peter Stastny (Paul Stastny’s father), who Selanne passed in breaking the NHL points rookie record. Peter Stastny had 109 points for the Quebec Nordiques in 1980-81 and also has the NHL record for assists in a season by a rookie with 70.

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