A month ago, 19 year old winger Patrick Laine was putting together a solid season and helping the Winnipeg Jets breakout as a surprise contender. Now, he sits tied for first place with Alex Ovechkin for most goals scored this season and is making a name for himself as a bona fide superstar. To put it into perspective, Laine, as of March 11th, has more goals in March than he does in any other month with nine. He has an 11 game point streak, and has scored a goal in ten of those games.
Laine’s streak started on February 16th, where he had a goal and an assist against the Colorado Avalanche. Since it’s beginning, the Jets have gone 8-3 and Laine, who doesn’t turn 20 until April, has scored 15 points. He also had a stretch in this time period where he has multi-goal games in four out of five contests including a hat trick against the Rangers.
This isn’t an anomaly for Laine though. After he was drafted number two overall in the draft, he came into the league as an 18 year old and was extraordinarily good. In fact, since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Laine has the most goals in the NHL, leading Nikita Kucherov and Ovechkin in that category, and all as a teenager. Many hockey experts said that Patrick Laine had the tools and potential to become a superstar, but it looks like that potential is being realized much earlier than many expected as he is already one of the best players in the league.
By the time Laine hits 20, he could very well have the most goals all time by a teenager which would be an incredible accomplishment. He also ranks highly in most goals over a players first two seasons and would could be the first player to lead the league in goals as a teenager. Also his 11 game point streak is nothing to shake a stick at especially with all the goals that go in it, but he is still 40 games away from tying the all time longest streak set by Wayne Gretzky.
The Jets have also benefited from Laine’s big season as they have the 5th most points in the league just one year removed from missing the playoffs altogether. They also have the fourth best goal differential and are one of the hottest teams in hockey, in part because of Laine’s tear. It will be very interesting to see how the young superstar fares in the pressure of the playoffs, but he will certainly be one of the most watched players from here on out.