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18 Year Old Patrik Laine Cannot Stop Scoring
- Updated: November 11, 2016
The National Hockey League is known for taking the top talented hockey superstars and offering them a chance to compete on the international stage. Hockey legends like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Rocket Richard, and others act as role models and aspirations to the youth participating in this growing sport. With hockey gaining momentum across the globe, players in the NHL come from many different backgrounds.
The Winnipeg Jets selected Finnish forward Patrik Laine with the second overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. At the young age of 18, Laine is off to an incredible rookie season scoring 11 goals in 14 games and recording 2 hat tricks. His goal total is the highest in the NHL to date and the only rookie to be in double digits. Winnipeg truly is experiencing a “rookie sensation.”
Given his age, Laine’s background is just getting started. He began his hockey career in Finland at the age of four. As he developed, he was asked to play for multiple teams and clubs around Finland. He competed in the IIHF World U18 Championships, where he scored 8 goals in 7 games and would begin to make a name for himself, causing recruiters to take notice. Prior to his NHL debut, he was labeled as a pure goal scorer, a game changer, and a player with high propensity to drive the game offensively. This reputation and potential prompted the Jets to give the future of the franchise in his hands.
Measuring at 6’4” and 201 pounds, Laine is touted for his intimidating shot, long stride, and ability to read the game. This ability helps him create his own offensive opportunities, which coupled with his powerful shooting dexterity, is a lethal combination for many goaltenders. This has led to his early success in his career as he continues his record breaking season.
Many teams across the NHL have added younger players to their roster and are seeing success. Phoenix Coyotes forward Max Domi, 21, scored 18 goals and recorded 52 points in his rookie season. Buffalo Sabres star Jack Eichel, 19, finished his rookie season with 24 goals and 56 overall points. Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon, 21, has already played 3 seasons in the NHL and totaled 59 goals with 153 total points so far.
This season alone, young, rookie goal scorers continue to shock and excite fans. Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs has enjoyed a top goal scoring position and has battled Patrik Laine statistically speaking over the course of the season so far. These two top talented players continue to spark conversation across the world. Another young goal scorer is Jimmy Vesey who signed with the New York Rangers and was a stand out at their rookie camp.
Today, young hockey players across the world continue to witness the success of players who work hard and show top talent and potential at the age of 18 years old. These players grow and develop into top quality players in the NHL and often end up in leadership roles. Players like Gabriel Landeskog, Sidney Crosby, Nathan Mackinnon, Patrik Laine, Auston Matthews, and others will inspire hockey excitement for years to come as they become the hockey legends of the future.