IMO, it's a toss-up between Markus Naslund, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marian Hossa, and Joe Sakic. These guys have the finest pure scoring instincts in the NHL. Hejduk is a good sniper, but his stats were inflated last year. Look at how his shot percentage went up...I tuned into hilights every night and there were a lot of flukes and bounces in there. Hejduk isn't in hte same class as the four guys I mentioned. I might actually give the nod to Kovalchuk for best goal-scoring instincts.
I hate to say this, as Avs fans might lynch me.... buuut...
In my heart of hearts, I don't even think Hejduk is the best goalscorer on his *TEAM*.
In fact, I don't even think he's the SECOND BEST goalscorer on his team.
But I still think Hejduk ROCKS and is underrated around here.
The #1 goal scoring Av? I simply have to give that to Joe Sakic. It stuns me that people think he's fallen off the face of the planet. This is a guy who put up *54* goals and *118* points.. only three years ago! This is the same Joe Sakic I'm talking about who scored a nutty 6 goals in 7 games against the *Minnesota Wild* in the post season last year.
Sakic, along with Naslund and Kovalev, to me, has the best shot in the league. He has amazing vision, and he really hasn't slowed down at all. Sakic is pure gamebreaker.
I think there is some credit to the 'Forsberg makes Hejduk a better goal scorer' arguement, but I think on the flipside, Hejduk is still a 35 - 40 goal scorer with a competant centreman. Sakic on the otherhand, I feel, can score 50 goals in this league.. this season.. no matter his linemates.
Also, I think Kariya might be a better goal scorer than Hejduk. While I know some may chortle at this, I would predict that Kariya will finish with more goals than Hejduk this season, and has a much better pure skillset.
Kovalchuk has the best package when it comes to goal scorers in this league. Can't argue with that. But he lacks the maturity. I couldn't justify putting him at #1, and most of you know how much I think of Ilya.
In terms of the best purely skilled goalscorers, I would say: Hull, Kovalchuk, Lemieux, Iginla, Kovalev, and Mogilny are the best in this league.
In terms of best overall 'put-the-puck-in-the-net' quality: Markus Naslund
He may not be the most skilled player in this league, but he has the full package. Maturity, consistancy, shot, hands, speed, grit, hockey sense, desire, and stamina. No other goalscorer I feel has *all* of those qualities at the moment.
Naslund and Sakic have the best wrist shots in the game, does that make them the best pure scorer? Not automatically. Pavel Bure was clearly the best. Right now I don't know, I think Kariya is going to really put some huge numbers up this year. People may have forgetten the last few years that he may be the most skilled player in the league. This guy put up 50 goals in his first full season, and has never been with a play making center.
forget aboot who plays with whom, what matters is who fills the net.
and for the record not ALL scorers require a 'playmaking' center, paul kariya in my opinion would not be much better off playing with a doug weight, for example, as opposed to someone like brett hull who really needs a feeder. just different styles. hull likes to 'sneak' in, usually in prime territory, and for some reason defences in the NHL have just not been able to figure him out. kariya tends to take the puck in himself over the blueline and wire it.
kariya's shooting percentage has taken a steady decline over the years - mostly due to goalie equipment in my opinion. put him with anyone, joe sakic or peter forsberg, it's the style of his goalscoring that will limit him to less than 40 goals this year. he's more of a mike bossy type. goalies see him coming. nowadays they're simply coincidentally in the way more often.
hejduk knows how to take advantage of forsberg's havoc. he knows where to be, and when.
I'd have to agree that Bure, Kovalchuk, Nasland, and Hejduk would all be near the top of the list. Honestly if you look at it, it's mind-boggling the Avs aren't scoring 5 or more goals a game on average. Sakic, Kariya, Forsberg, Hejduk, etc...
If their coach would just let them play with one another, noone could stop Colorado's offense. But that's a story for a different thread.
Personally, Bure or Kovalchuk would be my pick when talking PURE goalscoring. Kovalchuk is going to be simply amazing, seeing how young he is now - the kid isn't even close to his prime yet.
I would strongly disagree with this poll. Naslund is a GREAT player, but NOT (IMHO) a "pure" goal scorer. If Pavel Bure comes back to ever play again, he will automatically regain the #1 spot. Until we see about the Russian Rocket, it's Kovalchuk . The guy is far more amazing than Markus as a shooter! Absolutely deadly!
Joe Sakic is a great scorer, as well.
Brett Hull WAS, but is starting to show the effects of time.
Very few Bossy-like players out there. We should be happy for the ones we DO have.