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DATA: Top 10 point scorers, 1927 - 2014

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08-12-2013, 04:55 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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DATA: Top 10 point scorers, 1927 - 2014

This is something of a companion thread to Hockey Outsider's Top Twenty Scorers since 1968.

Why start in 1926-27? It is the first year after the last Western league folded, when the NHL contained all the talent in North America.

Why top ten finishes, rather than top twenty? Two reasons:

1) In a smaller league, I think 11th-20th place finishes start to become less meaningful. In the Original 6 period, teams usually only ran one powerplay unit for the entire powerplay, so there were only 18 forwards getting first unit powerplay time (plus a few extra forwards who would play on the point). So lower top 20 finishes in a smaller league were as much about opportunity as talent.

2) Not a small reason - top ten finishes are much easier to compile using hockey-reference.com.

Like Hockey Outsider's thread, I am giving players a point for every top 5 finish and a point for every top 10 finish. It's something of a junk stat that is useful for sorting.

PLAYER TOP 5- TOP 10 TOTAL
Gordie Howe 20 21 41
Wayne Gretzky 16 16 32
Maurice Richard 9 11 20
Jean Beliveau 8 12 20
Mario Lemieux 9 10 19
Bobby Hull 8 11 19
Jaromir Jagr 8 11 19
Andy Bathgate 9 9 18
Stan Mikita 9 9 18
Phil Esposito 8 10 18
Joe Sakic 6 10 16
Marcel Dionne 7 8 15
Bill Cowley 6 8 14
Ted Lindsay 6 8 14
Mike Bossy 6 8 14
Alex Delvecchio 2 11 13
Bobby Orr 6 6 12
Guy Lafleur 6 6 12
Bill Cook** 5 7 12
Howie Morenz* 5 7 12
Alex Ovechkin 5 7 12
Frank Boucher** 4 8 12
Nels Stewart* 3 9 12
Sidney Crosby 5 6 11
Teemu Selanne 4 7 11
Charlie Conacher 5 5 10
Max Bentley 5 5 10
Marty Barry 4 6 10
Elmer Lach 4 6 10
Doug Bentley 4 6 10
Peter Stastny 4 6 10
Mark Messier 4 6 10
Bernie Geoffrion 3 7 10
Henri Richard 3 7 10
Frank Mahovlich 3 7 10
Bobby Clarke 3 7 10
Adam Oates 3 7 10
Norm Ullman 2 8 10
Busher Jackson 4 5 9
Clint Smith 4 5 9
Sid Abel 4 5 9
Peter Forsberg 4 5 9
Joe Thornton 4 5 9
Martin St. Louis 4 5 9
Sweeney Schriner 3 6 9
Syl Apps 3 6 9
Toe Blake 3 6 9
Bryan Trottier 3 6 9
Jari Kurri 3 6 9
Paul Coffey 3 6 9
Steve Yzerman 3 6 9
Jean Ratelle 2 7 9
Steven Stamkos 4 4 8
Milt Schmidt 3 5 8
Gilbert Perreault 3 5 8
Ron Francis 3 5 8
Gordie Drillon 3 4 7
Ted Kennedy 3 4 7
Mark Recchi 3 4 7
Pavel Bure 3 4 7
Paul Kariya 3 4 7
Hooley Smith* 2 5 7
Paul Thompson 2 5 7
Bill Mosienko 2 5 7
Rod Gilbert 2 5 7
Denis Savard 2 5 7
Ilya Kovalchuk 2 5 7
Roy Conacher 1 6 7
John Bucyk 1 6 7
Lynn Patrick 3 3 6
Ken Hodge 3 3 6
Brett Hull 3 3 6
Markus Naslund 3 3 6
Evgeni Malkin 3 3 6
Syd Howe 2 4 6
Bryan Hextall, Sr 2 4 6
Paul Ronty 2 4 6
Bert Olmstead 2 4 6
Dickie Moore 2 4 6
Dale Hawerchuk 2 4 6
Luc Robitaille 2 4 6
John LeClair 2 4 6
Jarome Iginla 2 4 6
Aurele Joliat* 1 5 6
Darryl Sittler 1 5 6
Ace Bailey 2 3 5
Joe Primeau 2 3 5
Lorne Carr 2 3 5
Billy Taylor 2 3 5
Ed Litzenberger 2 3 5
Jacques Lemaire 2 3 5
Doug Gilmour 2 3 5
Dany Heatley 2 3 5
Pavel Datsyuk 2 3 5
Henrik Sedin 2 3 5
Michel Goulet 1 4 5
Ziggy Palffy 1 4 5
Bernie Federko 0 5 5
Carson Cooper 2 2 4
Cecil Dillon 2 2 4
Larry Aurie 2 2 4
Gaye Stewart 2 2 4
Bronco Horvath 2 2 4
Rick MacLeish 2 2 4
Todd Bertuzzi 2 2 4
Corey Perry 2 2 4
Claude Giroux 2 2 4
Bill Thoms 1 3 4
Bobby Bauer 1 3 4
Tod Sloan 1 3 4
Sid Smith 1 3 4
Dutch Reibel 1 3 4
Kenny Wharram 1 3 4
Dave Taylor 1 3 4
Eric Lindros 1 3 4
Patrik Elias 1 3 4
Daniel Alfredsson 1 3 4
Ryan Getzlaf 1 3 4
Nicklas Backstrom 1 3 4
Neil Colville 0 4 4
Red Kelly 0 4 4
Don McKenney 0 4 4
George Hay** 1 2 3
Cooney Weiland 1 2 3
Dit Clapper 1 2 3
Baldy Northcott 1 2 3
Paul Haynes 1 2 3
Art Chapman 1 2 3
Phil Watson 1 2 3
Woody Dumart 1 2 3
Buddy O'Connor 1 2 3
Ab DeMarco 1 2 3
Phil Goyette 1 2 3
Bobby Rousseau 1 2 3
Wayne Cashman 1 2 3
Pete Mahovlich 1 2 3
Denis Potvin 1 2 3
Mike Rogers 1 2 3
Kent Nilsson 1 2 3
Barry Pederson 1 2 3
Bernie Nicholls 1 2 3
Pat Lafontaine 1 2 3
Pierre Turgeon 1 2 3
Jeremy Roenick 1 2 3
Sergei Fedorov 1 2 3
Mats Sundin 1 2 3
Jason Allison 1 2 3
Marian Hossa 1 2 3
Jason Spezza 1 2 3
Vincent LeCavalier 1 2 3
Patrick Kane 1 2 3
Bun Cook 0 3 3
Johnny Pearson 0 3 3
Fleming MacKell 0 3 3
Murray Oliver 0 3 3
Theoren Fleury 0 3 3
Pavol Demitra 0 3 3
Mike Modano 0 3 3
Brad Richards 0 3 3
Marc Savard 0 3 3
Phil Kessel 0 3 3
Dick Irvin** 1 1 2
Frank Fredrickson** 1 1 2
Babe Dye* 1 1 2
Billy Burch* 1 1 2
Andy Blair 1 1 2
Hec Kilrea 1 1 2
Ebbie Goodfellow 1 1 2
Doc Romnes 1 1 2
Georges Mantha 1 1 2
Don Grosso 1 1 2
Herb Cain 1 1 2
Carl Liscombe 1 1 2
Joe Carveth 1 1 2
Bud Poile 1 1 2
Jim Conacher 1 1 2
Don Raleigh 1 1 2
Wally Hergesheimer 1 1 2
Walt Tkaczuk 1 1 2
Vic Hadfield 1 1 2
Bill Barber 1 1 2
Pierre Larouche 1 1 2
Steve Shutt 1 1 2
Tim Young 1 1 2
Bob MacMillan 1 1 2
Dennis Maruk 1 1 2
Rob Brown 1 1 2
John Cullen 1 1 2
Kevin Stevens 1 1 2
Alex Zhamnov 1 1 2
Martin Straka 1 1 2
Alex Kovalev 1 1 2
Milan Hejduk 1 1 2
Zach Parise 1 1 2
Daniel Sedin 1 1 2
Tyler Seguin 1 1 2
Harry Oliver** 0 2 2
Duke Keats** 0 2 2
Bill Carson 0 2 2
Frank Finnigan 0 2 2
Dutch Gainor 0 2 2
Eddie Shore 0 2 2
Johnny Gagnon 0 2 2
Herbie Lewis 0 2 2
Tom Anderson 0 2 2
Gus Bodnar 0 2 2
Metro Prystai 0 2 2
Ken Mosdell 0 2 2
Red Sullivan 0 2 2
Ralph Backstrom 0 2 2
Claude Provost 0 2 2
Dave Keon 0 2 2
Yvan Cournoyer 0 2 2
Red Berenson 0 2 2
John McKenzie 0 2 2
Rick Martin 0 2 2
Syl Apps, Jr 0 2 2
Lanny McDonald 0 2 2
Charlie Simmer 0 2 2
Rick Middleton 0 2 2
Dino Ciccarelli 0 2 2
Jimmy Carson 0 2 2
Alexander Mogilny 0 2 2
Brendan Shanahan 0 2 2
Eric Staal 0 2 2
Henrik Zetterberg 0 2 2
Taylor Hall 0 2 2

Notes:
  • The ratio of goals to assists has remained fairly constant since World War 2. Prior to World War 2, the numbers varied, but there were fewer assists given out per goal than today. So looking at points will probably underrate the offensive contributions of pre-WW2 playmakers and overrate the offensive contributions of pre-WW2 goalscorers.
  • *Howie Morenz, Aurele Joliat, Babe Dye, Billy Burch, Nels Stewart, and Hooley Smith all had a least one Top 10 season in the NHL before 1926-27.
  • **Bill Cook, Dick Irvin, Frank Fredreckson, Frank Boucher, Duke Keats, Harry Oliver, and George Hay all had significant seasons in the western leagues before they folded.
  • Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull had a few Top 10 seasons in the WHA as older players. Nilsson had two Top 10 WHA seasons before coming to the NHL and Gretzky had one.
  • Bobby Orr (6), Paul Coffey (6), Red Kelly (3), Eddie Shore (2), and Denis Potvin (2) are the only players to have multiple top 10 scoring finishes as defensemen since 1927. Kelly also had a 4th top 10 finish as a forward. Tom Anderson had one Top 10 finish as a forward and one as a defenseman. Bobby Orr (6), Paul Coffey (3), and Denis Potvin (1) are the only players to finish in the top 5 of NHL scoring as defensemen since 1927.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 06-14-2014 at 01:07 PM.
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08-13-2013, 08:28 AM
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JaymzB
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Excellent work. A couple of very quick observations:

-Surprised (though I shouldn't be) at how high Andy Bathgate ends up in this list.

-Conversely pretty surprised how low Yzerman is.

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08-13-2013, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaymzB View Post
Excellent work. A couple of very quick observations:

-Surprised (though I shouldn't be) at how high Andy Bathgate ends up in this list.

-Conversely pretty surprised how low Yzerman is.
Bathgate is somewhat forgotten by history because he was something of a Marcel Dionne of his era in terms of how little he accomplished in the playoffs. He did win a single Cup on Toronto in the midst of their dynasty, but overall his time with the Leafs was considered a disappointed. But as regular season players go, there were few better than Bathgate, no matter what metric you use.

The thing with Yzerman is that his peak as an offensive player was actually fairly short, and he was rarely in the top 10 in the second half of his career (though he was known as a two-way force, leader, and great captain in the second half of his career).

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08-13-2013, 10:48 AM
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When Marty Barry gets up there with Messier, but Fedorov, Roenick, Sundin, Lafontaine, etc are all down at the bottom, I think higher scoring eras with more teams are getting "unfairly penalized", and low scoring eras with fewer teams are getting a "boost"... understanding, of course, that this is (as TDMM put it) a "junk stat".

I wonder what the list would look like if "top 10" and "top 5" were kept as headings, but normalized to some year with "average" scoring and/or number of roster spots across the league. Might turn into a top 2&4 scorers for original 6 days, for example, and maybe top 6&12 for the years with 30 teams or more scoring, or whatever. I think, in other words, I'm referring to a percentile of some sort, but I'm no stats guy.

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08-13-2013, 10:54 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Some people (myself included though not to the same extent as some others) think that it's more difficult to repeat as a top 10 scorer in the modern 26-30 team league that is loaded with talent from all over the world. So here are the top players by this metric who peaked after the European influx of the early 90s. My selection of players was a judgment call just for illustration purposes.


PLAYER TOP 5- TOP 10 TOTAL
Jaromir Jagr 8 11 19
Joe Sakic 6 10 16
Alex Ovechkin 5 6 11
Teemu Selanne 4 7 11
Peter Forsberg 3 4 7
Joe Thornton 4 5 9
Martin St. Louis 4 5 9
Sidney Crosby 4 5 9
Steven Stamkos 4 4 8
Ron Francis 3 5 8
Mark Recchi 3 4 7
Pavel Bure 3 4 7
Paul Kariya 3 4 7
Ilya Kovalchuk 2 5 7
Markus Naslund 3 3 6
Evgeni Malkin 3 3 6
John LeClair 2 4 6
Jarome Iginla 2 4 6
Dany Heatley 2 3 5
Pavel Datsyuk 2 3 5
Henrik Sedin 2 3 5
Ziggy Palffy 1 4 5
Todd Bertuzzi 2 2 4
Eric Lindros 1 3 4
Patrik Elias 1 3 4
Daniel Alfredsson 1 3 4
Sergei Fedorov 1 2 3
Mats Sundin 1 2 3
Jason Allison 1 2 3
Marian Hossa 1 2 3
Jason Spezza 1 2 3
Vincent LeCavalier 1 2 3
Nicklas Backstrom 1 2 3
Patrick Kane 1 2 3
Pavol Demitra 0 3 3
Mike Modano 0 3 3
Brad Richards 0 3 3
Marc Savard 0 3 3
Alex Zhamnov 1 1 2
Martin Straka 1 1 2
Alex Kovalev 1 1 2
Milan Hejduk 1 1 2
Zach Parise 1 1 2
Daniel Sedin 1 1 2
Corey Perry 1 1 2
Claude Giroux 1 1 2
Alexander Mogilny 0 2 2
Brendan Shanahan 0 2 2
Eric Staal 0 2 2
Henrik Zetterberg 0 2 2
Ryan Getzlaf 0 2 2
Phil Kessel 0 2 2

Notes:
  • Look at how impressive Joe Sakic looks by this metric! Jagr probably isn't a surprise to most people, but Sakic almost keeps up with him in top 5 and top 10 finishes, well ahead of the pack. (Jagr obviously has the 5-0 lead in Art Rosses though).
  • Alex Ovechkin already has had quite a career for himself, eh? Crosby isn't that far behind.
  • Stamkos is already in pretty rarified air with 4 top 5 finishes in NHL scoring. It really surprises me how impressive he's already been as a peak scorer.
  • Ron Francis is really more a part of the older generation than the one listed here, but all his top 5 finishes were after his 30th birthday (4 of the 5 while centering Jagr), so he's included here.


Last edited by TheDevilMadeMe: 08-14-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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08-14-2013, 12:18 AM
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Forsberg should be 4+5 for 9, unless i'm out to lunch again.

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08-14-2013, 12:31 AM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tombombadil View Post
Forsberg should be 4+5 for 9, unless i'm out to lunch again.
You're right. I'm pretty sure which season of his got missed. I'll fix it

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08-14-2013, 08:01 PM
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When you consider the fact that Joe Sakic was the MUCH better all-around player and leader than Jagr, his playoff clutch performances and his elevated Gold Medal play, It's not a stretch to believe that he's the best player in that second list.

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08-14-2013, 08:20 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffL19 View Post
When you consider the fact that Joe Sakic was the MUCH better all-around player and leader than Jagr, his playoff clutch performances and his elevated Gold Medal play, It's not a stretch to believe that he's the best player in that second list.
I don't think it's totally out there to prefer Sakic to Jagr for the reasons you gave. But keep in mind that it also points to a weakness in using the above chart to compare players - it treats all top 5 finishes the same.

Here are what their top 5 finishes actually look like

Jagr: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 5
Sakic: 2, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5

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08-14-2013, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffL19 View Post
When you consider the fact that Joe Sakic was the MUCH better all-around player and leader than Jagr, his playoff clutch performances and his elevated Gold Medal play, It's not a stretch to believe that he's the best player in that second list.
Sakic had a better supporting cast and Jagr won gold at the 98 Olympics.

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06-14-2014, 12:50 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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Updated for 2014. Ovechkin and Crosby continue to move up.

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06-14-2014, 01:34 PM
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Does this use art ross tie breaking rules, or does it include all players tied for 5th or 10th in points as having a xth place finish?

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06-14-2014, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micklebot View Post
Does this use art ross tie breaking rules, or does it include all players tied for 5th or 10th in points as having a xth place finish?
Doesn't use tie breaks, so some years you will have more than 10 players listed as "top 10" depending on where the ties fall

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06-14-2014, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
Doesn't use tie breaks, so some years you will have more than 10 players listed as "top 10" depending on where the ties fall
Then you missed Karlsson in 2011-12, he tied Elias for 10th that year but the tiebreaker puts him at 11th on most lists (oddly enough Hockeyreference has Karlsson ahead of Elias, I have no idea how the determine the order).

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06-15-2014, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Micklebot View Post
Then you missed Karlsson in 2011-12, he tied Elias for 10th that year but the tiebreaker puts him at 11th on most lists (oddly enough Hockeyreference has Karlsson ahead of Elias, I have no idea how the determine the order).
The cut off for the above table is 2 top 10 finishes (or 1 top 5).

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06-15-2014, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDevilMadeMe View Post
The cut off for the above table is 2 top 10 finishes (or 1 top 5).
Ah, gotcha. Didn't catch that, makes sense now.

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06-16-2014, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Andy Bathgate 9 9 18
Marcel Dionne 7 8 15
Bill Cowley 6 8 14
Nels Stewart 3 9 12
Doug Bentley 4 6 10
Peter Stastny 4 6 10
Norm Ullman 2 8 10
Clint Smith 4 5 9
Steven Stamkos 4 4 8
Impressively underrated usually in an all-time context.

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