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Oilers’ Zach Hyman hits 50-goal mark for first time in career

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
3 months ago
Zach Hyman is the latest to join an elusive list of players who scored 50 goals in a single NHL season.
He accomplished the feat Sunday night against the Ottawa Senators, scoring from where he’s scored so many this season, right near the blue paint. It happened 3:34 into the second period, when Hyman deflected home a pass from Connor McDavid.
Hyman becomes the 99th player in NHL history to score 50 goals, joining a long list of players that first started with Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, who hit the mark in the 1944-45 season. While Richard did it in 50 games, Hyman’s took him 68 games.
It’s been nothing short of an incredible season for Hyman, who has been scoring at will all season long, leading the league with 5v5 goals per hour rate of 1.91, a good mark above the second-placed Auston Matthews, who has scored there at 1.78 goals per hour rate.
But it’s not like these goal totals were ever expected of Hyman, either. Prior to joining the Oilers, his career high in goals at any level was 22, scored during the 2014-15 season, which was his final at the NCAA’s University of Michigan. While he had two 20-goal seasons with the Leafs, he’s hit another level with the Oilers.
In his first season after signing his seven-year contract with the team in the summer of 2021, Hyman hit a career-high in goals with 27 — a number in and of itself many hoped he could reach, but it was never a big expectation for him. Since, all he’s done is produce offence. In the 2022-23 season, Hyman scored 36 goals, setting another career high, and has followed it up with the first 50-goal campaign.
What’s notable of it all, too, is the age Hyman hit the mark at. At 31 years and 289 days old, he becomes the third-oldest player in NHL history to pot 50 in season with only Johnny Buyck (35 years, 308 days old) and Joe Mullen (32 years, 33 days old) to record their first at an older age.
He also becomes the 11th player to score 50-goals or more in a season at that age, or older, joining some of the best scorers in NHL history in Alex Ovechkin and Phil Esposito, who each did it twice, as well as Jaromir Jagr, Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux, Joe Mullen, Marcel Dionne, Vic Hadfield, Bobby Hull and Johnny Buyck.
And with 13 games to go in the regular season, the question now becomes what number he ends this historic season at. Based on his .72 goal per game scoring rate, he is on pace for 58 goals this year, two shy of hitting the 60 goal mark.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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