Ranking the 5 Greatest Scorers in San Jose Sharks History

Brad Kurtzberg@@sealshockeyContributor IOctober 11, 2013

Ranking the 5 Greatest Scorers in San Jose Sharks History

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    The San Jose Sharks have had many talented players since they entered the NHL in 1991, but this article will examine the top five greatest scorers in franchise history.

    Keep in mind the top five scorers are not necessarily the five that scored the most goals in a Sharks' uniform during their career, although that is a factor. The rankings combine how dangerous a goal scorer the player was while he played for San Jose and how long he played at that high level for the club.

    Also, we're talking about scoring goals for the purpose of this list. Being a great assist man will not get you any higher in these rankings.

    Feel free to comment on any players on this list or anyone else you feel belongs on the list but was omitted. As always, please indicate why you feel the way that you do.

    So, let's take a look at the five greatest scorers in San Jose Sharks' history.

5. Jeff Friesen

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    Jeff Friesen spent parts of seven seasons with the Sharks between 1994 and 2001.

    He scored 149 goals in 512 games in teal. His best season with San Jose came in 1997-98, when he scored a career-high 31 goals. In all, he had four consecutive seasons with 20 or more goals for the Sharks.

    He later played for the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals and Calgary Flames.

4. Joe Pavelski

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    Joe Pavelski was almost an afterthought when the Sharks selected him with the 205th overall pick (seventh round) in the 2003 NHL draft.

    The former University of Wisconsin star made the NHL in 2006 and gradually developed into a productive, top-six forward.

    He has scored more than 20 goals in each of the last four full NHL seasons and had 16 goals in just 48 games last year. His most productive season (so far) came in 2011-12 when he scored 31 goals.

    In 482 games with San Jose, Pavelski has scored 150 goals. At age 29, he should have plenty of time to add to his totals.

3. Jonathan Cheechoo

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    For two seasons, Jonathan Cheechoo was one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the National Hockey League.

    He won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy as the league's top goal scorer in 2005-06 when he scored a franchise-record 56 times. He added 11 more goals in 23 playoff games that season.

    The native of Moose Factory, Ontario, followed up his 56-goal season with a 37-goal campaign, but then injuries began to slow him down. His productivity dropped in each subsequent season he played in teal.

    In 440 games with San Jose, Cheechoo scored 165 goals.

    He later played for the Ottawa Senators before spending more than three seasons in the AHL.

    This year, the 33-year-old former Sharks winger is playing in the KHL, where he scored nine goals in his first 15 games.

2. Owen Nolan

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    Owen Nolan remains the best power forward in Sharks' history. No power forward played so well for so long for San Jose.

    He spent parts of eight seasons in teal and delivered 206 goals in 568 games.

    The native of Belfast, Ireland, was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche early in the 1995-96 season and quickly became a feared goal scorer and team leader. He was eventually named team captain.

    Nolan's best season with San Jose took place in 1999-00 when he scored 44 goals.

    Six times he topped the 20-goal mark in teal, and five times he topped 100 penalty minutes in a season.

    Nolan's most famous goal came in the 1997 All-Star Game when he pointed at the net before depositing the puck into the goal on a breakaway. It was his third goal of the game. The fact that the game was in San Jose only added to the celebration for Sharks fans.

    Nolan finished his NHL career in 2011 after stints with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes, Flames and Minnesota Wild.

1. Patrick Marleau

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    Patrick Marleau is the San Jose Sharks' all-time franchise leader in games played (1,165), goals (404) and points (861). He has also added 57 goals in 140 playoff games.

    The Sharks selected him with the second overall pick in the 1997 NHL draft. He made the team that same season and is still playing for the club today.

    Marleau has recorded 11 seasons with 20 or more goals for San Jose, including a career-best 44 in 2009-10. Six times he has topped 30 goals in a single campaign.

    At 34, he remains a productive scorer who will see plenty of time on the power play and in prime scoring situations.