Drafted No. 1 overall in the 2008 draft, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos has quickly emerged as one of the league’s top performers.
The talk has been all about Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby over the last few years, but now it is time to consider Stamkos as well.
He’s too good to ignore. Stamkos has is proving that last year’s 51-goal tally was no fluke.
NHL columnist John Kreiser wrote an article that talks about how Sidney Crosby is on pace for the best season in his career. With 15 goals and 36 points in 23 games, he’s on pace for career-highs of 55 goals and 129 points.
The 20-year old Stamkos is on pace for 80 goals and 140 points. There’s plenty of time remaining in the season, and it is likely that Stamkos will cool off a bit. But what if he doesn’t? Maybe he is just that good.
After all, he does currently have a shooting percentage of 24 percent. That’s tops in the league for anyone with at least 40 shots (Stamkos has 87).
The forward has already accumulated 21 goals and 17 assists for 38 points in just 22 games. If Crosby is having a career year, and Stamkos is still way ahead of him, just imagine how good Stamkos will be in a few years.
The talks are heating up as to whether or not Stamkos has what it takes to score 50 goals in 50 games. He certainly has what it takes. It just depends on if he can keep up this torrid pace.
Stamkos leads the Lightning in goals, points, power play goals (10), and game-winners (4).
He has already recorded two hat tricks this season and is looking to reach the 100-point plateau for the first time in his career. Stamkos finished with 95 points last year and his linemate, Martin St. Louis, had 94. The two of them provide a deadly combo.
The Stamkos/St.Louis line may become, if not already, even more dangerous than the Ovechkin/Semin/Backstrom line, or the Alfredsson/Spezza/Heatley line a few years ago.
Stamkos has failed to record a point in just three games this year. He has already recorded 11 multi-point games, six of them with three points or more.
Stamkos has been doing it all for the Lightning, becoming a huge part of the team’s success. Tampa Bay sits at 13-7, good enough for fourth in the Eastern Conference.