NHL 2011-12 Preview: 8 Players Who Will Score 50 Goals This Season

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NHL 2011-12 Preview: 8 Players Who Will Score 50 Goals This Season
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

This past season, an Anaheim Ducks star took home the Rocket Richard Trophy for the NHL's top scorer after he netted 50 goals. The 50-goal plateau is considered quite the achievement in the league, and once a player crosses it, he is usually guaranteed the No. 1 spot. 

I believe that this season will produce not just one 50-goal scorer, but eight of them. 

Hear me out. After the shuffling that occurred since free agency began on July 1st, many star players are now in a position to score like they never have in their careers. Other players, like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, had shortened seasons due to injury and will be back in top form for (hopefully) a full campaign this year. 

The last time that eight players scored 50 goals in a season was 1995-96, three years before the Richard Trophy's inauguration. The competition that year was fierce as Paul Kariya and Keith Tkachuk were tied in seventh place in the league with 50 goals, while Mario Lemieux topped everyone with a respectable 69 goals. 

Out of the top 20-goal scorers in the 1995-96 season, only one remains active in the NHL. We are now in a new age in the NHL, a post-lockout era with more emphasis on scoring and many superstars capable of reaching the 50-goal mark. Here's my list of players who will rival the '96 league-leaders. 

I'd like to hear any comments you have on these guys or anyone else who you think I left off the list. You can also follow me on Twitter @adavis_29

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