The Art Ross Trophy has gone to the top scorer in the NHL each season since 1947-48, but it wasn’t until Sunday that it has been won by an American.
Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, a Buffalo native, finished the season with a career-high 106 points to outpace the Dallas Stars’ Jamie Benn for the title. Kane finished with career bests in goals (46) and assists (60).
“It is an honor being the first American to win the scoring title as there have been so many great hockey players from the United States in the NHL,” Kane said in a statement. “I take a lot of pride in that, but I also take a lot of pride in doing it with the Chicago Blackhawks. I owe a lot to my teammates, coaches and the organization as I couldn’t have done this without them. This has been a special season, but we still have a lot to accomplish as a team and I look forward to another long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”
The Blackhawks finished third in the Central Division and will face the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs, starting Wednesday. Chicago will attempt to become the first team to win back-to-back Stanley Cups since the Detroit Red Wings in the 1997 and 1998 seasons.
That would be the ultimate prize during Kane’s magical season. His list of accomplishments this year is long. He became the first Blackhawks player to win the Art Ross since Stan Mikita in 1967-68. Mikita had won it four out of five years, with Chicago’s Bobby Hull taking the honors in 1965-66.
Kane posted a 26-game point streak (16G, 24A) from Oct. 17 to Dec. 13, the longest run by an American-born player. He had a career-best seven-game goal streak from Nov. 2 to Nov. 15, had 27 multi-point games and his first two regular-season hat tricks.
All of these numbers came in an era when scoring is down. He became just one of four players to break the 100-point mark in the last five seasons.
The HockeyFanLand Insight:
I’m going to sound a little biased here. I loved the way Kane plays the game of hockey since I saw him back to his world Junior days. Now, I’m not going to sit and say that I could’ve predicted this level of success…
Patrick Kane’s resume has quickly become one of the deepest in the sports history, and the scary thing is, he is just entering his prime. A lot of hockey fans are probably getting sick of it. However, I just don’t see how you can bet against the Chicago Blackhawks when it comes to favorites to win the Stanley Cup.
Congratulations, Kaner. The Art Ross Trophy yet another remarkable achievement!