Reprinted with permission from hockeybuzz.com
As we down the stretch this season, when it comes to the rookie scoring race, it would seem as if the only thing keeping Chicago Blackhawks forward Artemi Panarin from winning this would be an injury. Panarin's still on the top line, still with the league's leading scorer in Patrick Kane and still using his incredible skills to produce.
Since last we checked in prior to the 2016 NHL trade deadline, Panarin has lost a little ground in overall points and assists while he's managed to maintain his three-goal lead over the nearest competitor in that category. In seven games since our February 23 update Panarin's tacked on three goals and two assists to bring his overall total to 25 goals and 37 assists for 62 points.
Buffalo's Jack Eichel capped off a solid stretch with a two-goal effort yesterday including the game-winner in overtime. Overall he upped his point total to 48 with five goals and two assists in his last 10 games and he now stands 12 back of Panarin for the points-lead. Arizona's Max Domi, who was even with Eichel at 16 points behind Panarin three weeks ago, had a rough stretch adding only three points to his total (all assists) in eight games for a total of 44 points. Rounding out the top-five are Detroit forward Dylan Larkin at 40 points (one goal in his last eight games) and Philadelphia defenseman Shane Gostisbehere with 38 points (three goals, one assist in his last eight games.)
Eichel's five goals put him at 22 only three behind Panarin for the lead. With Larkin scoring only one goal he dropped to third with 20 goals. Buffalo rookie Sam Reinhart picked up a goal in eight games to bring him to 19 on the season while Domi stayed in fifth with 17. Fellow Coyote Anthony Duclair kept pace with his teammate adding a goal to keep him in a tie for 5th place.
Domi's three assists put him at 27 for the year, ten behind Panarin's 37. Eichel fell to third with 26 while Gostisbehere was in fourth with 23 assists. Vancouver Canucks forward Ben Hutton powered into the top five garnering six assists in his last eight games to put him at 22, one ahead of Edmonton's Connor McDavid.
McDavid was his usual force. He's still at a point/game with 35 points in 34 games as he added four goals and three assists in his last 10 games. Those 35 points moved him from 9th to 7th, just three points behind Gostisbehere. His 14 goals moved him from 13th to 10th while his 21 assists on the year have him just one away from the top-five. His 34 games played are roughly half the number of those in the top-five.
Rookie leaders points Panarin--62