After a few game nights of anticipation, former Rimouski Oceanic star Sidney Crosby reached the 1,000 NHL point plateau in a 4-3 overtime win over the Jets on February 16. Crosby hit the milestone by assisting on Pittsburgh’s second goal along with fellow QMJHL alum Kristopher Letang (Val-d’Or). In classic Crosby fashion he wasn’t done his night’s work, adding another assist and the OT winner to further toast a festive evening on home ice at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.
In so doing, Crosby became the 86th player in NHL history to reach the mark while also writing his name into the QMJHL record books as the 12th player in League history to manage the feat, joining Guy Lafleur, Mike Bossy, Denis Savard, Mario Lemieux, Pat Lafontaine, Michel Goulet, Vincent Damphousse, Jeremy Roenick, Pierre Turgeon, Ray Bourque and Luc Robitaille.
Winner of the Michel Briere Trophy as QMJHL MVP in each of his two seasons in the League in 2003-04 and 2004-05, Crosby is the 12th fastest player to reach the NHL 1,000-point club having done so in 757 games. Among QMJHL alums that places him 5th behind Lemieux (513), Bossy (656), Lafleur (720) and Savard (727).
Crosby is also in some very impressive company regarding career NHL points per game. His 1.32 average is at No. 5 all-time behind such giants of the game as Bobby Orr (1.39), Bossy (1.50), Lemieux (1.88) and, of course, Wayne Gretzky (1.92).
A LOOK AHEAD
Here is a look ahead at where Crosby and other QMJHL alumni could go from here on the NHL all-time point list
As far as No. 87 is concerned, should he remain healthy and play even five more seasons through age 34 with 75-80 games played per season and 90-100 points per campaign (1.13 to 1.33 ppg), this would land him at 1,500 points to trail only Bourque (1,579) and Lemieux (1,723) among QMJHL alums to have played in the NHL.
Meanwhile as far as other current QMJHL alumni in the NHL who are inching towards the 1,000-point mark, there are four players in that conversation. Despite running out of the race track in his NHL career, Mike Ribeiro (Rouyn-Noranda/Quebec 1997-2000) is the closest to the milestone at 793 points. Sitting behind Ribeiro at 651 points apiece as of today are Jason Pominville (Shawinigan 1998-2002) and Patrice Bergeron (Acadie-Bathurst 2001-03).
Next up is Claude Giroux (Gatineau 2005-08) with 558 points in 631 games so far in this All-Star career. He would have to maintain his 0.88 points per game average in order to reach the 1,000-point mark as a 36-year-old. His Flyers teammate Jakub Voracek (Halifax 2006-08) would have to keep his current pace to get there by age 37, while Olympiques’ alum David Krejci would have to stay at his current clip, stay healthy and play until age 40.
While they may be a long way from planning for their 1,000th NHL point, here is how the QMJHL’s recent graduates are trending early in their careers. At only 21 years old, Nathan McKinnon (Halifax 2011-13) has 191 points in 273 games (0.70 points per game). Given he averaged 0.77 points per game as a rookie, McKinnon stands as the player with the best potential of joining Crosby in the QMJHL’s 1,000 NHL point club, especially should the Avalanche turn things around offensively or should he end up with a dominant team down the road.
Jonathan Huberdeau (Saint John 2009-2013) is another Q alum worth keeping an eye on with 179 points in 276 games. At age 23, should he average 75 games played per season, he has a possible shot at 1,000-point mark.
And should we decide to stretch things even further, two other youngsters are making waves early in their NHL journeys. Now in his sophomore NHL season, the Jets’ Nikolaj Ehlers (Halifax 2013-15) has an impressive 0.64 points per game average while rookie Anthony Mantha (Val-d’Or 2010-2014) is at 0.62 over his first 52 NHL games.
And now back to Crosby who has a few more milestones in his sights. He is 243 games from playing 1,000 games which he should reach by 2019-20 at age 32. He is now also 131 goals away from No. 500 which he trending to reach in 2020-21. As for 1,000 assists? Sid the Kid has 633 in 757 games to date and should be maintained his pace and play in an average of 75 per season, he could get there in 2024 as a 36-year-old.
Should he get there, Crosby would become only the third QMJHL product to do so. He would join Mario Lemieux (1,033) and Ray Bourque (1,169).
QMJHL’s 1,000 NHL POINT CLUB
Guy Lafleur Quebec
Mike Bossy Laval
Denis Savard Montreal
Michel Goulet Quebec
Ray Bourque Trois-Rivieres, Sorel, Verdun
Mario Lemieux Laval
Pat Lafontaine Verdun
Luc Robitaille Hull
Pierre Turgeon Granby
Vincent Damphousse Laval
Jeremy Roenick Hull
Sidney Crosby Rimouski