The 50th Anniversary of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League will be celebrated in a number of ways this season. One of which is a countdown of the league’s 50 greatest players based solely on their QMJHL accomplishments. They stand out among 9511 players who played in the QMJHL over the past 50 years. Yours truly was part of the committee entrusted with the difficult task of making these selections.
The player ranked at No. 6 in the QMJHL’s 50-year history is Mike Bossy.
In all of Canadian Junior hockey history, no player scored more goals than Mike Bossy’s 309 goals. It’s hard to believe anyone touching this benchmark which has stood since 1976-77, especially given the way 50-goal scorers are few and far between today.
Born and raised in Montreal, Bossy never scored fewer than 70 goals in any of his four seasons with the Laval National and remains the only player in league history to accomplish it. His seasons of 118, 149, 136 and 126 points add up to 532 points, placing him at No. 9 on the QMJHL’s all-time list.
Bossy wouldn’t slow down in any way after graduating from the junior ranks, hitting the 50-goal mark in nine straight NHL seasons. He remains the only player in league history to record as many consecutive 50-goal seasons. Bossy was also a winner of four-straight Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders from 1979-80 to 1982-83.
In January 1981, he became only the second player in NHL history to score 50 goals in 50 games, joining Maurice Richard. In his rookie season with the Islanders, the 15th overall pick in the 1977 NHL Entry Draft, Bossy scored 53 goals on his way to winning the Calder Trophy as Rookie of the Year.
Since the 1980-81 season, a trophy is named after him and is awarded to the player deemed to be the QMJHL’s top prospect ahead of the NHL Entry Draft. The inaugural winner of the award was Dale Hawerchuk (No. 7 on our list).
Back problems would however cut Mike Bossy’s career short in 1987. He remains highly regarded for having one of the best wrist shots in hockey history. Following his 10-year career that saw him score 573 goals and win three Lady Byng trophies, Bossy would be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1991 and then the QMJHL Hall of Fame on March 17, 1998.