Patrik Laine Going from Strength to StrengthBy Connor Lynch
Patrik Laine of the Winnipeg Jets scored his 4th career hat trick against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
The 19 year old Finnish star scored his career-high 38th goal for the season in Winnipeg’s 3 – 0 win. He surpassed his rookie-season record of 36 goals after being drafted into the NHL in 2016.
When he scored his 3rd career hat trick a year ago, he was the youngest NHL player to do so. Patrik Laine reached 3 career hat tricks at 18 years and 302 days. He is the third player to score 4 hat tricks before turning 20, along with Jimmy Carson and Dale Hawerchuk.
Laine is the second highest scorer in the NHL this season, behind Alexander Ovechkin. He’s risen up the scoring charts with 13 goals in his last nine games.
It’s a remarkable turnaround in form from a player who admitted last year that he was struggling on the ice:
“Right now I’m struggling. … Hockey is really hard for me right now.” He said this after scoring 4 in 11 games.
Laine is close to joining Rick Nash, Steven Stamkos, and Auston Matthews on 40 goals by a teenager this century. He has the 6th most goals (74) by a teenager in NHL history. Since Patrik Laine joined the league last year, no other player has scored more than his 74 goals. He is closely followed by Nikita Kucherov and Ovechkin, who have each scored 73 in this time.
He has at least a point in nine straight games (13 goals, six assists) and has scored multiple goals in four of his past five contests.
“This is the thing I want to do the rest of my life,” Laine said. “I love playing hockey. I love everything about it, so it’s just awesome to be here every day.”
From the way he talks at such a young age, he seems motivated to be a consistent scorer in the NHL for years to come.
“That’s always been my goal. And after this season I think it’s really possible to go first. I want to be No. 1 because I want to show everybody that I want to be the best player in this draft.”