Phil Kessel: Is He Ready To Make the Jump To Elite Status?

September 7th, 2010 by Mark Ritter Leave a reply »
When it comes to the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring, many believe it begins and ends with Phil Kessel.

For the most part the observers are correct—Kessel is the Leafs main goal-scoring threat.

That said, given general manager Brian Burke’s recent acquisitions (Kris Versteeg, Colby Armstrong, Clarke MacArthur, Luca Caputi) and with the all but certain addition of talented scorer Nazem Kadri to the mix, the Leafs look to have a much deeper offensive lineup heading into the 2010-11 season.

In 2009-10, Kessel accounted for a total of 30 goals and 55 points—good enough to equate to a total of 14.3 percent of Toronto’s goals, which ranked him 13th overall with Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, finishing first with 51 goals, or 23.9 percent of Tampa’s goals.

Overall, having played a total of just 70 games of the 82-game season, Kessel’s 30 goals placed him 21st amongst all NHL goal-scorers. While finishing 21st overall in goal-scoring is nothing to sneeze at, it’s a long way off what many would call elite goal-scoring status, which comes in the form of 35 or more goals.

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