The NHL’s public relations department on Friday released their regular season recap for the 2019-2020 season. The NHL announced Tuesday that the 2019-20 regular season was deemed complete through games of March 11, the day before the League paused play due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FROM NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS PRESS RELEASE
Highlights of the 2019-20 campaign – which saw 85% of scheduled games played (1,082 of 1,271) – included Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin’s pursuit and eventual entry into the NHL’s 700-goal club; scoring races that saw five players reach 90 points and five hit 40 goals; colossal comebacks; and a final rookie scoring rank last seen 86 years ago.
For the second straight season and fifth time in League history, each of the top-four point producers were born in different countries. The other instances occurred in 2018-19, 2005-06 (top 5), 1998-99 and 1997-98.
Additionally, each of the top-five goal scorers hail from different countries – the seventh time that has happened. This is the first season in NHL history to end without a Canadian among the top eight in goals.
A look at League leaders for the 2019-20 regular season:
* Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl became the first German-born player to lead the NHL in points and the 10th different European-born player to do so. It marked the third time in four years that an Oilers player won the Art Ross Trophy, the first team to achieve that feat since the Penguins claimed seven in a row from 1994-95 to 2000-01. Draisaitl also led the League with 67 assists.
* David Pastrnak became the first Bruins player in 45 years to top the NHL in goals and first to win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (introduced in 1998-99). He joined Phil Esposito (3x) and Bobby Orr (2x) as the third player to score at least four hat tricks in a season for Boston.
* Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin topped the NHL in goals for the third straight season and a record ninth time overall, two more than Bobby Hull (7x). Ovechkin tallied four hat tricks in a season for the first time in his career and became the fourth player in NHL history to score 48 or more goals in a season at age 34 or older.
* Quinn Hughes of the Canucks and Cale Makar of the Avalanche finished first and second in rookie scoring, respectively, the first time in the NHL’s modern era (since 1943-44) that defensemen have held those ranks at the end of a season. Hughes became the third defenseman in that span to lead all rookies in scoring (outright or tied), joining Bobby Orr (1966-67) and Brian Leetch (1988-89).
* Blackhawks forward Dominik Kubalik topped all rookies with 30 goals, the first Czech-born player to lead rookies in that category and third to reach the 30-goal mark in a season after Petr Klima (32 in 1985-86) and Petr Prucha (30 in 2005-06).
* Zach Werenski paced defensemen with 20 goals, a single-season goal total reached by only seven other active blueliners and a Blue Jackets franchise record among defensemen.
* John Carlson of the Capitals led defensemen with 60 assists and 75 points. He was on pace for an 89-point campaign, a mark last reached by a defenseman 26 years ago.
* Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy had 35 wins to lead the NHL for the third time (also 2018-19 & 2017-18). He became the second goaltender in League history to pace that category (outright or tied) in three or more seasons before age 26, joining Terry Sawchuk (5x from 1950-51—1954-55).
* Additionally, Vasilevskiy is the first netminder to lead the League in wins for three consecutive seasons since Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur did so for four consecutive campaigns from 2002-03 to 2006-07.
* Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck led the NHL with six shutouts, tying his own single-season franchise record (also six in 2017-18). He ranked second with 31 victories, his third 30-win campaign.
* Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask led the League in goals-against average (2.12) and ranked second in save percentage en route to claiming his first William M. Jennings Trophy (with Jaroslav Halak).
* Anton Khudobin posted a .930 save percentage, the second straight season that a Stars goaltender has led the NHL in that category (min. 23 GP).
By the Numbers
A closer look at some of the best stats from the 2019-20 regular season:
457 – Games won by a team who trailed by at least one goal, tied for the second-most comeback wins through 1,082 games in NHL history (2005-06: 474, 2018-19: 457). Washington and St. Louis shared the League lead with 21 such victories.
207 – Combined points by Oilers forwards Leon Draisaitl (110) and Connor McDavid (97), who ranked first and second, respectively, in the 2019-20 scoring race; it marked the seventh time in the last 44 years that teammates finished first and second in the NHL in points.
125 – Multi-goal comeback wins, the most in NHL history through 1,082 games.
70.4 – Percentage of games decided by a one-goal margin or multiple goals with at least one empty netter (762 of 1,082 GP).
58 – Years since the last season in which players age 23 or younger and age 34 or older finished among the top two in goals (tied or outright); David Pastrnak, 23, and Alex Ovechkin, 34, became the first to do so since Bobby Hull, 23, and Gordie Howe, 34, in 1961-62.
56 – Different players with at least one hat trick, including seven skaters with two and two players with four.
45 – Years since a Bruins player led the NHL in goals (tied or outright); Phil Esposito (61 G in 1974-75) was the last to do so before David Pastrnak in 2019-20.
43 – Wins by a team that trailed by multiple goals in the third period, the second-most in NHL history through 1,082 games (2009-10: 45).
21.5 – Percentage of games in which at least one team erased a multi-goal deficit (regardless of result; 233 of 1,082 GP).
17 – Players with 30 or more goals, including 10 age 24 or younger.
16 – Players born in the 2000s to play in 2019-20, including five members of the 2019 NHL Draft class (Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko, Kirby Dach, Ville Heinola and Tobias Bjornfot).
10 – Shutouts recorded by rookies, including five by Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (tied for second in the entire NHL).
7 – Season-ending win streak by the Kings (two shy of the club record), capped by a Martin Frk winning goal with 4:41 to play in what turned out to be the final game of the regular season.
5 – Number of Hall of Famers Alex Ovechkin passed on the NHL’s career goals list in 2019-20, en route to his 11th 40-goal season and NHL-record ninth season as goals leader (Luc Robitaille, Teemu Selanne, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Mark Messier)
5 – NHL seasons in which each of the top-three players in points were under age 25 (factors tiebreakers); Leon Draisaitl, 24, Connor McDavid, 23, and David Pastrnak, 23, combined for the feat in 2019-20. The other seasons: 2008-09, 1994-95, 1984-85 and 1983-84.
5 – Instances of a team overcoming a deficit of four-plus goals to win a game, tied for the most ever in a single NHL season (also five in 1983-84 and 1985-86).
3 – Number of seasons that defensemen have finished with the two highest rookie point totals. The last instance before Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar in 2019-20 happened 88 years ago (1931-32 and 1920-21).
1 – Goalie goal in 2019-20, scored by Nashville’s Pekka Rinne on Jan. 9 against Chicago; it was the 13th goal credited to a goaltender during the regular season and first since 2013-14.
0 – Number of players among the top five in points who have celebrated their 30th birthday.