The List: Original Six Teams Endure Lengthy NHL Scoring Champion Droughts

Mika Zibanejad of the New York Rangers entered play Tuesday as the NHL scoring leader. He’s collected 4-4-8 numbers in two games.

Right behind is Anthony Mantha of the Detroit Red Wings. He’s posted 5-2-7 totals.

Auston Matthews (5-0-5) and Mitchell Marner (2-3-5) of the Toronto Maple Leafs follow.

What’s interesting about this players in that it’s been a very long time since any of their teams have finished the season with the NHL’s leading scorer in their lineup. In fact, in the case of the Rangers and Maple Leafs, it was so long ago that the league wasn’t even presenting the Art Ross Trophy to the scoring leader.

That didn’t start until the 1947-48 season.

You have to go back to 1941-42, when Bryan Hextall Sr. finished with 24-32-56 totals from 48 games, to find a Ranger leading the NHL in scoring. As for the Leafs, Gordie Drillon, who collected 26-26-52 numbers in 48 games in 1937-38, was their most recent scoring champ.

It’s been awhile for the Wings as well but at least they’ve got players with Art Ross Trophy inscriptions, the most recent being Gordie Howe. Mr. Hockey lead the NHL in scoring in 1962-63 at the age of 35, when he posted 38-48-86 digits in 70 games.

Other than the Chicago Blackhawks, who saw Patrick Kane lead the NHL in scoring with 46-60-106 digits in 2015-16, the NHL’s so-called Original Six franchises are all in the midst of lengthy NHL scoring leader droughts.

Most Recent NHL Scoring Leader From Each Original Six Team

Team Player Season Points
Boston Bruins Bobby Orr 1974-75 46-89-135
Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane 2015-16 46-60-106
Detroit Red Wings Gordie Howe 1962-63 38-48-86
Montreal Canadiens Guy Lafleur 1977-78 60-72-132
New York Rangers Bryan Hextall Sr. 1941-42 24-32-56
Toronto Maple Leafs Gordie Drillon 1937-38 26-26-52
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