Mika Zibanejad, greatest goal scorer in Rangers history

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Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Mika Zibanejad was on an amazing goal scoring run for the New York Rangers when the NHL season was suspended.  With the odds increasing that the regular season will never be completed, just how good was he?

With 41 goals in 57 games, Mika Zibanejad was headed for one of the greatest goal-scoring seasons in New York Rangers franchise history. How does it compare to other Blueshirts’ record setting seasons?

We all know the numbers.  Vic Hadfield set the bar when he scored 50 goals in 1972.  Adam Graves exceeded it with 52 goals in 1994.  Jaromir Jagr topped them all with 54 goals in 2006.  Zibanejad’s 41 goals ranks 14th most in Rangers history and what is special is that he did it in only 57 games.  Of the 939 skaters who have suited up for the Blueshirts, only 15 players in franchise history have scored as many as 41 goals in one season.

Let’s get into the numbers.

Most goals in a season

  1.  54 – Jaromir Jagr,  2006
  2.  52 – Adam Graves, 1994
  3.  50 – Vic Hadfield, 1972
  4.  49 – Mike Gartner,  1991
  5.  48 – Pierre Larouche, 1984
  6.  47 – Mark Messier,  1996
  7.  46 – Jean Ratelle, 1972
  8.  45 – Mike Gartner, 1993
  9.  43 – Rod Gilbert, 1972
  10.  43 – John Ogrodnick, 1990
  11. 42 – Marian Gaborik, 2010
  12. 42 – Rick Nash, 2015
  13.  42 – Phil Esposito, 1979
  14. 41 – Mika Zibanejad, 2020
  15. 41 – Pat Verbeek, 1996
  16. 41 – Jean Ratelle, 1973
  17. 41 – Steve Vickers, 1975
  18. 41 – Marian Gaborik, 2012

The key statistic when it comes to Zibanejad is that he notched his 41 goals playing in far fewer games than his predecessors.  Jagr set his record in 82 games.  Graves had 84 games to top the team record and Hadfield notched his 50 goals in 78 games.

Jean Ratelle would have blown everyone out of the water in 1972 when he scored his 46 goals as he did it in only 63 games.   Of all of the players who scored 41 goals in a season for the Rangers,  the fewest games played (other than Ratelle and Zibanejad) was the 69 games played by Pat Verbeek in 1996.

Zibanejad’s 41 goals has already put him in rarefied company, but it gets even better.

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