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Ten Things We Want To See this Season: #1, Milestones and Lightning franchise rankings

There are a number of players that are close to hitting milestones and breaking some Lightning records. How far can they get this year?

Washington Capitals v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Five Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Ten Things We Want to See is a series of articles we’re running on Raw Charge that look at ten things that we, the staff, would like to see happen during the 2018-19 season. It represents our hopes, our fears, and our wildest dreams for this coming season. We hope to be able to look back next summer and check off that each one happened.

One thing I like to do before the season starts is look at the current roster for the Tampa Bay Lightning and see who is approaching career milestones. Sometimes it’ll be unlikely that a player can hit that milestone and sometimes it’s a foregone conclusion that they will because they are already so close. So below you’ll find some milestones and records that I think are within reach for players and that we’ll be on the lookout for this coming season.

For milestones, I will be looking for major milestones. The minimum for games is 250, goals is 50, assists is 100, and points is 100. After those minimums, each plateau will be measured by 100s (i.e. 100, 200, 300, 400, etc.), with the exception of 250 and 750.

Goal Milestones

100 Goals

  • Victor Hedman (82)
  • Alex Killorn (87)
  • J.T. Miller (82)
  • Ondrej Palat (85)

For all four of these players, it’s not a guarantee that they will hit the 100 goal milestone. Killorn most likely will get to that mark as long as he stays healthy. His career low in a full season is 14 goals so he should get there, but it might take until closer to the end of the season. Miller likewise should make it there as he has put up 22, 22, and 23 goals over the past three seasons and just needs 18. Palat is also in the same boat needing 15 goals. He missed time last season with injury and only scored 11 goals, but had16-goal and a 17-goal campaigns in the previous seasons.

Hedman on the other hand has the hardest challenge hitting this milestone. He would need to set a new career high with 18 goals to get there. The past two seasons he has had 16 and 17 goals, so it’s not out of the question for him to get there.

Assists Milestones

300 Assists

  • Victor Hedman (282)

200 Assists

  • Dan Girardi (196)
  • Ryan McDonagh (188)
  • Anton Stralman (180)
  • Ryan Callahan (190)
  • Nikita Kucherov (187)

100 Assists

  • Brayden Point (56)

Hedman, McDonagh, Girardi, and Kucherov would all seem to be locks to hit their respective plateaus. Hedman needs just 18 assists which he’ll most likely have before we get to Thanksgiving. McDonagh has never posted less than 25 assists in any full season in the NHL. Giradi has consistently put up at least 10 assists over the past five seasons. Kucherov, like Hedman, with just 13 assists needed should get there quickly this season.

The bigger question marks come from Stralman and Callahan. Over the past two seasons, Stralman’s usage on the power play has dwindled and that has lessened his points and assists output so that he has only had 17 and 14 the last two seasons. He’ll need a good uptick this season to reach 200 assists. Callahan likewise has seen his assists totals dwindle. However, he did pick up 13 in 67 games last season. So even though he’ll start the season on injured reserve, there’s still a pretty good chance he’ll get the ten assists necessary.

Points Milestones

700 Points

  • Steven Stamkos (668)

400 Points

  • Victor Hedman (364)
  • Nikita Kucherov (334)

300 Points

  • Tyler Johnson (261)
  • Ondrej Palat (253)

250 Points

  • Dan Girardi (248)
  • Ryan McDonagh (241)
  • Anton Stralman (225)
  • Alex Killorn (221)

200 Points

  • J.T. Miller (190)

100 Points

  • Yanni Gourde (73)

Almost everyone on this list seems likely to hit their milestones. Steven Stamkos could even hit the 750 point milestone if he puts up 82 points this season. 32 points for the 700 point plateau seems inevitable. Likewise for Hedman needing 36 points and Kucherov needing 66 points, those seem to be a given considering their recent performances.

Girardi and McDonagh are so close that it would be very hard for them to miss those plateaus and if they did it would likely mean they were injured for almost the entire season. Same goes for J.T. Miller who only needs ten points to reach the 200 point mark.

Gourde and Killorn also look like they should make it to 100 and 250 points respectively as long as they are healthy for most of the season. Killorn has consistently been in the 35-40 point range for his entire career and set a new career high with 47 points last season. Gourde had a breakout 66 point season last year and even if he regresses, I’d still expect him to pick up at least 27 points in his sophomore season.

Stralman though is the question mark just as he was in the assists department. He would need to top the point totals of 22 and 18 he has put up the past two seasons and needs 25 points to get to 250 points.

Games Played Milestones

900 Games

  • Braydon Coburn (850)
  • Dan Girardi (865)

750 Games

  • Ryan Callahan (705)

700 Games

  • Victor Hedman (626)
  • Steven Stamkos (664)

600 Games

  • Ryan McDonagh (530)

500 Games

  • Alex Killorn (435)

400 games

  • Tyler Johnson (389)
  • Nikita Kucherov (365)
  • J.T. Miller (360)
  • Ondrej Palat (363)

250/300 Games

  • Cedric Paquette (236)

Barring injuries, everyone on this list should hit their milestones in games played. Almost no one is close enough to the threshold where missing 5-10 games would keep them from getting there. Hedman can’t miss more than eight games. Paquette is on the fringe for if he’ll make it to 300 games. He would need to play in 64 games and hasn’t done that since he played in 64 games in 2014-15 during his rookie season. He has been in the 56-58 games played range for the past three seasons.

Breaking Lightning Records

For this section, I’ll note the possibility of one active player jumping another in the franchise rankings. Otherwise, I will be focusing on current players passing former Lightning players in the top 20 rankings for goals, assists, and points.

Goals

  • Stamkos needs 17 goals to tie Martin St. Louis current in 2nd and 35 goals to tie Vincent Lecavalier currently in 1st.
  • Kucherov needs three goals to tie Brad Richards currently in 4th.
  • Tyler Johnson needs one goal to tie Brian Bradley currently in 8th and 17 goals to tie Vinny Prospal currently in 7th.
  • Killorn needs five goals to tie Ryan Malone currently in 11th and 11 goals to tie Chris Gratton currently in 10th.
  • Palat needs seven goals to tie Ryan Malone currently in 11th, and 13 goals to tie Chris Gratton currently in 10th.
  • Hedman needs two goals to tie Rob Zamuner currently in 14th, ten goals to tie Ryan Malone currently in 11th, and 16 goals to tie Chris Gratton currently in 10th.
  • Point needs 17 goals to tie Teddy Purcell currently in 20th, 18 goals to tie Dave Andreychuk currently in 19th, 22 goals to tie Pavel Kubina currently in 17th, 28 goals to tie Alexander Selivanov currently in 16th, and 34 goals to tie Rob Zamuner currently in 14th.

Assists

  • Stamkos needs 19 assists to tie Brad Richards currently in 3rd.
  • Hedman needs 57 assists to tie Brad Richards currently in 3rd.
  • Kucherov needs two assists to tie Brian Bradley currently in 7th and 57 assists to tie Vinny Prospal currently in 6th.
  • Palat needs three assists to tie Pavel Kubina currently in 10th, 19 assists to tie Dan Boyle currently in 9th, and 21 assists to tie Brian Bradley currently in 7th.
  • Johnson needs 10 assists to tie Chris Gratton currently in 12th and 20 assists to tie Pavel Kubina currently in 10th.
  • Killorn needs two assists to tie Teddy Purcell currently in 15th, seven assists to tie Freddy Modin currently in 14th, and 27 assists to tie Chris Gratton currently in 12th.

Points

  • Hedman needs seven points to tie Vinny Prospal currently in 5th.
  • Kucherov needs 37 points to tie Vinny Prospal currently in 5th.
  • Johnson needs 25 points to tie Freddy Modin currently in 9th.
  • Palat needs six points to tie Chris Gratton currently in 11th and 36 points to tie Freddy Modin currently in 9th.
  • Killorn needs 22 points to tie Pavel Kubina currently in 14th and 32 points to tie Dan Boyle currently tied for 12th with Palat.