Cole Caufield’s goal-scoring prowess for the Montreal Canadiens has been well documented, especially since the coaching change that saw Martin St-Louis replace Dominique Ducharme.
Caufield has scored 44 goals in 77 games since St-Louis took over, well ahead of the second-best Canadiens goal-scorer in that time frame, Nick Suzuki (27).
That accounts for over 27 percent of the Canadiens’ goals with St-Louis behind the bench, but to get a better idea of his overall impact on the team, we’re going to focus on Caufield’s goal-scoring pace this season.
As it stands, he’s scored 22 goals in 39 games, putting him on pace for a 46-goal pro-rated season, which would end up being the most goals scored by a Canadiens forward since Stephane Richer scored 51 goals in 1989-90.
He ranks among the most important goal scorers in the NHL, seeing as he has scored over 21 percent of the Canadiens’ goals during all situations.
Only Mikko Rantanen, Connor McDavid, and Bo Horvat have scored a larger percentage of their team’s goals this season, however, it’s worth noting all three play for teams that rank among the top 10 in powerplay efficiency.
If we even the playing field by removing the Canadiens’ woeful powerplay, Caufield jumps to second overall, scoring an impressive 21 percent of the Habs’ goals when both teams have the same number of players on the ice.
Once again, Rantanen reigns supreme, owing to Colorado’s bevy of talented players who are on the injured reserve, and consequently, a meagre number of even-strength goals.
McDavid slots in at third, followed closely by Alex Ovechkin and Jason Robertson. The rest of the list reads like an All-Star ballot, featuring players like Sidney Crosby, Jack Hughes and Elias Pettersson.
With the exception of Hughes, every player listed is older than Caufield, pointing to a rapid and impressive ascension to the NHL’s elite sniper club.
If Canadiens fans are looking for a strong argument as to why Caufield should take part in the All-Star Weekend, they need look no further than Caufield’s goal-scoring impact compared to other elite players around the league.
All statistics via Natural Stat Trick.