Pity Patrik Laine, who now holds the (in)distinction of scoring an egregious own goal.
If he had his way, the rookie phenom would have added Sunday night’s misstep to his already glorious shooting statistics. He has tallied 17 times on just 84 shots, good for a 20.2 shooting percentage. That’s 10th among players who have at least 40 shots this season (he doesn’t quite make this list because his sample size is minute).
So, taken Laine’s proclivity to strike with lethality, what makes an effective shooter?
We think one good criteria is not passing up a shot if it presents itself. But, on the other side of the coin, it’s picking the spots and not just shooting for the sake of shooting (which often leads to more misses and blocked attempts).
Keeping all that in mind, we looked at league leaders over the last 15-20 years, as well as newcomers who will trend correctly as their careers progress. Here are 15 active players we feel have a knack for using fewer shots to score many goals and are generally feared with the puck on their stick.
Johnny T scored what will likely be one of the top five goals in the NHL this past week. With a series of moves that defied the best efforts of the St. Louis Blues defence (i.e. Jay Bouwmeester) — including a ridiculous stick-behind-the-back maneuver — Tavares scored his eighth goal of the season. The shot itself was an absolute laser that confounded goalie Jake Allen. Tavares now has nine goals in 27 games, on 80 shots (11.3 percent). Since coming into the league as the first overall pick in 2009, Tavares is 27th among active players in shooting percentage at 12.91. He has scored 216 goals on 1,673 shots in 537 games. Not all have made the “best of” lists but every time the Isles superstar has the puck on his stick in the red zone, expect a very well thought out shot.