In 2015-16, Phil Kessel had five multi-goal games. It took him 24 games last season to hit that milestone.
So far, in 2016-17, Kessel has one multi-goal game: 25 games in. That’s consistency!
Here’s the cool thing, though: as far as Americans scoring many goals in one game go, Kessel is easily among the very best. His latest effort was the 42nd time in his career he’s accomplished that feat, and via the Elias Sports Bureau, that has him ranked right at the top.
Kessel ranks second in multi-goal games among current U.S.-born NHL players, behind Zach Parise (44). Kessel entered play on Saturday tied with Joe Pavelski at 41 multiple-goal games.
So, in the spirit of following the race: Parise has scored one multi-goal game so far this season, while Pavelski hasn’t scored any. They’re all neck-in-neck-in-neck, though, but considering the team Kessel plays on is now, let’s say, significantly better, it’s certainly plausible to see him pull ahead at some point.
(He’s also younger than the other two, so...)
Kessel is also second in active American goal scoring, period, with 281. Parise is the only one ahead, with 303 goals to his name. That one’s a little further off... but I’m willing to bet Kessel pulls ahead one day. He’s one of the best goal scorers there is, after all.