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Evgeni Malkin set to make NHL history with 700th assist

Of the 22 eligible players who have reached the milestone in fewer than 1,000 games, all 22 are in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

NHL: MAR 29 Rangers at Penguins
Evgeni Malkin passes the puck in front of the Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin on March 29.
Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jeff Carter scored his 400th NHL goal on October 14. Sidney Crosby tallied No. 500 on February 15.

Now, the stage is set for the third Penguins player to reach a historic career milestone this season: Evgeni Malkin needs just two more assists to become the sixth active player to accumulate 700 career helpers.

Trivia question: who did Malkin provide his first ever NHL assist for? Hint: the assist came on October 19, 2006, and the player in question played with the Penguins for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

As per Pens PR: If Malkin tallies two assists over his next seven games, he will be the second-fastest active NHL player to reach the milestone.

Guess who the first-fastest active player is?

Games to 700 assists: Active players

  1. 3/21/18: Sidney Crosby (856 games)

**Evgeni Malkin: 698 assists in 973 games**

2. 3/5/21: Nicklas Backstrom (979 games)

3. 10/25/11: Joe Thornton (1,002 games)

4. 12/15/21: Patrick Kane (1,053 games)

5. 3/18/21: Ryan Getzlaf (1,082 games)

Overall, Malkin’s .72 assists/game career rate ranks fifth among active players, sixth in Penguins franchise history and 23rd among all NHL players.

But not only is he putting up assists at a historic rate— he’s putting up mostly primary points, not secondary helpers.

Since 2007-08, Malkin and Crosby have both earned primary credit on over 60% of their total assists (stats from Natural Stat Trick, numbers as of March 30):

Primary assists ratios (since 2007-08)

Player Total assists Percent of primary assists
Player Total assists Percent of primary assists
Patrick Kane 472 0.64
Sidney Crosby 454 0.62
Evgeni Malkin 398 0.62
Ryan Getzlaf 396 0.59
Joe Thornton 375 0.57
Nicklas Backstrom 391 0.53

If Malkin reaches the milestone in his next 28 games, he will become the 26th player in NHL history to reach the milestone before career game No. 1,000.

Of these 25 players, 22 have been eligible for the Hockey Hall of Fame. All 22 are now in it. If someone offers you a bet on whether or not Malkin will get that HHOF call some day, here’s some high-quality Pensburgh advice: take it.

Trivia answer: Malkin registered his first career assist on a power-play goal by Michel Ouellet. It was Malkin’s second NHL game, and the Penguins won 4-3 over the Islanders in overtime.