Nick Robertson is having a fabulous year with the Peterborough Petes, and they are going for it this season with some key trades to add some scoring power. Robertson doesn’t need that much help to score though, as he leads the OHL with 55 goals in 46 games played.
With his 54th and 55th goals on Sunday, Robertson leapt up to to the top 30 overall in OHL goal scoring by U19 players. Robertson just turned 18 last September and he is about the same age as most players who are yet to be drafted, and for a player his age, his season is spectacular. How high can he go on that all-time list? He’s got 6 games to add to his total, but the bar is set very high.
In 1980-1981, the first season of the OHL, future NHLer Tony Tanti scored 81 goals in 67 games. Like Robertson, he was born in September, so this was his season where he’d just turned 17, making his feat almost impossible to beat.
John Tavares couldn’t score more than Tanti. He’s second on the list with 72 goals scored when he was an exceptional 16-year-old. One goal behind Tavares at 71 is Eric Lindros who actually turned 18 during that season, so he was an old man compared to the other two.
After those three seasons, comes the performances of the mere mortals. And somewhere on this list is where Robertson will finish up. Note: list was made before Robertson blasted his way onto it.
OHL U19 Players 1980-present
|1||Tony Tanti (LW)||1980-1981||Oshawa Generals||67||81||69||150||2.24||197|
|2||John Tavares (C)||2006-2007||Oshawa Generals||67||72||62||134||2||60|
|3||Eric Lindros (C)||1990-1991||Oshawa Generals||57||71||78||149||2.61||189|
|4||Graeme Bonar (RW)||1984-1985||Soo Greyhounds||66||66||71||137||2.08||93|
|5||Corey Locke (C)||2002-2003||Ottawa 67's||66||63||88||151||2.29||83|
|6||Wayne Presley (RW)||1983-1984||Kitchener Rangers||70||63||76||139||1.99||156|
|7||Scott Tottle (RW)||1983-1984||Peterborough Petes||70||63||47||110||1.57||24|
|8||Patrick Kane (RW)||2006-2007||London Knights||58||62||83||145||2.5||52|
|9||Tony Tanti (LW)||1981-1982||Oshawa Generals||57||62||64||126||2.21||138|
|10||Vitali Yachmenyov (RW)||1993-1994||North Bay Centennials||66||61||52||113||1.71||18|
|11||John Tucker (C)||1982-1983||Kitchener Rangers||70||60||80||140||2||33|
|12||Dan Quinn (C)||1982-1983||Belleville Bulls||70||59||88||147||2.1||27|
|13||Wayne Groulx (C)||1983-1984||Soo Greyhounds||70||59||78||137||1.96||48|
|14||Jeff Shevalier (LW)||1992-1993||North Bay Centennials||62||59||54||113||1.82||46|
|15||Mario Simioni (LW)||1981-1982||Toronto Marlboros||68||58||60||118||1.74||88|
|16||Dave MacLean (RW)||1983-1984||Belleville Bulls||70||58||51||109||1.56||47|
|17||Steven Stamkos (C/W)||2007-2008||Sarnia Sting||61||58||47||105||1.72||88|
|18||John Tavares (C)||2008-2009||totals||56||58||46||104||1.86||54|
|19||Bob Wren (C)||1992-1993||Detroit Jr. Red Wings||63||57||88||145||2.3||91|
|20||Keith Primeau (C)||1989-1990||Niagara Falls Thunder||65||57||70||127||1.95||97|
|21||Tyler Toffoli (RW)||2010-2011||Ottawa 67's||68||57||51||108||1.59||33|
|22||Dave Andreychuk (LW)||1981-1982||Oshawa Generals||67||57||43||100||1.49||71|
|23||Jeff Vaive (C)||1981-1982||Ottawa 67's||68||56||95||151||2.22||90|
|24||Jon Sim (LW)||1995-1996||Sarnia Sting||63||56||45||101||1.6||130|
|25||Jason Allison (C)||1993-1994||London Knights||56||55||87||142||2.54||68|
|26||Dave Gagner (C)||1982-1983||Brantford Alexanders||70||55||66||121||1.73||57|
|27||Chris Gratton (C)||1992-1993||Kingston Frontenacs||58||55||54||109||1.88||125|
|28||Robert Cimetta (LW)||1988-1989||Toronto Marlboros||58||55||47||102||1.76||89|
|29||Jeff Larmer (LW)||1980-1981||Kitchener Rangers||68||54||54||108||1.59||103|
|30||Mike Ricci (C)||1988-1989||Peterborough Petes||60||54||52||106||1.77||43|
He just passed Mike Ricci’s 54 goals scored for the same team. Ricci turned 17 just as that season began, making him another of the future stars who were very good very young. Robertson’s age 17 season wasn’t in that class. He’s not like Tavares or Tanti, who show up on this list twice. But no one on this list has as few games played either.
Robertson’s 56th goal will put him past Jason Allison, who retired a Toronto Maple Leafs player with 154 NHL goals.
His 57th goal will put him over Jeff Vaive. Vaive is one of the cautionary tales of looking at junior scoring phenoms. He’s our grain of salt today. Listed at 5’9” and 174 lbs, Vaive followed that season up with a second OHL season that was not quite as stellar. He was drafted in the 6th round after setting that mark, and never played in the NHL. He played for 10 years in the third- and second-tier German league. In Germany3, he had more than a goal per game over 226 games. That was the 80s and 90s though, and times have changed.
If Robertson can make it to 58 goals, he ties the lesser of Tavares’s seasons, the one he split between Oshawa and London. He was almost exactly Robertson’s age that year, and he was drafted after that season was over. Getting to 58 means sharing the stage with Steven Stamkos as well as Tavares, but to be the best American on this list, Robertson needs to make it all the way past Wayne Presley at 63 goals.
How high can he go? The top 25 all time, the top 20, the top 10?