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The Maple Leafs are chasing the California Golden Seals for an NHL record

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Yes, the NHL once had a team called the Golden Seals, and their rookies were good too.

When was the last time you watched a live NHL game involving the California Golden Seals? If you were born after May 1976 the answer, unless you have a time machine, is never. The franchise was relocated to Cleveland for the start of the 1976-77 season, and was renamed as the “Barons”. Cleveland residents didn’t have much interest in NHL hockey, and the franchise folded at the end of the 1977-78 season, after finishing in last place in the Adams Division in both seasons.

However, the records and stats of the many years of California Golden Seals teams, or, as they were once called, the Oakland Seals, or California Seals, still live on the NHL history books.

One of them surfaced tonight during TSN’s broadcast of the Leafs 7-1 rout of the New York Islanders (coincidentally, another team staring relocation in the face). It turns out that the Golden Seals rookies were quite good at scoring during the 1974-75 season. So much so that that roster stands second in the entire history of the NHL for the percentage of goals scored by rookies.

TSN provided the details during Tuesday night’s game.

Thanks in large part to the goals this season by Mitch Marner (15 goals), William Nylander (15 goals), and Auston Matthews (27 goals), the Maple Leafs are chasing the Golden Seals for second place on this list. First place is held by the expansion 1967-68 Los Angeles Kings, at an astounding 65%. Keep in mind that was when the league expanded from the Original Six to twelve teams and most new teams had a large number of rookies.

In any case, the young players on this season’s Maple Leafs team have made incredible achievements, including more tonight!