Steven Stamkos did not experience the same barrier to entry that St. Louis went through when it came to the draft. Selected first overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Stamkos was always expected to be a good player at the NHL level. In the 2006-2007 season, Stamkos had 92 points in just 63 games with the Sarnia Sting. He bested that total the following year with 105 points in just 61 games. Stamkos’ ability to find the back of the net and facilitate would be skillsets that the Tampa Bay Lightning would welcome.
Rise To Stardom
It did not take long for Stamkos’s skills in the OHL to translate to the NHL. In his rookie campaign, Stamkos had 23 goals and 23 assists for 46 points. He followed that up the following year by leading the league in goals with 51. He would lead the league in goals a second time in 2011-2012, further cementing his place as a superstar. Up to this point in his career, he has won two Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophies as the league’s leading scorer, been to eight all-star games, and has won two Stanley Cups, each while being the captain. He could very well add to his already impressive trophy case since he is still currently active.
The Case For Mt. Rushmore
Stamkos was named captain in 2014 and has led them to two Stanley Cups in his tenure. He leads the franchise in goals with 439 and even-strength goals, powerplay goals, and goals per game. According to hockey reference, he creates 0.42 goals/game, which is also the top in franchise history. He will likely pass Martin St. Louis in game-winning goals, as he sits only two behind him. At 31 years old, if he finishes his career as a member of the Lightning, he could become the record holder in even more categories.