By Paul Krotz/OHL
For the eighth straight season the Ontario Hockey League has a 50-goal scorer.
Reid Boucher of the Sarnia Sting became the league’s first to reach the milestone mark last Friday night when he sniped number 50 as part of a 2-1 win over the Windsor Spitfires before a national TV audience on Sportsnet.
While the 50-goal club has been reached 17 times by 15 different players since 2005 when Corey Perry’s 47 goals in 60 games for the London Knights led the league, Boucher is closing in on one player of particular interest to Sting fans.
Steven Stamkos’ 58 goals scored in 2008 before being selected first overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning is a Sting record within reach for Boucher who now has 51 goals with 10 games left in the 2012-13 campaign.
Becoming just the fourth Sting player to score 50 goals, the 19-year-old Michigan native and New Jersey Devils prospect trails only Jon Sim who scored 56 goals in both 1996 and 1997, Ivan Novoseltsev who reached 57 in 1999, and Stamkos in the Sting record books.
The Sting relocated to Sarnia in 1994 following two seasons in Newmarket and 11 in Cornwall where they played as the Royals beginning in 1981. 13-year NHL veteran Ray Sheppard’s 81 goals in the 1985-86 season is the franchise’s all-time record.
Vince Trocheck of the Plymouth Whalers is second among OHL goal scorers this season with 42, followed by Saginaw Spirit forwards Garret Ross and Eric Locke with 39 and 38 goals respectively.
OHL 50-goal scorers since 2005:
2011-12: Tyler Toffoli (OTT) 52
2010-11: Tyler Toffoli (OTT) 57, Christian Thomas (OSH) 54
2009-10: Bryan Cameron (BAR) 53, Jeff Skinner (KIT) 50
2008-09: John Tavares (LDN) 58, Brett Parnham (OSH) 50
2007-08: Brett MacLean (OSH) 61, Steven Stamkos (SAR) 58, Luca Caputi (NIAG) 51
2006-07: John Tavares (OSH) 72, Patrick Kane (LDN) 62, Tyler Donati (BELV) 54
2005-06: Rob Schremp (LDN) 57, David Bolland (LDN) 57, Mike Angelidis (OS) 53, Ryan Callahan (GUE) 52