Under the radar – Joe Pavelski

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Credit: RantSports

Name the best goal scorer in the NHL in 5 seconds.

Most answers revolve around Ovechkin, Stamkos, Tarasenko, etc.

What about San Jose Sharks captain, Joe Pavelski? One of the most underrated goal scorers in the NHL today. Most people seem to overlook the fact that Pavelski has been a key contributor for the Sharks for a long time and has put up three consecutive 70 point seasons, including 116 goals in that span. That’s right, 116 goals.

Pavelski was never a big name around the NHL, mainly due to the fact that he was drafted in the 7th round back in 2003 and never got the first overall spotlight like Ovechkin and Stamkos. He was also surrounded by talented players like Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau (When he was in his prime). Pavelski, 32, currently ranks 3rd in goals scored over the past five seasons (including the start of this season) with 135. He trails only Steven Stamkos (138) and Alexander Ovechkin (189).

For most prolific goal scorers, they score in bunches using their big shots or find ways to create space and get open. For Pavelski, most of his goals come from redirections, but not out of coincidence or puck luck. He has a strategy. Joe uses a white stick with white tape, this allows teammates to find him easily for redirections and it’s also tricky for goalies to spot the stick beforehand. Here is an example:

Pavelski is one the best goal scorers to have the puck on his stick for the least amount of time, his positioning is perfect, he goes to the dirty areas and is relentless. Not saying Pavelski can’t shoot the puck, because he can do that too. Pavelski has had over 200 shots on goal in almost every season he’s played in. Only exceptions are his rookie year and the lockout season (Where he had 130 shots). He has a deadly release as well:

In 2016, he is part of the cast that makes San Jose such a powerhouse in the Western Conference.  Alongside Thornton, Couture, Burns and Vlasic, the captain is leading San Jose to another run to the Stanley Cup Final. More people need to take notice of Joe Pavelski, his goal scoring touch and feistiness are part of what makes him such a special player, despite only being drafted in the 7th round.

Brandon Murphy – @2murphy8

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