Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Nikita Kucherov has become the first player since right winger Jaromir Jagr to reach 70 points so early in a season, doing so in 43 matches, compared with Jagr's 38 game record set in 1999-2000.
Kucherov hit 71 points on Tuesday during Tampa's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Twitter account of the NHL's Public Relations department said.
Nikita Kucherov is the 10th different player in NHL history to accumulate 50 assists within his team's first 43 games of a season.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 9, 2019
This is the first such occurrence since 1995-96 when Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr and Ron Francis all did so. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/UDB3gLfxMx
According to the NHL, Kucherov is just the 10th player in league history to rack up 50 assists during the first 43 games of a season, joining hockey legends Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Ron Francis and Jaromir Jagr in doing so.on course to hitting a 135 point record for the 2018-2019 season if he remains uninjured and playing for all 82 regular season games. The last time a player passed 130 points was in 1995-1996, when both Jagr and Lemieux passed the mark (with 149 and 161 points, respectively).
Averaging 1.65 points per game this season, Kucherov picked up a whopping 53 points in the last 25 games after hitting 18 points in the first 18 games.
The Russian forward is well on track to passing Tampa Bay Lightning points record-holder Vincent Lecavalier, who racked up 108 points during the 2006-2007 season.
Kucherov, 25, jointed Tampa Bay in 2011. Before that he played for CSKA Moscow in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League.