Recording 100 points in a single season is an outstanding offensive achievement that speaks not just to pure talent and dominance, but also consistency and determination.
A number of Winnipeg Jets players have reached the 100-point plateau — many in multiple different seasons — since the team began as a World Hockey Association franchise in 1972-73. Here’s a look at the legendary list.
The Jets’ WHA Era (1972-1979)
Norm Beaudin — Recorded 103 points in 1972-73
Chris Bordeleau — Recorded 101 points in 1972-73
Bobby Hull — Recorded 103 points in 1972-73, 142 points in 1974-75, 123 points in 1975-76, and 117 points in 1977-78
Anders Hedberg — Recorded 100 points in 1974-75, 105 points in 1975-76, 131 points in 1976-77, and 122 points 1977-78
Ulf Nilsson — Recorded 120 points in 1974-75, 114 points in 1975-76, 124 points in 1976-77, and 126 points in 1977-78
Kent Nilsson — Recorded 107 points in 1977-78 and 107 points in 1978-79
A Trio in the Inaugural Season
The brand-new franchise of the upstart WHA — owned and built by Winnipeg businessman Ben Hatskin — got off to a fiery offensive start.
The Jets had a trio of 100-point players in their inaugural season as they racked up 295 goals and advanced all the way to the WHA final but ultimately fell to the New England Whalers.
Many of those goals were scored by the “Luxury Line,” comprised of Bobby Hull — a five-time, 50-goal scorer Hatskin lured from the Chicago Blackhawks thanks to a million-dollar contract —Norm Beaudin (the first signing in Jets’ history) and Chris Bordeleau. Hull and Beaudin put up 103 each and Bordeleau was just two behind with 101.
Beaudin never came close to reaching 100 points in any of his following three seasons with the Jets, and Bordeleau played only one more season in Winnipeg. However, he did reach 100 points in both 1975-76 and 1976-77 as a member of the Quebec Nordiques.
For Hull, though, his 103-point season was just the beginning of his reign as “The Golden Jet.”
Hot Line the Toast of the Town
In 1974-75, the Jets, exploring Europe for the next batch of big time players, landed a pair of superb Swedes: Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson.
Centre Hedberg and right-winger Nilsson were immediately placed with Hull. The terrifying trio that was created became known as the “Hot Line” and simply eviscerated their opponents for four straight seasons.
“It was a new lease on life,” said Hull. “I finally found a couple of kids who could play the game the way I wanted to play it.”Bobby Hull on playing with Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson
Their banners hang in the Bell MTS Place rafters for good reason: they helped the Jets capture a pair of Avco Cups and were perennial all-stars.
“Of the 12 season totals among them, only one — a shortened season by Hull in 1976-77 — had a point total less than 100. Now that is domination,” wrote Jon Waldman in his book 100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.
Indeed, the numbers are video-game calibre: 142 points in 78 games (an average of 1.82 per game!) for Hull in 1974-75, 131 for Hedberg in 1976-77, and 126 points for Nilsson in 1977-78. It’s a line Winnipeggers will never forget.
Another Nilsson Notches 100-Plus (Twice)
With all the hullaballoo surrounding the Hot Line, a lot of folks forget that Kent Nilsson (another Swedish import with no relation to Ulf) captured 107 points in his rookie campaign as a 21-year-old in 1977-78.
After New York Rangers’ general manager John Ferguson Sr. coaxed Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson to the Big Apple — ironically, Ferguson Sr. was fired that same season and became the Jets’ GM a year later — the Hot Line was no more.
Related: Jets 1978-79 Avco Cup Winning Season
Sans Hot Line, Kent Nilsson was the Jets’ main attraction and matched his point total in his sophomore campaign, which turned out to be the WHA’s last season.
After the 1979 NHL – WHA Merger, Nilsson exceeded 100 points twice more, with the Calgary Flames in both 1980-81 and 1983-84.
The Jets 1.0 Era (1980-1996)
Dale Hawerchuk — Recorded 103 points in 1981-82, 102 points in 1983-84, 130 points in 1984-85, 105 points in 1985-86, 100 points in 1986-87, and 121 points in 1987-88
Paul MacLean — Recorded 101 points in 1984-85
Teemu Selanne — Recorded 132 points in 1992-93
Hawerchuk Owns the 1980s
The man nicknamed “Ducky” was more than lucky. He was good. Scary good. The Jets’ first and only first-round pick, Dale Hawerchuk put up 103 points as an 18-year-old rookie in 1981-82.
That season was just the beginning: the versatile, reliable, and intelligent Torontonian quickly established himself as one of the NHL’s elite. He had six 100-plus-point campaigns in his first seven seasons — the only time he didn’t record 100 in that span, he had 91. Overall, he had 929 points with the Jets in nine seasons before being traded to the Buffalo Sabres in 1990.
Related: Winnipeg Jets 50-Goal Scorers
A big contributor to Hawerchuk’s success was his linemate, Paul MacLean, who played for the Jets between 1981-88. A gifted player in his own right, he recorded 508 points over seven seasons with the Jets and captured 101 points in 1984-85, a year Hawerchuk recorded a career-high 130.
“By the end of his run in Winnipeg, Hawerchuk had done more than anyone else in the team’s NHL tenure to bring the club respect,” Jon Waldman wrote. “Though they were cellar dwellers before, Hawerchuk raised them not only to be perennial playoff participants, but Cup contenders.”From Jon Waldman’s ‘100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die‘
Hawerchuk, who is currently battling stomach cancer and had a successful gastrectomy in Jan. 2020, is still beloved by Winnipeggers today. In December, he sat down with the Winnipeg Free Press’ Mike McIntyre to speak of the outpouring of support he’s received from the city.
“People in the Jets organization have been really good. Incredible. And fans, somehow they find out a way to reach you,” Hawerchuk said. “The support from all over the world has been incredible. I can’t thank people enough. It’s important, you know, when you’re going through this. It helps you fight through it.” (from ‘Far from Ducky, but determined,’ Winnipeg Free Press, 12/6/2019.)
Selanne’s Ridiculous Rookie Season
The final player to capture 100-plus points in a season during the Jets 1.0 era is perhaps the only guy as beloved as Ducky: the Finnish Flash.
What can you say about Teemu Selanne’s 76-goal, 132-point rookie season other than it’s one that will never be matched nor forgotten?
The then-22-year-old used his embarrassment of offensive riches — explosive speed, deft hands, and a lethal shot — to shatter Mike Bossy’s rookie goal record of 53 by 23. He added 56 assists for good measure.
Selanne reached the 100-point plateau thrice more: in 1995-96 between the Jets and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and in 1996-97 and 1998-99 as well. He’s not only the best Finn of the 1990s era, but one of the best NHLers ever, full stop. He’s captured a Calder Memorial Trophy, Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, 19 individual scoring records, 10 All-Star nods, a spot in the Hockey Hall of Fame and, most importantly, a Stanley Cup.
It’s an exceedingly illustrious career and it all began with his 132-point season in Winnipeg.
The Atlanta Thrashers Era (1999-2011)
Marian Hossa — recorded 100 points in 2006-07
Hossa Stands Alone
While the Atlanta Thrashers were mostly incompetent in their brief, ill-fated tenure in the Peach State, it doesn’t mean they didn’t have some talented players.
Surprisingly, Marian Hossa — not Ilya Kovalchuk — was the only player in Thrashers’ history to reach 100 points in a single season. The Slovakian first-round pick did it in 2006-07 — his second of three seasons with the club — when the Thrashers posted a franchise-high 97 points, won the Southeast Division, and made the playoffs for the first and only time.
The Jets 2.0 Era (2011-Present)
Since relocating from Atlanta in 2011, the Jets — despite building up a solid core of young and exciting players through their patient “draft and develop” strategy — no one has had a 100-plus-point season yet. It is, without a doubt, much tougher in today’s NHL to reach the plateau than it was when Hull, Hawerchuk, and others played. Only the very best of the very best can accomplish it.
The closest anyone has come in the Jets 2.0 era is captain Blake Wheeler, who had back-to-back 91-point campaigns in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Wheeler is slightly behind a point-per-game pace in 2019-20 in his transition to full-time centre, and will likely finish with between 70 and 75. There’s an outside chance he could reach 100 as he still has four seasons on his contract after this season and hasn’t shown any huge signs of regression yet.
Two Jets more likely to hit 100 points in a season are Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor. Scheifele has come into his own as a bona fide superstar and should be a perennial point-per-game player. Connor, meanwhile, is only 23 years old but is one of the most consistent Jets when it comes to hitting the scoresheet. His best seasons may still be ahead.
It won’t happen this season unless one of them really catches fire, but there’s plenty of reason to believe it won’t be too much longer until someone hits triple digits.
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