In the lengthy history of the NHL, no American-born player has ever led the league in scoring, but that streak was broken on Sunday as Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane became the first ever American to win the Art Ross Trophy.
Kane finished the season with 106 points, far outpacing Jamie Benn for the top spot in the scoring race.
“It is an honor being the first American to win the scoring title, as there have been so many great players from the United States in the NHL,” Kane said in a statement. “I take a lot of pride in that, but I also take a lot of pride in doing it with the Chicago Blackhawks. I owe a lot to my teammates, coaches, and the organization as I couldn’t have done this without them. This has been a special season, but we still have a lot to accomplish as a team and I look forward to another long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”
Kane finished the season with 46 goals (giving him 251 for his career, tying him with Jonathan Toews for 10th place on the team’s all-time goal scoring list) and 60 assists. Both of those totals were career highs for the winger, who was drafted by the Blackhawks with the first overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.
With his victory, Kane becomes the first Blackhawks player to win the Art Ross Trophy since Stan Mikita led the NHL in scoring during the 1967-68 season.
“What a tremendous season for Patrick,” Blackhawks G.M. Stan Bowman said. “He started the season very strong and carried the team with his dominant play early, allowing our team to stabilize and come together as a group throughout the season. Patrick kept pushing the pace all year long and led not only our team but the entire league, which demonstrates how impressive his performance was from day one until game 82.”
Kane became just the third player in the last five years to eclipse the century mark in points this season, joining Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in that exclusive club. Kane ended up beating Benn by 17 points in the scoring race after the season concluded on Sunday.
Kane did narrowly miss out on more hardware, finishing four goals behind Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin in the race to win the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s best goal-scorer.