Eight games in, John Tavares and the Oshawa Generals are on fire.
Oshawa won 8-2 yesterday against the Kingston Frontenacs, with Tavares picking up a hat trick and two more assists. The Generals are 5-2-1 this season, and have scored an average of five goals a game, outscoring opponents 40-27.
It's really no surprise that the just-turned-17 Tavares leads all of Canadian major junior in scoring already, with 13 goals and 22 points in eight games. He's on pace for a 109-goal, 184-point season if he gets into as many as the 67 games he played last season. (Sidney Crosby had 66 goals and 168 points in his 17-year-old season with Rimouski.)
Now, as I said, it's early, but 109 goals would be the third-best ever in major junior history, behind only Mario Lemieux's 133 in 1983-84 and Guy Lafleur's 130 in 1970-71. Players have topped 200 points 11 times in junior hockey.
Tavares will almost certainly miss a portion of the OHL season while at the world junior championship in the Czech Republic this Christmas, so that puts a dent in any potential record chase. In terms of career records, however, he's just 83 goals from matching the all-time OHL goal scoring record and 246 from the points record.
The major junior goal scoring record is held by Lafleur at 314, which means Tavares will need another 184 goals over the remainder of this season and the whole year in 2008-09 — about 125 games — to meet that mark.
Ineligible for the entry draft until 2009, he might as well chase a few records.