Patrik Laine has The Great One in his sights for 3rd-most goals scored as a teen

He still can't legally buy booze in the U.S., but the Jets' Patrik Laine just tied Sidney Crosby and is edging close to Wayne Gretzky in the NHL standings for most goals scored by a teenager.

Winnipeg Jets 19-year-old winger nets 75th goal in win over Devils, tying Crosby for 5th-most scored as teen

Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) scores a goal as New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene (6) and center Travis Zajac (19) look on during the first period of play Thursday. (Julio Cortez/Associated Press)

A couple years from now he'll be able to legally buy booze in the U.S., but before then the Winnipeg Jets' Patrik Laine, 19, could break into NHL record books precisely because he's so young and already such a great scorer.

Laine's goal Thursday night was his 39th of the season and helped the Jets beat the Devils 3-2 in New Jersey. 

Taken together with a 36-goal rookie season in 2016-17, Laine has scored 75 in less than two years in the league and is now tied with Sidney Crosby for fifth-most goals scored as a teenager.

The performance against the Devils came on the heels of an even more stellar showing against New York on Tuesday, when the precocious Finnish talent netted the Jets' only three goals of the night as they skunked the Rangers in a 3-0 win in Madison Square Garden.

The 19-year-old earned a nod from the league a day earlier when the NHL named him its second star of the week.

According to the NHL Laine needs just two more goals to surpass Wayne Gretzky's teenage third-place record (76 goals). He'll turn 20 on April 19.

Laine is averaging more than a goal a game right now — he scored 14 goals in the past 10 games. Keep up that pace over the final 15 regular season games and he could do more than just surpass The Great One.

Former Jet Dale Hawerchuk scored 85 as a teen and holds second place to former L.A. Kings centre Jimmy Carson's all-time high of 92 goals.

About the Author

Bryce Hoye

Reporter

Bryce Hoye is an award-winning journalist and science writer with a background in wildlife biology. Before joining CBC Manitoba, he worked for the Canadian Wildlife Service monitoring birds in Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and Alberta. Story idea? Email bryce.hoye@cbc.ca.

With files from Darren Bernhardt

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