Joe Sakic. Milan Hejduk. And now, Mikko Rantanen.
On Thursday night, Rantanen joined an elite group of Avalanche players to hit the 50 goal mark since the franchise moved to Colorado back in 1995. Michel Goulet did it four times for the Quebec Nordiques, and Jacques Richard did it once, but Rantanen is now the first Avalanche player in 20 years to score 50 in one year. He joins Sakic and Hejduk as the only players in an Avalanche sweater to score 50.
Rantanen becomes only the third Finnish-born player to score 50 goals in the NHL, joining Teemu Selanne and Jari Kurri, both of whom suited up for the Avalanche in their careers.
The goal came when the Avalanche stopped force-feeding the big Finn and just went to work. Nathan MacKinnon burst through the defense and Rantanen was there to clean up the rebound against the San Jose Sharks, tying the game at one.
Take a look at the goal for yourself. It comes exactly 20 years to the day that Hejduk scores his 50th goal in 2003.
— Hockey Daily 365 l NHL Highlights (@HockeyDaily365) April 7, 2023