There have been a number of players who have scored an NHL goal. Only a handful of those players have scored their first in their first NHL game. Even less have scored their first goal in their first game on their first shot. But only a select few have scored their first goal in their first game on their first shot in their first shift.
Jake Guentzel can now be added to that select group of players. The Minnesota native did just that Monday night for the Pittsburgh Penguins. A third-round pick from 2013, Guentzel spent the last few years playing college hockey for the University of Omaha-Nebraska before signing a professional contract last season. He got the call to the NHL for last night’s game and didn’t disappoint, adding another goal before the final buzzer went.
Let’s take a look at the company Guentzel has now surrounded himself with:
Any time a player scores a goal in their first game, on their first shot, on their first shift, they’re automatically compared to Mario Lemieux. It also doesn’t help that Guentzel plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins. But the difference between Mario and any other player is that Mario scored his against one of the best defensemen of all-time, Raymond Bourque. Bourque was trying to dump the puck from the blue line behind the net, but Lemieux timed it perfectly, stole the puck, and raced down the length of the ice to score a beauty.
Known as one of the toughest players to ever lace up the skates, Rob Ray started his career off lighting the lamp instead of in the penalty box. He debuted with the Buffalo Sabres in 1989, scoring his first goal on his first shift in the. What many fans don’t know is Rob Ray may be the only player to also score a goal on his last shift in his last game.
Rob Ray isn’t the only Buffalo Sabre to achieve this difficult task. Mogilny scored the same way in the same season his fellow teammate did. What’s more impressive about Mogilny is that he scored six seconds into his career. That’s a tough one to top.
Gazdic isn’t so well-known throughout NHL circles. But, he made sure to leave his mark when he scored against the Winnipeg Jets in 2013. Only two days prior to scoring the goal, Gazdic was put on waivers by the Dallas Stars before the Edmonton Oilers claimed him.
Kucherov has exploded on to the scene since scoring his first goal on November 25, 2013. The net-minder he was facing wasn’t chopped liver either. Kucherov had to face Henrik Lundqvist between the pipes, beating him clean with a slap-shot from the slot. At present, Kucherov sits second in the entire NHL in points. Not a bad trajectory if you ask me.