Cam Atkinson is on the verge of a Columbus Blue Jackets franchise record.
With just three more goals this season, Atkinson will tie Rick Nash's team record with 41 goals in a season. Atkinson, who already has a career high with 63 points (38-25-63) in 66 games, has never hit the 40-goal mark, but has bested his previous career-high of 35 goals.
Atkinson is already in rare company this season. His 0.58 goals/game is the best in franchise history, and he's part of the most prolific line the club has ever iced. And with 14 games left to play, it would likely take an injury to keep Atkinson away from conquering Nash's record.
It's even more impressive how Atkinson stacks up against his peers. The right winger is tied for fourth in the NHL with 38 goals, behind some fairly recognizable names:
It's not an anomaly, either. Atkinson's 124 goals since 2015-16 rank 12th in the NHL in front of names like Evgeni Malkin (123) and Connor McDavid (120).
The two-time All-Star has epitomized consistency and continued development during his tenure with the Blue Jackets. His goal totals increase almost linearly (7, 9, 21, 22, 27, 35, 24, 38), and he's shown new wrinkles to improve his game each and every year. Once Atkinson bests Nash, the chase will be on the see if he can best Nash's most sacred franchise record, all-time goals with the franchise. As it stands today, Nash's 289 career goals in a Blue Jackets' sweater are above only, you guessed it, Atkinson (183).
It's possible that Atkinson hits the 40-goal mark this coming week. If he does, he should be celebrated as one of the best players to ever wear the Blue Jackets logo. And when he breaks Nash's record after that, he'll cement is legacy as an all-time great in the franchise's history.
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