Top-20 best bang-for-the-buck NHL forwards in 2010-11

Yesterday I had a look at the worst goal scorers in the NHL compared to their 2010-11 actual salary, and without any surprise Scott Gomez was ranked number one at $1,142,857 per goal (7 goals for $8,000,000) more than $400,000 per goal than Matt Stajan who was ranked second. The list was not unanimous, as I listed some great puck-distributors, namely Henrik Sedin, Nicklas Backstrom and Joe Thornton were listed despite strong offensive campaigns.

So, today I decided to have a look at the other of the goal spectrum: who were the best bang-for-the-buck NHL forwards in 2010-11?

Please note that a minimum of 10 goals and a salary of at least $1,000,000 (as to exclude players on their entry-level contracts) in 2010-11 were required to make the marquee list below. I also made a list of the ten best prospects under the main list so you can see which player still on his entry-level contract has been a scoring machine this season.

Player Actual salary Goals Amount per goal
1. Curtis Glencross CGY $1,200,000 24 goals $50,000
2. Clarke MacArthur TOR $1,100,000 21 goals $52,381
3. Cal Clutterbuck MIN $1,000,000 19 goals $52,632
4. Dominic Moore TB $1,000,000 18 goals $55,555
5. Troy Brouwer CHI $1,050,000 17 goals $61,765
6. Kyle Brodziak MIN $1,100,000 16 goals $68,750
7. Rich Peverley BOS/ATL $1,250,000 18 goals $69,444
8. Dr. Mark Recchi BOS $1,000,000 14 goals $71,429
9. Raffi Torres VAN $1,000,000 14 goals $71,429
10. David Moss CGY $1,300,000 17 goals $71.471
11. Drew Stafford BUF $2,300,000 31 goals $74,194
12. Gregory Campbell BOS $1,000,000 13 goals $76,923
13. Alex Burrows VAN $2,000,000 26 goals $76,923
14. Alex Tanguay CGY $1,700,000 22 goals $77,273
15. Lee Stempniak PHX $1,500,000 19 goals $78,947
16. Matt Moulson NYI $2,450,000 31 goals $79,032
17. Tomas Kopecky CHI $1,200,000 15 goals $80,000
18. David Backes STL $2,500,000 31 goals $80,645
19. Andrew Ladd ATL $2,350,000 29 goals $81,034
20. Devin Setoguchi SJ $1,800,000 22 goals $81,818

The Calgary Flames (Glencross, Moss, Tanguay) and the Boston Bruins (Peverley, Recchi, Campbell), each have three players to lead the NHL in best bang-for-the-buck forwards. Who would have thought that Glencross (who had never scored more than 15 goals), Clutterbuck (more known for his hitting prowess (336 hits) than his scoring abilities) and MacArthur (let go for free by the Thrashers this summer) would top this marquee list?

Best goal-scoring players on their entry-level deals
Player Actual salary Goals Amount per goal
1. Steven Stamkos TB $875,000 45 goals $19,444
2. Michael Grabner NYI $765,000 34 goals $22,500
3. Logan Couture SJ $787,500 32 goals $24,609
4. Brad Marchand BOS $600,000 21 goals $28,571
5. Jamie Benn DAL $635,000 22 goals $28,864
6. Jeff Skinner CAR $900,000 31 goals $29,032
7. Claude Giroux PHI $765,000 25 goals $30,600
8. John Tavares NYI $900,000 29 goals $31,034
9. Matt Duchene COL $900,000 27 goals $33,333
10. Blake Comeau NYI $800,000 24 goals $33,333

Without surprise, Stamkos is the leader among prospects in goal per dollar, scoring 45 goals in his 3rd year in the league. All three Calder Trophy candidates, Grabner, Skinner and Couture, are also obviously on this select list of great young prospects.

Please note that the following players, who all made under $1,000,000 and scored at least 15 goals are worth mentioning:
David Jones COL (27 goals), Mike Santorelli FLA (20 goals), Sergei Kostitsyn NAS (23 goals), Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau NYI (20 goals), Brian Boyle NYR (21 goals), Tyler Kennedy PIT (21 goals), Matt D’Agostini STL (21 goals), Bryan Bickell CHI (17 goals), Ryan Jones EDM (18 goals), Ville Leino PHI (19 goals), Taylor Pyatt PHX (18 goals), Lauri Korpikoski PHX (19 goals), Teddy Purcell TB (17 goals).

The Montreal Canadiens traded both Kostitsyn (for Dan Ellis and Dustin Boyd) and D’Agostini (for Aaron Palushaj) last year for prospects and marginal players en route to finish 24th in goals scored in the NHL for the 2010-11! Bad management and lack of patience by GM Pierre Gauthier? I would think so!

If we combine the two lists and the above players worth mentioning, the best teams at finding productive forwards to get their money’s worth are:
1. New York Islanders : 5
2. Boston Bruins: 4
3. Calgary Flames: 3, Phoenix Coyotes: 3, Tampa Bay Lightning: 3

I’m looking forward to hear your comments about this list and about my previous blog: Top-20 worst bang-for-the-buck NHL forwards in 2010-11 which takes a look at the opposite end of the production line.

You can also follow me on Twitter to get more insights on the NHL.

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About the Author: Working as a freelance sports writer and translator, Fred, 33, graduated from Laval University in Quebec City, earning a bachelor of translation in 2002. An avid fan of the Northeast division teams, he's also a long time fan of the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Fred also speaks fluently French and Spanish. http://twitter.com/FredPoulin98 www.traductions-quebec.com

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  1. Big Van Vader says:

    Part of that is because Wang doesn’t spend money anymore and part of that is that Garth Snow is able to find gems on the waiver wire. Also, the Isles are a team trending up. May still take a couple more seasons, but they definitely will be a playoff team within 2 seasons time.

  2. Bob T says:

    By only using salaries >$1mm, you miss the best value in the NHL: Chicago’s Bryan Bickell. He scored 17 goals and only made $541k last year. Its also not his entry level deal. $31,862 per goal!!

  3. Landon says:

    This is a very impressive list you put together!Cal Clutterbuck, also hits a lot of guys.. I love this player!

    Check out my blog: http://www.hockeyfanlanland.com

  4. SB says:

    You might want to fix this line…

    8. Mike Recchi BOS $1,000,000 14 goals $71,429

    Or at least tell where we can find this “Mike” Recchi. I am sure Mark Recchi would like to meet him.

    Good stuff though.