Montreal Canadiens: Cole Caufield’s NCAA Scoring Only Matched By Stars

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - JUNE 21: Cole Caufield (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

Montreal Canadiens top prospect Cole Caufield has had a tremendous season for the Wisconsin Badgers.

After a freshman campaign that saw him scored 19 goals and 35 points in 35 games, more was expected from the first round pick in 2019 and he delivered.

The Badgers regular season wrapped up over the weekend and another great weekend from Caufield helped them win the Big Ten Conference. The Badgers will now earn a bye to the conference semifinals this week.

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Caufield had a goal and an assist in a blowout victory on Friday and then scored both goals in a 2-1 victory over Michigan State on Saturday. This upped his totals to 25 goals and 46 points in 28 games. He led the entire country in both goals and points, scoring two more points than Odeen Tufto of Quinnipiac and scoring nine more goals than anyone else in college hockey.

Caufield finished the season with 1.64 points per game which is not something we see every season in NCAA. In fact, that scoring rate puts him in incredible company over the past decade.

In the past ten college hockey seasons, the only players to score at a higher goals per game rate than Caufield this season were Ryan Donato (did it in his third year), Kyle Connor (first year), Johnny Gaudreau (third year) and Austin Smith (fourth year).

Going by points, the only players to have a better points per game in the past ten years than Caufield’s 1.64 were Connor, Jack Eichel, Gaudreau and Kevin Hayes who was in his fourth season and a linemate of Gaudreau’s when he did it. Dylan Holloway, Caufield’s teammate, but rarely linemate, scored 1.7 points per game this season, but only played 20 games.

So, the only players who were able to score more points per game at the same or younger age were Connor and Eichel and the only one who matched his goal scoring ability was Connor. The Jets star had an unbelievable season with Michigan in 2015-16, scoring 35 goals and 71 points in 38 games.

Other than that, we haven’t seen any player score goals and points at the same rate that Caufield did this season. He was incredible every night for Wisconsin and carried them to a regular season conference championship.

The Badgers now move into the conference playoffs which will be over in a hurry. There are seven teams in the postseason, with the Badgers receiving a bye to the semifinals and the other six teams facing off in single elimination quarterfinals on Sunday, March 14th. The two semifinals will take place the next day and the final will be played the day after that.

Just like that, the entire postseason will be done in three days.

Then, the Badgers are likely off to the regional portion of the national playoffs. 16 teams will be selected to advance to these regional playoffs, though the dates and host cities still have not been finalized thanks to the global pandemic changing plans on a daily basis.

The national title game is scheduled for April 12th, but again, that could change. The Badgers have a chance to go deep in this postseason thanks to the incredible play they have seen from Caufield who leads the way offensively for them.

After the national title is decided, we could be seeing Caufield in a Habs jersey before the end of the NHL regular season on May 8th. Caufield would have to sign his entry-level contract and then quarantine for two weeks before he could join the Canadiens. Maybe, due to that, we will see him play some games with the Laval Rocket first.

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His start date in the NHL is still TBA, but anyone who scored the same way he did in the past decade, especially at his age, have turned into star offensive players in the NHL. It remains to be seen what impact Caufield will have, but he is going to enter the NHL after an incredible NCAA season that has him in some rarified air.