Scoring was up across the NHL last season, as eight players broke the 100-point barrier for the first time since 1995-96. From an entertainment standpoint, let's hope the offensive surge wasn't an outlier and that we get more of the same from the league's biggest stars starting in October.

There's no guarantee on who may or may not light the lamps next season - health is the biggest factor in production - but we're taking a stab at guessing this campaign's top-five point-getters. Our list is full of usual suspects, but alas, here's how we think the scoring race will shake out.

 

5. Kirill Kaprizov

2021-22 stats: 81 GP, 47 G, 61 A, 31 PPP, 19:06 ATOI

Kaprizov was sensational in his first full NHL season, finishing fifth in the NHL with 108 points after winning the Calder Trophy a year prior. He scored 23 more points than the next most productive Minnesota Wild skater. Kaprizov achieved his monstrous numbers despite ranking 47th among all forwards in average ice time.

His production in limited minutes - Kaprizov slotted fifth league-wide in points per 60 (3.24) last season - is one of a few reasons the Russian should be counted on to push for an Art Ross. If he sees an increase in minutes, it's only natural to assume a player of his caliber will take advantage of a bigger role. Minnesota also lost a key contributor in Kevin Fiala this summer, meaning more of the offensive load will fall on Kaprizov's plate.

Kaprizov doesn't have the luxury of a deep cast of offensive catalysts on his team like the players ranked ahead of him on this list. He's projected to share the Wild's top line and first power-play unit with Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello. Kaprizov is unquestionably the guy in Minnesota, and making him an even bigger centerpiece of the attack should lead to fireworks.

 

4. Nathan MacKinnon

2021-22 stats: 65 GP, 32 G, 56 A, 27 PPP, 21:04 ATOI

Stanley Cup? Check. Richest contract in the league coming his way? Check. MacKinnon has virtually nothing left to accomplish in the hockey world after a gigantic summer, but we all know he's not the type to rest on his laurels. In our minds, his recent accomplishments should leave him unencumbered to achieve one thing that's surprisingly eluded him throughout his career: a 100-point season. MacKinnon has been on pace to reach the century mark in each of the past three campaigns but came up short due to the pandemic and injury. The closest he's come is recording 99 and 97 points.