Zach Hyman of the Edmonton Oilers celebrates after scoring a  goal.
Photo credit: Oilers Nation

Zach Hyman vocal after scoring his first 50 goals season

Published March 25, 2024 at 12:50

After scoring two goals in the Edmonton Oilers' 5-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Sunday, Zach Hyman became the first Jewish NHL player to record 50 in a season.

Scoring 50 goals in the NHL is no easy feat. It takes immense talent to beat these world-class goaltenders night after night. So it's only fitting that it happened on the Jewish holiday of Purim.

Incredibly, Hyman wasn't even expected to make it far in the league, as even his teammate Connor McDavid initially doubted him. Yet here he is, defying the odds and making history at 31.

He may not be the youngest to hit 50 goals, but he's up there with some legendary names in NHL history.

Zach Hyman's millstone is inspiring for several reasons.

Postgame, Hyman reflected on his journey.
Back in university, I barely had two goals in my first year. And after getting drafted, people didn't see me as a top prospect anymore. I was just another draft pick, written off by many.

But then, things started to change. I started putting the puck in the net, earning my spot in the NHL. But here's the kicker: I was seen as a grinder, not exactly known for my silky smooth hands, especially playing alongside Auston Matthews and Willie Nylander. I'd score a few goals here and there, 10, then 15, then 20. But the narrative remained: 'He's just decent because he plays with good players.' And you know what? I'm okay with that. It's kind of awesome in its own way.

To make history, Hyman angled his stick just right to redirect McDavid's pass into the net. According to NHL Edge, it was his league-leading 41st goal from on top of the crease.

I wouldn't be in this position without (McDavid),» admitted Hyman, «and it was fitting that he was able to set me up for it.

This is a milestone that I don't think anybody thought I would ever get to when I started my career. And I got to it, which is pretty crazy, honestly.

Hyman's development into this hard-nosed goal scorer was predicted by Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe, who labeled him Shaq because he was a beast in the paint when they were with the Marlies in the AHL.

This Jewish kid scored just 13 goals in 114 games during his first three years at the University of Michigan. And now, he's the go-to guy for setting up goals for a once-in-a-generation passer.
Yes, great players are hard to play with, but Hyman's combination of smarts, bravery, and skill in tight spots is the perfect match for McDavid's game. To make things more poetic on the same night that Stu and Vicky Hyman celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary in Toronto, their oldest son was making history on the ice.

Despite the Oilers not getting the win they hoped for, this game will always be remembered as the night Hyman hit that 50-goal milestone. It proves that hard work and a positive mindset can take you places.

I think if you do good things everyday good things are going to happen. Hockey and life is a rollercoaster, there's up and downs, but if you stick with it and always are positive things tend to go your way. So just work hard and I hope that's a good lesson for all the kids out there who aren't the best but are just out there working hard.

Hyman has also done this at a bargain of a $5.5 million cap hit for Edmonton. His 50 goals and 69 points this year means the Oilers are only paying $79.7K per point.

Watching Hyman work his magic in front this season inspired me as a club college hockey player on a Jewish Orthodox team who isn't so skilled but works hard. I look to make noise by scoring in tight areas around the net. Unfortunately, I even struggled to do that this season. So, seeing Hyman continue to put his head down and work hard, eventually getting to this milestone, is a confidence booster as I head into the college hockey offseason.

Hyman's closing words hit home.
It's all about focusing on those little victories along the way and blocking out the noise.

Wise words from a true achiever.

Source: Hockey Feed
Strong words from Zach Hyman after scoring 50 goals
March 25   |   106 answers
Zach Hyman vocal after scoring his first 50 goals season

What do you think about Zach Hyman's comments after scoring his first 50-goal season in the NHL?

Inspirational6864.2 %
Surprised1615.1 %
shouldn't have said much. Oilers lost.2220.8 %
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