San Jose Sharks Midseason Report Card: Joe Pavelski

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Among the NHL‘s top two-way forwards, Joe Pavelski is having a career year with the San Jose Sharks. He leads the team in goals with 29 and has amassed 54 points in 59 games so far this season.

Pavelski is second among all Sharks in total scoring, trailing only captain Joe Thornton, who has 56 points on the year. The 29-year-old forward has provided a massive boost to San Jose’s power play unit, with a team-best 10 power play goals. Pavelski has three game-winning tallies this season and has the highest shooting percentage on the squad at 18.2 percent. He’s also fired 159 shots on net, ranking third on the team behind Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns.

In short, Pavelski has been absolutely dominant this season. He’s on pace to set a new career-high for goals, needing just three more to surpass the 31 pucks he buried in 2011-12. He’s also all but guaranteed to shatter the career-best 66 points he registered during the 2010-11 season.

Pavelski is having his strongest campaign to date in the offensive zone, while remaining a critical piece of San Jose’s penalty-killing unit. He logs heavy minutes on the top unit and has helped the Sharks achieve an impressive 83.7 success rate, which ranks eighth in the league. Additionally, Pavelski’s +14 plus/minus rating ranks second among all Sharks forwards.

The Wisconsin native hasn’t just been one of San Jose’s top players, he’s been one of the best players in the entire league. His 29 goals are good enough for fourth place in the goal-scoring race — a race in which he trails three superstars in Alexander Ovechkin, Phil Kessel and Corey Perry. Pavelski’s 10 power play tallies rank third in the league, and he’s 20th in total points.

Little Joe is having the best year of his career and probably deserves more credit than any other Shark for the team’s success this season. He gets an “A+” on his report card and if I could grade him any higher, I would.

Sam Kelly is a San Jose Sharks columnist for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter and add him to your Google network.

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