Yesterday, we reviewed six-time all-star, three time NHL leading scorer and Class of 2012 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, right winger Pavel Bure (223 games, 152 goals, 99 assists). In today's article, we look into a five time 20 goal scorer for the Panthers, Nathan Horton.
For more, follow the jump.
Horton, a 6'2" center from Welland, Ontario, got his start in juniors with the 2001-02 OHL Oshawa Generals, spending two seasons with the club. After scoring 31 goals and 36 assists in 64 games his first season, he came back with 33 goals and 35 assists in 54 games in 2002-03. The Panthers chose him with the third overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
In 2003-04, Horton, still just 18 years old, made his professional debut with the Panthers. After getting just one assist (and zero goals) through his first 11 games, he scored four times (two goals, two assists) over his next five. On January 8th, he scored a season high three points (one goal, two assists) as the Panthers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-3. Troubled by a shoulder injury, Horton totalled 55 games for the Panthers that year, averaging 13:20 TOI per contest. He still finished third on the club with 14 goals on 81 shots, pitching in eight assists and finishing up with a minus-5 rating and 57 penalty minutes.
When the 2004-05 season was cancelled, the then 19-year old Horton joined up with the AHL San Antonio Rampage. It remains the only AHL action Horton has played to date. He totalled four goals and five assists in 21 games, rejoining the Panthers the following season.
2005-06 would see Horton enjoy nine multi-point games, including his first career hat trick in a 7-3 Panthers victory over the Nashville Predators on December 13th. He averaged 16:53 per game through 71 games. His 28 goals on 162 shots ranked second on the team. He also had 19 assists and a team fifth best plus-5 rating with 89 penalty minutes.
Horton scored a career high and team second best 31 goals on 217 shots in 2006-07. He matched it with a team third 31 assists, rating a plus-15 with 61 penalty minutes. He had 18 multi-point contests, including two three-point games: three assists on November 16th in a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, and two goals with an assist in a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 27th. He was one of a record six Panthers to appear in every game.
In 2007-08, Horton was one of three Florida players to play in all 82 games. He took 212 shots on goal, ranking second on the team with 27 goals, 35 assists, and 62 total points. He led the team with 85 penalty minutes and ranked second to defenseman Jassen Cullimore with a plus-15 rating. On January 22nd, he tabbed a career high four assists in a 5-3 home victory over the Ottawa Senators, one of 15 contests in which he posted more than one point.
2008-09 would see Horton limited to 67 games with a knee injury (nine games) and a finger injury (six games). He ranked second on the team with 22 goals on 131 shots, adding 23 assists. He had a minus-5 rating and 41 penalty minutes to go with it, averaging 17:51 of average ice time. He had nine multi-point games, including a season high three points (all assists) on January 17th in a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Horton ranked third on the team with 20 goals on 159 shots. He led the team with 37 assists, rated a minus-1 and accrued 42 minutes in the box. He ranked first amongst the Panthers forward corps with 20:53 ATOI. He scored seven points in a three game span (one goal, six assists) from October 28th through 31st. He had 16 games where he scored more than one point, including a hat trick (adding an assist) on December 14th in a 7-1 win over the New York Islanders.
Near the end of his time in Sunrise, Horton made clear his desire to leave the Panthers and play elsewhere. Florida obliged him on June 22nd, 2010 to the Boston Bruins with Gregory Campbell for Dennis Wideman, a first round pick (Derek Forbort) and a third round pick (Kyle Rau). He has played the last two seasons in Boston (126 games, 43 games, 52 assists), adding eight goals and nine assists in 21 playoff matches on the march to Boston's 2011 Stanley Cup Championship. He is currently slated to finish out the final season of a six year/$24,000,000 contract that he orignally signed with the Panthers.
Boston Bruins- Nathan Horton Tribute (via leahyy93)
All-Time Statline: Six seasons, 422 games (10th all-time), 142 goals (fifth all-time), 153 assists (eighth all-time), 295 points (fourth all-time), plus-27 rating (third all-time), 382 penalty minutes, 32.4 APS.