Over the history of the NHL, there have been few goal scorers as deadly as Bobby Hull. “The Golden Jet” was a dominant force throughout the 1960s for the Chicago Blackhawks, racking up the goals like no one had before.
Hull made his NHL debut at the age of 18, posting 13 goals and 47 points as a rookie in the 1957-58 season. Two seasons later, he led the league in goals and points for the first time, totaling 39 goals and 81 points in 70 games. In the 1960-61 season, he led the Blackhawks to their first Stanley Cup title since 1938, dethroning five-time defending champion Montreal along the way.
The Stanley Cup eluded Hull for the rest of his career, but he would cement his status as the game’s best goal scorer over the next several years. In 1961-62, he joined Montreal legends Maurice “The Rocket” Richard and Bernie Geoffrion as the only players to score 50 goals in a season and led the league in goals and points for a second time. He would then become the first player to score more than 50 goals when he scored 54 in 1965-66 and topped that mark with 58 three seasons later.
Overall, from 1959 to 1969, he led the league in goals seven times–four times in a row from 1965 to 1969–and in points three times, including a then-record 97 points in 1965-66. Had he not missed nine games in the 1964-65 campaign, he incredibly could have led the league in goals six years in a row.
Hull continued to be a force into the 1970s and recorded his fifth 50-goal season in 1971-72. After that season, he departed Chicago for the new World Hockey Association and the Winnipeg Jets, jumping on a seven-figure contract and a seven-figure signing bonus. He picked up where left off in the NHL, scoring at least 50 goals four seasons in a row, including 77 in 1974-75.
Hull would return to the NHL to finish his career, playing 27 games for Winnipeg and Hartford in 1979-80 before retiring. In 16 NHL seasons, he racked up 610 goals and 560 assists. In seven WHA seasons, he posted 303 goals and 335 assists in only 411 games. In postseason action, he had 62 goals and 67 assists in 119 NHL playoff games and 43 goals and 37 assists in 60 WHA playoff games.
His son Brett became a great scorer as well over his 19 seasons between 1986 and 2005. The younger Hull led the NHL in goals three times and eclipsed his father’s career totals with 1,391 points (741 goals, 650 assists). He also picked up one more Stanley Cup title than his father, as he lifted the Cup in 1999 and 2002.
Major Achievements and Records
– First player in NHL history to score more than 50 goals in a season. Scored 50 or more goals nine times (five in the NHL, four in the WHA).
– Led the NHL in goals seven times. That stood as a record until Alex Ovechkin surpassed it in the 2018-19 season.
– Scored 1,018 goals in his career, regular season and postseason combined, between the NHL and WHA. Only Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe have scored more goals.
– Won one Stanley Cup title and 3 WHA titles.
– Won the Hart Trophy (NHL Most Valuable Player) in 1965 and 1966 and was named the WHA MVP in 1973 and 1975. He was also the MVP of the NHL All-Star game in 1970 and 1971. No one else has been All-Star game MVP in consecutive seasons.
– Three time Art Ross Trophy winner as the NHL’s scoring leader in 1960, 1962, and 1966.
– Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983. Part of the only father-son combo to both be inducted into the Hall of Fame as players, as Brett joined him in the Hall in 2009.