The Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League have had several players hit the 50 goal plateau in the long history of the junior hockey franchise. Four of those players have repeated the accomplishment at some level of pro hockey. Two of them have scored 50 in the National Hockey League.
By this time next year, there could very well be a fifth member of this club. John Tavares scored 72 goals with the Generals in 2006-07. His top total in the NHL to date was 31 in 2011-12 with the New York Islanders. However, in the lockout shortened 2012-13 National Hockey League season, J.T. scored 28 goals in 48 games for the Islanders. Over a full 82 game schedule, this would equate to a 48 goal pace. With Tavares and the Islanders only getting stronger, he could net 50 in 2013-14.
Rick Middleton played two seasons for Oshawa, 1971-72 and 1972-73. In his second season, he scored 67 goals in just 62 games. The New York Rangers liked what they saw and drafted Middleton fourteenth overall at the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft. After a year in the American Hockey League then two with the Rangers, it was off to Boston for Rick, where he enjoyed great success.
Middleton scored 51 goals in 1981-82 with the Bruins. It was his only 50 goal season in the NHL. However, he came close the following two seasons with 49 and 47 goals. His previous two seasons before 1981-82 saw him produce 40 and 44 goals. Rick finished his NHL career with 448 total goals over 1,005 regular season games.
Paul Gardner played two seasons with the Generals, as well. In his final season, 1975-76, Gardner scored 69 goals in 65 games. Although Paul scored 201 goals in 447 NHL games with the Colorado Rockies, Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals, it was in the American Hockey League where he would again reach the 50 goal plateau.
Paul accomplished the feat twice in the AHL. Ironically, his greatest success came in his final two seasons of professional hockey. In 1984-85, Gardner scored 51 goals for the Binghamton Whalers. The following season, he moved to the Rochester Americans and increased his goal total to 61. Following that season, he retired as a player from hockey.
Mitch Lamoureux played three years with Oshawa from 1979-80 to 1981-82, scoring exactly 50 goals in his second season. Mitch was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the eighth round of the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He played just 73 NHL games with the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers but had an impressive 802 game career in the American Hockey League.
In his rookie season in the AHL, 1982-83, fresh off his OHL career in Oshawa, Lamoureux scored 57 goals for the Baltimore Skipjacks. This would prove to be the only time in his pro career he would cross the 50 goal line. He came close twice with the Hershey Bears with 43 goals in 1986-87 and 45 goals in 1993-94.
Dave Andreychuk played two full seasons in Oshawa, 1980-81 and 1981-82. In 1982-83, he played just 14 games in the OHL while playing 43 with the Buffalo Sabres. In his second year with the Generals, Andreychuk scored 58 goals in 67 games, prompting Buffalo to draft him 16th overall that spring.
Dave scored 54 goals in 1992-93 and 53 goals in 1993-94. The 54 is theoretically a Toronto Maple Leafs record, shared with Rick Vaive. However, 29 of those goals came with Buffalo before being traded mid-season. Andreychuk scored 640 goals over his 1,639 game NHL career. He may not be in the Hockey Hall of Fame but is certainly an honourable mention.