Knight’s day, but who’s next?
by Andrew Podnieks|02 SEP 2022
Hilary Knight after being acknowledged for her record.
photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
It’s been 24 hours since Hilary Knight’s record-breaking game, and nothing has changed. She woke up this morning as the all-time goals leader (51) and points leader (87). Her feats have been championed around the world, but no more so than by her teammates, notably captain and longtime linemate Kendall Coyne Schofield.

“What Hilary Knight means on and off the ice is indescribable,” Coyne Schofield gushed. “This milestone is just a part of that. She's made this program better; she's made her teammates better, and to be able to call her a teammate for an extended period of time is an honour.”
But, of course, records are made to be broken, and it might be that someone comes along and goes even better than Knight. And guess what? That new record might be broken by none other than Coyne Schofield herself! As of today, she is the player closest to Knight with 66 points (56 before this tournament and now another ten here in Herning). And a bit behind her is Canadian captain Marie-Philip Poulin, with 61. Michelle Karvinen of Finland has 53. Technically, the closest to Knight is Brianna Decker, but her career hangs in the balance because of a bad injury at the Beijing Olympics and her having signed on in an executive capacity with the PHF.

So, realistically, the only active players of this generation who are near Knight are Coyne Schofield and Poulin. Age is certainly a factor in this race. Knight is 33 but shows no signs of slowing down. Poulin is 31 and Coyne Schofield is 30, so all things being equal the U.S. captain looks to have the best chance to catch Knight.

But as Coyne Schofield suggested, Knight isn’t putting on her retirement slippers any time soon. “People don't see the work she puts in away from the games,” the captain continued. “There's a reason she's doing what she's doing at this age, at this level. No surprise from us that she broke the record. There's lot of hockey left in number 21. I can't wait to see what see continues to do. When you look for that big goal or that big moment, 21's behind it every time.”
Hilary Knight is acknowledged for her record by IIHF Council Member and IIHF Women's Committee Chairperson Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer (right) and Pat Kelleher, Executive Director of USA Hockey.
photo: Matt Zambonin / HHOF-IIHF Images
The humbled and attention-shy Knight enjoys her achievements, but only in the context of the team. “There's a lot of love in that room, a lot of passion,” she said with emotion. “What we do isn't easy, and they recognize that.... I think the only time I feel comfortable with all the attention on me is after scoring a goal and celebrating. Outside of that...”

If her points record might one day be in jeopardy, her goals record certainly has an even greater chance for longevity. Her 51 surpassed Cammi Granato, who had 44. Granato retired in 2006, whereas Wickenheiser, the previous record holder for points, retired more recently, in 2016, meaning the goals record (which Knight broke last year) lasted longer and was more difficult to beat.

Among active players, only six players have more than 20 career goals and none has any chance of getting near 51. The aforementioned Decker has 28. Poulin has 27 and Coyne 26, impressive numbers but nearly half the Knight total. Natalie Spooner has 25, and two players have 22 – Rebecca Johnston and Michelle Karvinen.

We can enjoy Knight’s record from yesterday, but the one that truly might last decades is her goals total. But no matter what, Knight has left her mark on hockey. Not women’s hockey. Hockey.