Blackhawks Patrick Kane wins Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s points leader

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Patrick Kane #88 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Tobias Enstrom #39 of the Winnipeg Jets skate in the third period of the NHL game at the United Center on December 11, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

CHICAGO – It wasn’t official till the clock reached zero at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C., but everyone knew it was coming.

By scoring two goals and dishing out an assist in the season finale Saturday night against the Blue Jackets in Columbus, Patrick Kane brought his season total to 106 points. It was by far the highest total in the NHL even with two games in the league left on Sunday, including the Ducks and Capitals on Sunday night.

When that game ended with a 2-0 Anaheim victory, it became official: Kane was the NHL’s 2015-2016 scoring champ.

That gives the forward his first Art Ross Trophy win, one of the honors given by the NHL for regular season leaders in a particular category. His 46 goals and 60 assists were career highs and he becomes the first American born player to win the award and the first for the Blackhawks since Stan Mikita led the league in scoring the 1967-1968 season.

“It is an honor being the first American to win the scoring title as there have been so many great hockey players from the United States in the NHL,” said Kane in a statement released Sunday night by the Blackhawks. “I take a lot of pride in that, but I also take a lot of pride in doing it with the Chicago Blackhawks. I owe a lot to my teammates, coaches and the organization as I couldn’t have done this without them.

“This has been a special season, but we still have a lot to accomplish as a team and I look forward to another long run in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”

If it ends up as lopsided as the NHL Scoring Race than the Blackhawks might be in for a few good months. Kane won the title by 17 points over the Stars’ Jaime Benn and was the only player in the league to reach 100 points. Sidney Crosby of the Penguins finished third with 85 points.

Kane becomes the ninth Blackhawks player to win the Art Ross trophy and the first since Jeremy Roenick in 1993-1994 to score more than 100 points in a season. His total of 106 is the 8th-highest in Blackhawks history.

“What a tremendous season for Patrick,” said Blackhawks Senior Vice President/General Manager Stan Bowman in a statement released by the team. “He started the season very strong and carried our team with his dominant play early allowing our team to stabilize and come together as a group throughout the season.

“Patrick kept pushing the pace all year long and led not only our team but the entire league which demonstrates how impressive his performance was from day one until game 82.”

Along with the total  Kane also set the NHL American born record for points in consecutive games with 26 back in November and December of 2015.