Oilers' Connor McDavid, Lightning's Nikita Kucherov join exclusive group with 100-assist seasons

Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid recorded his 100th assist of the season Monday night in a 9-2 rout of the San Jose Sharks, joining an exclusive club. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov joined him Wednesday in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It's a feat that has been achieved by only three other players – arguably three of the very best in NHL history.

McDavid and Kucherov join Hall of Famers Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux in the 100-assist club. McDavid hit the mark by setting up Zach Hyman's 54th goal of the season to give Edmonton a 9-1 lead.

"Those other guys are the best players to ever play in this game, and it's just cool to be (mentioned) in the same breath as them," McDavid told reporters.

The reigning NHL MVP hit the milestone on a night when Kucherov recorded his 99th assist of the season in a loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

Kucherov hit No. 100 Wednesday with the primary assist on a second period power-play goal by Brayden Point that gave the Lightning a 4-1 lead.

Gretzky, the game's all-time leading scorer, recorded at least 100 assists an unbelievable 11 times. He holds the single-season record with 163 in 1985-86 and was the last player before McDavid to hit the milestone, with 121 assists in 1990-91.

Lemieux and Orr hit 100 assists once each. Lemieux, a six-time scoring champ, recorded 114 in 1988-89. Orr, who was named the game's best defenseman in eight of his nine full seasons, had 102 in 1970-71.

And now McDavid and Kucherov have done it.

It's just the latest incredible milestones for the duo.

McDavid, the top pick in 2015, is on a trajectory to be one of the best players the game has ever seen. Still just 27 years old, he is already a three-time MVP (he also was voted MVP by his fellow players four times) and led the NHL in scoring five times in his first eight seasons.

Last season, McDavid shattered the salary cap-era points record with 153 as he led the NHL in both goals (64) and assists (89). He's at 132 points this season with one game left.

Kucherov was the league MVP in 2018-19, when he won the scoring title, which he's likely to do again this season with 144 points. He was also the leading point producer on Tampa's back-to-back Stanley Cup title teams.

Auston Matthews falls short of 70 goals

Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews came up short during Wednesday's Lightning game in his effort to become the first NHL player since 1992-93 to score 70 goals in a season.

He certainly had his chances, firing 12 shots on net and getting robbed by Lightning goalie Matt Tomkins several times. He also hit the crossbar. The Maple Leafs pulled their goalie late and loaded up the offense to get Matthews the goal, but it didn't happen, with John Tavares scoring instead.

Still, Matthews' 69 goals are the most in the NHL since Mario Lemieux had the same total in 1995-96.

Contributing: Mike Brehm

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nikita Kucherov, Connor McDavid get 100 assists: Who else has?