What is a Hat Trick In Hockey? (History, Stats & Records)

It is very exciting to watch a hockey match on the screen or in the stadium. If you are a new fan of hockey, you might see that fans throw their hats when a player shows an excellent performance during the game. For new fans, it can be confusing to see fans doing this, right? 

The trick in which fans throw their hats on the ice is called the hat trick. When a player makes three goals in one game, the fans show their excitement and appreciation for the player by doing this trick. Although these types of activities are against safety regulations, this game allows for this. 

Also, it doesn’t mean a player cannot make more scores. So, if you want to learn more about “what is hat trick in hockey”, keep reading it.

hat trick in hockey

History Of The Hat Trick

How did this hat trick in hockey start? There are a lot of concepts about the hat trick’s history among many people and groups. According to one concept, the hat trick was invented in 1946 by Sammy Taft who was the proprietor of a men’s clothing business in Toronto. 

He beat a hockey player, Alex Kaleta to make three scores in a single game. And in return, he will give him a free hat because he knows that Kaleta is not a good player. But he got four goals in a game and was awarded a hat by winning the bet. 

History Of The Hat Trick

After that, when a player scores three goals in one game, fans throw their hats on the ice as a celebration of the player. Many people think that after the player won the three goals, Taft continued the custom of giving away free hats to players.

No matter what is the origin, hat tricks have played a significant role in hockey games for over 50 years.

You can also read this article: Where Do NHL Players Come From?

How Often Does a Hat Trick Happen?

A hat trick during an NHL game is a challenging task. It doesn’t occur so commonly and it wouldn’t be considered an extraordinary performance. Also, getting a hat trick as a beginner is quite uncommon. 

In one or two seasons, hat tricks occur 10-12 times in hockey. In the NHL, a hat trick appears on the programs about 5-6% of the time, according to the statistics.

Let’s examine the last three seasons to see when hat tricks occur.

SeasonNumber of Hat Tricks% of Games that have hat tricks

What is a Natural Hat Trick?

Now you have a clear idea of what a hat trick is, right? So, you also must be aware of other types of hat tricks. The natural hat trick is another type of hat trick in hockey. When a player scores three goals in a row with no other goals made in between, the natural hat trick happens.

Natural Hat Trick

Although it is difficult to get three goals in a single game, getting three straight goals in one game is even more difficult. As compared to normal hat tricks, this type of hat trick is not popular.

Who Scored The Fastest Hat Trick?

When you talk about the fastest hat trick player, Bill Mosienko comes first in the row. On March 23, 1952, he made a record of getting three scores in 21 seconds against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. 

For his every three goals, Mosienko avoided the injured defenseman Hy Buller who was playing for New York. Within 26 seconds, he came back with four goals after hitting the post and beating the goaltender on a deke. This was a huge achievement that can never be matched. 

Fastest Hat Trick in NHL

When it comes to the second-fastest hat trick, Jean Beliveau earned his name in hockey. He made three scores in 44 seconds. 

In 2018, Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning made the latest fast hat trick. He scored three goals in 91 seconds making an incredible achievement of modern times. In the history of the NHL, this is also known as an amazing hat trick.

You can also read this article: The Complete Guide To The First NHL Game Of Sidney Crosby

The Latest Stats on Hat Tricks

1Auston Matthews201644-5
2Pat Maroon201734-3
3Connor McDavid201834-2
4Sebastian Aho201936-3
5Jamie Benn202034-1
6Derick Brassard202135-1
7Michael Bunting202237-4

Who Has The Most Hat Tricks?

Below is the list of the players who made maximum hat tricks in different games of hockey. Let’s have a look at them: 

No. Name of PlayersYears Hat Tricks 
1Wayne Gretzky1979-9950
2Mario Lemieux1984-0640
3Mike Bossy1977-8739
4Brett Hull1986-0633
5Phil Esposito1963-8132
6Bobby Hull1957-8028
7Marcel Dionne1971-8928
8Maurice Richard1942-6026
9Cy Denneny1917-2925
10Jari Kurri1980-9823

Most Hat Tricks in a Single Season

PlayerSeasonHat Tricks
Wayne Gretzky1983-8410
Mike Bossy1980-819
Mario Lemieux1988-899
Brett Hull1991-928

Leaders in Hat Tricks By Year

YearPlayer(s)Hat Tricks
2021-22Tyler Bertuzzi4
2020-21Connor McDavid3
2019-20Mike Hoffman3
2018-19Patrik Laine3
2017-18Alex DeBrincat, Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid3
2016-17Patrik Laine3
2015-16Zach Parise3
2014-15Corey Perry3
2013-14Max Pacioretty, Joe Pavelski, Tyler Seguin3
2012-13Nazem Kadri, Chris Kunitz, Alex Ovechkin2
2011-12Evgeni Malkin3
2010-11Alexander Semin, Drew Stafford4
2009-10Sidney Crosby3

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Gordie Howe’s Hat Trick?

A Gordie Howe hat trick occurs when a player accomplishes a goal, receives an assist, and has a fight in the same game. Because it stands for a player who can perform a full game, Gordie Howe was the motivation for players.

What happens with the Hats after Throwing Them?

The home team will gather dozens of hats scoring a hat trick. After the game, these caps are used for three different purposes. They can be given to the player who makes hat tricks, can be given to the fans, or can be given to a local charity.

Conclusion: What is a Hat Trick in Hockey?

In conclusion, based on some current best scorers’ lists and history I think that AnttiNiemi’s 2nd is the quickest natural hat trick ever. It’s a pity though, that he is not the natural hat trick player.

A hat trick is a feat in ice hockey that is achieved when a player scores three goals in a single game. The players and spectators throw hats usually into the air after each goal, in celebration. What other sports have you heard of that involve such an exciting and memorable celebration?

I hope that now you are fully aware of the phrase what is a hat trick in hockey? Write in the comments below and tell us about it!

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