In sports such as football and hockey, a hat trick is an event where a player scores 3 goals in a game.

In the NHL, a hat trick is said to be a natural hat trick, when a player scores 3 goals in a row without any other player on either team scoring any goals between.

What percentage of the hat tricks in the NHL have been natural since the 1967 expansion?

  • "Removed arbitrary and ambiguous limit." I disagree with removing this limit. If we're talking about the entire history of the NHL, stats may be hard to come by, especially for the early days. At least by reasonably scoping this question within the past 50 years, the stats are more likely to be available to answer this question.
    – user14817
    Mar 19, 2018 at 12:08
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    I've added the the time limit back to the question. It should've not been edited out
    – alamoot
    Mar 19, 2018 at 13:29
  • "within the last 50 years" is a different thing now, in 2019, and in 2020. If you want a specific time period, state that. It is ambiguous and it is arbitrary still.
    – Nij
    Mar 19, 2018 at 16:27
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    @Nij 1967-1968 is the year the NHL expanded from the Original Six...I don't find that ambiguous and arbitrary at all, especially to the extent to remove the phrase from the question. If the phrase "in the past 50 years" is an issue for future reference, then it can be explicitly stated (from the 1967-1968 season to the 2016-2017 season).
    – user14817
    Mar 19, 2018 at 17:01
  • 3
    @Nij Yes, I'm proposing the same solution (which means I agree with you given the phrase poses a problem...not because I don't understand the criticism). The criticism I have is that the phrase was removed for a reason that is as ambiguous and arbitrary as the reason itself without any attempt to clarify and correct. 1967-1968 is "two years" but it is "one season" and the words "year" and "season" are interchangeably used informally, so I can see what the OP is asking and what you are suggesting.
    – user14817
    Mar 19, 2018 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


This doesn't fully answer your question...as I don't have the time to comb through 50 years of hat trick data.

There were 4 hat tricks during the 2017-18 NHL season that were natural hat tricks in which the score finished 3-0 (ensuring the occurrence of a natural hat trick).

Combing thru box scores, there were another 9 hat tricks.

Thus, 13 out of 81 hat tricks during the 2017-18 NHL season were natural, which is 16.05%. I'm not sure how this extrapolates over time, but I will admit that I wasn't expecting more than 10%.

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