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Top 40 Countdown: No. 6

We should have known the No. 6 scorer on the Top 40 Goal-Scorers Countdown, presented by Jewel-Osco, was going to be something special. On Oct. 7, 2006, he became the first player in Chicago Wolves history to score a hat trick in his first game with the team.

Actually, nobody should have been surprised by Jason Krog’s immediate success in a Wolves uniform. By the time he signed with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers on July 4, 2006, the 30-year-old center already had a Hobey Baker Award on his resume. He already owned 18 NHL goals in 158 appearances. He already had starred at the AHL level as well as overseas.

But when he delivered a hat trick in the Wolves’ 2006-07 opener at Peoria, Krog triggered a world of possibilities while playing alongside other points-hungry forwards such as Darren Haydar, Brett Sterling and Cory Larose.

The 2006-07 Wolves set the franchise scoring record with 4.14 goals per game. While Haydar deservedly earned the AHL’s Most Valuable Player award after setting the league record for longest point streak (39 games) and piling up 122 points in 73 games, Krog actually averaged more points per game as he delivered 80 points (26G, 54A) in just 44 regular-season appearances. He also spent a good chunk of time in the NHL as he played in 23 games for the Thrashers and New York Rangers.

Krog returned in time for the Calder Cup Playoffs and posted 5 goals and 14 assists in 15 games as the Wolves reached the Western Conference Finals — and set the stage for a brilliant sequel.

In 2007-08, Krog spent the entire season in Chicago and won everything there was to win. He led the AHL with 39 goals. He led the AHL with 73 assists. Therefore, he led the AHL with 112 points. He won the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s regular-season MVP, then proceeded to claim the Jack Butterfield Trophy as the postseason MVP while pacing the Wolves to the 2008 Calder Cup championship. Krog led everyone in postseason assists (26) and points (38) in 24 games while sharing the goal-scoring crown (12) with Haydar and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s Tim Brent. Krog also paced everyone with 5 game-winning goals in the playoffs.

After joining the Vancouver Canucks’ organization for one season, Krog returned to the Wolves in 2009 for two more terrific seasons as captain. He paced the Wolves in scoring twice more (75 points in 78 games during 2009-10 and 75 points in 80 games during 2010-11) before heading overseas for five more seasons — finally calling it a career in France at the age of 40.

In addition to ranking No. 6 on the Wolves’ all-time list for regular-season goals (98), he stands No. 3 in assists (244) and No. 5 in points (342) in just 282 games. In the postseason, the Fernie, British Columbia, native stands third in assists (46), third in points (68) and fourth in goals (22) in 53 appearances.

These days, Krog serves as co-owner of Higher Hockey Management — an agency that helps players find their best situation all over the globe.

Want to enjoy more of the countdown?

No. 40: Gage Quinney
No. 39: Tim Breslin
No. 38: Nathan Oystrick
No. 37: Ben Simon
No. 36: Curtis McKenzie
No. 35: Kamil Piros
No. 34: Mark Mancari
No. 33: Simon Gamache
No. 32: Guy Larose
No. 31: Wade Megan
No. 30: Shane Harper
No. 29: Michael Davies
No. 28: Karl Stewart
No. 27: Cory Larose
No. 26: Pat Cannone
No. 25: Brian Wiseman
No. 24: Colin Stuart
No. 23: Brian Noonan
No. 22: Tim Bergland
No. 21: Joey Crabb
No. 20: Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman
No. 19: Dan Currie
No. 18: Dan Plante
No. 17: Bob Nardella
No. 16: Brandon Pirri
No. 15: Steve Martins
No. 14: Spencer Machacek
No. 13: Kevin Doell
No. 12: Niklas Andersson
No. 11: Ty Rattie
No. 10: Scott Pearson
No. 9: Derek MacKenzie
No. 8: JP Vigier
No. 7: Steve Larouche