2014-15 top 50 nhl players

Who are the 50 best players in hockey? It depends on who you ask because everyone has an opinion on who belongs among the league’s elite, and any list will spark controversy. So rather than complain (anymore) about the lists out there, I decided to make my own list along with my good pal Steve Tzemis. Is this list perfect? Yes No. But I personally think it’s a decent picture of who the best players are going into next season and beyond. And that’s meant as no disrespect to any other lists, I just always end up disagreeing with them, hell I disagreed with most half some of Steve’s picks too. This is our Top 50.

Some notes before the list though:

-This is Steve’s second list. I made him change it because the first one looked like a fantasy draft list and also showed his blatant disregard for defense.

-If there was a tie between the average, whoever I ranked higher would be placed ahead. This was Steve’s idea, I swear.

-This post wasn’t just created for the sole purpose of chirping Steve, I swear.

-For each player, you can see their main stats for 2013-14 as well as where we each individually ranked them. There’s also ACI which is short for average corsi impact (better known as CorsiRelTm at puckalytics.com).

-These guys just missed the cut: Cory Schneider (D:45), David Backes (D:47), Martin St. Louis (S:47), Mikko Koivu (D:48), Ryan McDonagh (S:48), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D:49), Bobby Ryan (S:49) and Marian Gaborik (S:50). Super surprised Dustin Brown didn’t make Steve’s list.

The Top 50

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.14.16 PMD: If the coach said, “Sid, Tanger is injured we need you to play D,” he would probably say yes in a robot voice and then win the Norris. Amazing at pretty much everything.

S: Anyone who doesn’t have Crosby at number one is wrong. Plain and simple.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.14.33 PMS: Dom put Tavares ahead of Stamkos. He’s from Mississauga, Stamkos is from Markham. Markham is better. Dom should know that.

D: I actually didn’t even realize we did this, which is funny. Either way, Markham sucks.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.14.55 PMS: See above.

D: Best goal scorer in the league, but I think Tavares surpasses him this year.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.15.05 PMS: My girlfriend is going to love where he is. Seriously though, he’s an animal.

D: It only took Steve four spots to mention that he has a girlfriend. Duly noted, thank you, Steve.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.15.16 PMD: Imagine if someone other than Ovie could score on the Caps. He’s pretty much the whole team.

S: All the negativity surrounding him is garbage. He’s still elite.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.15.28 PMS: Dom had him at 12? I almost put him at three. If he’s healthy, there aren’t 11 guys I take ahead of him.

D: Health was an issue, but I looked at my list again while making the player cards and saw Malkin at 12 and thought “yeah I’m dumb.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.15.37 PMD: Probably the league’s most complete player. He’s the definition of elite two-way play and consistently elevates everyone around him.

S: He’s come a long way from his bad 2010 Olympics.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.15.47 PMS: He’s very, very good. Just not Crosby good.

D: Don’t even think he’s Bergeron or Kopitar good. Gets too much credit for winning, but he’s a big reason his teams do.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.16.00 PMS: Without him the Flyers are a lottery team.

D: Well, they might be one with him anyways.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.16.10 PMD: Of all the players I’ve seen ‘live,’ Kane was easily the most impressive and dominant player.

S: His talent is ridiculous. I put him ahead of Toews, and that says something (maybe that I’m stupid, but whatever).

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.17.48 PMD: Regular season Doughty is great, championship Doughty is out of this world.

S: He wasn’t my number one defenseman, but it’s hard to argue after what he did in the playoffs.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.17.57 PMD: Might be the Bruins system inflating save percentage, but Rask stops more pucks than anyone else in the league, and that’s why he’s the top goalie.

S: I hate the Leafs. I hate the Leafs. I hate the Leafs.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.18.06 PMS: My number one d-man, Subban takes over games on his own.

D: The most likeable player in the league skates like a bullet, and apparently farts in front of the net to annoy his opponents. No wonder Steve had him in the top 10.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.18.14 PMS: If he was better defensively, he’d be even higher.

D: He has to be in the defensive zone for that to matter, and he’s rarely there.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.18.23 PMD: Top three in points over the last three years and hasn’t missed a game. Literally carried the Leafs all season, but he isn’t a ‘proven winner’ so maybe we put him 25 spots too high.

S: There’s stretches where he looks like one of the top five players in the league, hands down.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.18.40 PMD: One of the best offensive centers in the league. Elite vision and play-making ability make his turtle speed a non-issue.

S: He and Perry cover up a lot of holes on the Ducks roster.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.18.51 PMS: Arguably the best duo in the league with Getzlaf. They carry the Ducks on their back.

D: I had Perry below Kessel and Steve didn’t. I’d love to see how Perry fares with Bozak as his center and not Ryan Getzlaf. Still phenomenal, but it’s hard to separate him for the guy one spot above him.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.19.02 PMS: I had to restrain myself from putting him in the top 10. Dom left him out of the top 20. He’ll probably chirp a lot of my decisions but he’s wrong here.

D: No. 13 is a stretch for a guy who had a career year when he suddenly had Tyler Seguin feeding him and not whoever the heck he had before.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.19.15 PMD: You get the feeling he’ll be at the top of the points list for years to come.

S: Another season like last and he shoots up this list.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.19.25 PMD: Wouldn’t surprise me if he got 90 points this year. It was a national tragedy that he didn’t make the Olympic team.

S: Dom’s hard-on for Hall didn’t skew his rankings thankfully. He’s very good, but it’s time for the Oilers to finally do something. Hall needs to lead the way.

D: Oh. That’s supposed to say 1, not 18. My bad. Tay-tay forever.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.19.41 PMD: With his smooth skating and great vision, he has to be one of the best zone exit players in the league.

S: He can do it all. Literally everything you want a defenseman to do, he does.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.19.50 PMD: Are we living on the same planet? 31? There’s no other goalie who’s more consistent than the King.

S: I put Price ahead of King Henrik because I think he’s just a wee bit better.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.19.58 PMS: Read above. Maybe because Price is my fantasy goalie, but the Habs aren’t great. He makes them great.

D: I just never want to hear about “what could’ve been” if Price wasn’t injured.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.20.11 PMS: Perennial Norris candidate. Go look at Keith’s description. Interchangeable with Weber.

D: He was a top three d-man when paired with Ryan Suter, but neither has been the same since. Still a rock on the back-end though.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.20.20 PMD: The argument is he’s only a good fantasy hockey player (not true), which is funny because I somehow got him in like round four of a draft.

S: He gets overlooked too often. He’s a super-elite playmaker.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.20.29 PMS: He’s a great player but hasn’t taken the step into the elite.

D: I had people telling me last year that they see a guy better than Patrick Kane, who will hit 85-90 points very soon. And by people, I mean Steve.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.20.44 PMD: *exasperated breathing* “He’s a freakin kid, he’s the fastest kid alive!”

S: Future Hart winner.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.20.58 PMD: Lost a step last year, but still the scariest d-man to match up against in the league.

S: Still the most physically imposing force in the NHL.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.21.08 PMS: I don’t even know what to say about Parise. He’s very good. Next.

D: What the hell do I pay you for?

S: I’m doing this for free, jerk!

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.21.17 PMS: Still the best player on the Sharks.

D: The best fourth-liner in the league.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.21.43 PMD: Love this guy, I think he’ll take the Blues very far this year.

S: Jets are kicking themselves for taking Bogosian third that year

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.21.52 PMS: Best hands in the NHL. Untouchable with the puck.

D: Not the same player he was five years ago, but he’s still unreal. Getting old and fragile and some people tend to cling to what he used to be.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.22.03 PMD: A little younger than Datsyuk, but the same issues arise.

S: It’s a shame that injuries keep taking their toll on him.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.22.13 PMD: Could be one of the best defensive wingers in the league, but he’s getting old too.

S: Model of consistency and a big part of everything the Hawks do.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.22.24 PMD: I have no idea how this guy didn’t make TSN’s Top 50. Patches will threaten point-per-game this year. Just needs someone else on his line who can score.

S: Don’t overlook him. His 39 goals last year were fourth in the NHL.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.22.35 PMD: Never gets his due, he’s a great and versatile player.

S: For everyone wanting to fire Thornton and Marleau to the sun, just think about the Sharks without their two best players (yes, better than Couture and Pavelski).

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.22.44 PMD: Only had one powerplay goal all of last season. How does that even happen?

S: The kind of center every team craves.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.22.52 PMD: The “Next Lidstrom” is finally here. Wouldn’t surprise me to see him much higher next season.

S: Dom had him 11 spots higher than me and that doesn’t bother me at all because he’s going to be in the same convo as all the big names very soon.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.23.00 PMS: One of the few locks you can count on at goalie.

D: I still laugh about this. In their attempt to find goaltending, the Flyers traded a guy who won the Vezina the very next season for Steve Mason.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.23.09 PMD: Steve had him too high. I had him too low. The average is just right.

S: Underrated and overshadowed because of the other stars in Chicago.


Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.12.33 PMD: Logan’s Team Now.

S: Last year he was supposed to take over in San Jose. That didn’t happen. That’s why he’s not higher.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.12.26 PMS: Very good, but won’t replicate what he did last season.

D: Especially if the guy dishing him passes is on the fourth line.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.12.18 PMS: Dom didn’t even rank Spezza, but he put Mikko freaking Koivu? Please.

D: Mikko Koivu is one of the best two-way centers in the league. Spezza is fading a bit at the one thing he does very well, offense.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.12.12 PMD: Super underrated, when he’s on the ice the Sharks are a better team, even if he doesn’t show up on the score sheet.

S: Well he was amazing on Team Canada so even though I didn’t rank him, (I put McDonagh on the list) hard to be mad.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.12.39 PMD: Don’t blame me, I voted for Schneider.

S: He’s probably just an above-average goalie from a statistics standpoint but there’s games where he’s just like “YOU SHALL NOT PASS.”

D: Then there’s other games where he plays dodgeball. Probably at the same level as guys like Fleury and Crawford: good goalies on great teams.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.24.12 PMS: Maybe I look down on him because he’s a Flame, I don’t know. Dom knows him better than me because #FancyStats.

D: And in that sense he had a Norris-caliber season. When he’s on the ice, the Flames play like an elite team.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.24.20 PMS: All the Leafs got for him was Lee Stempniak. Now he’s the best forward on St. Louis according to Dom. Nope.

D: Yes. Steen is the straw that stirs the drink on a line with Backes and Oshie.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 5.24.30 PMS: When he’s on his game with his brother, there’s magic.

D: Bad luck last year, he’ll bounce back with his bro.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.11.57 PMS: Guy’s a horse. Probably a little overrated because of his American-status by American media though.

D: Overrated by most people, but I still think he deserves a spot here. Way too overworked.

Screen Shot 2014-10-05 at 11.12.03 PMS: When he’s on his game with his brother, there’s magic.

D: The Sedins aren’t finished yet, but this list is. Thanks for reading.



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