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
S: Anyone who doesn’t have Crosby at number one is wrong. Plain and simple.
D: I actually didn’t even realize we did this, which is funny. Either way, Markham sucks.
D: Best goal scorer in the league, but I think Tavares surpasses him this year.
D: It only took Steve four spots to mention that he has a girlfriend. Duly noted, thank you, Steve.
S: All the negativity surrounding him is garbage. He’s still elite.
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.”
S: He’s come a long way from his bad 2010 Olympics.
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.
D: Well, they might be one with him anyways.
S: His talent is ridiculous. I put him ahead of Toews, and that says something (maybe that I’m stupid, but whatever).
S: He wasn’t my number one defenseman, but it’s hard to argue after what he did in the playoffs.
S: I hate the Leafs. I hate the Leafs. I hate the Leafs.
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.
D: He has to be in the defensive zone for that to matter, and he’s rarely there.
S: There’s stretches where he looks like one of the top five players in the league, hands down.
S: He and Perry cover up a lot of holes on the Ducks roster.
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.
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.
S: Another season like last and he shoots up this list.
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.
S: He can do it all. Literally everything you want a defenseman to do, he does.
S: I put Price ahead of King Henrik because I think he’s just a wee bit better.
D: I just never want to hear about “what could’ve been” if Price wasn’t injured.
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.
S: He gets overlooked too often. He’s a super-elite playmaker.
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.
S: Future Hart winner.
S: Still the most physically imposing force in the NHL.
D: What the hell do I pay you for?
S: I’m doing this for free, jerk!
D: The best fourth-liner in the league.
S: Jets are kicking themselves for taking Bogosian third that year
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.
S: It’s a shame that injuries keep taking their toll on him.
S: Model of consistency and a big part of everything the Hawks do.
S: Don’t overlook him. His 39 goals last year were fourth in the NHL.
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).
S: The kind of center every team craves.
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.
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.
S: Underrated and overshadowed because of the other stars in Chicago.
S: Last year he was supposed to take over in San Jose. That didn’t happen. That’s why he’s not higher.
D: Especially if the guy dishing him passes is on the fourth line.
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.
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.
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.
D: And in that sense he had a Norris-caliber season. When he’s on the ice, the Flames play like an elite team.
D: Yes. Steen is the straw that stirs the drink on a line with Backes and Oshie.
D: Bad luck last year, he’ll bounce back with his bro.
D: Overrated by most people, but I still think he deserves a spot here. Way too overworked.
D: The Sedins aren’t finished yet, but this list is. Thanks for reading.