THREE IN FIFTY IS GOOD

 

TSN released their Top-50 NHL player rankings on Monday and Oiler fans should be pretty excited, if you believe these rankings are accurate.

For the 3rd straight season Sidney Crosby topped the rankings, despite playing 22 games last year, mainly due to his ridiculous 1.68 points-per-game ratio during those 22 games.  His teammate, Evgeni Malkin came in 2nd, but the expectations of Oilers’ fans for the coming season might be even higher after seeing three Oilers crack the top-50.

Jordan Eberle came in at 25; Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is 48th and Taylor Hall sits 50th. 

The rankings are here, but here is a recap from most to least.

FIVE:
LA Kings: Kopitar (10th), Quick (16th), Doughty (17th), Brown (43rd) and M.Richards (44th).

FOUR:

Pittsburgh: Crosby (1st), Malkin (2nd), Letang (29th), Neal (36th).
Chicago: Toews (6th), Hossa (32nd), Kane (38th) and Keith (49th).
NYR: Lundqvist (15th), Nash (24th), B. Richards (42nd) and Gaborik (45th).

THREE:
Boston: Chara (12th), Seguin (31st), Bergeron (35th).
Edmonton: Eberle (25th), RNH (48th) and Hall (50th)

TWO:
Tampa Bay: Stamkos (4th), St. Louis (30th)
Detroit: Datsyuk (5th), Zetterberg (22nd)
Nashville: Weber (7th), Rinne (27th)
Vancouver: D. Sedin (8th), H. Sedin (9th)
Ottawa: Karlsson (11th), Spezza (23rd)
Minnesota: Parise (13th) Suter (26th) 
Washington: Ovechkin (14th), Backstrom (33rd)
Anaheim: Perry (19th), Getzlaf (34th)
Carolina: E. Staal (21st) and J. Staal (46th)
San Jose: Thornton (40th), Couture (41st)

ONE:
Philadelphia: Giroux (3rd)
New Jersey: Kovalchuk (18th)
NYI: Tavares (20th)
St. Louis: Pietrangelo (28th)
Calgary: Iginla (37th)
Dallas: Jamie Benn (39th)
Toronto: Kessel (47th)

NONE:
Buffalo
Colorado
Columbus
Florida
Montreal
Phoenix
Winnipeg

WHO GOT OVERLOOKED

When a ranking comes out, there is always a great debate over who got overlooked. Here are some guys I felt were right on the cusp or could have been included in the list.

Bobby Ryan: Only seven players have scored at least 30 goals in the last four seasons, and Ryan is one of them. Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Nash, Iginla and Kessel did it and they are on the list. Ryan has scored 30 or more goals in his first four seasons; he’s one of the most consistent goals scorers in the game.

Patrick Marleau: He is the 7th guy with four consecutive 30+ goal seasons. I know many rip him about his playoff performances, but he has 80 points in his last 107 playoff games. He’s far from awful.

Teemu Selanne: He has averaged 0.91 points per game over the past four seasons while he was 38-41 years of age. He is an incredible player, and one of the best people in hockey. Until he retires he is in my top-50.

Patrick Sharp: Good hands, excellent two-way player and I’d take his overall game ahead of Marian Hossa. However, he doesn’t have the explosiveness of Hossa.

Chris Pronger: If he is healthy he is on that list. He’s still one of the best D-men in the game, whether you like him or not.

Niklas Kronwall: He moves the puck very well, isn’t afraid to step up and deliver a big hit and he’s averaged 40 points over his last four full seasons.

WHO WILL CRACK LIST SOON

The league is full of many young great players and I’d expect a few of these guys to crack the list next year.

Gabriel Landeskog: He’s a rugged winger who is Incredibly mature, has good hands and has a solid overall game. Could score 20 in short season.

Evander Kane: Many question his maturity off the ice, but he’s dynamic on it and if he continues to progress like he has the past two seasons he could be ranked in the 40-50 range next year.

Kevin Shattenkirk: Young, skilled D-man who likely ends being the centre piece of the Erik Johnson trade. He’s put up 43 points in each of his first two seasons, and he and Pietrangelo could be the next Suter/Weber combo in St. Louis.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson: He is one of the most underrated players in the game. He doesn’t get a lot of coverage playing in Phoenix, but after playing 25:46 a night during the Coyotes run to the conference finals last year, he proved he can excel when it matters most. He’ll be in the top-50 next year.

Who would be on your "up-and-comer" or "overlooked" list?

WRAP UP

Having three players in the top-50 won’t guarantee the Oilers a playoff berth, but it illustrates that the Oilers are heading in the right direction.

Phoenix was the only team to make the playoffs without having at least one player on the list, but last year Ray Whitney had 77 points for them, Mike Smith had a break out season and Ekman-Larsson emerged on the blueline. They were some of the best players in the league despite not being ranked.

You need one great player, and usually two or three, to win the Cup, and the Oilers have some of the best young talent in the game. If they can get some solid performances from Devan Dubnyk, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Whitney, Ladislav Smid, Nail Yakupov, Sam Gagner and Shawn Horcoff the Oilers should be right in the middle of a run to the playoffs in early April. 

PARTING SHOTS

  • Today is the final open practice for the Oilers. It starts at 11 a.m. and they will have an extended scrimmage today according to Ralph Krueger.
     
  • Take a moment and send me an email to gregor@theteam1260.com and nominate a coach for our Elite Sportswear Coach of the week. It doesn’t matter what sport they coach, team or individual, I just want to hear what makes them a great volunteer coach.They will be interviewed on the show and get lots of great swag from Elite and you will feel great for recognizing their efforts.
  • Romulus' Apotheosis

    Cannot argue too much about the players on the list,except the ones Gregor, mentioned here, Rayan , Marleau, and Sharp,not on the list.

    Tyler Sequin at 31 give me a break… over hyped at this point, and Parise at 13. This is one guy , I think, is definitely over paid, and over rated.

    Brown and Richards [L.A.] are on the list because they won the cup.

  • Top rated in what exactly? How many times on average they are mentioned by the TSN panel?

    Where is P.K? Lucic?

    Does anyone know if Pierre Mcwhatevathe#@$% put that together?

    How can Tyler be way ahead of Taylor? Did TSN sneak Taylor in there for no other reason then Oilers fans?

    That list, much like the rest of the stuff TSN puts out on its own-is a poorly crafted pile of crap.

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      Arch mostly covered it…

      but you have to remember a list like this is going to skew in two directions…

      some players who last year didn’t put up huge numbers for whatever reason are going to be grandfathered in (see Crosby) regardless of their play… here the list skews to top players under normal conditions.

      some players who last year played very well are evaluated primarily with that in mind… ie. Tyler had a better year last year so he is higher on the list… under normal conditions is he unconditionally better?…

      few would make that case.

      so here the list skews to actual, recent results

      • treevojo

        Seguin rarely plays center. Lookin at the bruins lineups for this year it looks like more of the same. The positional argument between these two players should have been left at the draft because that is the last time it made sense.

      • So is Seguin a better hockey player than Hall, or is he more forunate of the two.? Circumstantial fortune shouldn’t be taken into consideration.

        If RNH is so high: where are the kids from Colorado and New Jersey?

        I wonder where Halak and Smith are and why were they omitted.

          • Hall would have in my opinion, equalled Seguin playing with those
            guys. Hall had very little to play with. Seguin would have been a good choice for the Oil as well, not much to choose between those
            two young bucks. Seguin is better than i thought actually..
            But the best of T.HALL is yet to come.

  • paul wodehouse

    Hey Gregor, I like the nominate your coach for recognition, but what about all those other people that spend time helping out kids and families in sports? I know coaches need recognition, but how bout volunteers, referees, directors etc?

  • paul wodehouse

    Arch…my only worries are wonky shoulders

    4 & 93 need devine intervention through these next few months while on their sprint to a potential playoff spot…

  • A-Mc

    I was at practice on Tuesday and i was watching Fistrics shot. He’s got a decent shot!

    Myself and the guys around me were blown away that the man only has 3 goals in his entire career.

    He fired a few lasers right past the goaltenders yesterday and i certainly didn’t expect that from someone who basically produces no points what so ever.

    Watch him in practice today: He may get a boost to those offensive numbers as sort of a guilty by association type thing where the rest of the team can set him up for success.

    (I am in no way advocating that he should focus on being offensive. I’m simply expressing a collective surprise at what he had to offer in terms of a shot in contrast with his miniscule point totals).

    • Romulus' Apotheosis

      I feel like I’ve seen Smid cork one or two bullets off too…

      I think the difference between someone with a rocket shot and someone who puts up points is probably a mix of “cheating for offence/opportunity” and “shot selection/accuracy”

    • Ha! have you ever watched Strudwick in warm up. The guys has crazy good hands… in warm up. How players are used in game situations and what they’re comfortable with doing in a game is a much different then what they can do in practice.

      But still, nice to know.

      • A-Mc

        No I’ve never attended an Oilers practice before. yesterday was the first as a sort of bucket list type thing.

        “Struds” and “good hands” in the same sentence? Are you sure…..

        • OilClog

          I know I didn’t believe it myself. I think it’s one of those things that if these players were to play against normal people, they would do super human things, but against others of their own ilk, they have to focus on their strengths.

  • Oilfan69

    http://oilersnation.com/2013/1/16/should-the-oilers-be-interested-in-wade-redden

    ( #16)

    sorry bigfan beat you to it 🙂

    It is pretty re-assuring to have 3 in the top 50

    there aren’t a lot of players in that group outside of maybe Corey Perry, Nicklas Backstrom,Ryan Getzlaf, Jarome Iginla, Joe Thornton,Brad Richards that I see falling out of that list in the foreseeable future. With that being said there are a pile of talented players coming up that are going to make this a fairly difficult list to compile in the next year or 2 I think.

  • If Hall’s shoulder is 100% and he plays the way he’s capable of playing then he wont be at the bottom of that list for much longer.

    Same with Nuge. Those guys are only going up in my opinion. I can see those 3 in the top 50 for a long time and if we’re all lucky then Yak and Schultz will be in there someday too.