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Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Top-100 Players

Trying not to read player rankings is as difficult as not eating a scrumptious Big Turk sitting in front of me. I love reading rankings of players. I devour a Big Turk when I see it. Of course, I rarely will agree with every aspect of the rankings, nor with those who dislike the deliciousness of Big Turk, but if I see a list I’m always reading it.

Sportsnet released their top-100 NHL players list today. I’ve compiled lists before and they are much more difficult than you think. Deciding why one player is ranked 23rd and the next 24th isn’t as easy as you’d think. They are fun to put together, and I have separated their top-100 into the five positions: Centre, left wing, right wing, defence and goalies.

It is interesting to note they had 30 centres and 29 D-men in their top-100 which fits with the belief centres and defenceman can impact the flow of the game the most.  They also had 15 goalies, 14 RW and 12 LW.

Let’s go position by position.

Centre:

Mar 31, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) during the first period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

No surprises at the top of the list. I’m sure we can all make strong debates about a player we like moving up a few spots. I’d have Barkov higher, but it is likely just nitpicking if we want a player #8 instead of #10.

It interesting to note that ten of the top-30 centres play in the Pacific division. Edmonton, Los Angeles, Anaheim and San Jose have two, while Calgary and Vegas have one. The Atlantic division has eight while the Central and Metropolitan have six.

The four Pacific teams along with Pittsburgh, Toronto, Washington, Florida and Tampa Bay had two centres on the list, while Calgary, Vegas, Colorado, Winnipeg, Boston, Dallas, NYI, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Chicago, St.Louis and Minnesota had one.

Which means ten teams didn’t have one centre in the top-30: Arizona, Vancouver, Nashville, Detroit, Montreal, Ottawa, NYR, Carolina, New Jersey and Columbus. I’m sure some in Nashville will argue Ryan Johansen could have made the list, but if Nashville is going to hoist the Cup do they need a better top-line centre?

  1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton
  2. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
  3. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh
  4. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado
  5. Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles
  6. John Tavares, Toronto
  7. Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg
  8. Auston Matthews, Toronto
  9. Patrice Bergeron, Boston
  10. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay
  11. Tyler Seguin, Dallas
  12. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington
  13. Nicklas Backstrom, Washington
  14. Aleksander Barkov, Florida
  15. Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
  16. Sean Couturier, Philadelphia
  17. Jack Eichel, Buffalo
  18. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim
  19. William Karlsson, Vegas
  20. Jonathan Toews, Chicago
  21. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton
  22. Logan Couture, San Jose
  23. Joe Pavelski, San Jose
  24. Sean Monahan, Calgary
  25. Brayden Point, Tampa Bay
  26. Ryan O’Reilly, St.Louis
  27. Rickard Rakell, Anaheim
  28. Vincent Trocheck, Florida
  29. Eric Staal, Minnesota
  30. Jeff Carter, Los Angeles

Right Wing

Oct 19, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) chases Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) during the third period at MTS Centre. Winnipeg won 5-4 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The Central division is home to half of the top right-wingers in the NHL. Seven of the top-14 reside in the Central, while four play in the Atlantic, two are in the Metro and only one in the Pacific. The Central is stacked with Kane, Wheeler, Laine and Tarasenko. Vancouver’s Brock Boeser was the only representative from the Pacific.

  1. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay
  2. Patrick Kane, Chicago
  3. Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg
  4. Patrik Laine, Winnipeg
  5. Vladimir Tarasenko, St.Louis
  6. David Pastrnak, Boston
  7. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh
  8. Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia
  9. Mitch Marner, Toronto
  10. Brock Boeser, Vancouver
  11. Mikko Rantanen, Colorado
  12. Mark Stone, Ottawa
  13. Viktor Arvidsson, Nashville
  14. Alexander, Radulov, Dallas

Left Wing

Oct 19, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) skates with the puck in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Metro has the top-three left wingers in the game. Some Oilers fans will cringe reading this list. It is interesting to note only 12 LW cracked this top-100 list. I’d have had Jaden Schwartz on my list. I think he is very good. I could also see players like Kyle Connor, Evander Kane and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, now that he is a left winger, move up this list next season.

  1. Alex Ovechkin, Washington
  2. Taylor Hall, New Jersey
  3. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia
  4. Brad Marchand, Boston
  5. Jamie Benn, Dallas
  6. Artemi Panarin, Columbus
  7. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary
  8. Filip Forsberg, Nashville
  9. Jonathan Marchessault, Vegas
  10. Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg
  11. Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida
  12. Max Pacioretty, Montreal

Defence

Oct 30, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Ottawa Senators defensemen Erik Karlsson (65) tries to check Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) during the second period at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Having solid defenders can really help your chances of success. While Nashville had no centres in the top-30, they have three D-men in the top-29 and two in the top-six. Much of the Predators success begins on the backend and it is why they are considered a strong contender in the West.

The Central division has nine D-men on this list, while the Metro and Atlantic each have seven and the Pacific has six. Edmonton, Vancouver, Vegas, Colorado, New Jersey, NYI, NYR, Detroit and Buffalo aren’t represented on this list. The two Rasmus’ in Buffalo could be on this list next season, and if Oscar Klefbom can stay healthy he will likely be in the conversation.

  1. Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay
  2. Erik Karlsson, Ottawa
  3. Drew Doughty, Los Angeles
  4. Brent Burns, San Jose
  5. K. Subban, Nashville
  6. Roman Josi, Nashville
  7. Seth Jones, Columbus
  8. Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg
  9. Alex Pietrangelo, St.Louis
  10. John Carlson, Washington
  11. John Klingberg, Dallas
  12. Marc-Edouard Vlasic, San Jose
  13. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona
  14. Duncan Keith, Chicago
  15. Aaron Ekblad, Florida
  16. Zach Werenski, Columbus
  17. Shayne Gostisbehere, Philadelphia
  18. Ryan Suter, Minnesota
  19. Dougie Hamiton, Carolina
  20. Mark Giordano, Calgary
  21. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh
  22. Shea Weber, Montreal
  23. Morgan Reilly, Toronto
  24. Ryan Ellis, Nashville
  25. Hampus Lindholm, Anaheim
  26. Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia
  27. Zdeno Chara, Boston
  28. Colton Parayko, St.Louis
  29. Charlie McAvoy, Boston

Goalie

Dec 21, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang (58) scores past Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (72) for a shootout win at PPG PAINTS Arena. The Penguins won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

This was split very evenly across the divisions. Every division had four goalies except the Pacific who had three. Martin Jones, Antti Raanta and Cam Talbot are likely in the 16-20 range. Of the 15 goalies on this list, 12 of them were on playoff teams last year. Only Carey Price, Henrik Lundqvist and Corey Crawford didn’t make the postseason. Four teams made the playoffs without a top-15 goalie; Philadelphia, San Jose, New Jersey and Colorado.

  1. Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus
  2. Braden Holtby, Washington
  3. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay
  4. Carey Price, Montreal
  5. Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas
  6. Pekka Rinne, Nashville
  7. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles
  8. Connor Hellebuyck, Winnipeg
  9. Frederik Andersen, Toronto
  10. Matt Murray, Pittsburgh
  11. John Gibson, Anaheim
  12. Tuukka Rask, Boston
  13. Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota
  14. Henrk Lundqvist, New York Rangers
  15. Corey Crawford, Chicago

WRAP UP…

Here is how many players each team had on the list:

Six: Nashville and Boston
Five: Winnipeg, Tampa, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington
Four: Anaheim, San Jose, LA, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Florida and Columbus
Three: Vegas, Calgary, Minnesota and Montreal
Two: Edmonton, Colorado and Ottawa
One: Arizona, Vancouver, Buffalo, New Jersey, Carolina, NYI and NYR.
Zero: Detroit

It is no surprise Washington, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Tampa Bay, Boston and Winnipeg are at the top. Those teams are considered leading contenders for the Cup on virtually every list of playoff predictions.

New Jersey and Colorado proved you don’t need many elite players to make the playoffs, and they, along with other teams with little representation in the top-100, will need their depth players to perform well and support the few elite players.

The Oilers fall into this category. We know McDavid will produce offensively, and most likely lead the league in points, but their defence, goaltending and supporting cast of forwards will need to be competitive and productive like they were in 2017 if the Oilers want to get back in the playoffs.

Recently by Jason Gregor:

    • Dan 1919

      Really, I thought that was as generous as they could be with Draisaitl. He’s a monster asset to any team given he’s a proven producer when playing with star players. When playing alone and forced to drive his own line he is still really good but still inconsistent and far from elite in my opinion.

      • TruthHurts98

        How do you figure? The coaching staff put a boat anchor on the left side and fringe NHLers on the right most of the time. Connor will drive a line well because he’s in a league all by himself. Give Leon better wingers and he’ll be a PPG player. He’s a filthy passer and has elite hockey sense. He’s a fast skater too even though his long strides look effortless. He’ll be better this year I think.

        • Dan 1919

          Personally I think when you have to start subbing in line mates to talk about how good a player is it’s because you’re trying to overrate them. Given the obvious that if I played with Connor I’d put up 60pts, beyond that no player in the NHL has perfect line mates and that’s part of the game(and has been their entire life), sure they may fluctuate +/- 10-20pts but when rating a player I’m more of the what you see is what you get.

        • CMG30

          Drai made his reputation on mcdavids wing. He still hasn’t shown enough centering his own line yet. He’s got all the tools and I believe that he will get there but I can’t honestly say he’s there quite yet…

          • Dan 1919

            I agree, he also played lights out with Hall. Being able to produce with and enable star players is no slouch of a skill set either for a young center that puts up 70pts on his own. He is one heck of a young center and will have a great career but I agree with you. He’s not quite a stand alone 1C yet as many suggest.

    • OilersRcommingonurback

      A garbage team like this and idiot fans like you and OriganlPouzer and I think people are going to respect that’s. Stupid Oilers. Respect is earned or given.

      • OriginalPouzar

        I haven’t even posted in this thread but yet you make two personal attacks on me out of nowhere and add absolutely nothing of value to to the thread.

        Care to share what exactly it is about me that you take the time to come on and personally attack me? Why exactly am i at the top of your head so much? I mean its flattering that you think about me this much.

  • OilersRcommingonurback

    Wait mayber OriganlPou….Butthurt can tell us in an essay what he thinks. We need his fountain of knowledge or else we all will be lost. ?????. What a chump

    • toprightcorner

      The term “chump” can be perfectly described as someone who takes shots at others without adding anything of value themselves. In otherwords, the person staring at you in the mirror.

      Just because you don’t agree with the takes of other, it does not allow you to take a personal shot at them. If you want to debate their points with different valid facts, then you are at the right site. If you want to act like a name calling 12 year old, maybe you should find somewhere else to be entertained, you sound like a game of Spongebob.

  • toprightcorner

    With 31 teams and 100 players and the top 10 teams having more qualified, a team will at most have 3. Last year Talbot and Klefbom would have been on that list. It would be great to have a dman on the list but expecting to have each position listed is a pipedream

  • Big Nuggets

    These lists are always flawed so don’t take the results too seriously. It’s not a definitive list, just some guys list. And Kieth and Weber are going on reputation here.

    Any given night anybody could be the player of the game. I’m wondering who on Edmonton is capable of making the list of defensemen next year? Hopefully Klef. Nurse and Larsson are long shots, but you never know. Bouchard and Bear will not.

  • 18% body fat

    teams at the top, draft and trade for skill,

    teams at the bottom, draft and trade for size and truculence

    teams at the top, win

    teams at the bottom lose

    but hall was a cancer, barzal wasnt coachable, lucic can fight, reinhart is big, moroz is a good hitter, musil is a big stay at home defenceman, caggulia has grit

    = losers

  • JimmyV1965

    Interesting list. The teams with 1 or 0 players are among the worst in the league and the teams with 2 and 3 players in the list will be battling for wild card spots. Karlsson in the top 10 at C is a joke. Same with MacKinnon at 4.

  • Arfguy

    I always have a hard time with the top centres list when I see Auston Matthews above Aleksander Barkov. The lists aren’t bad, but that one is especially hard for me to take.