It’s the seventh most exciting time of the year! The Oilers playoff chances are pretty much doomed, but the NHLPA just released their player polls and as you can imagine, Connor McDavid is at the top of a lot of categories and even made some improvements from last years polls.
The NHLPA Player Polls is a yearly event where over 500 NHL players vote on several categories including topics varying from the best-skilled players, to the best arenas to play in. I’m always super into these types of polls as they provide some good insight on what the players actually think. We’re on Twitter every day so we’ve got a pretty good idea of what the fans think of the players in the league, but these polls provide insight from the other side of the fence. In the below article, I’m only going to recap the categories that include Oilers players (Connor McDavid), but if you want to see the full results, click here.
Let’s get into it!
Who is the best forward?
- Connor McDavid – 63.6%
- Sidney Crosby – 17.2%
- Nathan Mackinnon – 4.1%
- Nikita Kucherov – 3.7%
- Aleksander Barkov – 1.7%
This question wasn’t asked in last years poll, but it was a pleasant surprise that Connor got the majority vote over Sid. There are still a lot of people in the league who think Sid is still the more valuable player than Connor, and they may be right. But I think if this poll was asked last year, it would have been a lot closer vote.
Who is the most difficult player to play against?
- Connor McDavid – 30.9%
- Sidney Crosby – 16.0%
- Patrice Bergeron – 9.2%
- Nathan Mackinnon – 5.0%
- Anze Kopitar – 3.5%
If I’m being honest, I’m surprised Anze Kopitar made the top five in this category. I suppose with the Kings falling off the map this year I wasn’t really expecting Kopitar to appear in any results. Good for him for his opponents still thinking he’s tough to play against. Connor didn’t get the majority vote in this category but he still gets the one-up against Sidney Crosby. With Sid’s size and edgework skills, I expected him to get more votes in this category, but nonetheless, I’m happy with the results.
Which player would you select to start a franchise with?
- Connor McDavid – 60.0%
- Sidney Crosby – 18.5%
- Auston Matthews – 4.3%
- Patrice Bergeron – 1.7%
- Nathan Mackinnon – 1.4%
This is no contest. Connor McDavid is not only the best player in the world, but he’s also only 22 years old which makes him the easy pick for starting a new franchise with. To refresh your mind from last years poll, Connor McDavid had 48.6% of the votes, Sidney Crosby had 23.8% of the votes, and Matthews, Toews, and Karlsson were ranked #3-5. It’s interesting to see how things changed over a calendar year. Will Connor McDavid have even MORE votes next season?
Which arena has the best ice?
- Bell Centre – 29.6%
- Rogers Place – 20.4%
- Bell MTS Place – 11.4%
- Xcel Energy Centre – 8.5%
- T-Mobile Arena – 4.8%
This is exactly how Rogers Place ranked in last years vote, but they did drop 1.3% in total votes. With Edmonton having the best ice in the league during the Old Boys Club era, it’s nice to see our new arena and the new team continues the perception of having great ice. It’s also good to hear the players appreciate the Rogers Place ice because they had a lot of issues with it during the initial opening of the arena.
Who has the best nickname?
- Tomas ‘Tuna’ Tatar – 5.6%
- Artemi ‘Breadman’ Panarin – 5.2%
- Marko ‘Snacks’ Dano – 3.2%
- Christian ‘Stinky’ Fischer – 3.2%
- Connor ‘McJesus’ McDavid – 2.0%
Only 248 players voted in this category so it obviously wasn’t a popular one. I personally think Marko ‘Snacks’ Dano is the best one out of the above five. I was surprised to see Connor get in there as I felt the McJesus thing has dampened over the last few years, and I doubt anyone actually calls him that on the ice or in the room. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Other notable categories included favourite athlete outside of hockey, best defenceman, best mascot, best and worst chirper, and more. Feel free to check out the full list of results if you’re interested. If you ask me, Connor McDavid has once again dominated the polls, and I”m looking forward to seeing how next years list will change! Let me know in the comments what you think.