Photo Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

McDavid dominates NHLPA Player Polls again

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?

  1. Connor McDavid – 63.6%
  2. Sidney Crosby – 17.2%
  3. Nathan Mackinnon – 4.1%
  4. Nikita Kucherov – 3.7%
  5. 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.

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Who is the most difficult player to play against?

  1. Connor McDavid – 30.9%
  2. Sidney Crosby – 16.0%
  3. Patrice Bergeron – 9.2%
  4. Nathan Mackinnon – 5.0%
  5. 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?

  1. Connor McDavid – 60.0%
  2. Sidney Crosby – 18.5%
  3. Auston Matthews – 4.3%
  4. Patrice Bergeron – 1.7%
  5. 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?

  1. Bell Centre – 29.6%
  2. Rogers Place – 20.4%
  3. Bell MTS Place – 11.4%
  4. Xcel Energy Centre – 8.5%
  5. T-Mobile Arena – 4.8%
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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?

  1. Tomas ‘Tuna’ Tatar – 5.6%
  2. Artemi ‘Breadman’ Panarin – 5.2%
  3. Marko ‘Snacks’ Dano – 3.2%
  4. Christian ‘Stinky’ Fischer – 3.2%
  5. 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)_/¯

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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.


    • Flint

      Yup. As well, these ‘comps’ for example Sid vs McDavid suffer from generational gaps. Just when you thought not, Sid is having a hell of a season and in terms of end-of-career ‘hall of fame’ type counting, Connor still has some catching up to do.

      Through their first four years Sid has more goals and points as well as more Goals/per game and Points per game. And scoring is up currently in the league. Sid also has his name on the cup at the same time in his career, with a Gold medal (and GWG) in his year 5.

      Connor is very good, but he’s got some catching up to do in the years ahead if he wants a career that equals Sid’s. Hopefully he can stay healthier, and not have the same concussion fate, that Sid has had.

  • HockeyRooster

    We are so lucky to have Connor. (and its a crying damn shame what management is doing to the team around him, but I’ll digress).
    Really, I just wanted to post before the inevitable:
    “He wants to play in Toronto” (go away leafs fans)
    “He’s not a leader” (go away flames fans)
    canucks fans likely couldn’t figure out how to login to comment but you all can go away too.

  • Sven

    A legitimate question

    The Flames end the season at the dome in YYC
    hosting the Oilers April 6th-

    What is the over/under on Edmonton jerseys tossed onto the ice following
    the upcoming beat down of the Oilers?

    I’m in at three

    • WhoreableGuy

      Edmonton fans throw jersey’s on the ice when they are upset at losing, Calgary fans just don’t care and stop going to the games when they lose. They end up on the last page of the sports section. I live in Calgary and Flames fans seriously look in the mirror and ask your self this – Where would the Flames be if they missed the Playoffs 11 of the last 12 seasons? The answer is probably in Houston. It’s funny how Flames fans grasp at this tossed jersey think like it’s so atrocious.

      • Dark Knight Returns

        I live in YYC too and agree on most accounts, but let’s make a quick calculation:
        Oiler fan when the oilers aren’t doing well: 200 jersey (that ends up on the ice) + 200 ticket + 100 parking + snacks drinks, etc…. 500 bucks to go to the game and watch the team lose.

        Shame fan when the Shames aren’t doing well : empty saddle dump, they’ll go do something else.

        Who should be prouder the idiot who threw away 500 bucks to put them in Katz pocket or the guy who used his 500 bucks for a weekend getaway?

  • OriginalPouzar

    I don’t want this to get lost in an older prospect piece so am going to put it here:

    OHL Coaches Poll with some glarring praise of Samorukov (and Bouchard):

    Edmonton Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard is the only Knight to appear in multiple categories voted third Smartest Player for a second straight year, second Hardest Shot after winning the vote last season, and third Best Offensive Defenceman after finishing first a year ago.

    Oilers prospect Dmitri Samorukov appeared in three categories and finished first in two of them including Best Body Checker and Best Defensive Defenceman.

    Samorukov was also named 3rd best penalty killer!

  • OriginalPouzar

    Its amazing to see those defensive accolades for Samorukov – I don’t think may casual Oiler fans realize that he was drafted as a 2-way guy but likely more for his defensive acumen than his offensive.

    Those accolades along with his recent massive spike offensively warm the heart.

    This man can defend, can excel at both special teams, can be a physical presence and can skate, pass and shoot at a plus level.

    He’s got the best range of skills of any current Oiler prospect – a true #1D skill-set.

    No saying he’ll get there but his ceiling is a #1 guy.

    • Janitor of Section 7G

      Hey OP, not sure if you know but you seem to be as good as anyone to ask, do you have any insight on Justin Brazeau? A big, 21 year old, right handed forward who scored over 60 goals this season and is a UFA due to being undrafted seems like EXACTLY the kind of prospect the Oilers should be pursuing but I haven’t seen anything about them being interested.

      • OriginalPouzar

        Unfortunately, I don’t know a ton about him and don’t think I’ve ever seen him play – I know he’s absolutely massive and put up a ton of points (and goals) among the league leaders. I believe the knock on him is his skating.

        Hey, subject to the 50 contract limit being an issue, I’d be just fine with management kicking the tires on him but would anticipate he signs out east.

        I always take stats by over-agers in the CHL with a huge grain of salt. The extra year of age is just huge at the stage. Look at Cam Hebig who had big numbers in the W last year as an over-ager.

  • OilCan2

    McDavid will be fun to watch for the next few seasons. If someone like Jones or Benson or Bouchard could pull off a Calder Trophy season we could be going to the dance.


    Its gonna be fine, you dont think they know that fans are pissed? Connor isn’t going anywhere and the Oil will be at least a competitive team here in next couple years.

  • Stickhandler

    best line i read in awhile about this pretend NHL club re: missing playoffs (that tournament after the reg. season for good teams, not the lotto tourney), next year setting more futility records. “No team has ever missed the playoffs 13 times in a 14-season span.”
    Edmonton Oilers: “Hold my beer”