McDavid, Draisaitl named two of the top five NHL players by TSN

A mid-season player ranking poll conducted by TSN has Edmonton Oilers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl ranked as two of the top five players in the NHL.

TSN’s mid-season poll looking at the top 50 players in the league saw McDavid ranked first, and Draisiatl fourth.

The remainder of the top five spots saw Colorado Avalance C Nathan MacKinnon pull the number two spot, Boston Bruins RW David Pastrnak take spot three, and New York Rangers LW Artemi Panarin pull spot five.

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There’s no real surprise that McDavid pulls the top spot in the league. Here’s what TSN’s Frank Seravalli wrote about McDavid:

The NHL scoring leader, McDavid is on track to set new career benchmarks in goals, assists and points – in addition to serving as a nightly human highlight reel – so it’s no surprise that No. 97 received 94 per cent of the first place votes in TSN Hockey’s first mid-season Top 50 ranking.

So yeah, no real surprises here. McDavid pulling 94 percent of the top votes show just how many think he takes the cake. I’m sure there’s many out there who still consider Sidney Crosby as the league’s best player, but I wonder if this is the “passing of the guard” moment for 97.

Draisaitl coming in as the league’s fourth-ranked player takes me a little bit by surprise. Now, this isn’t to say that Draisaitl isn’t an elite, top tier player in the NHL like we all know, but to see him getting so much love from TSN is what’s caught my eye.

This is the first time Draisaitl has been elected to the all-star game after selected by the NHL’s Hockey Operations department. He did go to the all-star game last year, but that was in thanks to being elected as the Pacific Division’s last man in.

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And this season Draisaitl has been on an absolute tear scoring 27 goals and adding 38 helpers in the Oilers’ first 49 games of the year.

We’ll be sure to check back in at season’s end if TSN does another poll.

On Twitter: @zjlaing