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Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Rogers Place highlight NHLPA player poll

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Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
6 months ago
Edmonton is a blessed team these days.
They have two of the top players in the NHL and one of the best rinks around — at least, that’s what NHL players said in their annual player poll.
Released every year, the NHLPA Player Poll asks over 500 NHL players 15 hockey-related questions from the regular season.
And no surprise, but Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Rogers Place all made appearances.
When asked which single player they wanted on their team if they needed to win one game, 42.4 percent of the players polled chose Connor McDavid. In second came Nova Scotia’s own Sidney Crosby with 17.3 percent of the votes, followed by Victor Hedman at 6.7 percent, Aleksander Barkov at 3.5 percent and Nathan MacKinnon at 3.3 percent.
“Connor McDavid is an exceptional talent with three Art Ross trophies, two Hart trophies and three Ted Lindsay Awards, among some of his most impressive feats,” wrote the NHLPA. “Fellow players voted the forward as the player they would most want on their side if they need to win a single game, followed by Sidney Crosby in second place and Victor Hedman, representing defencemen, in third place.
When asked who the best stick handler in the league is, McDavid came second to Patrick Kane, who received 57.3 percent of the votes while 22.8 percent chose Connor.
“With over 57% of the vote, Patrick Kane was named the league’s best stick-handler in consecutive seasons by the players,” the NHLPA wrote. “‘Showtime’ grew his hold on first place by 7% over Connor McDavid from the 2020-21 NHLPA Player Poll, with Nathan MacKinnon once again placing third in the category.”
In terms of the best passer in the league, it was a tight race, but Leon Draisaitl edged out Patrick Kane 17.7 percent to 15.6 percent. Third was Nicklas Backstrom at 15.4 percent, followed by Connor McDavid at 10.6 percent.
“Leon Draisaitl improved his standing as the game’s best passer according to the players, leapfrogging from a third-place finish in last season’s NHLPA Player Poll into first this season over Patrick Kane and Nicklas Backstrom, who finished less than three votes apart for a second straight season,” said the NHLPA.
Connor McDavid (9.2 percent) was voted the fourth most-complete player in the league behind Patrice Bergeron (19.5 percent), Aleksander Barkov (20.5 percent) and Sidney Crosby (29.5 percent).
Rogers Place, meanwhile, was voted the second-best ice in the NHL garnering 13.7 percent of the vote, with only the Montreal Canadiens’ Bell Centre ahead of it (39.6 percent).
When it came to guys that players least enjoy playing against but would like to have on their team, McDavid once again came in second with 18.3 percent of the votes. Only Brad Marchand (26.4 percent) was ahead of him.
And lastly, McDavid was voted the third-best role model amongst NHL players with 3.2 percent of the votes, behind Patrice Bergeron (9.8 percent) and Sidney Crosby (42.7 percent).

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.

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