#1: Best Player in the NHL
Of the top players in the NHL, Sidney Crosby ranks at the number 1 position in as the top player in the NHL. Sidney Crosby is undeniably the best, and most dominant player in the NHL. He can also be argued as one of the best hockey players the world has ever seen. His lethal combination of speed, strength and finesse has been clear over the last two seasons, racking up 37 points in only 22 games last season, and an amazing 56 points in 36 games in this shortened season.
Best Attributes: Size, Strength, Speed, Shot Accuracy, Shot Power, Passing, Offensive Awareness, Defensive Awareness, Puck Control, Stick Handling.
Check out some of Sid the Kid's best plays in the past few years.
Steven Stamkos has quickly emerged as the next great goal scorer in the NHL. He posted a phenomenal 51 goals in his sophomore season in 2009-2010. He made it clear that season was no fluke, posting 45 goals the following season, and an unbelieveable 60 goals last season. His presence on the power play is always known, and no one could forget his one-timers from the circles. With so many goals under his belt already (208), it is easy to forget he is only 23 years old. If he can keep up his pace from the past few years of 52 goals per year, he will challenge the likes of Mario Lemieux, and dare I say Gretzky, on the all time goals leaderboard.
Best Attributes: Speed, Shot Power, Shot Accuracy, One-timer, Offensive Awareness.
Get your signed Steven Stamkos jersey here
Check out this quick video showing what makes Stamkos such a dangerous shooter
Evgeni Malkin wasted no time solidifying himself as one of the best players in the NHL. In his rookie season in 2006-2007, Malkin posted 33 goals and 52 assists, earning the nod as the NHL's rookie of the year. Since his début he has continually posted super star numbers, scoring as many as 113 points in 2008-2009, and eclipsing the 50 goal mark last season. It's no wonder why he sports the nickname "Gino", as he is a constant threat to beat you and score with power, speed, or just over power your goalie with his ruthlessly accurate and hard wrist shot.
Best Attributes: Speed, Size, Wrist Shot Power, Wrist shot Accuracy, Stick Handling, Puck Control, Passing, Offensive Awareness.
Get your signed Evgeni Malkin Jersey here
Check out Malkin's goal of the year candidate last year.
Erik Karlsson is the reigning Norris Trophy winner as the leagues best defenceman last season. Karlsson put up 19 goals and amazing 78 points last season on his way to capturing the Norris trophy. People questioned his defensive positioning early on in his career but he has silenced his critics with a +8 rating this season in 17 games this year, leading his Ottawa Senators to their second consecutive Stanley Cup Playoff birth. HE has emerged as the premier offensive defenceman in the league, and will continue to dominate and lead the Senators for years to come.
Best Attributes: Speed, Offensive Awareness, Puck Control, Stick Handling, Passing.
As Datsyuk approaches the end of his career, he remarkably continues to put up Datsyuk like numbers. The stick handling magician is famous for his breakaway dangles, ankle breaking moves, unparalleled agility, as well as his dominant performance in the shootout. Although the russian superstar has never broke the century mark for points in a season, he consistently scores at a point per game or more pace. In Pavel's career he has put up 767 points in 779 games, scoring as many as 32 goals an 97 points in 2008-2009. Datsyuk will go down as one of the most skilled puck handlers the game has ever seen.
Datsyuk has won the defensive forward of the year trophy on three occasions and has also won the league's most sportsmanlike player four times during his career, proof that he shows what it means to be an athlete.
Best Attributes: Stick Handling, Puck Control, Offensive Awareness, Defensive Awareness.
When Ovechkin came into the league it looked as though he was going to post 50+ goals for the next decade, but his play over the past few began to raise questions of whether he is still a dominant player in the NHL. However, Ovechkin exploded this season with 22 goals in his last 20 games to finish the regular season as the leagues leading goal scorer. Ovechkin had become very predictable in his play and teams league wide were able to silence the sniper, scoring as low as 32 goals in 2010-2011, although 32 goals is quite the accomplishment, it does not compare to what people expect from Ovechkin. This year, Ovechkin has managed to rejuvenate his play and has solidified himself as one of the leagues premier snipers. And if his shot and overwhelming speed isn't enough, players have to keep their head up when he is on the ice, because he can do some serious damage with the body as well.
Best Attributes: Speed, Strength, Aggressiveness, Hitting, Slap Shot Power, Slap Shot Accuracy, Wrist Shot Power, Offensive Awareness.
Martin St. Louis
It might seem odd to have the league's leading scorer rank as the 7th best player in the league, but St.Louis is a pure offensive player unlike the players mentioned above. St. Louis put up 60 points in the shortened season this year, and has been a dominant play maker in the NHL for the last decade. St.Louis is ageless and is playing some of the best hockey he has ever played. St. Louis becomes one of the oldest player to win the Art Ross trophy with the most points in the league. This year he also set the record for longest gap between Art Ross trophy wins at 9 years, having last won it at the age of 28. St.Louis deserves much of te credit for the franchises success and uses his excellent offensive awareness to make it easy for Lecavalier and Stamkos to rack up the goals.
Best Attributes: Speed, Offensive Awareness, Passing
Claude Giroux showed the world the type of player he is last year when he put up 93 points, finishing third in the league for scoring. Claude Giroux has phenomenal hands, and the ability to create plays with the best. On top of that he has a courageous and gritty element to his game which makes him a real game breaker type of player. Over the past couple season Giroux has really shown what it means to be a leader in the NHL, and the Flyers wasted no time assigning him as the captain as soon as Chris Pronger retired.
Best Attributes: Speed, Passing, Offensive Awareness, Aggressiveness.
When Toews was named the captain of the Chicago Blackhawks he became the third youngest captain ever, behind only Sidney Crosby and Vincent Lecavalier (Landeskog now holds the record for youngest captain, making Toews the fourth youngest). Toews offensive play is enough to get excited about, however it is his defensive responsibility that makes him such a hard player to play against. He will beat you on the score board, shut you down on the penalty kill, and will beat you up with the body. He has also been known to drop the mitts to stand up for his teammates.
Best Attributes: Offensive Awareness, Defensive Awareness, Puck Control, Passing
John Tavares has finally started to play the way people expected of him. After scoring 72 goals in the OHL in 2006-2007, and beating the record for most goal by a 16-year-old, previously set by Wayne Gretzky, Tavares was fittingly given the nickname "The Next One". Although Tavares never dominated like that agin, he ended up setting the record for most goals in an OHL career. When Tavares entered the NHL he netted 24 goals and 54 points as a rookie. It was not until last year that Tavares showed what he could really do, scoring 31 goals and 50 assists, and added to his résumé this season by leading the New york Islanders to their first playoff appearance in since 2007.
Best Attributes: Offensive Awareness, Passing, Wrist Shot Accuracy, Wrist Shot Power, Puck Control.