This is just a summary of what I feel are the top 10 players in each category in the NHL to date. Sure there will be many arguments for and against what I have inserted here but let’s take a look at what I have and see if we agree.
Sidney Crosby- should not be any argument here, the “kid” is hands down the best center and possibly the player in the game today.
Pavel Datsyuk- he does it all, scores, defends and is regarded as one of the best defensive forwards in history.
Henrik Sedin- not the greatest in his own end but this flying swede scores in bunches with his brother or not.
Jonathan Toews- he does it all, does not score like a lot of other centers but makes up for it almost every other department. World junior gold, Olympic gold, Olympic Team Canada MVP and the Conn Smythe. Agreed?
Mike Richards- almost a clone of Toews in skill set, he works as hard as anyone in the game and does it well
Ryan Getzlaf- he’s tough, he scores and he plays well in his own end. He is a clutch player and don’t be surprised if this guy leads the league in scoring one year
Joe Thornton- Big Joe has a great regular season every single year and is one of the best face-off men in the game, however his disappearing act in each and every playoff year are not appealing.
Eric Staal- Similar to Thornton this guy has it all, a great player any team would love to build their franchise around
Nicklas Backtrom- Yes he does play with Ovechkin but nevertheless one can not discount this kids talent, he is a very good face off man, kills penalties and shoots the lights out.
Mikko Koivu- Koivu flies under the radar and perhaps it’s because he plays in Minnesota. The Wild are not the scheming trapping team we have been accustomed to for years and Koivu seems to have great year after great year. There is a reason this guy received a huge raise this year, try getting him a solid winger and watch this guy be in the top 5 scoring in the league.
Honorable mentions: Evgeni Malkin, Marc Savard, Steven Stamkos, Brad Richards, Anze Kopitar, Jason Spezza.Ryan Kesler ( in no particular order)
Alexander Ovechkin- another no brainer atop this division. Do I need to explain his attributes?
Rick Nash- who wouldn’t want this guy, hes fast, talented and a monstrosity of a man plus one of the best goal scorers in the game
Marian Hossa- call me biased but have you seen what this guy does year in and year out? Not only is he an offensive threat but he is one of the best back checkers in the game. Oh about that “Hossa jinx” thing, I told you time and time again that it was nothing, looks like fans need to find another guy to throw a jinx at
Ilya Kovalchuk- Dynamic one-way player shoots the lights out every year, can’t overlook that.
Marian Gaborik- See above
Jarome Iginla- Another one of these “do everything guys” if the Flames can ever get him a center to play with he very well could be a top 10 scorer again.
Patrick Kane- lightning speed, great hands and improving every year on his defensive play. If he hit the net more often with his vicious shot he may score 45-50 goals.
Daniel Sedin- Similar to his MVP brother he has amazing skills and it seems he is getting better and better every year.
Martin St.Louis-he is getting older but it has not phased him one bit. This new NHL suits him and a lot of other players his size perfectly. Speed Kills.
Zach Parise- An amazing talent and brings offensive explosion to what has seemingly been and inept offensive club in New Jersey for years. Might change if they do sign Kovalchuk this year, can you imagine these 2 together for a full year? Yikes.
Honorable mentions: Corey Perry, Patrick Elias, Michael Cammalleri, Patrice Bergeron, Henrik Zetterberg, Daniel Alfredsson, Alexei Kovalev, Jeff Carter, Shane Doan, Dany Heatley, Phil Kessel, Alexander Semin.
Of course the winger position is a lot tougher then the center position as there are many more wingers then centers hence the larger honorable mention list.
Duncan Keith: Norris trophy winner, lighting speed, great shot and one of the best defenders in the game. Still is not getting the respect he deserves but he will soon.
Shea Weber: What can’t you say about Shea? He is a great all around d-man plus his insane shot helps just a tad.
Chris Pronger: This guy is a terror on skates, scores, one of the best hitters in the game and incredible defensively.
Drew Doughty: Yup, #4 already and he is still getting better. That is downright scary.
Nicklas Lidstrom: Had a slow start to the year but in the latter half of the season proved to everyone he is still a great defenceman and one of the greatest of all time.
Dan Boyle: One of the premier offensive players in the league, he is also pretty damn good in his own end aswell.
Zdeno Chara: This behemoth of a man is one of the best, not only is he solid defensively and often crushes opposing players into the board he can also score. Does not hurt having the hardest shot in the league.
Mike Green: How can you not have this guy in here, hell he could lead half the teams in the league in scoring. His suspect defensive coverage knocks him down a bit but I would love having this guy on my team.
Sergei Gonchar: Another offensive juggernaut who also plays pretty decent D. Can’t overlook this great player.
Dion Phaneuf: Ya Ya I might take some slack for this one but Dion is a great defenseman no matter how one looks at it. He was the kicking boy in Calgary but wait and see what he does in Toronto this year.
Honorable Mentions: Niklas Kronwall, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell, Sheldon Souray, Jay Bouwmeester, Andrei Markov, Ryan Suter, Anton Volchenkov, Kimmo Timonen, Paul Martin, Dan Hamuis.
Ryan Miller: Hands down the best goaltender in the game today.
Henrik Lundqvist: The King would have numbers as good as anyone if he ever had a defence in front of him, still he has great numbers as is.
Roberto Luongo: playoff performances aside, he really was not that bad last year. He proved he can be a clutch goalie in the Olympics and he has all the skill in the world (beside puck handling). Everyone will see a different Luongo this year with the revamped defense in Vancouver.
Cam Ward: What? How the heck is he up this high. Well he has proven in the past how good he is and when you play on a team where Joni Pitkanen is the teams best d-man…
Ilya Bryzgalov: Where did this guy come from? From a back up guy to one of the best in just a couple years. His size and agility makes him one of the best in the league.
Mikka Kiprusoff: Phenomenal goaltender during the regular season, his playoff performances have not been great but he still gets the job done night after night. Literally.
Martin Brodeur: One of and if not the greatest of all time. His age is catching up with him if you like it or not and we have seen that in his performances of late. However if he was the starting goaltender on my club I would not be complaining.
Pekka Rinne: Yes he plays with one of the best defensive teams in the league but this kid is a standout, add his size and flexibility he is already an extremely good goaltender.
Craig Anderson: Wouldn’t the teams who passed this kid like to have him back. He was the main reason why the Avalanche went to the show this year.
Tomas Vokoun: This lefty cracked this list as he is solid every single year no matter how poor the defense is in front of him. And they usually are poor.
Honorable Mentions : Jaroslav Halak, Tukka Rask, Antti Niemi, Jonas Hiller, Jean-Sebastien Giguere, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jonathan Quick,Niklas Backstrom.
No KHL players allowed above.
Well there you have it, my take on what I feel are the top 10 players at each of their respective positions. Have some fun with it and I look forward to hear your agreements or disagreements.
Thanks for reading as always,
About the Author
Written by Trent Kondo
An all around sports fan and has been a Chicago BlackHawks supporter longer then he can remember. Currently writes for Prosportsblogging.com on the Blackhawks and NHLHotstove.com on the Edmonton Oilers. (If you would like to email feel free to contact Trent at TKONHOCKEY@gmail.com )