IN CONJUNCTION WITH TIM OGER
It’s Tuesday, which means we’re back with the next ten members of our Top 50 Club, with number 30 to 21!
As always, be sure to tune in to Inside the Ice this week where we will reveal the final 20 players in our Top 50 countdown! Stay tuned to GCSN for the date and time, as this week’s Thursday episode will be later in the week due to American Thanksgiving.
Let’s get right to it, folks! Here are our selections for #30-21 of the Top 50 NHL Players in the game today!
30. Mark Scheifele, C (WPG)
Mark Scheifele has undoubtedly been one of the most consistent players for the Winnipeg Jets over his career.
Drafted by the franchise 7th overall in 2011, which coincidentally was Winnipeg’s first ever draft selection since relocating from Atlanta, Scheifele recorded 29 goals and 44 assists for 73 points over 71 games last season, while also posting a +2.
Not only was he a point-per-game player last season, but he has kept that pace the last three seasons, where he put up 217 points (90 goals, 127 assists) over 213 games in that span and recording a +29 in the process. His best season came in 2018-19 where he netted 38 goals and 46 assists for 84 points over a full 82-game season. He also scored 12 power play goals and 6 game winners that year.
In his career, Scheifele is a stellar +83 which is an outstanding achievement for a centerman. Although being a fantastic two-way player, Scheifele has yet to be nominated for a Selke Trophy (although, don’t be surprised to see a nomination in the future!) In 519 NHL games, he has 180 goals and 444 points, with 49 power play goals and 27 game winning goals tacked on.
Playing with Team Canada, Scheifele won bronze at the 2012 World Juniors in Alberta. He did, however, claim back-to-back gold medals at the 2016 and 2017 World Cup of Hockey.
29. Carey Price, G (MTL)
One of the best goaltenders to ever play the game, how can you not put Carey Price on this list?!
The 33-year-old tendy has spent his entire 14-season career with the team that drafted him 5th overall in 2005, the Montreal Canadiens. Despite the Canadiens moderate-to-minimal success since then, it hasn’t stopped Carey Price from putting up some crazy numbers.
Last season over 58 games, he put up 27 wins with a 2.79 GAA, 4 shutouts, and a .909 SV%. This was definitely an average season for Price considering numbers he put up earlier in his career. His best season came in 2014-15, where he recorded an insane 44 wins in 66 games along with a jaw-dropping 1.96 GAA, .933 SV% and 9 shutouts.
Over 173 games played during the last three seasons, Price has recorded a 78-75-19 record with a 2.80 GAA, .909 SV% and 9 shutouts. To put that into perspective, he recorded the same number of shutouts in his best season that he did over the last three seasons!
It doesn’t stop there, though. Carey Price has posted 348 wins with a 2.49 GAA, .917 SV% and 48 shutouts over 682 career games. He is also a 7-time NHL All-Star, and won the Vezina, Ted Lindsay, Jennings, and Hart Memorial Trophies all in 2015. Internationally with Team Canada, he has 4 gold medals split between 2 World Juniors tournaments, the 2016 World Championships and the 2014 Olympics.
It’s also worth mentioning that Carey Price posted absolutely mind-boggling numbers in the 2014 Olympics. In 5 tournament games, he recorded 5 wins with a 0.59 GAA, .972 SV%, 2 shutouts and 3 goals against. With numbers that crazy, it’s no wonder he was named the Olympics best goalie!
Really, the only thing missing from Price’s resume is a Stanley Cup. But can he achieve that goal with the Canadiens?
28. Jonathan Toews, C (CHI)
While we got caught up talking about Carey Price’s achievements, Triple Gold Club member Jonathan Toews was standing backstage saying “Hold my beer.”
Another player that’s been with his draft team his whole career, the Chicago Blackhawks chose Toews 3rd overall in 2006. Toews has been the captain of the team since 2008. Last season, the 32-year-old recorded 18 goals and 42 assists for 60 points and a -2 over 70 games. Over the last three seasons, Toews has 73 goals and 120 assists for 193 points with a -1 in 226 games.
Now, you may be thinking “What’s so special about those numbers?” Well, my friend, here’s where things get crazy.
In 943 career games, Toews has 345 goals and 470 assists for 815 points. He is also an insane +193 over that span, and to put that into perspective, he was a -1 over the last three seasons! To add to those numbers, he has a career 80 PPG and 210 power play points, with 66 game winning markers.
He has also reeled in his fair share of hardware and trophies. Toews is a 5-time NHL All-Star and was a key member of the Blackhawks dynasty that won 3 Stanley Cups over 6 seasons (2010, 2013, 2015). He was the 2010 Conn Smythe Winner (playoff MVP), 2013 Selke Trophy Winner, and a three-time Selke finalist.
With Team Canada, Jonathan Toews has a 2005 U17 gold, as well as gold medals in the 2006 and 2007 World Juniors. In back-to-back World Championships appearances in 2007 and 2008, Toews won a gold and silver medal, respectively. He was also a member of the 2010 and 2014 gold-medal-winning Canadian Olympic teams, and the 2016 national team that won gold at the World Cup of Hockey.
Bravo, Jonathan Toews. Bravo.
27. Patrice Bergeron, C (BOS)
You thought Jonathan Toews’ +193 was wild? Wait until you get a load of this guy.
Drafted 45th overall by the Boston Bruins in 2003, 35-year-old Patrice Bergeron, or “Bergy” as he is known by the Bruins’ faithful, has showed no signs of slowing down. A lifelong Bruin, Bergeron put up 31 goals and 25 assists for 56 points in 61 games last season, to go along with an impressive +23.
Over the course of the last three seasons, Bergeron’s numbers include 93 goals with 105 assists for 198 points in 190 games, with his +/- improving to +67. I think you know where we’re going with this.
Through 1,089 career games, “Bergy” has posted 352 goals and 517 assists for 869 points with a… wait for it… wait for it… +201 (!!!!!). An absolutely incredible +/- that almost certainly cements his legacy as one of the best two-way forwards in the game right now.
To back that theory up, Bergeron is a 4-time Selke Trophy winner (‘12, ‘14, ‘15, ‘17) and a 5-time Selke finalist (‘13, ‘16, ‘18, ‘19, ‘20). If you were keeping track, he either won or was nominated for the Selke every year since 2012. On top of this, Bergeron is a 2-time NHL All-Star, 2011 Stanley Cup Winner, and 2-time Stanley Cup Finalist (2013, 2019).
Internationally, Patrice Bergeron has helped Team Canada win gold at the 2004 World Cup, gold at the 2005 World Juniors, gold at the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics, and yet another gold at the 2016 World Hockey Championships.
26. Jonathan Huberdeau, LW (FLA)
Jonathan Huberdeau has undeniably been the best player for the Florida Panthers since being drafted by the organization 3rd overall in 2011.
Last season, Huberdeau tallied 23 goals and 55 assists for 78 points with a +5 over 69 games. Over the last three seasons, he has put up 80 goals and 159 assists for 239 points in 233 games while going -11 over that span.
In his career, Huberdeau has 437 points (148 G, 289 A) over 536 games, with a -6 and 34 power play goals. 18 of his 148 career goals were considered a game-winner. However, Huberdeau’s biggest downfall is that he plays in the Miami suburbs where hockey is not overly popular, therefore being one the smallest markets in the league that consistently struggles with attendance. Because of this, Huberdeau may not always get the recognition he deserves.
He was a 2020 NHL All-Star (his first All-Star appearance) and won the Calder Trophy in 2013 as the league’s top rookie.
With Team Canada, he won bronze at the 2012 World Juniors.
25. Tuukka Rask, G (BOS)
Our second goalie of the countdown, Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask comes in at number 25.
The 6’3” Finnish national was taken 21st overall in the 2005 draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs and was traded to Boston before ever suiting up in a Leafs uniform. Rask has gone on to have a stellar career with the Bruins.
Last season through 41 games, he had 26 wins with a 2.12 GAA and .929 SV% with 5 shutouts. Over the course of the last three seasons in which he played in 141 games, Rask recorded an 87-35-16 record with 12 shutouts and a 2.32 GAA. He also had a SV% of .919 over that span.
Looking at career numbers for Rask, in 536 games he has recorded 291 wins with 50 shutouts, a GAA of 2.26 and a .922 SV%. Rask is also a 2-time NHL All-Star, 2014 Vezina winner, 2011 Stanley Cup Champion and a 2-time Stanley Cup finalist. He also won the Jennings Trophy in 2020 as well as earning himself a Vezina nomination.
Internationally with Team Finland, Rask won bronze at the 2006 World Juniors and won another bronze at the 2014 Olympics in which he posted 3 wins in 4 games, with a 1.73 GAA and .937 SV%.
24. Marc-Andre Fleury, G (VGK)
There may not be a more experienced NHL goalie than Marc-Andre Fleury, especially in the playoffs.
Fleury will turn 36 years old on November 28. The first-overall pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003, Fleury became the Penguins’ franchise goaltender during the late 2000s and early-to-mid 2010s. Due to the emergence of former Penguins young goaltender Matt Murray, Fleury was left unprotected in the 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights’ expansion draft and was subsequently picked up by the Golden Knights to be the franchise’s first starting goaltender.
Last season with the Golden Knights, Fleury played in 49 games and recorded 27 wins and 5 shutouts, with a 2.77 GAA and .905 SV%. Over the last three seasons, all with the Golden Knights, he had 91 wins over 156 games and 17 shutouts, with a 2.51 GAA and a .915 SV%.
Over the course of his career, he has 466 wins and 61 shutouts over 847 games with a 2.57 GAA and .913 SV%. He is a 5-time All-Star and 3-time Stanley Cup Champion (2009, 2016, 2017, all with the Penguins) and was a Stanley Cup Finalist in 2008 with the Penguins and 2018 with the Golden Knights.
Playing in the red and white with Team Canada, he has a silver medal in both the 2003 and 2004 World Junior Championships.
23. Blake Wheeler, RW (WPG)
The Winnipeg Jets’ captain comes in at number 23 on our countdown.
Drafted 5th overall by the 2004 Arizona Coyotes, the 34-year-old power forward put up 65 points (22 goals and 43 assists) and a +1 in 71 games last season. Throughout 234 games over last three seasons, the Jets’ captain had 65 goals and 182 assists for 247 assists and a +14.
In his career, he has 264 goals and 497 assists for 761 points over 931 games. He has also scored 44 power play goals and has 204 power play points, with 38 game winning goals and a very impressive +100 over his time in the NHL.
Wheeler is a 2-time NHL All-Star, and playing internationally for Team USA, he finished 4th place in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
22. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G (TBL)
Andrei Vasilevskiy has been one of the most consistent goalies in the NHL over the last few years, and he finally cemented that theory this season with a Stanley Cup Championship with his Tampa Bay Lightning.
Drafted by the Lightning 19th overall in 2012, Vasilevskiy had a 35-14-3 record last season over 52 games, with 3 shutouts, 2.56 GAA, and .917 SV%. Over his last three seasons, he has 118 wins with 17 shutouts and a GAA of 2.53 over 170 games. He also had a .920 SV% over that span.
In his career, he has 159 wins with a 2.55 GAA and .919 SV% over 260 games played, while also posting 21 shutouts. Vasilevskiy’s best season came in 2019 where, over 53 games, he had 39 wins and 6 shutouts with a GAA of 2.40 and a .925 SV%.
Vasilevskiy is a three-time NHL All-Star and won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL’s best goalie in 2019. He was also a Vezina finalist in 2018 and 2020 and won the Stanley Cup this past season. In the 2020 playoffs, he had 18 wins over 25 games with a 1.90 GAA and .927 SV%.
Playing internationally with Team Russia, he won a bronze medal in the 2011 World Juniors, a silver in the 2012 World Juniors, and another bronze in the 2014 World Juniors. In three World Championship appearances with Team Russia, Vasilevskiy has a gold in 2014, and bronze medals in 2017 and 2019.
21. Mika Zibanejad, C (NYR)
Mika Zibanejad has been a huge part of the New York Rangers’ offence since arriving in the Big Apple in 2016.
Drafted 6th overall in 2011 by the Ottawa Senators and traded to New York in 2016, the speedy Swede had one of his best seasons to date last season, despite the shortened COVID season. He scored 41 goals and 34 assists for 75 points and was +9 in 57 games. He also scored his first career five-goal game this season.
Over the last three seasons, Zibanejad has lit the lamp 98 times and recorded an equal 98 assists, for 196 points over 211 games. He was also a +26 over that time. In his career, he has 176 goals and 208 assists for 384 points, and is -28 over 548 games. On top of those stats, he has 120 power play points and 24 game winning goals.
Although he has no NHL Awards to his name (yet), Zibanejad has achieved success with the Swedish national team. In the 2010 U17 Worlds he won bronze, and in back-to-back World Juniors in 2011 and 2012 he won a silver and gold medal, respectively. In the 2018 World Cup of Hockey, Zibanejad led Team Sweden with 6 goals and 5 assists through 10 tournament games while winning a gold medal for his country.
And with that, we are through with the bottom 30 and on to the top 20! Who will be crowned GCSN’s best player in the game today?
You’ll have to stay tuned to Inside the Ice this week for the big reveal, and watch for future articles as we continue the countdown!
Featured photo courtesy of Shane Kunz / GCSN
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