IN CONJUNCTION WITH TIM OGER
The craziness of American Thanksgiving and Black Friday is now behind us, and before we start to gear up into December and get ready for Christmas, the Top 20 players of our Top 50 Current NHL Players still needs to be revealed!
This article will give you our picks for numbers 20 to 11, with our Top 10 players being revealed later in the week. Too impatient to wait for the Top 10? We’ve got you covered on the latest episode of Inside the Ice which aired on Sunday, as Tim and Shane counted down our picks from #20 to #1. You can watch the big reveal on demand on our Facebook page and keep up to date on the entire reveal on our new official Inside the Ice Instagram page: insidetheicegcsn.
That being said, we’ll get back to the real reason you’re here. You want to see who we chose for #20 to #11, don’t you? Say no more, say no more.
20. John Carlson, D (WSH)
The fact that John Carlson has never won a Norris Trophy is hard to believe.
The top defenceman on the Washington Capitals who was drafted by the team 27th overall in 2008, Carlson had a season to remember last year, scoring 15 goals and adding 60 assists for 75 points and +12 over 69 games.
Over 231 games the last three seasons, the 30-year-old scored 213 points (43 goals, 170 assists) and was +33. During his career, Carlson has 105 goals and 478 points and is an impressive +92, with 27 power play goals and 24 game winners all over 757 NHL games.
Carlson has had four 50-point seasons over his career, in 2015 and then three times in a row from 2018 to 2020. He is a two-time NHL All-Star and was a Norris Finalist in 2020, while also winning the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018. That year, Carlson scored 20 points and was +11 in 24 playoff games on the way to winning the Cup.
Carlson laced up for his native Team USA on the international stage once at the 2010 World Juniors, where he scored 7 points in 7 tournament games to help lead the Americans to a gold medal.
19. Roman Josi, D (NSH)
Speaking of all-star defencemen who have yet to win a Norris, Roman Josi was apart of that list until this season.
The captain of the Nashville Predators and drafted 38th overall by the organization in 2008, Josi won his first Norris Trophy in 2020 after compiling an impressive 16 goals and 49 assists for 65 points in 69 games, and leading his team in scoring. Josi also recorded his third straight 50+ point season and fifth of his career in 2020.
A three-time All-Star and Stanley Cup Finalist in 2017, Josi has put up 174 points (45 goals, 129 assists) and a +55 over 226 games in the last three seasons. Looking at career numbers, he has 109 goals and 413 points with a +66 in 632 career games with the Predators. Josi has put up 34 power play goals and 19 game winners since joining the league.
At 30 years old, the 6’1”, 201 lb blueliner is in the midst of his prime, and after claiming his first Norris Trophy this past season, he doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
A Swiss national, Roman Josi has played with Team Switzerland internationally on numerous occasions, recording silver medals at the 2013 and 2018 World Hockey Championships, and another silver at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in which he was a member of Team Europe.
18. John Tavares, C (TOR)
The first overall draft pick of 2009 to the New York Islanders, John Tavares spent his first nine seasons on Long Island before signing with his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency two seasons ago.
Tavares, 30, now captain of the Maple Leafs, was a -7 last season to go along with 26 goals and 34 assists for 60 points in 63 games. In the last three seasons split between the Islanders and Maple Leafs, Tavares averaged 1.02 points per game recording 232 points (110 goals, 122 assists) with an even 0 +/- in 227 games.
But Tavares’ impressive resume doesn’t stop there. He is a 6-time NHL All-Star, and has posted five 30+ goal seasons and four 80+ point seasons over the course of his career. His career numbers over 814 NHL games include 345 goals and 424 assists for 769 points, -30, 54 game-winning goals and an insane 253 power play points. This converts to almost one-third of Tavares’ career NHL points coming with the man advantage!
Tavares’ best season came in 2018-19, his first season in Toronto, where he was a Rocket Richard finalist after scoring 47 goals and adding 41 assists for 88 points. It was the second time in his career that Tavares was a Rocket Richard Trophy Finalist. On top of this, he is a two-time Hart Trophy Finalist (2013, 2015) and an Art Ross Finalist in 2015.
Internationally with Team Canada, Tavares won back-to-back gold at the 2008 and 2009 World Juniors, the latter of which saw him score 15 points in just 6 tournament games, earning him Tournament MVP, Best Forward, and Tournament All-Star. He won gold with the Canadian Olympic team in 2014 and another gold at the 2016 World Hockey Championships.
17. Claude Giroux, C/LW (PHI)
The longtime captain of the Philadelphia Flyers comes in at #17, also with an impressive resume.
Playing with the Flyers his entire career after being drafted by the team 22nd overall in 2006 and named captain in 2013, Giroux tallied 21 goals and 53 points over 69 games in 2019-20. Playing in the 2020 NHL playoffs in the bubble in Toronto, Giroux had 8 points in 16 games as his Flyers lost in the Eastern Semifinals to the New York Islanders.
Giroux does come to play in big games, however. He has a career 25 goals and 48 assists for 73 points in 85 career postseason games. He’s been just as consistent over his career in the regular season, as he has put up 815 points (257 goals, 558 assists) and +43 over 889 NHL games. Over the last seasons, the Flyers’ captain had 240 points (77-163-240) and +46 in 233 games.
Giroux has recorded four 80+ point seasons, with his best season coming in 2017-18 as he put up 102 points and +28 over a full 82 game season. He is a six-time All-Star, three-time Art Ross finalist (2012, 2014, 2018), and a Hart finalist in 2014.
In the 2010 postseason that saw Giroux’s Flyers lose in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks, he lit the lamp 10 times while adding 11 assists, for 21 points in 23 playoff games.
Playing in the red and white internationally with Team Canada, Giroux has three gold medals and one silver. He won gold at the 2008 World Juniors, 2015 World Cup of Hockey and 2016 World Hockey Championships. Giroux’s silver medal was won in 2017, when Team Canada was defeated 2-1 in a controversial shootout by Team Sweden in the gold medal game of the World Cup of Hockey.
16. Victor Hedman, D (TBL)
Our first of four Lightning players within the Top 20 begins with All-Star defenceman Victor Hedman.
Selected 2nd overall by Tampa Bay in 2009, Hedman, who will turn 30 in December, has spent his entire career with the team. Last season with the Lightning, he registered 11 goals and 44 assists for 55 points and +27 in 66 games. In the playoffs, he put up nearly a point per game, finishing with 22 points in 25 postseason games on route to winning Tampa Bay’s first Stanley Cup since 2004.
Over the last three seasons, the three-time All-Star has scored 172 points (40 goals, 132 assists) and has gone +83 in 213 games. To make things more impressive, he is a +116 over his career while scoring 473 points (105-368-473) in 762 games. Other career numbers include 19 goals with the extra man and 17 game winners.
Hedman has netted over 50 points in each of his last four seasons, with his best season coming in 2017 where he scored 16 goals and 56 assists for 72 points in 79 games. He has been a Norris finalist every year since 2017 as well, winning the trophy in 2018 as the NHL’s best defenceman. As previously mentioned, he won the Stanley Cup in 2020 and was the Conn Smythe Winner as Playoff MVP.
Playing on the world stage with Team Sweden, he won a bronze and two silvers at the World Juniors in 2007, 2008, and 2009, respectively. Hedman won another bronze at the 2010 World Hockey Championships before finally getting gold for his country at the 2017 World Championships.
15. Evgeni Malkin, C (PIT)
Despite speaking very little to no English upon being drafted second overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2004, Evgeni Malkin has adjusted to life in North America very well.
Malkin, 34, does not seem to be slowing down due to age as he put up a solid 25 goals and 49 assists for 74 points last season in only 55 games played. Over the last three seasons in Pittsburgh, Malkin tallied 244 points (88 goals, 156 assists) and a -2 in 201 games.
Now hold on to your hats, folks, because here’s where things get wild.
Malkin has averaged a crazy 1.19 points per game over the entirety of his career. He has recorded 416 goals and 660 assists for 1,076 points over 907 games, with a career +73 to go with it. He had six 30+ goal seasons and scored over 100 points in three different seasons. His best season came when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009, where Malkin scored 35 goals and 113 points. Through 24 playoff games that year, he had an insane 36 points (14 G, 22 A). And we’re not even close to done.
Malkin has won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins three times. He is a seven-time All-Star and won the Calder Trophy in 2007 as the league’s top rookie. He won the Art Ross Trophy twice and was a finalist once, he won the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award in 2012 and was a Hart finalist in 2008 and 2009. On top of his three rings, he won the Conn Smythe in 2009 and was a Stanley Cup Finalist in 2008.
Playing with Team Russia, Malkin won bronze at the 2003 World Juniors and silver at the same tournament in 2005 and 2006. He has played in the World Hockey Championships with Russia seven times, winning three bronze medals (2005, 2007, 2019), two silver medals (2010, 2015) and two gold (2012, 2014). In the 2012 Worlds, he had 11 goals and 19 points through 10 tournament games to earn MVP and Best Forward honours.
So, yeah, it’s pretty safe to say he’s adjusted well to NHL life.
14. Jack Eichel, C (BUF)
The 24-year-old captain of the Buffalo Sabres comes in at #14.
Jack Eichel, drafted 2nd overall by the Sabres in 2015, scored 36 goals and 42 assists for 78 points in 68 games with a +5. Over the last three seasons, he has 89 goals and 135 assists for 224 points and -31 in 212 games.
In his career, Eichel is averaging just under a point per game, with 137 goals and an even 200 assists for 337 points in 354 games. He has a career -60 with 40 power play goals and 24 game winners. Although he has had success in the regular season, Eichel has never made the postseason in his career with the Sabres.
His best season came in 2018-19, where he registered 28 goals and 54 assists for 82 points in 77 games that season. Eichel is also a three-time NHL All-Star from 2018 to 2020.
Playing on the world stage with Team USA, he won a silver medal at the 2013 World Juniors and gold at the 2014 tournament which saw him score 5 goals and add 5 assists for 10 points in 7 tournament games. Eichel also won a bronze medal with the American national team at the 2015 World Hockey Championships.
13. Brad Marchand, LW (BOS)
The rat. The licker. Nose Face Killah. Whatever you want to call him, it doesn’t change the fact that Brad Marchand is actually a very good player in the NHL.
Arguably one of the most hated players in the league known for being a pest and his infamous lick of Ryan Callahan’s face during a playoff game in 2018, 32-year-old Brad Marchand was drafted 71st overall by the Boston Bruins in 2006 and has played his entire career in Massachusetts. Last season, the agitator had 28 goals and 59 assists for 87 points through 70 games.
Over the last three seasons, the two-time NHL All-Star has recorded a +65 to go along with 272 points (98 goals, 174 assists) in 217 games. He also has very impressive career numbers, including 290 goals and 646 points, 52 power play goals, 56 game winners, and a crazy +221. Marchand’s best season came in 2018-19, where he recorded 36 goals and 64 assists for an even 100 points on the year.
Marchand has his fair share of NHL accomplishments to his name as well, including four 30+ goal seasons and seven 50+ point seasons. His Bruins were Stanley Cup Finalists in 2013 and 2019, and won the most coveted trophy in hockey in 2011.
With Team Canada internationally, he won gold at the 2007 and 2008 World Juniors and gold at the 2016 World Hockey Championships. He won another gold at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, where he won tournament MVP and had the most goals after lighting the lamp 5 times and assisting on 3 others.
Stick those accomplishments in your face and lick them.
12. Steven Stamkos, C (TBL)
Steven Stamkos, one of the best players in the game, finally got his Stanley Cup ring this season despite being injured nearly the entire 2020 playoffs.
Selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning first overall in 2008, 30-year-old Stamkos scored 29 goals and 66 points with a +14 through 57 regular season games in 2019-20. Over the last three years, the Lightning captain had 92 goals and 149 assists for 241 points in 217 games, with a +36 to top it off. His best year came in 2018-19 where he scored 98 points (45 goals, 53 assists) over a full 82 game campaign.
As well as being an NHL All-Star six times in his career, Stamkos has scored 40+ goals in a season five times in his career and 90+ point seasons four times. He has averaged 1.04 points per game over the course of his career, with 422 goals and 410 assists for 832 points through 803 games, including 61 game winners and 297 power play points.
As well as winning the Cup in 2020, Stamkos was a Stanley Cup finalist in 2015 and a two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner for scoring the most goals in one season. He is a three-time Rocket Richard finalist, and a Hart Trophy finalist in 2012.
Playing in Team Canada’s red and white threads, Steven Stamkos won gold in the 2008 World Juniors, gold at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and a silver medal at the 2009 World Hockey Championships in which he was named a tournament All-Star, scoring 11 points in 9 games.
11. Brayden Point, C (TBL)
24-year-old Brayden Point has been probably the most consistent forward for the Tampa Bay Lightning throughout his career.
Another lifelong-Lightning after being drafted by the team 79th overall in 2014, Point recorded 25 goals and 39 assists for 64 points with a +28 over 66 games in 2019-20. He has averaged 0.98 points per game over the last three seasons, registering 222 points (98-124-222) through 227 games.
Point’s best year came in 2018-19, where he tallied 41 goals and 51 assists for 92 points. Through 295 career games, he has 116 goals and 262 points with a +77, 38 power play goals and 25 game winners. Point put on an absolute clinic in the 2020 playoffs and was without a doubt the best player in the postseason, recording an incredible 33 points (14-19-33) through 23 games, including 6 power play goals, 3 game winners, and a +12.
Point is a 2018 NHL All-Star and a 2020 Stanley Cup Champion.
With Team Canada, Brayden Point has a gold medal in the 2013 U18 Worlds and another gold in the 2015 World Juniors. He also has collected a silver medal at the 2017 World Hockey Championships and a bronze at the 2014 World Juniors.
Point is in the beginnings of an absolutely stellar NHL career.
And with that, we are into the Top 10 NHL Players in the game today! Who do you think made the Top 10? Who will be named GCSN’s best current NHL player? Tune into Inside the Ice on demand to see, or watch for our #10-1 article being released this week!
Featured photo courtesy of Shane Kunz / GCSN
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