From 2010 to the end of 2019, NHL fans witnessed a decade full of electric moments, including three organizations winning the Stanley Cup multiple years, three organizations winning their first Stanley Cup in franchise history, along with two Original Six organizations ending Stanley Cup droughts of 49, and 39 years.
Along with this the amount of speed, and talent in the NHL in the past ten years has led to some of the most exciting plays, and goals in recent, if not NHL history period.
After much time, debate, and analysis the top ten skaters in the NHL of the 2010s decade have been determined; here is how they stack up.
10. Claude Giroux:
Playing for the Philadelphia Flyers for 777 games this past decade, Claude Giroux has been the back-bone of this team year in, and year out.
Arguably one of the best playmakers in the game, Giroux recorded the second most assists of the decade with 506, add 231 goals for a total of 737 points (4th most) in the decade.
For seven seasons Giroux scored 20-plus goals, along with six seasons Giroux recorded at least 70 points with 2018 being a career best of 102 points from his 34 goals, and 68 assists.
Individually, Claude Giroux was an Art Ross Trophy runner up in 2012, 2014, and 2018; however was unable to lead Philadelphia to a Stanley Cup in the six playoff appearances this past decade as the Flyers fell to the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.
9. Drew Doughty:
Arguably the best Defenseman of the past decade Los Angeles Kings’ Drew Doughty played 772 games in the 2010s.
Some highlights of Doughty’s decade include winning the Stanley Cup in 2012, and 2014, a Norris Trophy in 2016, and a Norris Trophy runner up in 2010, 2015, and 2018.
Doughty recorded a total of 439 points in his 101 goals, and 338 assists, along with a plus-minus of plus-61.
The offensive Defenseman recorded at least 40 points in seven seasons, along with six seasons of 30-plus assists.
8. Brad Marchand:
One of the most hated guys in the league, Brad “The Rat” Marchand”, is also one of the most talented players in the league.
In 710 games played in the 2010s, Marchand scored the eighth most goals with 282, the second most game winning goals with 55, the most short handed goals with 26, and the best plus-minus of plus-217.
Marchand would add a Stanley Cup to his resume in 2011 as Boston defeated Vancouver in seven games, however would fail to add anymore in the two times he has returned to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013, and 2019 falling to Chicago, and St. Louis respectively.
The Canadian Winger had six seasons of at least 50 points, along with three seasons with at least 80 points; his best coming last season when he hit 100 points in his 36 goals, and 64 assists.
There are no signs of Brad Marchand slowing down either as he is on pace for a career-high 101 points with his 74 points in 60 games thus far in his 11th season of his career.
7. Erik Karlsson:
Since coming from Sweden to Ottawa in the 2009-10 season, Erik Karlsson has revolutionized the Defensive position with his offensive playmaking ability.
In 696 games played, missing over 100 games due to injuries, Karlsson scored 132 goals (3rd most among D), and recorded 453 assists (1st among D), for a total of 585 points (1st among D).
Despite being plagued with injury throughout his time in Ottawa, and San Jose, Karlsson was still able to record at least 70 points in four seasons of the past decade, as well as hit 50 assists in five seasons.
Individually, Karlsson won a Norris Trophy in 2012, and 2015, along with being a Norris Trophy runner up in 2016, and 2017.
The closest Erik Karlsson was ever able to get Ottawa to a Stanley Cup was in 2017, when the Swedish Defenseman played the vast majority of the team’s playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals (ECF) with a fractured foot, however would fall to Pittsburgh in six games of the ECF as the Penguins went on to win their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
6. Steven Stamkos:
As one of the best scorers in the 2010s, Steven Stamkos had the pleasure of competing against Alexander Ovechkin year in, and year out for most goals in the league.
In 662 games played, missing over 115 games due to injuries such as a broken leg, Stamkos scored the second most goals, power play goals, and game winning goals with 343, 120, and 55 respectively.
Stamkos would be awarded the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in 2010, and 2012 as leading goal scorer in the NHL, and would also be a runner up for the same award in 2011, 2013, and 2015.
The Lightning Forward also had three seasons where he recorded at least 90 points, and would be a runner up for the Art Ross Trophy in 2012, and 2013.
Tampa Bay would however fail to bring another Stanley Cup back home as the Lightning fell in the ECF twice, the Stanley Cup Finals in 2015 to Chicago, and would be swept in the first round by Columbus after setting an NHL record with 62 wins last season.
5. Evgeni Malkin:
Despite consistently playing under the spot light of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin has still been able to accomplish plenty on his own, as well as help bring Pittsburgh back to being a perennial contender.
In 602 games played in the 2010s, Malkin scored 274 goals, and 424 assists for 698 points for the third best points per game average of 1.16.
Add in an impressive 53 game winning goals, and 91 power play goals, the Russian Forward had a total of seven 70-plus point seasons despite missing over 170 games due to injuries.
In 2012 the Art Ross Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, and Ted Lindsay Trophy all went to Evgeni Malkin as he recorded 50 goals, and 59 assists for 109 points; this was Malkin stepping up when Crosby missed the majority of the season due to concussions.
On a team level, Malkin added two more Stanley Cups to his resume as the Penguins defeated both San Jose, and Nashville in six games of the 2016, and 2017 Stanley Cup Finals respectively.
4. Connor McDavid:
Known as “McJesus” to Edmonton fans, Connor McDavid is in just his fifth NHL season, however has already grabbed the attention, and respect of the entire hockey world.
In just 329 games played in the 2010s, McDavid has scored 150 goals, and 286 assists for 436 points.
To put this into perspective, McDavid averaged 1.33 points per game, which was the most of any player.
In 2017, the Art Ross Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, and Ted Lindsay Trophy all went to McDavid, and in 2018 the Art Ross Trophy, and Ted Lindsay Trophy stayed with McDavid again.
As stated above, McDavid is in just his fifth season of his career, however has already recorded 100-plus points in three seasons, his best coming last season with 41 goals, and 75 assists for 116 points.
All that is left for Connor McDavid to accomplish is the ultimate goal, winning the Stanley Cup; which could be a difficult task in Edmonton if the Oilers do not continue to add depth, and talent to their roster.
3. Alexander Ovechkin:
There is no debate on this one.
Alexander Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer of his era, arguably the greatest in the history of the NHL.
Playing in 769 games in the 2010s, Ovechkin scored a league best 437 goals, that is 74 goals more than second highest Steven Stamkos scored.
Of those 437 goals, 171 were on the power play, and 70 were game winning goals, both the most of any player.
“The Great Eight” has single handedly dominated the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy bringing home the award six times in the past decade (2013-16, 2018, and 2019), as well as scoring 50-plus goals in four seasons.
Ovechkin had five 80-plus point seasons, and five 50-plus goal seasons, his best coming in 2010 where he hit 109 points with 50 goals, and 59 assists.
On top of that Ovechkin was awarded the Ted Lindsay Trophy in 2010, and Hart Memorial Trophy in 2013.
The Capitals, and Ovechkin were able to finally get past their playoff curses in 2018 when the team won their first Stanley Cup over the Vegas Golden Knights; Ovechkin was awarded the Conn Smythe as Playoff’s MVP as well.
2. Patrick Kane:
The 2010s belonged to Chicago as they brought three Stanley Cups home in a span of six years, two of those teams being arguably the two best teams of the decade.
Among the many elite players the Blackhawks had on those teams, Patrick Kane sticks out, maybe due to the fact that he was the golden boy who brought the Stanley Cup back to Chicago after 49 years in 2010.
Playing in 742 games, Kane scored 315 goals, and 487 assists for the most points of the decade with 802.
Kane had six 70-plus point seasons, along with four 30-plus goal seasons.
In 2016 the Art Ross Trophy, Ted Lindsay Trophy, and Hart Memorial Trophy all went to Kane as he recorded 106 points in 46 goals, and 60 assists.
As stated above the Blackhawks brought home the Stanley Cup three times, in 2010, 2013, and 2015; in 2013 Kane was awarded the Conn Smythe becoming just the fourth American born player to be awarded the award.
1. Sidney Crosby:
This is certainly going to drive the Crosby haters crazy, but it is simply a fact.
Playing in just 630 games due to suffering several crucial injuries, and missing over 120 games, Crosby scored 296 goals, and 492 assists for the second most points in the league with 788.
Like Kane, and McDavid, Crosby has also achieved the Hart-Lindsay-Ross Sweep taking home all three of the awards in 2014.
Crosby also was awarded the Ted Lindsay Trophy in 2013, and the Maurice “Rocket” Richard in 2017.
Let’s take a look at a few impressive stats of Sidney Crosby’s 2010s decade:
Three 100-plus point seasons.
Seven 80-plus point seasons.
Six 30-plus goal seasons.
Five 50-plus assist seasons.
Second best points per game of 1.25.
Crosby’s top three seasons of the decade were 2010, 2014, and 2019 where he recorded 109, 104, and 100 points respectively; 2010 saw Crosby score 51 goals, and 50 assists.
To finish it off Sid the Kid would bring back-to-back Stanley Cups home to Pittsburgh in 2016, and 2017, as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoffs MVP both years.
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