In THN’s 2014-15 Yearbook, we asked our panel of executives, broadcasters and observers to rank the best hockey players in the world right now, heading into this season. If you were starting a franchise from scratch today, which players would you take?
We ended up with a ranking of the top 50 NHLers and we’re releasing that list in chunks of 10. Today, we present players ranked 21-30 in the NHL and where they ranked on last year’s Top 50 (LY). Stay tuned for the rest of the list.
21. JONATHAN QUICK | LOS ANGELES | G | LY: 13
His numbers last season were suspect and he is prone to injury, but if you needed one goalie to win you one game for everything, who would you choose over Quick?
22. RYAN McDONAGH | NY RANGERS | D | LY: N/R
The playoffs were McDonagh’s coming-out party, but those who have watched him closely over the years already knew how valuable he is to his team.
23. TUUKKA RASK | BOSTON | G | LY: 31
He hasn’t won a Cup as a starter in the NHL, and he plays behind an outstanding team, but Rask won the Vezina Trophy for a reason. He’s technically sound and has learned to rein in his temper.
24. ALEX PIETRANGELO | ST. LOUIS | D | LY: 42
He’s another guy who hasn’t yet won a Norris, but Pietrangelo logs big minutes in all situations. And he got the nod over P.K. Subban in the Olympics, which counts for something.
25. CAREY PRICE | MONTREAL | G | LY: 48
It’s something when you can see in your mind’s eye all three of the goals Price gave up during the Olympics, but his regular season with the Canadiens was eye-popping, too.
26. TAYLOR HALL | EDMONTON | LW | LY: 20
We don’t know when we’ll ever see him in the playoffs, but his regular season play dazzles.
27. ERIK KARLSSON | OTTAWA | D | LY: 4
Two years removed from the Norris Trophy, Karlsson remains the NHL’s most dynamic offensive blueliner.
28. JOE PAVELSKI | SAN JOSE | LW | LY: N/R
The other ‘Joe’ in San Jose earned his first all-star berth and finished third in goals last season.
29. SEMYON VARLAMOV | COLORADO | G | LY: N/R
He led the league in wins with 41 and was the only goalie who faced more than 2,000 shots last season.
30. ZACH PARISE | MINNESOTA | LW | LY: 29
His scoring totals haven’t been spectacular in Minnesota, but few players work harder for their goals.
These rankings originally appeared in the 2014-15 THN Yearbook.