Five players from each team in the NHL were asked to pick the top five players in the league. With those results, The Hockey News was able to compile a Top 50 list. The fact that Sidney Crosby ranked number one almost goes without saying, but some might be a little surprised by the fact that Pavel Datsyuk was selected as the league’s second best player.
Datsyuk won’t beat guys like Steven Stamkos or Evgeni Malkin is a scoring race, but he has a reputation for doing everything. Datsyuk is a three-time winner the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which goes to the best forward defensively. That’s in addition to averaging nearly a point per game over the course of his career.
Claude Giroux, who is third in the NHL with 82 points, was also named the third best in this poll while Stamkos ended up in fourth place. Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews rounded out the top five.
The NHL’s current leader in points, Malkin, finished sixth overall.
Nicklas Lidstrom was selected as the best defenseman and the seventh-best player overall.
Henrik Lundqvist was named the top goaltender and 13th overall.
One of the most noteworthy snubs was John Tavares, who has broken out this season with 70 points in 71 games, but didn’t even make the top 50. Think Tavares should have been on the list? Would you have ranked Datsyuk over the likes of Malkin, Stamkos, and Giroux?