The annual NHLPA player poll is back for another season. This year, 566 players were asked 15 questions over the course of the 2021-22 campaign.
There were plenty of on-ice matters discussed like which goalie would you want to win one game for you and who’s shot would you like to have the most. But players were also asked off-the-ice stuff, like which players could excel in sports outside of hockey and who, exactly, has the NHL’s best head of hair.
To start, not a huge surprise who led the voting for “If you need to win one game, who is the one goalie you would want on your team?” Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy, who won the Vezina Trophy in 2019 and the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2021, got top honors with a commanding 37.4% of the vote. Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens was second with 13.9%. Marc-Andre Fleury (6.7%), John Gibson (3.5%), Jacob Markstrom (3.1%), Jonathan Quick (3.1%), and Juuse Saros (3.1%) rounded out the responses.
As far as the skater version of that question, it was Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers leading the way with 42.4%. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was behind him at 17.3% Victor Hedman was third at 6.7% and was followed by Aleksander Barkov (3.5%) and Nathan MacKinnon (3.3%).
Crosby was, however, voted the NHL’s “most complete player” (29.5%) ahead of Barkov (20.4%), Patrice Bergeron (19.5%), and McDavid (9.1%).
It’s no surprise who the top two players were for the question of “Which player do you wish you could shoot like?” Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals was first taking in 53.1% of the vote and Toronto Maple Leafs sniper Auston Matthews (24%) was behind him.
There are varying reasons why players earned votes for the question of “Which player do you least enjoy playing against, but would like to have on your team?,” but it makes sense when you see the names and understand why. Boston Bruins pest Brad Marchand led the way, as you could imagine, with 26.3% of the vote. McDavid was second at 18.3%; Tom Wilson garnered 10.7% of the support; while Hedman (6.9%) and MacKinnon (5.3%) rounded out the top five.
• Marie-Philip Poulin (43.1%) beat out Hilary Knight (20.7%) for best current women’s player.
• Las Vegas (36.5%) got lots of love as best road city to spend an off day. New York City (17%) was second with Fort Lauderdale (10.4%), Los Angeles (10%), and Nashville (8.7%) also getting some love.
• “Which NHL player could make it in another sport?” got some interesting answers. Noted golfer Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars was the leader here (4%) ahead of Anders Lee (football, 3.6%), and Zdeno Chara (basketball, 3.3%).
You can find other topics players voted on such as best stick handler, best model, and which non-NHL athlete you’d want to trade places with for a day, and more at the NHLPA website.