NHL: Top 50 Players Entering 2019-2020 (50-41)
The NHL postseason has been over for almost a month now and teams are already preparing for next season. The NHL Draft already occurred and free agency has also been pretty quiet other than the first day. Who are the Top 50 players in the NHL heading into the 2019-2020 that is ranked 50-41?
50. Taylor Hall, C, New Jersey Devils
Hall is going to be in the final year of his contract. He only played in 33 games last season because of injury. Taylor Hall will have a ton of help around him this upcoming season. Nico Hischier could potentially pop in his third season as a pro and number one overall pick Jack Hughes could turn heads immediately in the pros. Hall was also one of the reasons why New Jersey made it to the playoffs two years ago. He is very fast and is also a natural goal scorer. Taylor Hall only played in 33 games last season and scored 11 goals and recorded 26 assists. His plus/minus was -6.
49. Jamie Benn, F, Dallas Stars
Benn didn’t exactly light it up last season with the Dallas Stars, but he was relatively healthy. Jamie Benn was probably Dallas’s best offensive player for a team that lacked goal scoring. They were a defensive minded team and it actually helped them win a playoff series. The Stars were also one win away from the Western Conference Finals. They have not been there since the 1999-2000 season. In 78 games played last season, Benn scored 27 goals and recorded 26 assists. His plus/minus was 14.
48. Roman Josi, D, Nashville Predators
Josi was by far the Nashville Predators best defenseman last season. In 82 games played, he scored 15 goals and recorded 41 assists. His plus/minus was 9. Roman Josi is a solid two-way defenseman. He will be the main anchor of this defense now that P.K. Subban was traded to the New Jersey Devils.
47. Morgan Rielly, D, Toronto Maple Leafs
This was the best year of Rielly’s career on defense. He played both sides well. Morgan Rielly might have been Toronto’s best defenseman last season. In 82 games played, he scored 20 goals and recorded 52 assists. His plus/minus was 24. Rielly wasn’t even a finalist for the Norris Trophy this past season.
46. Vladimir Tarasenko, F, St. Louis Blues
Tarasenko is a natural born goal scorer, but he was also very underrated in the passing game as well. Vladimir Tarasenko was one of the reasons why the St. Louis Blues turned it around and won the NHL Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. In 76 games played last season, he scored 33 goals and recorded 35 assists. His plus/minus was 8.
45. Ryan O’Reilly, C, St. Louis Blues
O’Reilly had a great first season in St. Louis and it was a disaster at the beginning. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in the postseason. Ryan O’Reilly became a leader inside the locker room as the season went on. His play on the ice spoke for itself. In 82 games played, O’Reilly scored 28 goals and recorded 49 assists. His plus/minus was 22.
44. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vegas Golden Knights
In Marc-Andre Fleury’s second season as the starting goaltender for the Vegas Golden Knights, he led them back to the NHL Playoffs. It was not his fault that Vegas lost in Game 7 in the first-round against the San Jose Sharks. Fleury’s record last season was 35-21-5 with a .913 save percentage and a 2.51 GAA, along with eight shutouts. Marc-Andre Fleury is 34 years old and he continues to use his athleticism to his advantage.
43. Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins
Letang is one of the best defensemen in the NHL, but he takes a lot of risks with his game as well. Kris Letang pinches a lot and he often gets burned when he does and Pittsburgh Penguins fans grow tired of it. With that being said, there is no question how good he is offensively. Another problem with his game is that Letang gets injured too much. In 65 games played last season, he scored 16 goals and recorded 40 assists. His plus/minus was 13.
42. Robin Lehner, G, Chicago Blackhawks
Lehner overcame a lot of mental health problems over the years and because of it, he had the best year of his NHL career last season with the New York Islanders. Robin Lehner is one of the reasons why the New York Islanders made it to the playoffs and they also made it to the second-round. New York swept the Pittsburgh Penguins, but then the Islanders got swept against the Carolina Hurricanes. Lehner only played one year with New York and he also signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago needs him in the worst because they have had major problems at goaltending for the past couple of years. Lehner’s record last season was 25-13-5 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.13 GAA, along with six shutouts. He also won the Vezina Trophy last season as the NHL’s best goaltender.
41. Victor Hedman, D, Tampa Bay Lightning
Hedman was one of the Norris Trophy finalists last season. He is one of the best defenseman in the NHL for a reason. In 70 games played, Victor Hedman scored 12 goals and recorded 42 assists. His plus/minus was 24. The Tampa Bay Lightning had the best record in the NHL last season, but they were swept in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The NHL Top 50 players list will continue next week with players 40-31 being announced.
How do you see the bottom of the NHL Top 50? Leave a comment below.
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