NHL: Top 50 Players Entering 2019-2020 Season (10-1)

There are so many very good players in hockey, but there are only 10 truly elite players. As of right now, I have already announced which NHL players are ranked 50-11 heading into the 2019-2020 season. They are 50. Taylor Hall, C, New Jersey Devils, 49. Jamie Benn F, Dallas Stars, 48. Roman Josi, D, Nashville Predators, 47. Morgan Rielly, D, Toronto Maple Leafs, 46. Vladimir Tarasenko, F, St. Louis Blues, 45. Ryan O’Reilly, C, St. Louis Blues, 44. Marc-Andre Fleury, G, Vegas Golden Knights, 43. Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins, 42. Robin Lehner, G, Chicago Blackhawks, 41. Victor Hedman, D, Tampa Bay Lightning, 40. Elias Pettersson, C, Vancouver Canucks, 39. Alex DeBrincat, F, Chicago Blackhawks, 38. Jack Eichel, C, Buffalo Sabres, 37. Claude Giroux, C, Philadelphia Flyers, 36. Patrik Laine, F. Winnipeg Jets, 35. Sebastian Aho, C, Carolina Hurricanes, 34. Jordan Binnington, G, St. Louis Blues, 33. Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens, 32. Jonathan Toews, C, Chicago Blackhawks, 31. Sean Monahan, C, Calgary Flames, 30. Pekka Rinne, G, Nashville Predators, 29. Jonathan Huberdeau, F, Florida Panthers, 28. Sergei Bobrovsky, G, Florida Panthers, 27. Jake Guentzel, F, Pittsburgh Penguins, 26. Ben Bishop, G, Dallas Stars, 25. Blake Wheeler, F, Winnipeg Jets, 24. John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals, 23. Brent Burns, D, San Jose Sharks, 22. Brayden Point, C, Tampa Bay Lightning, 21. Mark Giordano, D, Calgary Flames, 20. Phil Kessel, F, Arizona Coyotes, 19. Mikko Rantanen, F, Colorado Avalanche, 18. David Pastrnak, F, Boston Bruins, 17. John Tavares, C, Toronto Maple Leafs, 16. Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins, 15. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pittsburgh Penguins, 14. Artemi Panarin, F, New York Rangers, 13. Mitch Marner, C, Toronto Maple Leafs, 12. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Tampa Bay Lightning, and 11. Johnny Gaudreau, F, Calgary Flames.

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Which players are ranked in the Top 10?

10. Auston Matthews, C, Toronto Maple Leafs

Matthews was a goal-scoring machine last season. He could have scored 50 goals last season with ease if Auston Matthews didn’t miss so many games. He played in 68 games last season. Matthews is only 21 years old and he is one of most electrifying players in the league. Auston Matthews scored 37 goals and recorded 36 assists last season. His plus/minus was -9.

9. Leon Draisaitl, C/F, Edmonton Oilers

Draisaitl and Connor McDavid have been a dynamic duo for the Edmonton Oilers, but the rest of the roster has been horrendous. Leon Draisaitl is also a tremendous skater, scorer, and playmaker. He doesn’t get all of the attention because of McDavid. Draisaitl is talented enough to be a number one option on a team, but being a number two option just might suit him the best. He is only 23 years old and I thought Leon Draisaitl was older than that. In 82 games played last season, he scored 50 goals and recorded 55 assists. His plus/minus was 2.

8. Steven Stamkos, C, Tampa Bay Lightning

Stamkos is one of the most underrated players in the game. People have forgotten how good of a hockey player he is because Nikita Kucherov has stolen his thunder. Steven Stamkos has had health problems throughout his career and he has been healthy over the past couple of years. Stamkos is 29 years old and he will most likely be a hall of famer when his career is over. Steven Stamkos was also one of the reasons why Tampa Bay had the best record in the NHL last season. In 82 games played, he scored 45 goals and recorded 53 assists. His plus/minus was 4.

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7. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado Avalanche

MacKinnon abuses opponents with his speed and skill and it showed in the postseason. He had the will to take over games and lift up his teammates. The Colorado Avalanche will be considered serious Stanley Cup Contenders this season because of his play. What’s scary is that Nathan MacKinnon is only 23 years old and he also trains with Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby in the offseason usually. In 82 games played last season, MacKinnon scored 41 goals and recorded 58 assists. His plus/minus was 20.

6. Brad Marchand, F, Boston Bruins

A lot of people hate Marchand’s antics, but he is one talented hockey player. Brad Marchand plays with a killer instinct. He is one of the reasons why Boston made it to the Stanley Cup Finals this past season and they were also one win away from winning their seventh Stanley Cup Title in franchise history. Marchand is also very fast on the ice and he has a wicked shot. Brad Marchand also played on the best first line in the league arguably with David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron. In 79 games played last season, Marchand scored 36 goals and recorded 64 assists. His plus/minus was 15.

5. Patrick Kane, F, Chicago Blackhawks

Kane has won three Stanley Cup titles in his career, including a Conn Smythe Trophy (postseason MVP). He hasn’t been talked about much over the past couple of years because the Chicago Blackhawks have not been a playoff contender. When Chicago gets back to being a playoff contender, Patrick Kane‘s name will be mentioned. He is a sniper and all Kane does is show up and play hard every game. He is 30 years old. Patrick Kane scored 44 goals and recorded 66 assists last season. His plus/minus was 2.

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4. Alex Ovechkin, F, Washington Capitals

He was the best goal scorer in the NHL once again this past season. Alex Ovechkin finished with 51 goals. He also recorded 38 assists and his plus/minus was 7, in 81 games played. Ovechkin is 33 years old. At this point, he is up to 658 career goals. Alex Ovechkin is one of the greatest goal scorers to ever play this game. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy when the Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup Title back in 2018. It was a major surprise Washington lost in the first round in seven games against the Carolina Hurricanes. It will also be interesting to see how much longer Ovechkin plays in the NHL for. If there is a lockout after next season, he could wind up leaving the NHL.

3. Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins

Crosby is 32 years old. He is one of the best players in the world because of his playmaking ability. Sidney Crosby has made Jake Guentzel into a superstar in this league. Crosby also elevates other players around him. He is a pass-first player and Sidney Crosby has scored ridiculous goals in his career in any way, shape, or form. He was a finalist for the Hart Trophy last season (NHL MVP), but Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov won the award. In 79 games played last season, Crosby scored 35 goals and recorded 65 assists. His plus/minus was 18.

2. Nikita Kucherov, F, Tampa Bay Lightning

Kucherov’s name has been put on the NHL map ever since Steven Stamkos suffered serious injuries a few years ago. Nikita Kucherov is one of the most dangerous offensive players in the game. He is slick with the puck. Kucherov is a tremendous passer and he also has a nasty shot. Nikita Kucherov was one of the reasons why the Tampa Bay Lightning had the best record in the NHL last season, but they completed folded in the postseason against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kucherov is only 26 years old and he is going to continue lighting up the league. Nikita Kucherov also won the Hart Trophy last season for the first time in his NHL career. In 82 games played, he scored 41 goals and recorded 87 assists. His plus/minus was 24.

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1.Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers

McDavid is the best player in the world and at one point in the NHL, Sidney Crosby even thought that as well and he has won all the hardware anyone could ever imagine. Connor McDavid plays on a terrible team and he puts up amazing numbers. Imagine what would happen if he actually had a decent supporting cast around him. McDavid would potentially shatter records for this era. He is already a nightmare and Connor McDavid is only 22 years old. He has already won a scoring title, a couple of Ted Lindsay Awards (MVP voted by the players), and a Hart Trophy.

If Edmonton ever surrounds him with quality players, he is going to win a Stanley Cup Title and possibly a Conn Smythe Trophy. In 78 games played last season, McDavid scored 41 goals and recorded 75 assists. His plus/minus was 3. Connor McDavid has played in 287 career games and he has already scored 128 goals and recorded 244 assists. His plus/minus is 3. McDavid is off to a tremendous start in his career and the hardware will keep on coming for him.

Sometime within the next month, I will begin training camp previews, bold predictions, and regular predictions for the 2019-2020 NHL season.

What do you think of this list? Did I rank anybody too high or too low?

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Follow Glenn on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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