NHL: Top 50 Players Entering the 2021 Season (30-21)

A couple of weeks ago, I began my Top 50 NHL Players list entering the 2021 NHL Season. There are a lot of good players in the NHL, but obviously, not everyone can make this list.

Which players are ranked 50-31 so far? 50. Claude Giroux, C, Philadelphia Flyers 49. Max Pacioretty, F, Vegas Golden Knights 48. Ben Bishop, G, Dallas Stars 47. Tyler Seguin, C, Dallas Stars 46. Kyle Connor, C, Winnipeg Jets 45. Jordan Binnington, G, St. Louis Blues 44. Mathew Barzal, C, New York Islanders 43. Jakob Markstrom, G, Calgary Flames 42. Tuukka Rask, G, Boston Bruins, 41. Jake Guentzel, F, Pittsburgh Penguins, 40. Sean Couturier, C, Philadelphia Flyers, 39. Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins, 38. Teuvo Teravainen, F, Carolina Hurricanes, 37. Patrik Laine, F, Winnipeg Jets, 36. Carey Price, G, Montreal Canadiens, 35. Carter Hart, G, Philadelphia Flyers, 34. Quinn Hughes, D, Vancouver Canucks, 33. Miro Heiskanen, D, Dallas Stars, 32. Cale Makar, D, Colorado Avalanche, and 31. Blake Wheeler, C, Winnipeg Jets.

Which players are going to be ranked 30-21?

30. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, Calgary Flames

Tkachuk is a gritty player in the post. No one likes to face this man. Matthew Tkachuk has a reputation for being dirty at times, but he continues to get better and better every single day.

Tkachuk is only 22 years old. He played in 69 games last season. Matthew Tkachuk scored 23 goals and recorded 38 assists. His plus/minus was -5.

29. Mika Zibanejad, C, New York Rangers

Zibanejad is going to be part of a very young and promising New York Rangers core moving forward. He scored five goals in a game against the Washington Capitals this past season. Mika Zibanejad has shown signs of dominance from time-to-time.

He is only 27 years old. Zibanejad played in 57 games last season. He scored 41 goals and recorded 34 assists last season. His plus/minus was 9.

28. Connor Hellebuyck, G, Winnipeg Jets

Hellebuyck is only 27 years old and he won the Vezina Trophy this past season. This was a major bounce-back season for him and he is one of the best goalies in the game. Connor Hellebuyck rarely gets phased and they didn’t lose in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers because of him. The Calgary Flames were just a better hockey team.

Hellebuyck played in 58 games last season and also started in 56 games. His record was 31-21-5 with a .922 save percentage and a 2.57 GAA, along with six shutouts.

27. Elias Pettersson, C, Vancouver Canucks

Pettersson is only 21 years old. He is one of the silkiest skaters in the entire NHL. Elias Pettersson is a part of one of the youngest cores in Vancouver. The Canucks have a bright future ahead of them and could potentially win it all one day.

Pettersson can shoot the puck and pass it at a very high level. He played in 68 games last season. Elias Pettersson scored 27 goals and recorded 39 assists. His plus/minus was 16.

26. Sebastian Aho, C, Carolina Hurricanes

Aho is only 23 years old. He is a slick player and is one of the best first-lines in the entire NHL with Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov. Rod Brind’Amour is a tremendous mentor and head coach for Sebastian Aho.

He can score at any moment in the game. Aho played in 68 games last season. He scored 38 goals and recorded 28 assists. His plus/minus was 10.

25. Johnny Gaudreau, C, Calgary Flames

Gaudreau is one of the fastest players in the NHL and he is only 27 years old. He makes players around him better and is always a threat to score. Johnny Gaudreau didn’t score much last season, but teams always have to fear his game because of how good he is. Gaudreau is the heartbeat and the heart and soul of this hockey team. He will have to keep playing at a high level moving forward.

Johnny Gaudreau played in 70 games last season. He scored 18 goals and recorded 40 assists. His plus/minus was -10.

24. John Tavares, C, Toronto Maple Leafs

Tavares is also one of the most talented players in the NHL. He is 30 years old. John Tavares has yet to win a first-round playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, after deciding to depart from the New York Islanders in free agency a couple of summers ago.

They lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers. He has trouble playing defense also. Tavares played in 63 games last season. He scored 26 goals and recorded 34 assists. His plus/minus was -7.

23. Mitchell Marner, RW, Toronto Maple Leafs

Marner is very solid on the wing and he could also play center from time-to-time as well. Mitchell Marner is only 23 years old, but he needs to get tougher and grittier. Maybe that’s the difference between winning a Stanley Cup and losing a Stanley Cup. That is something that has not been done in this city since 1967 against the Montreal Canadiens in six games.

Marner played in 59 games last season. He scored 16 goals and recorded 51 assists. His plus/minus was 6.

22. Mark Scheifele, C, Winnipeg Jets

Scheifele was injured in the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round against the Calgary Flames by Matthew Tkachuk and Mark Scheifele did not return for that series. It hurt this team down the middle because he is a big force than score goals from all over the place and also makes his teammates better. He is only 27 years old and is about to enter the prime of his career.

Scheifele played in 71 games this past season. He scored 29 goals and recorded 44 assists. His plus/minus was 2.

21. Victor Hedman, D, Tampa Bay Lightning

Hedman was a finalist for the Norris Trophy, but Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators won that award. Instead, Victor Hedman was the Conn Smythe Winner for the Tampa Bay Lightning. This was their first Stanley Cup Title since 2004 against the Calgary Flames in seven games.

Tampa Bay took down the Dallas Stars in six games. Hedman found the back of the net constantly in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It is rare for a defenseman to reach that accomplishment ten times, including scoring the double-overtime goal in Game 5 of the second-round series against the Boston Bruins (The Presidents’ Trophy Winners). Victor Hedman is only 29 years old. In 66 games played last season, he scored 11 goals and recorded 44 assists. His plus/minus was 27.

Sometime next week I will also release the 20-11 best players.

What do you think of the Top 50 players ranking (30-21) entering the 2021 NHL Season? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on Twitter @glennkaplan13.

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