Monday, April 23, 2012

In My Opinion: Top 5 at Each Position


(The article is just a re-organized version of my last top 5, with new players added, and the players had to play at least half the season)

5. Jonathan Toews:
   When Toews first started I thought the number 19 would not be a smart choice for him, however he has proved me wrong over the past while. Toews does everything needed on the ice, make plays, score, and definitely win faceoffs but he also adds values with his great defensive play, His Stanley Cup, leadership and do-it-all-for-my-team skillset catapulted him over players who looked better on paper.

4. Jason Spezza:
   Jason Spezza is a passing aficionado, he sees things that no one else sees, it may have taken some time in the AHL and some disciplinary actions but it all worked out worked out for the better as Jason Spezza is one of the best players in the league and all-time. Spezza may not be the biggest goal scorer but the guy can still hit somewhere between 20-35 goals and on a down year he'll drop 30+ assists and when he's doing good he can dish somewhere between 50-70 assists, tell me he should be lower than third.

3. Pavel Datsyuk:
   Once again one of the top players in the NHL is Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk has amassed nine trophies over the years, four Lady Byngs, three Selkes and two Stanley Cups. Datsyuk is possibly the greatest puck-handler ever (along with Kovalev, Selanne, Sakic, Bure, Fedorov, Crosby, Bossy and Gretzky), to go along with the fact he may be one of the greatest defensive forwards ever.

2. Steven Stamkos:
   Stamkos is young and bursting with potential, however hes already one of the worlds best players. Stamkos' shooting and scoring are uncanny while still passing with great accuracy and playing great defense. Stamkos passion and physicality are with the best of them too, if it were not for a Stanley Cup win Stamkos might have even beat out Toews on our list. Hopefully Stamkos has a great career, the way it's going now he will be up there with Joe Sakic and Steve Yzerman one day, Here's to an even brighter future to one of the NHL's elite.

1. Evgeni Malkin:
   Evgeni Malkin's athletics and handling are eerily reminiscent to a young Alexei Kovalev while his scoring and play making seem to be better, Malkin can find the net when he wants to or find teammates whenever while still being a terror in passing lanes, Malkin has 423 points in 357 games when this post was written and if he stays healthy will remain among the L's elite.Left Wing

5. Jamie Benn:
   Jamie Benn is a big bodied sniper who draws comparisons to Mike Modano, both snipers who can make plays as well, Benn is the leader of the stars, a solid defensive player and good with the puck too. This year he showed heart and improvement and that the underdog can become a good player. Jamie has some, including me believing he will be a great player.

4. Milan Lucic
:   A bruising big man who can defend better than around 90% of forwards in the league, he snapped the nylon thirty times last season and seems like in a couple of year no one will be able to defend him. Lucic has great speed and amazing speed for his side and his physicality is a weapon that not many players can defend or match.

3. James Neal:
James Neal went from solid NHL player to great all-around player, notching 40 goals (5 less goals than he had points last year) and 41 assists, not to mention the fact that he is an above average defensive player too, If I had to pick a player to put on my wing as player of the future I would pick Neal. James Neal is on his way to stardom.

2. Daniel Sedin:
   Sedin is a marvelous passer and great goal scorer. Daniel's downfalls however may have caused his team the Stanley Cup last year, he is not physical at all, his defense is horrid and he lack of PK time are terrible. If Daniel can become more physical and defensive he could be top two in this category especially when his offense is good enough to place him at number three.

1. Alexander Ovechkin
:   Ovechkin embodies what the NHL should be, an all around beast that tries no matter how his team is playing. Ovie, the slick moved, physical specimen, and top all around player in the 'L', has amazing talent but somehow has not lead  his team to the Stanley Cup Finals, if however Ovie wins the cup by the time our Top 100 Hockey Players list comes out he may boost more than a couple of spots.
Right Wing
5. Jarome Iginla:
   Iginla is one of the most consistent players in the league and doesn't seem to be slowing at age 34. He is possibly the best power forward in the NHL and is definitely one of the best forwards of the past decade. When Jarome Iginla is coming at you on the offensive end or defensive its like looking down the barrel of a nine millimeter, it sucks.

4. Tyler Seguin:
   Tyler Seguin, the player that should have been the 1st pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, a solid player who led the reigning Stanley Cup champions in points and goals and led the league in plus minus until the final weeks, Tyler has a devastating wrist shot, a great slap shot, great hands, and that burst of speed that seems to set great players apart from the good ones (in most sports, basketball, football, hockey and more), he is going to be one of the top names in the league soon and this year was great on it's one.

3. Martin St.Louis:
   St.Louis is one of the fastest skaters but his best trait is the fact that he leaves everything he has on the ice every time he leaves. MSL is a gifted scorer and terrific passer, but in someways he's a bizarro KG in the fact that you can't tell how great of a leader or player he would be if there was less talent around him.

2. Phil Kessel:
   Kessel is possibly the best young sniping winger in the league (Stamkos is definitely the best young sniper), his defensive play is getting better every year and it seems like he can hit the 40 goal plateau that he is destined for, in fact he might reach 48 goals in my opinion.

1. Claude Giroux:   Giroux definitely didn't come out of nowhere but we didn't think he'd be the star that he is, Giroux put up 76 points last year and 93, this year hitting 20+ goals and 50+ and 60+ assists in his last two years. Giroux' teams his amazing playmaking with unbelievable puckhandling, a quick shot and solid defensive play, he's only going to get better which is scary considering he just hit 90+ points in his 4th NHL season.

5. Drew Doughty:
   2011 may have been a down year but Doughty is already an amazing shutdown defender and big hitter, if I need a young defender to build my team around Drew Doughty would be one of, if not my top pick. Doughty also has better than average offensive abilities when on the ice.

4. Nicklas Lidstrom:
   The 42 year old somehow finds a way to be a top D-man in the NHL every year. Lidstrom is second all time in Norris trophies won and has some of the best defensive hands ever. Lidstrom is no slouch when it comes to hitting, and his combo of vision, stick checking and skating make him go down as one of the greats. 

3. Shea Weber:
     The shutdown defense-men is the best all around D-man in the league, a captain and leader that embodies what his team stands for, and not to mention he should win more than a couple Norris trophies in his career. Shea Weber is also one of the most devastating hitters in the 'L'. Weber also owns the title as best man to man shutdown defender with Duncan Keith looming.

2. Zdeno Chara:
   Chara has size, he knows how to use it... That's a nightmare for opposing offenses. Chara not only knows how to poke check, hit and intimidate his opponents, he also has the NHL's hardest slapshot.

1. Duncan Keith:
   Duncan Keith is up there with Shea Weber as best man to man shut down defender in the 'L', He is a passionate leader that has not only won a Norris trophy but also a Stanley Cup in his short career. Keith is no slouch offensively either, his blue line shot is excellent and accurate too. Duncan Keith will stop you period.

5. Jimmy Howard
:Jimmy Howard is the bright young spot on an aging Detroit Red Wings team, having his best year of his career posting a save percentage of 92% and a goals against average of 2.12, even if Detroit is going downhill, Jimmy Howard should keep them afloat.

4. Tim Thomas
He may be old but he's Tim Thomas, he plays the goal like no one in the league, almost similar to GianLuigi Buffon in his prime, Thomas is a great goalie and easily top 5 in the league.

3. Henrik Lundqvist:
   One of  the most consistent goalies ever, you always know what your going to get with Lundqvist, he is great all around and led the league in shutouts last year, he's still got some gas in the tank and will continue to be great in the crease.

2. Pekka Rinne:
   The 2nd quickest goalie and also one of the biggest, Rinne's glove comes second to none in the current NHL. His unorthodox style is reminiscent of a modern day Dominic Hasek (Obviously not as good though), he may one day be the NHL's best.

1. Jonathan Quick:
Quick is the most agile and quickest goalie in the league, .929 save percentage and a 1.95 GAA it's no doubt he is one of the best goalies in the league, but the best? You already forgot the fact that he has been keeping the Kings in games they had no business being in and losing games only because his offense would not score, Quick posted ten shutouts and beat
the Presidents Trophy winners in the playoffs

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