Best NHL Hockey Players of 2018
October is one of the best months of the year.
Because so many professional sports are in full effect. Baseball has its playoffs, football is in full force, basketball has just begun, and so has hockey.
For one glorious month, all of the big professional sports are active. But, nothing is better than hockey season. And, this season’s crop of hockey players is full of stars.
What's Included on this page:
Get to Know Sidney Crosby
One of the best players in the NHL is the center Sidney Crosby.
He has been playing the NHL for 12 years when he was drafted at age 18 by the Pittsburgh Penguins. He’s spent his entire career in Pittsburgh where he has helped bring the team three Stanley Cups. Crosby has won the Conn Smythe, the Maurice Richard Trophy, the Art Ross Trophy, and the Hart Memorial Trophy all twice.
He also won the Ted Lindsay Award (Pearson Trophy) three times. All of these trophies showcase how dominant Crosby is when he is on the ice. Crosby’s ability to play hockey has not gone unnoticed as his statistics put him in the company of Brett Hull, Gordie Howe, Teemu Selanne, and Guy Lafleur. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The native of Nova Scotia turned 30 in August and he has started the 2017 season in his regular form. He is rarely injured and has been on the ice for four straight seasons without any trouble. Crosby has represented his home country of Canada in two Olympic games – 2010 and 2014. Crosby has been at the top of several leaderboards in several season. His most notable statistics include being the top-ranked career active player in assists-per-game at 0.82 and career active leader in points-per-game at 1.31. He is currently ranked sixth overall in points-per-game. Crosby’s prowess on the ice has earned eight invitations to the NHL All-Star Games.
Connor McDavid plays like a long-time veteran
At the opposite end of the player spectrum is Connor McDavid.
Where Crosby has been dominating the ice for 12 seasons, McDavid is a newcomer to the NHL. The young center is only 20 years old and in his third season in the league. He holds the honor of being the first draft pick in 2015 when he was chosen by the Edmonton Oilers. He young left-handed shooter has already been awarded several trophies, including the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award, and the Art Ross Trophy.
In his first full season, 2016-17, he led the league in games played (82), assists (70), and points (100). After finishing seventh in their division in 2015, but with the addition of McDavid, the team finished second in the standings, but lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Anaheim Ducks.
Erik Karlsson is the best defensemen in the NHL
Yet another top NHL player is Erik Karlsson.
The 27-year-old Swedish defenseman joined the NHL when he was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in 2008 in the first round when he was 19 years old. Since then, he has been to four All-Star Games and he has won the James Norris Trophy twice, proving that he is a top defensemen in the NHL. He is the captain on the Senators, where he has played for his entire career. He represented Sweden in the 2014 Olympics. Like the other men on this list, Karlsson sits at the top of several leaderboards. In the 2015-16 season, he led the league in assists (66) and assists-per-game (.80).
Through his eight seasons in the NHL, he is often compared to players like Paul Coffey, Nicklas Lidstrom, and Brian Leetch.
Top goalie honors belong to Carey Price
Carey Price is the first NHL goalie on this list.
He is just a few days younger than Sidney Crosby and is currently in his 10th season in the league. He was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 2005 in the first round, but he spent his first two seasons in the AHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs, which are affiliated with the Canadiens.
In the 2011-12 and 2014-15 seasons, he led the league in wins. He had 38 in 2011-12 and 2014-15 he had 44. So far, his best season was 14-15 when he had 36.70 goals saved above average. In his five games in 2017-18, he has the lowest save percentage of his career – .881, but the season is still young. His career save percentage is a respectable .920. In his career, he is compared to goalies like Guy Herbert, Evgeni Nabokov, and Patrick Roy. In his 2014-15 season, Price won the Vezina Trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award, the William M. Jennings Trophy, and the Hart Memorial Trophy.
Where would the Blackhawks be without Patrick Kane?
The Chicago Blackhawks fans get to enjoy the performances of the best right wing on the list.
Patrick Kane is a 28-year-old from Buffalo, New York who played youth hockey in the Detroit area. Kane was drafted in 2007 by the Blackhawks; he was 19 when he first entered the ice in Chicago. Since then, he has helped the team win three Stanley Cups in 2009-10, 2012-13, and 2014-15.
He has been to three All-Star Games, and he won several awards include the Calder Memorial Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, Conn Smythe Trophy, Hart Memorial Trophy, and the Art Ross Trophy. In 2015-16, he led the league with 106 points. He is compared to players like Eric Lindros, Jari Kurri, and Peter Forsberg.
There are other top players in the NHL that are worth mentioning like John Tavares, Auston Matthews, and Brent Burns. These men make the game competitive and enjoyable for fans to watch.
With all of the sports that fans can consume, these top players and many more continue to make hockey the best professional sport available today.