#NHLTopPlayers: Nos. 50-41 | NHL.com

50. Jack HughesNew Jersey Devils, C.

Hughes broke out in his third NHL season, setting NHL career highs in goals (26), assists (30) and points (56) despite being limited to 49 games due to a dislocation of the left shoulder. The 21-year-old, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, also led the Devils in power-play goals (six) and was first among forwards in time on ice per game (19 :34).

“I think Jack Hughes is definitely a 100-point player with an 82-game season,” said NHL Network analyst Mike Rupp. “Maybe it’s this year, but in the very near future he’s going to be 100 points.”

Video: Jack Hughes starts the countdown at number 50

49. Moritz SeiderDetroit Red Wings, D

Seider won the Calder Trophy as NHL Rookie of the Year last season, leading freshmen in assists (43) and power-play points (21). He led rookie defensemen in points (50), game-winning goals (four) and shots on goal (187) and was second in goals (seven) in all 82 games. The 21-year-old led the Red Wings in time on ice per game (23:02), total ice time (1,889:22) and blocked shots (161) and was second in hits (151).

“We knew he was going to be very talented, we knew he was going to be a mainstay of a core D in Detroit, but I didn’t know he was going to be this physical.” Rupp said. “It’s one thing to be able to move the puck as he can, to distribute the puck, but his physicality. You have to know when number 53 is on the ice. They’ve got a good one here in Detroit and it’s going to be a centerpiece for their team going forward.”

Video: Moritz Seider at number 49 on the NHL Network countdown

48. Juuse SarosNashville Predators, G

Saros led the NHL in games played and starts (67 each), finishing 38-25-3 last season. He finished third in wins and tied for sixth in shutouts (four). Among goaltenders to play at least 20 games, Saros finished eighth in save percentage (.918) and tied Jack Campbell, then of the Toronto Maple Leafs, for the 15th GAA (2.64). The 27-year-old also faced the second-most shots (2,107), made the second-most saves (1,934) and led the position in time on the ice (3,931:42). ).

“He’s been great for the Nashville Predators,” Rupp said. “He can steal what could be goals. … His positional play is brilliant, his explosiveness is out of this world and he can certainly make spectacular saves too.”

Video: Juuse Saros at NHL Network Countdown Number 48

47. Philippe ForsbergNashville Predators, OL

Forsberg became the Predators’ all-time leading scorer (220) with 84 points (42 goals, 42 assists) in 69 games last season. He scored 10 power-play goals and 27 power-play points and led Nashville with eight game-winning goals while averaging 18:06 of ice time per game. The 28-year-old has scored at least 21 goals seven times and has been one of the NHL’s most dynamic forwards over the past decade.

“I think he can push 100 points, he’s that kind of player,” Rupp said. “… He is [the Predators] the most talented striker and that says a lot because they have very talented strikers when it comes to their individual skills. … The sky is the limit here for Filip Forsberg.”

Video: Filip Forsberg at 47 on the NHL Network countdown

46. Gabriel LandeskogColorado Avalanche, OL

Avalanche captain for the past 10 seasons, Landeskog had 59 points (30 goals, 29 assists) in 51 games to average more than a point per game (1.16) for the second time in 11 seasons in the NHL (1.03 in 2018-19). He was plus-27 and had 15 power-play points in 20:19 of ice time per game. The 29-year-old scored at least 20 goals nine times and had 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games to help Colorado win the Cup.

“He’ll never get his full due. Why? Because he’s on a team with Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar“He’s got a certain nature to him, he’s a leader and you’ve seen that come to life here in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.”

Video: Gabriel Landeskog counts down the top 50

45. Miro HeiskanenDallas Stars, D

Heiskanen had 36 points (five goals, 31 assists) in 70 games last season and led the Stars in average ice time per game (24:53). It was his highest point total in four NHL seasons, and the 23-year-old tied his record with three goals and 11 power-play points. He had 26 points (six goals, 20 assists) in 27 games in the 2020 playoffs, the fifth-highest total by a defenseman in a single postseason.

“I’m a big fan of Miro…for me personally, I would have him higher (on the list), but maybe I understand where he is at the moment, but I think he’s about to go. ‘burst,” Rupp said. . “And I think this coming season he’s going to be seriously considered for a Norris (Trophy). … Miro has it all.”

Video: Miro Heiskanen counts down the top 50

44. Alex De BrincatOttawa Senators, LW

DeBrincat, who was traded from the Chicago Blackhawks on July 7, had 78 points in 82 games last season, leading Chicago with 41 goals to tie his NHL career high set in 2018-19. He also finished second among Chicago forwards in ice time per game (20:51) behind Patrick Kane (9:49 p.m.) and played in the NHL All-Star Game. The 24-year-old has scored at least 28 goals in four of his five NHL seasons, and his 160 goals since 2017-18 rank him eighth overall. Of the 160 goals, 52 came on the power play and 21 were winners.

“He has a knack for finding the back of the net,” Rupp said. “If there’s such a thing as a 40-year-old goalscorer under the radar, it’s this guy. Don’t count him out. I guarantee he’ll be 40 more.”

Video: Alex DeBrincat enters the countdown top 50

43. Chris KreiderNew York Rangers, LW

The 31-year-old set NHL career highs in goals (52) and points (77) in 81 games, finishing third in goals last season. He led the NHL with 26 power-play goals and tied for the lead with 11 game-winning goals. Kreider led the Rangers in shots on goal (258) and shooting percentage (20.2, minimum 50 shots), averaging 18:44 of ice time per game, an NHL career high. He has scored at least 20 goals in seven of his eight full NHL seasons.

“He has the ability to take over hockey games with his size (6-foot-3, 223 pounds) and his speed … but I think he has another level at 5-on-5 to score,” Rupp said. . “[The Rangers] had a tremendous year going to the Eastern Conference Finals and Chris Kreider was a huge reason for that.”

Video: Chris Kreider counts down the top 50 players

42. John CarlsonCapitals of Washington, D

Carlson had 71 points (17 goals, 54 assists) in 78 games last season, the third time in four seasons that he had at least 70 points. The 32-year-old led Washington in average ice time per game (23:49) and was third in blocked shots (112). Carlson’s 260 points (55 goals, 205 assists) over the past four seasons lead NHL defensemen, and his 99 power-play points are second only to Victor Hedman Tampa Bay Lightning (109). A Norris Trophy finalist in 2020, Carlson won the Stanley Cup with the Capitals in 2018.

“He’s got a big shot,” Rupp said. “He’s a guy who just jumps (at the game), he understands. When it’s time to go, you don’t have to tell him twice. … He hasn’t always gotten the love which he probably deserves nationally as far as being a top defenseman in this league.”

Video: Top 50 Right Now features John Carlson

41. Jack EichelVegas Golden Knights, C

Eichel had 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists) in 34 games last season after being acquired in a trade to the Buffalo Sabers on Nov. 4. The 25-year-old didn’t make his season debut until Feb. 16 because of artificial disc replacement surgery he was given eight days after the trade. Among players selected in the 2015 NHL Draft, Eichel ranks fourth in assists (227) and fifth in goals (153) and points (380).

“He’s a guy who when he plays and what we’ve seen in his career, he’s a world-class player,” Rupp said. “…Superstars want to be known as the greatest. Slipping him at 41? He could go crazy and I think that’s a good thing. More motivation for Jack will definitely help the Vegas Golden Knights.”

Video: NHL Network’s Countdown Spotlights Jack Eichel


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