Columnist image
Frank Seravalli

TSN Senior Hockey Reporter

|Archive

Connor McDavid’s sizzling first half of the season has only strengthened his grip on the title of the game’s best player.

The NHL scoring leader, McDavid is on track to set new career benchmarks in goals, assists and points - in addition to serving as a nightly human highlight reel - so it’s no surprise that No. 97 received 94 per cent of the first place votes in TSN Hockey’s first mid-season Top 50 ranking.

Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon received the only other first place vote and finished as the definitive second choice.

Boston’s David Pastrnak (No. 3), Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl (No. 4) and the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin (No. 5) round out the top five.

There is plenty of intrigue after the top spots.

With the mid-season Top 50 representing an assessment of performance this season only before the all-star break - not a projection for the second half - Sidney Crosby has been relegated to No. 22 as the Penguins’ captain missed 28 games recovering from sports hernia surgery.

Crosby has played just 22 games. No other skater on the list has played fewer than 33. Crosby has been his usual all-world self since returning Jan.14, collecting eight points in five games.

Crosby, 32, was ranked No. 1 in TSN’s pre-season Top 50 for seven straight years and has slid to the second spot the last three years under McDavid.

Top 50 stalwarts Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn all didn’t make the mid-season cut. Doughty has been featured on each of TSN’s pre-season Top 50 rankings over the last 10 years.

Two players inside the Top 20 of this pre-season’s Top 50 - Burns (No. 13) and Johnny Gaudreau (No. 16) - didn’t appear on a single ballot for the mid-season Top 50.

Instead, they’ve given way to new blood, including rookie Cale Makar (No. 29), David Perron (No. 30), Bryan Rust (No. 33), and Mika Zibanejad (No. 39).

Goaltenders Tristan Jarry (No. 42) and Darcy Kuemper (No. 46) appear on the Top 50 for the first time. Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck is the top ranked (No. 23) of six goalies to make the cut - and the only one to rise above the 40s.

Five of seven Canadian clubs are represented in the mid-season Top 50. Ottawa and Calgary don’t have any players on the list.

The Flames had four on the pre-season list: Gaudreau, Mark Giordano, Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan.

Norris Trophy frontrunner John Carlson is the highest-ranked defenceman at No. 7.

Carlson’s teammate Alex Ovechkin fell from No. 7 on the pre-season list to No. 10, staring up at players like Pastrnak - whom he will attempt to chase down in the Rocket Richard race in the second half.

Let the debate begin. Here is TSN Hockey’s mid-season Top 50 ranking for 2019-20:

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 1 - 5

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
1 1 Connor McDavid, C Edm 49 27 76
4 2 Nathan MacKinnon, C Col 49 30 72
25 3 David Pastrnak, RW Bos 51 37 70
11 4 Leon Draisaitl, LW Edm 49 27 75
21 5 Artemi Panarin, LW NYR 47 26 68
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 6 - 10

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
29 6 Jack Eichel, C Buf 48 28 62
6 7 Auston Matthews, C Tor 49 34 57
45 8 John Carlson, D Wsh 49 13 60
8 9 Brad Marchand, LW Bos 51 21 65
7 10 Alex Ovechkin, LW Wsh 49 34 50
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 11 - 15

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
18 11 Evgeni Malkin, C Pit 37 15 50
42 12 Jonathan Huberdeau, LW Fla 49 18 65
5 13 Patrick Kane, RW Chi 51 25 63
41 14 Roman Josi, D Nsh 47 14 48
3 15 Nikita Kucherov, RW Tam 47 22 54
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 16 - 20

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
17 16 Mark Scheifele, C Wpg 50 23 54
10 17 Aleksander Barkov, C Fla 49 16 54
15 18 Mitchell Marner, RW Tor 38 13 47
9 19 Victor Hedman, D Tam 46 9 41
37 20 Elias Pettersson, C Van 49 21 51
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 21 - 25

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
19 21 Steven Stamkos, C Tam 45 18 48
2 22 Sidney Crosby, C Pit 22 8 25
  23 Connor Hellebuyck, G Wpg 41 2.71 .919
43 24 Alex Pietrangelo, D StL 49 13 40
  25 Dougie Hamilton, D Car 47 14 40
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 26 - 30

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
14 26 Patrice Bergeron, C Bos 41 21 41
  27 Kyle Connor, LW Wpg 50 24 48
24 28 Brayden Point, C Tam 45 18 42
  29 Cale Makar, D Col 41 11 37
  30 David Perron, LW StL 49 21 49
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 31 - 25

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
27 31 Mark Stone, RW VGK 52 18 46
33 32 Sebastian Aho, C Car 50 24 42
  33 Bryan Rust, RW Pit 36 21 43
  34 Max Pacioretty, LW VGK 52 21 47
  35 Jake Guentzel, LW Pit 39 20 43
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 36 - 40

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
23 36 Mikko Rantanen, RW Col 33 15 34
31 37 Ryan O'Reilly, C StL 49 9 43
  38 Andrei Svechnikov, RW Car 50 19 45
  39 Mika Zibanejad, C NYR 35 18 39
  40 Ben Bishop, G Dal 32 2.28 .927
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 41 - 45

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
  41 J.T. Miller, C Van 49 17 46
  42 Tristan Jarry, G Pit 25 2.16 .929
12 43 John Tavares, C Tor 42 18 41
  44 Shea Weber, D Mtl 50 12 33
20 45 Andrei Vasilevskiy, G Tam 35 2.54 .917
 

 

Embedded Image

Nos. 46 - 50

 
Pre  Mid  Player Team GP G P
  46 Darcy Kuemper, G Ari 25 2.17 .929
  47 Patrik Laine, RW Wpg 48 17 45
  48 Brock Boeser, RW Van 49 16 43
  49 Jordan Binnington, G StL 35 2.58 .912
  50 Teuvo Teravainen, LW Car 50 10 48