TSN’s panel of hockey experts has put together its annual list of the Top 50 NHL Players ahead of the 2022-23 season, counting them down each day in the lead up to the full reveal on our Top 50 special on Thursday, Oct. 6 (11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT on TSN4, 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT on TSN 4/5).
Today, we look at players who ranked 20th through 11th.
Coming in at No. 20 is Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin (No. 12 last season). At 37-years-old sniper has shown no signs of slowing down, recording his ninth 50-goal season in 2021-22 and reaching the 90-point plateau for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Ovechkin needs 22 goals to pass Gordie Howe for second in all-time NHL scoring and then the only question left for his career will be if he can pass Wayne Gretzky’s 894 goals to become the leader.
Florida Panthers winger Matthew Tkachuk (not ranked last season) joins the list at No. 19 after an eventful offseason. The 24-year-old winger informed the Calgary Flames that he didn’t intend to sign a long-term deal, which led to a blockbuster trade that sent Tkachuk to Florida for forwards Jonathan Huberdeau and Cole Schwindt, defenceman McKenzie Weegar, and a lottery-protected 2025 first-round pick. The product of Scottsdale, Ariz., shattered his career highs in 2021-22, registering 42 goals and 104 points in 82 games and was named a second-team all-star. Tkachuk added four goals and 10 points in 12 playoff games before the Flames were ousted by the Edmonton Oilers.
New York Rangers defenceman Adam Fox (No. 23 last season) slots in at No. 18. After winning the Norris Trophy in 2021, the 5-foot-11 standout followed it up by scoring 11 goals and 74 points in 78 games to set new career highs. In the playoffs, the 24-year-old added five goals and 23 points in 20 playoff games, helping lead the Rangers to the Eastern Conference Final.
No. 17 on the list is Columbus Blue Jackets winger Johnny Gaudreau (not ranked last season). After eight full seasons in Calgary and a career year in 2021-22, the 5-foot-9 all-star decided to sign a seven-year, $68.25 million deal to join the Blue Jackets as an unrestricted free agent. Gaudreau contributed 40 goals and 115 points in 82 games with the Flames last season and led the league with a plus/minus 64. He was named a first-team all-star and finished fourth in Hart Trophy voting. In Columbus, Gaudreau will be paired with former No. 2 overall pick Patrik Laine to create a new dynamic duo.
Rangers’ winger Artemi Panarin (No. 8 last season) lands on the list at No. 16. The 6-foot playmaker led the Rangers in scoring with 22 goals and a career-high 96 points in 75 games last season. He added six goals and 10 assists in 20 playoff games, helping the Rangers make the Eastern Conference Final before losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Staying with the Rangers, goaltender Igor Shesterkin (not ranked last season) takes the No. 15 spot on our list. The 6-foot-1 netminder had a 36-13-4 record with a .935 save percentage and 2.07 goals-against average, dominating the 2021-22 regular season by taking home the Vezina Trophy and finishing third in Hart Trophy voting. Shesterkin went 10-9 in the playoffs with a .929 save percentage and 2.59 goals-against average before he was outdueled by Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy in the third round.
No. 14 on our list is Flames winger Johnathan Huberdeau (No. 18 last year). The 6-foot-1 winger continued his rise to stardom last season by putting up 30 goals and 115 points in 80 games in Florida. He was fifth in Hart Trophy voting and was named a second-team all-star for his efforts. With Huberdeau going into the final year of his contract, the Panthers surprised the hockey world by trading him to the Flames in the Tkachuk deal. After digesting the trade, Huberdeau signed an eight-year, $84 million extension on Aug. 4 to stay in Calgary where he will be paired with fellow newcomer centre Nazem Kadri as part of a new core.
Nashville Predators defenceman Roman Josi (No. 31 last year) ranks in at No. 13 on our list after an offensive explosion last season. The Bern, Switzerland native led all defencemen with 96 points in 80 games. The 32-year-old was a first-team all-star and finished second to Avs blueliner Cale Makar in Norris Trophy voting, despite having more first-place ballots, in one of the closest races in NHL history. Josi carried the Predators on his back to make the playoffs but ended up being swept by the eventual Stanley Cup winning Colorado Avalanche in the first round.
Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner (No. 16 last year) slides into the No. 12 spot on this year’s list. The 25-year-old forward was top 10 in scoring with 97 points in 72 games last season and was named a first-team all-star. Marner registered two goals and eight points in seven playoff games but couldn’t help the Maple Leafs get past the first round.
Falling out of the Top 10 of the list is Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby (No. 9 last season) at No. 11. The 35-year-old superstar continues to be the cornerstone of the Penguins, scoring 31 goals and 84 points in 69 games last season. He is one point away from passing Winnipeg Jets legend Dale Hawerchuk for 21st all-time in points and he, along with his long-time rival Ovechkin, will continue to move up the record books if they maintain their current pace. Crosby’s Penguins failed to get past the first round of the NHL playoffs for the fourth straight season, but the return of long-time teammates Evgeni Malkin and defenceman Kris Letang will give that core more chances to add to their three-Stanley Cup legacy.
Thursday, we reveal the FULL TSN Top 50 NHL Players list, including No. 1-10, during our Top 50 special. Watch on TSN4 at 11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT or on TSN4/5 at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.