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Steve Dryden

Sr. Managing Editor of Hockey

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Connor McDavid remains the overwhelming choice as the NHL’s best player.

The Edmonton superstar centre was ranked No. 1 on 20 of 26 ballots in the annual TSN Top 50 Players Poll.

It marks the fourth straight year McDavid has finished first overall – confirming his standing as the NHL’s most dynamic player.

McDavid is arguably the greatest blend of speed, skill and (hockey) sense in hockey history.

He leads the league in points and points per game since 2016-17 and had nine points in four playoff games last season before his Oilers were upset by Chicago in the play-in round.

The only person in the same TSN balloting hemisphere as McDavid was Colorado centre Nathan MacKinnon, who collected five first-place and 19 second-place votes in a Mc-Mac, one-two finish.

MacKinnon burnished his playoff reputation in 2020, earning 25 points in 15 games. He leads the NHL in playoff points per game (1.35) since 2013-14 (minimum 40 games).

Meanwhile, the most celebrated player of the 2019-20 season is No. 3.

Edmonton centre Leon Draisaitl is third on the list after finishing No. 1 in NHL scoring as well as voting for the Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award and Germany’s Sportsman of the Year award.

Draisaitl was the only other player to receive a vote for No. 1.

Last year’s No. 3-ranked player, Tampa Bay right winger Nikita Kucherov, is not included on the 2020-21 list because he is projected to miss the regular season with a hip injury.

Rounding out this year’s top group are No. 4 Toronto centre Auston Matthews, who was on pace for his first 50-goal season before the 2019-20 regular season was suspended, and No. 5 Victor Hedman, the Tampa Bay defenceman who won the 2020 Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

Sidney Crosby, who ranked No. 1 the first seven years of the poll and second the next three, ranked No. 7, his lowest finish in the 11-year history of the poll.

Making the biggest jump into the top 10 is Buffalo centre Jack Eichel, who went from No. 29 in 2019-20 to No. 8 in 2020-21, a leap of 21 places.

Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck returns to the Top 50 after a one-year absence, ranking as the top goalie at No. 15.

Among the first-time 50s are Colorado defencemen Cale Makar (No. 22) and Vancouver blueliner Quinn Hughes (No. 32), who were first and second, respectively, in Calder Trophy voting last season.

The list of ex-men, those who dropped off the list this season, is particularly distinguished –beginning with Los Angeles defenceman Drew Doughty, who ranked as high as No. 5 during a 10-year run on the Top 50 list.

San Jose defenceman Erik Karlsson and Dallas left winger Jamie Benn saw their eight-year streaks as Top 50 players come to ends.

Check out the full list of the Top 50 players for 2020-21 below, along with the listing of their 2019-20 rankings. Also included are statistics including games played, goals, assists, points, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.

 

Top 50 Players

 
Player Pos 2019-20 2020-21 GP  G A PTS
1. Connor McDavid, Edm C 1 1 64 34 63 97
2. Nathan MacKinnon, Col C 4 2 69 35 58 93
3. Leon Draisaitl, Edm C 11 3 71 43 67 110
4. Auston Matthews, Tor C 6 4 70 47 33 80
5. Victor Hedman, TB D 9 5 66 11 44 55
6. Artemi Panarin, NYR LW 21 6 69 32 63 95
7. Sidney Crosby, Pit C 2 7 41 16 31 47
8. Jack Eichel, Buf C 29 8 68 36 42 78
9. David Pastrnak, Bos RW 25 9 70 48 47 95
10. Brayden Point, TB C 24 10 66 25 39 64
11. Roman Josi, Nsh D 41 11 69 16 49 65
12. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh LW 7 12 68 48 19 67
13. Patrick Kane, Chi RW 5 13 70 33 51 84
14. Elias Pettersson, Van C 37 14 68 27 39 66
15. Connor Hellebuyck, Wpg G - 15 58 2.57 .922 6
16. Mark Scheifele, Wpg C 17 16 71 29 44 73
17. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB G 20 17 52 2.57 .917 3
18. Brad Marchand, Bos LW 8 18 70 28 59 87
19. Evgeni Malkin, Pit C 18 19 55 35 49 74
20. Mitch Marner, Tor RW 15 20 59 16 51 67
21. Mika Zibanejad, NYR C - 21 57 41 34 75
22. Cale Makar, Col D - 22 57 12 38 50
23. Sebastian Aho, Car C 33 23 68 38 28 66
24. Aleksander Barkov, Fla C 10 24 66 20 42 62
25. Matthew Tkachuk, Cgy LW 46 25 69 23 38 61
26. Jonathan Huberdeau, Fla LW 42 26 69 23 55 78
27. John Carlson, Wsh D 45 27 69 15 60 75
28. Alex Pietrangelo, VGK D 43 28 70 16 36 52
29. Mikko Rantanen, Col RW 23 29 42 19 22 41
30. Patrice Bergeron, Bos C 14 30 61 31 25 56
31. Mark Stone, VGK RW 27 31 65 21 42 63
32. Quinn Hughes, Van D - 32 68 8 45 53
33. Ryan O'Reilly, StL C 31 33 71 12 49 61
34. Mathew Barzal, NYI C 50 34 68 19 41 60
35. Seth Jones, Clb D 30 35 56 6 24 30
36. Kyle Connor, Wpg LW - 36 71 38 35 73
37. Carey Price, Mtl G 34 37 58 2.79 .909 4
38. John Tavares, Tor C 12 38 63 26 34 60
39. Miro Heiskanen, Dal D - 39 68 8 27 35
40. Steven Stamkos, TB C 19 40 57 29 37 66
41. Andrei Svechnikov, Car LW - 41 68 24 37 61
42. Sean Couturier, Phi C - 42 69 22 37 59
43. J.T. Miller, Van LW - 43 69 27 45 72
44. Zach Werenski, Clb D - 44 63 20 21 41
45. Blake Wheeler, Wpg RW 32 45 71 22 43 65
46. Patrik Laine, Wpg RW - 46 68 28 35 63
47. Dougie Hamilton, Car D - 47 47 14 26 40
48. Taylor Hall, Buf LW 22 48 65 16 36 52
49. Johnny Gaudreau, Cgy LW 16 49 70 18 40 58
50. Tuukka Rask, Bos G - 50 41 2.12 .929 5