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Steve Dryden

Sr. Managing Editor of Hockey

Archive

It’s a clean sweep. Again.

Connor McDavid was the unanimous choice of Hart Trophy voters in 2020-21 award balloting and he is the unanimous choice of TSN voters in 2021-22 Top 50 balloting.

The Edmonton Oiler superstar ranks No. 1 in TSN’s annual pre-season poll for the fifth straight season and he is the undisputed best player in the world.

What else would you expect?

McDavid recorded a hat trick for the ages last season: he averaged the highest points per game in 25 years (1.88), set an all-time record for highest percentage of points on team goals (57.4 per cent) and was the second-ever unanimous MVP selection, collecting all 100 first-place votes.

We have said this before, but it bears repeating: McDavid is the most highly evolved player in hockey history.

Colorado centre Nathan MacKinnon finished No. 2 in polling for the second straight season. He is a regular-season sensation, but is in the history books on the basis of playoff production.

MacKinnon stands third all-time in playoff points per game (1.38), minimum 50 games, ranking behind Wayne Gretzky (1.84) and Mario Lemieux (1.61) and ahead of Mark Messier (1.25) and Bobby Orr (1.24).

Rounding out the top 5 are:

No. 3: Auston Matthews: the Toronto centre became the first Leaf to lead the NHL in goals in 75 years, scoring 41 goals in 52 games, a 65-goal full-season pace.

No. 4: Nikita Kucherov: the Tampa Bay right winger became only the third player in NHL history to record back-to-back 30-point postseasons en route to a second consecutive Stanley Cup with the Lightning.

No. 5 Leon Draisaitl: the Edmonton centre placed second in the 2020-21 scoring race – such as it was considering McDavid won by 21 points - and has outscored every player in the NHL except 97 over the past five seasons.

Lightning superstar Andrei Vasilevskiy is the highest-ranked goalie at No. 6. He is the third goalie in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup in consecutive playoff years with a goals-against average under 2.00 in each postseason. Vasilevskiy has earned shutouts in Tampa Bay’s last five series-clinching wins, stretching from Game 6 of the Cup final vs. Dallas in 2020 to Game 5 of the Cup final vs. Montreal in 2021.

Vasilevskiy is the highest-ranked goalie in the TSN Top 50 since Carey Price reached No. 5 in 2017.

The other goalies on this season’s list are: No. 24 Connor Hellebuyck, No. 43 Price and No. 47 Marc-Andre Fleury, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner who was traded from Vegas to Chicago in the off-season.

Filling out the top 10 are:

No. 7 Victor Hedman: the Tampa Bay defenceman is the only player in the league to make the postseason 1st or 2nd all-star team each of the past five years.

No. 8 Artemi Panarin: the New York left winger has the highest career points per game in Rangers’ franchise history at 1.38 – albeit over just two seasons with the Blueshirts.

No. 9 Sidney Crosby: the Pittsburgh icon has averaged a point per game every single season of his 16-year NHL career. Crosby topped the TSN pre-season list the first seven years of the poll before giving way to McDavid.

No. 10 Aleksander Barkov: the Florida centre was a decisive winner of his first Selke Award as the NHL’s best defensive forward in 2020-21.

 

Top 50 Players

 
Player Pos 2020-21 RK 2021-22 RK GP  G A PTS
1. Connor McDavid, Edm C 1 1 56 33 72 105
2. Nathan MacKinnon, Col C 2 2 48 20 45 65
3. Auston Matthews, Tor C 4 3 52 41 25 66
4. Nikita Kucherov, TB RW - 4 23 8 24 32
5. Leon Draisaitl, Edm C 3 5 56 31 53 84
6. Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB G 17 6 42 2.21 .925 5
7. Victor Hedman, TB LD 5 7 54 9 36 45
8. Artemi Panarin, NYR LW 6 8 41 17 41 58
9. Sidney Crosby, Pit C 7 9 55 24 38 62
10. Aleksander Barkov, Fla C 24 10 50 26 32 58
11. Brad Marchand, Bos LW 18 11 53 29 40 69
12. Cale Makar, Col RD 22 12 44 8 36 44
13. Brayden Point, TB C 10 13 56 23 25 48
14. Patrick Kane, Chi RW 13 14 56 15 51 66
15. David Pastrnak, Bos RW 9 15 48 20 28 48
16. Mitchell Marner, Tor RW 20 16 55 20 47 67
17. Alex Ovechkin, Wsh LW 12 17 45 24 18 42
18. Jonathan Huberdeau, Fla LW 26 18 55 20 41 61
19. Mikko Rantanen, Col RW 29 19 52 30 36 66
20. Mark Scheifele, Wpg C 16 20 56 21 42 63
21. Mark Stone, VGK RW 31 21 55 21 40 61
22. Sebastian Aho, Car C 23 22 56 24 33 57
23. Adam Fox, NYR RD - 23 55 5 42 47
24. Connor Hellebuyck, Wpg G 15 24 45 2.58 .916 4
25. Patrice Bergeron, Bos C 30 25 54 23 25 48
26. Kirill Kaprizov, Min LW - 26 55 27 24 51
27. Mika Zibanejad, NYR C 21 27 56 24 26 50
28. Mathew Barzal, NYI C 34 28 55 17 28 45
29. Alex Pietrangelo, VGK RD 28 29 41 7 16 23
30. Elias Pettersson, Van C 14 30 26 10 11 21
31. Roman Josi, Nsh LD 11 31 48 8 25 33
32. Dougie Hamilton, NJ RD 47 32 55 10 32 42
33. Ryan O'Reilly, StL C 33 33 56 24 30 54
34. Kyle Connor, Wpg LW 36 34 56 26 24 50
35. Jack Eichel, Buf C 8 35 21 2 16 18
36. Miro Heiskanen, Dal RD 39 36 55 8 19 27
37. Shea Theodore, VGK RD - 37 53 8 34 42
38. Quinn Hughes, Van LD 32 38 56 3 38 41
39. Charlie McAvoy, Bos RD - 39 51 5 25 30
40. John Tavares, Tor C 38 40 56 19 31 50
41. John Carlson, Wsh RD 27 41 52 10 34 44
42. Evgeni Malkin, Pit C 19 42 33 8 20 28
43. Carey Price, Mtl G 37 43 25 2.64 .901 1
44. Gabriel Landeskog, Col LW - 44 54 20 32 52
45. Jake Guentzel, Pit LW - 45 56 23 34 57
46. Anze Kopitar, LA C - 46 56 13 37 50
47. Marc-Andre Fleury, Chi G - 47 36 1.98 .928 6
48. Seth Jones, Chi RD 35 48 56 5 23 28
49. Sean Couturier, Phi C - 49 45 18 23 41
50. Nikolaj Ehlers, Wpg LW - 50 47 21 25 46