Offense is way up in the NHL this season. There are players scoring and putting up points in a manner that we haven’t seen in the past two or three decades. Many thought the 150-point season was a thing of the past… well don’t tell Connor McDavid that. Mitch Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs is riding a 21-game point streak. Jason Robertson of Dallas has 23 goals in 27 games, McDavid has 24 in 27 games. Tage Thompson of Buffalo has 21 in 26 games. Even Erik Karlsson from San Jose has 35 points in 29 games. Offense is in fashion in the NHL these days.
Youth is King in the National Hockey League and there are some good players who are starting to emerge as great players. Let’s take a look at the top NHL players in today’s game.
Top 25 NHL Players – 2023 Edition
There is no doubt who is at the top of our list, but you might find some interesting players amongst our top 25. The Hockey Fanatic presents the top 25 players in today’s NHL.
#25. Tage Thompson – Buffalo Sabres – what a year this guy is having. He recently tied an NHL record for most goals in a period with four (he had five in the game). Currently fourth in the NHL with 40 points only McDavid, Draisaitl and Jason Robertson have more.
#24. Nick Suzuki – Montreal Canadiens – the young captain of Les Habitants is really starting to emerge as one of the league’s top players. He’s off to a great start this season putting up 29 points in 26 games for the Canadiens.
#23. Jack Hughes – New Jersey Devils – Hughes is on pace to have his best season in the NHL as he has put up 31 points in 26 games for the surprising league leading New Jersey Devils.
#22. Jason Robertson – Dallas Stars – a star in the making here (pun intended). Robertson tallied 41 goals last season and 79 points. This year he is on pace for 70 goals after tallying 23 in his first 27 games. A strong up and coming player that will be fun to watch over the next couple of seasons.
#21. Mikko Rantanan – Colorado Avalanche – Finland sure has produced a lot of great players in recent years. The Stanley Cup Champion Avalanche can rely on 85-95 points with Rantanen in the lineup.
#20. Kirill Kaprizov – Minnesota Wild – another emerging NHL star in the making, Kaprizov has had seasons of 51 points (in 55 games), 108 last season and currently has 33 in 25 this season. Putting up 1.32 PPG this season is pushing top ten in the NHL.
#19. Elias Pettersson – Vancouver Canucks – Pettersson is on pace to have his best season yet as the Canucks push for a wild card playoff spot. Currently on 106-point pace which would shatter his career high of 68 from last season.
#18. Steve Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning – Stammer had a career-best 106-point season last year. He’s on pace for another 100-point season this year as well. At 32 years old this guy just keeps getting better
#17. Igor Shesterkin – New York Rangers – the first of our three Rangers on our list. Shesterkin has a career .926 save percentage and 2.36 GAA in his three and counting NHL seasons. One of the NHL’s top goaltenders to watch for.
#16. David Pastrnak – Boston Bruins – “Pasta” can score, no doubt about it. He led the league in goals in 2019-20 with 48 winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy. This season, he is currently 7th in points averaging 1.44 PPG with 18 goals and 18 assists in 25 games.
#15. Matthew Tkachuk – Florida Panthers – the blockbuster trade from the Calgary Flames hasn’t seemed to bother league super-pest Tkachuk. Currently sixth in NHL points with 37 in 25 games, this guy can help you win in the trenches and we’re pretty sure that there are 31 other GMs that would take this guy on their team
#14. Johnathan Huberdeau – Calgary Flames – over the past five seasons, Johnathan Huberdeau ranks sixth in points with 362 and fourth in assists with 255 in 309 games.
#13. Andrei Vasilevskiy – Tampa Bay Lightning – arguable the best goaltender in the game over the past five years. While he and the Lightning are having a bit of a slow start this season, Vasilevskiy is still strong between the pipes for the Lightning.
#12. Mitch Marner – Toronto Maple Leafs – often overshadowed by Matthews, Mariner is really the more consistent player. He’s having another strong season and recently broke the Toronto Maple Leafs record for points in consecutive games (21 and counting). Why are people not talking more about this guy? We bet that you didn’t know that over the past five seasons in the NHL, Mitch Marner is seventh in points with 358 in 296 and a +78.
#11. Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs – with 60 goals last season Matthews set a new record for the Toronto Maple Leafs. He has 273 career regular season goals in 435 games. While the Eastern media and hockey fans may think he should rank higher on our list, he is barely a point-per-game player at this stage in his career.
#10. Connor Hellebucyk – Winnipeg Jets – amongst the leader in all major goaltender categories, The Hockey Fanatic rates Connor Hellebucyk as the NHL’s top goaltender in the game today. He’s currently second in wins with 14 in 20 games and has a .932 save percentage. One of the main reasons why the Jets win night in and night out.
#9. Artemi Panarin – New York Rangers – with season point totals of 96, 58 (in 42 games), 95, 87, and 82 over his past five seasons, Artemi Panarin is one of the game’s leading point producers during this span. The former Calder Memorial trophy winner in 2015-16 continues to impress in the Big Apple. Over the past five seasons, Panarin is fifth in NHL regular season points with 369 in 293 games.
#8. Roman Josi – Nashville Predators – Josi posted 23 goals and 73 assists last season for 96 points. Reminder he is an NHL defenseman. Roman Josi has been one of the great defensemen over the past five years and continues to get better every season.
#7. Adam Fox – New York Rangers – the Rangers have been surprising the past couple of seasons. Fox is a former Norris trophy winner and one of the reasons for the Rangers resurgence. This season he’s averaging 1.07 PPG with 30 points in 28 games. Definitely one of the league’s top defensemen in the game today.
#6. Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning – Kucherov has been one of the league leaders in points in recent years and the former Art Ross, Hart and Ted Lindsay award winner from 2018-19 is having another strong season as he sits fifth in points with 38 and a PPG of 1.46. His 128 points in 2018-19 were the highest since 1995-96 when Mario Lemieux put up 161 and Jaromir Jagr had 149.
#5. Sydney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins – at 35 years old is it possible that Crosby is getting even better? This guy has been one of the game’s best players since he entered the league. This season he is averaging 1.35 PPG and is currently ninth in NHL scoring.
#4. Cale Makar – Colorado Avalanche – this guy has done it all already. Won the Norris trophy, the Conn Smythe and the Stanley last year. Arguably the best defensemen in the league today. Smooth skating, good hands, this guy will win multiple Norris trophies in his future.
#3. Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche – developing into a well-rounded player with a bit of an edge. Has suffered a few injuries though otherwise he might be a little higher on our list. Over the past five seasons, MacKinnon is third in points behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
#2. Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton Oilers – After what we saw with Draisaitl playing on one good leg in the playoffs last season, you knew that he could only go up from there. The former Hart trophy winner is a formidable player on his own with or without Connor McDavid. Leon Draisaitl sits second in the NHL in points with 44 in 27 games which puts him on pace for 145 points himself. He’s averaging 1.63 points per game second only to Connor McDavid (based on players who have played ten games or more). Draisaitl is a big body, who can and is playing physical when the team needs it. Arguably the best passer in the game with a tremendous shot, Leon Draisaitl is MVP-worthy.
#1. Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers. Sorry but not sorry. Connor McDavid is in a class by himself. This is a motivated player. Snubbed for the Hart trophy last year, we knew McDavid would be motivated this season. We knew he was going to score more goals (he’s on pace for 81 as it sits now). He’s also on pace for 170 points. Connor McDavid is electrifying. There is no one close to playing at his level game in and game out. Don’t believe us, here is a small sample size of Connor McDavid’s top goals in the NHL.
With fourteen out of the top 25 players from the Eastern Conference, does the Eastern Conference feature the best players? Well not if you look at our top ten where six of the ten are from the Western Conference showing that the NHL is full of great strs that are dispersed throughout the league.
Here is a look at the top NHL point producers over the past five seasons. Interestingly enough the top three happen to be Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Nathan MacKinnon. Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin round out the top five. Lots of great talent in the National Hockey League at all positions. While youth is king, veterans such as Sydney Crosby, Steven Stamkos and Patrick Kane are still amongst the leaders.