The new look Toronto Raptors are dangerous
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The top 50 NHL players list is starting to come to fruition. I have ranked players 50-21 so far. In case this is the first time you are reading this list, this is what you have missed so far: 50. Shayne Gostisbehere, Defenseman, Philadelphia Flyers, 49. Mikko Rantanen, Winger, Colorado Avalanche, 48. Mitchell Marner, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs, 47. Dustin Byfuglien, Defenseman, Winnipeg Jets, 46. Brent Burns, Defenseman, San Jose Sharks, 45. Jakub Voracek, Winger, Philadelphia Flyers, 44. Sergei Bobrovsky, Goalie, Columbus Blue Jackets, 43. Zach Werenski, Defenseman, Columbus Blue Jackets, 42. Marc-Andre Fleury, Goalie, Vegas Golden Knights, 41. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Center, Washington Capitals, 40. Jonathan Quick, Goalie, Los Angeles Kings, 39. Drew Doughty, Defenseman, Los Angeles Kings, 38. Pekka Rinne, Goalie, Nashville Predators, 37. Roman Josi, Defenseman, Nashville Predators, 36. Mark Scheifele, Center, Winnipeg Jets, 35. Tyler Seguin, Center, Dallas Stars, 34. Seth Jones, Defenseman, Columbus Blue Jackets, 33. Blake Wheeler, Center, Winnipeg Jets, 32. Jonathan Toews, Center, Chicago Blackhawks, 31. Connor Hellebuyck, Goalie, Winnipeg Jets, 30. Jack Eichel, Center, Buffalo Sabres, 29. Patrice Bergeron, Center, Boston Bruins, 28. Matt Murray, Goalie, Pittsburgh Penguins, 27. Artemi Panarin, Forward, Columbus Blue Jackets, 26. Erik Karlsson, Defenseman, Ottawa Senators, 25. Anze Kopitar, Forward, Los Angeles Kings, 24. P.K. Subban, Defenseman, Nashville Predators, 23. Patrik Laine, Forward, Winnipeg Jets, 22. Filip Forsberg, Forward, Nashville Predators, and 21. Vladimir Tarasenko, Forward, St. Louis Blues.
Who is ranked 20-11?
20. Claude Giroux, Center/Forward, Philadelphia Flyers: After Giroux struggled during the 2016-2017 season, many people thought he couldn't be a leader anymore and people wanted him traded. Instead, the coaching staff decided to move him to the wing and the move paid off. Claude Giroux scored 34 goals and recorded 68 assists. His plus/minus was 28. He was one of three players in the NHL this past season that has at least 100 points. played on a line with Sean Coutrier for most of the season and that helped out his cause.
19. Jamie Benn, Winger, Dallas Stars: Benn won the scoring title for the 2014-2015 season. He is one of the elite players at the NHL level. It's not Benn's fault that the Dallas Stars have missed the playoffs for the past two season. Him and Tyler Seguin is one of the most dangerous combos in the NHL. Jamie Benn scored 36 goals and recorded 43 assists. His plus/minus was 20.
18. David Pastrnak, Forward, Boston Bruins: Pastrnak is a making a name for himself in a hurry at the NHL level at just 22 years old. He is a smooth skater and Pastrnak is one of the best offensive forces in the game. Pastrnak played with Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron on a line for most of the season. David Pastrnak will be getting a massive payday soon. He scored 35 goals and recorded 45 assists. His plus/minus was 10. Thirteen of his 35 goals were scored on the power play.
17. Phil Kessel, Forward, Pittsburgh Penguins: Kessel was one of the Pittsburgh Penguins best players during the 2017-2018 season. He recorded 42 points on the power play. That is very good and tough to do. Kessel had 92 overall points during the regular season. He scored 34 goals and recorded 58 assists. His plus/minus was -4. Kessel played hurt during the postseason and he didn't miss a game. Phil Kessel is also one of the best sharp shooters in the game.
16. Braden Holtby, Goalie, Washington Capitals: Holtby had an up and down regular season and it caused him to sit on the bench for the first five periods of the Stanley Cup playoffs in favor of Philipp Grubauer. The Capitals trailed 0-2 in the first round against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Holtby was one of the reasons why Washington won the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history. In 54 games during the regular season, his record was 34-16-4 with a .907 save percentage and a 2.99 GAA. In 23-playoff games, Holtby's record was 16-7 with a .922 save percentage and a 2.16 GAA, along with two shutouts. He is very athletic and Braden Holtby is also one of the most underrated goalies in the game.
15. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Goalie, Tampa Bay Lightning: Vasilevskiy is one of the most athletic goalies in the entire NHL and he nominated for the Vezina Trophy for the 2017-2018 season, but Vasilevskiy didn't win the award, Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators did. Without Vasilevskiy, the Lightning would not of had the best record in the eastern conference this past season. Andrei Vasilevskiy is one of the few goalies in the entire league that can take over a game. His record was 44-17-3 with a .920 save percentage and a 2.62 GAA, along with eight shutouts.
14. John Tavares, Center, New York Islanders: Tavares is one of the best play makers in the NHL. He will be an unrestricted free agent come July 1. Tavares can either return to the New York Islanders or he can go elsewhere. If he were to leave, the Islanders would miss his goal scoring and play making ability. John Tavares scored 37 goals and recorded 47 assists. His plus/minus was -12. He also recorded 30 points on the power play.
13. Nathan MacKinnon, Center, Colorado Avalanche: MacKinnon raised his game to another level this season. He carried the team on his back and MacKinnon led them to the postseason after the Avalanche had the worst record in the league during the 2016-2017 season. He was nominated for the Hart Trophy and Ted Lindsay Award. Nathan MacKinnon didn't win either award, but his impact didn't go unnoticed. In 74 games played, he scored 39 goals and recorded 58 assists. His plus/minus was 11. Nathan MacKinnon is just 22 years old and he is a dominant offensive force. MacKinnon also recorded 30 points on the power play.
12. Taylor Hall, Center, New Jersey Devils: Hall decided to put his ego aside for the 2017-2018 season and it paid off big time. He elevated his game and made his teammates better. Taylor Hall also led the New Jersey Devils to a playoff appearance for the first time since the 2011-2012 season. He won the Hart Trophy, but he didn't win the Ted Lindsay Award. Taylor Hall scored 39 goals and recorded 54 assists, in 76 games. His plus/minus was 14. Hall gave a lot of credit to rookie Nico Hischier. Forty one points were separated between Hall and Hischier. Hischier was the second leading scorer on the team. Where would the New Jersey Devils have been in 2017-2018 without Taylor Hall?
11. Victor Hedman, Defenseman, Tampa Bay Lightning: Hedman was the glue piece to the Tampa blue line during the 2017-2018 season. He won the Norris Trophy. Hedman was physical at the point of attack. He was also a play maker on the offensive end. In 77 games played, Victor Hedman scored 17 goals and recorded 46 assists. His plus/minus was 32. This is arguably the best year of Victor Hedman's career.
Either sometime next week or the week after rankings 10-1 will be released.