How Many Hockey Players Are There? [Updated!]

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While it’s always great to support a local rink, watching games on TV might not be the same as experiencing the rush of excitement that comes with playing hockey. That’s why we at HockeyBuzz.com put together this list of the top 10 hockey players as rated by the fans. We think this is a great way to discover talented hockey players who might go on to greatness but who you might not have heard of. This is especially important for hockey fans who have been deprived of the game for so long because of the pandemic.

Jack Eichel

Many experts have predicted that this year’s edition of the NHL All-Star Game will mark the beginning of the end for the Winnipeg Jets. The team has been a complete and utter disappointment in the post-season after earning the right to face off against the league’s best. The fans have turned on the team and its fans, and the writing is on the wall. The only saving grace is that the team still has some good hockey left in it. It just needs to find the right motivated coach who can help bring out the best in this team. That man is Jack Eichel. The fans have rated him number two on our list despite a lack of experience, because they see great potential in the young star. Eichel is only 20-years-old, but he’s already an accomplished two-time All-Star and a member of the NHL’s All-Rookie Team. With a new coach and a new perspective, Eichel could finally reach his full potential. “The North Star” is a great example of a talent that has been criminally overlooked due to a lack of experience, and it’s time that changes.

Auston Matthews

Although Matthews didn’t have the best of seasons last year, the fans still have faith in the Toronto Maple Leafs. After years of struggle, the team has decided to return to its traditional values and go back to basics. They want to build a team that plays a simple game with a structured defensive strategy. That’s why they’ve decided to cut ties with many of their past players and bring in younger, faster guys who are more likely to fit the style of play that the team wants to implement. Matthews is one of the young talents who they see as key to helping them reach their full potential. He’s also a fantastic personification of the “new” Toronto, filled with confidence and looking to make his mark on the game. He’s the definition of a modern-day hockey superstar.

Leon Draisatl

Remember when people were asking if Milan Lucic was capable of being a top-six forward for the Boston Bruins? Thanks to some brilliant coaching from Mario Chiarelli, the fans now have an answer. Since arriving in Boston, Lucic has been everything the team could have hoped for and more. He plays a physical game, is strong on the puck, and is responsible defensively. He also has the ability to score both goals and assists, making him a threat in every area of the ice. Chiarelli has taken advantage of Lucic’s versatility and used him in all situations, resulting in an uptick in his performance. The fans have taken notice, giving him a 4.8 star rating, and he’s proven to the hockey world that he can play at a high level, despite his size.

Connor McDavid

Another superstar on our list who did very well last year, scoring a massive amount of points, breaking several records, and becoming an all-time great is Connor McDavid. It’s only fair to say that the Edmonton Oilers didn’t have the best of seasons last year, but few would have predicted that they’d feature one of the great points-per-game totals of all time. The fans have taken notice of McDavid’s talent and given him a 4.6 star rating. He’s also proven to be one of the best leaders in the league, inspiring his teammates and demonstrating that he’s willing to do anything to help them reach their full potential.

Nashville Predators

It’s hard to believe that the Nashville Predators were near the bottom of the league in terms of attendance and fan engagement last season. After a few offseason moves, the Preds are finally beginning to see the benefits of the work that they put in. They’re a harder team to play against now that they’re better at closing off the ice in front of the net, and they play a more structured game, which makes things simpler for everyone involved. With its aggressive forecheck, the Nashville Predators always seem to be looking to create scoring chances. A lot of credit goes to Head Coach Jon Hynes for guiding this team and putting in the work needed to help the players understand how to play an effective system. Along with Filip Forsberg, who they drafted number one overall in the 2017 NHL Draft, they form a great one-two punch up front, which could bring in even more fans to their games.

Dylan Lapsley

Speaking of fans coming back to the rink, the Tampa Bay Lightning are also beginning to see the benefits of patient, strategic management. The Lightning have been through a lot over the past couple of years, from losing several key players to the 2019-20 NHL Lockout, to a change in ownership, to battling major financial troubles. All of that has taken its toll on the quality of play, and it really begins to show once you look at the team’s statistics. The fans have started noticing and are giving the Lightning a 4.5 star rating, which is a bit higher than usual because of all the adversity they’ve faced. With the new season approaching, it will be interesting to see if the fans start showing up and support this team more often.

Joe Pavelski

This year is going to be a big one for Joe Pavelski. After a down year in San Jose, the forward is looking to prove that he’s still one of the best in the game, even at 38 years old. The San Jose Sharks didn’t have the best of seasons last year, but the fans still have confidence in Pavelski, giving him a 4.4 star rating, which is higher than usual because of all of the pressure the team is facing this year. With several new additions to the roster, including a superstar in Joe Thornton, the Sharks have a lot to look forward to.

Bryan Rust

Every year, the Nashville Predators face the task of replacing one of their best players, and the fans always rise to the occasion, welcoming in the returning superstar with open arms. The same goes for Bryan Rust. After one of the best playoff runs in recent memory, in which he scored 11 points in 11 games, including a hat trick, the fans have decided to give Rust, who they recently re-signed to a two-year deal, a 4.3 star rating, showing just how much they miss him. The Preds were actually one of the worst teams in terms of scoring before Rust’s arrival, ranking 29th in the league, but since he’s been in Nashville, they’ve been one of the most dangerous teams in the NHL. With more scoring talent on the way, including former number one overall pick Mathew Barzal, who they drafted this year, the fans are in for a treat.

Charlie Lindberg

This season is also big for the Chicago Blackhawks. After years of turmoil and uncertainty, the team is looking to make a statement. They’re a gritty, physical team that plays a gritty, physical game. While the fans have always supported the team, regardless of what happened on the ice, this year is looking to be a turning point for the organization. They want to return to their roots and play an end-to-end game, with some skill sprinkled in. All of that, along with some excellent coaching, could see the team make a rise in the rankings. The fans have noticed and given them a 4.2 star rating, which is also a bit higher than usual, as they look to make a comeback after missing the playoffs the past couple of seasons. With the addition of several new players, including former number one overall pick Alex DeBrincat, who they recently signed to a three-year deal, the fans are confident that this year is going to be the one where the team makes a playoff run.

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