Recently a few outlets have posted top 25 lists of NHL players under the age of 25, so I thought I would try my hand at one for Too Many Men On The Site. Justin Bourne of the Backhand Shelf Blog posted his HERE and Neil Greenberg of ESPN has his HERE. I followed the same framework as they did, meaning that players who turn 25 years old prior to February 1, 2013 were not included and players had to play at least one regular season game to be eligible.
I used a blend of past performance and future expectation to rate my players, but the main criteria being who would you want on your team going forward. This was the approach Bourne took and I think it is the best way to attack a list like this.
1. Steven Stamkos – You cannot deny a guy that has scored 40+ goals in three straight seasons including a 60 goal campaign last year. He is one of the top three most dangerous offensive players in the game along with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
2. John Tavares – I am extremely high on Tavares and was tempted to put him number one on this list. He had his best season yet last year and he keeps getting better on a very bad hockey team.
3. Alex Pietrangelo – I realize that Erik Karlsson has won a Norris trophy already, but when it is all said and done, Pietrangelo will end up with more.
4. Tyler Seguin – Sorry Maple Leaf fans…
5. Jonathan Toews – A tremendous leader and a great hockey player.
6. Erik Karlsson – Won the Norris trophy at the age of 22. He is the best offensive defenseman in the league, but his defensive game leaves a lot to be desired at this point.
7. Logan Couture – Back to back 30 goal seasons to start his NHL career. The Sharks are now his team.
8. Taylor Hall – Hall can be such a dynamic player, he just needs to stay healthy for a full season.
9. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Nugent-Hopkins’ first full season was cut short, but he showed enough in his rookie campaign to be in this group.
10. Patrick Kane – Kane is coming off his worst NHL season, but still put up 66 points. He is a great offensive talent and a game breaker.
11. Drew Doughty – He was average in the regular season, but a stud in the playoffs helping the Kings win a Stanley Cup. He has the potential to be a Norris trophy winner.
12. Milan Lucic – He might be the toughest player in the league and is coming off back to back 60+ point campaigns. He is a very unique talent.
13. Jordan Eberle – Although there are questions of whether his numbers from last year are inflated, he definitely belongs among the top 25.
13. David Perron – An extremely underrated player that appears to have overcome his concussion issues. He made the Blues a much better team when he returned to the lineup last year and I expect a breakout campaign if we have a season.
15. Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Had a very good season last year, a potential Norris trophy guy down the road.
16 Jordan Staal – Has proven to be the best third line center in the league. He will have a chance this year to show that he is a legit top end forward.
17. Jamie Benn – Benn has a good all-around game and has been very impressive in his first three years in Big D.
18. Tyler Ennis – He has shown flashes of brilliance over the past two seasons. He had a great finish to the year with nine goals and 21 points in the final 19 games.
19. Jeff Skinner – I’m not as high on Skinner as most people. I think he is a good player that deserves to be on this list, but he isn’t close to a top ten guy in my opinion.
20. Max Pacioretty – Pac Man had a great bounce back year after the devastating injury he suffered in 2011 at the hands of Zdeno Chara. He was a little slow to develop compared to many on this list, but he is a prototypical power forward that can get you 30 goals every year.
21. Evander Kane – Although he scored 30 goals last year he still leaves a lot to be desired. He has the tools to be a dominant player, but he has yet to show that he can be.
22. Wayne Simmonds – Simmonds broke out last year scoring 28 goals and he is another guy that plays a tough power forward game. Not sure if he can consistently produce that kind of offense year over year.
23. John Carlson – Carlson is part of the Capitals top defense pairing along with Karl Alzner, which has negatively impacted his offensive numbers. Don’t be fooled, this guy can do it at both ends of the ice. Yes, I would take Carlson over P.K. Subban.
24. Matt Duchene – I hope this guy proves me wrong. I really like him as a player, but I’m not sure if he is elite.
25. Tyler Myers – At times he looks dominant, but he lacks consistency. At some point he is going to figure it all out.
Close but no cigar:
26. James van Riemsdyk
27. Gabriel Landeskog
28. P.K. Subban
29. Brad Marchand
30. Ryan O’Reilly
31. Ryan McDonagh
32. Jake Gardiner
33. Jakub Voracek
Tell me what you think?
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