Last Thursday, we revealed our list of the 100 best hockey players for the 2022-23 season, broken down into layers. It was a comprehensive project, aiming to bridge the gap between analytical minds and the traditional mindset when it comes to evaluating players. This means collecting opinions from all over the league.
What we learned: Everyone has their favorite.
Hockey is a very difficult game to judge by value, because what one person values may differ radically from another. This may be why deals are so difficult to make, as you may not see the teams eye to eye when it comes to how good a player is. That’s kind of the point of making this list in the first place: creating a consensus list based on trusted views from hockey insiders with cold hard data from respected analysts.
But it also means our own differences from the shortlist. The four of us – Sean, Chyna, Dom, and Corey – all had our favorite players that we wish were higher. We also had players that we wish were fewer. We’re all proud of the finalist and happy with the collaborative effort, but that doesn’t mean we won’t change some things in complete control.
If we do, these are the eight players moved up or down…depending on who you ask.
Huh, that was harder than I thought. I think I won most of my arguments. Having said that, for the second season in a row, I think I was a bit dissenting voice on Svechnikov. This is where I have to say how good he is, no matter what, how much I like him (professional and personally), talk about how great he is with kids and animals, and link to his Twitter doing something nice…whatever it costs. We love all these players with all our hearts – especially the ones you love the most.
However, I wasn’t sold to put it in one subcategory behind the best wingers in the game. I’m not selling to run with him along Alex Ovechkin And the Patrick King, whatever their age. And I’m not entirely disappointed with the expectation of a significant drop-off for the second season in a row. At twenty-two, in his fifth season, he’s approaching “what it is” territory.
And don’t get me wrong. I’ll have a 30-goal thrust forward in my first streak any moment of any day, but the standard for the wings in our little workout is high, and we rarely give them the advantage of a generous drop. Not sure why it’s the exception to the rule for the second season in a row. So it’s a minor adjustment, but for now – and for at least one more season – it’s a minor level higher than it should be. Mix in a brutal playoff and the call gets a little easier.
I’m aware of Kyrou’s defensive issues – as Craig Berube certainly looks – but I still think he showed enough last season to land somewhere above the 4C. It’s simple enough. He’s a young winger emerging from a remarkably productive offensive season. He’s gotten better year after year, and I’m willing to bet that his five-on-five defense might hit an acceptable level when you consider what he brings elsewhere.
Basically, if that’s what he has – if he never improves, despite showing himself as a guy who does just that with every passing season – then what he brings to the table really makes him a top 100 player for me. He deserves the same benefit of the doubt we gave to the men we love Jack Hughes And the Trevor Zegras.
Level 4A is full of flawed top pair defenders, but I think Jones’ flaws should push him down a sub-level, at least. He had two seasons disqualified from being the Columbus Rookie which earned him the reputation he currently has. Sure enough, the teams around him had already disintegrated. The blue jackets‘The stock dropped in its last season there and Black Hawks Too bad. While the quality of the team around him is clearly beyond his control, he doesn’t separate himself enough from his teammates.
On the face of it, it’s easy to say he’s coming off a 51-point season that was his second best season of his career, so it’s impossible for his performance to actually be affected. But there are some red flags under the surface for Jones. His numbers on the ice are the worst of his career. That’s not entirely surprising given the quality of his teams, but Jones really doesn’t have a huge positive impact on his teammates. And those about trends are trickling into his microstats as well, like the fact that he struggles more with his hacks and redemptions.
At this point, there’s enough evidence to make it lower – not necessarily off the entire rating, but a sub-level or two lower because Jones wasn’t at his best and likely won’t make it there this year either.
Level 3A is a very good place, but I actually think Jack Hughes should be higher. He is the player that several sources have indicated as a rookie who could find himself in full position a year from now. It probably depends a lot on the potential versus what we’ve already seen in NHL The level so far, but I think there is enough for that to rise to at least 2C for now.
Hughes distinguishes two main things: his progress from his rookie year and the level he played at when he was healthy in 2021-22. After a terrible year, Hughes advanced into his second season with no results for it. He then emerged with 56 points in 49 games when he was healthy last year, scoring 84 points.
Last season’s five against five, Hughes was an excellent source of attack. It was positive for demons, relative to his teammates in the size and quality of the shot and scoring goals. Hughes was one of the better strikers at inserting the disc into the attack zone with control, and more often than not holding it in himself; Few players were able to match what he created in the transition. The midfield’s ability to maintain possession also rotated opportunities. Along with creating his first game, Hughes has had a high rate of scoring chances by himself And the, Unlike his second season in the National Hockey League, he had the ultimate talent for making an impact with those picks.
That three-year foundation – especially the awful first season – weighs heavily on his predictions for 2022-23. But the growth during that time is what instills confidence in him to outperform her, along with the fact that he must be in a better position to succeed. Hughes’ 2021-22 play, and how it will help him get to Earth this year, will lead him to the next level.
Last year, there were four top lines who together scored 60 percent of projected goals: Boston‘s, Toronto‘s, Calgary‘sand DallasThe Boston streak consisted of three franchise players, Toronto featured one best player and one franchise player, and Calgary had two franchise players. Dallas? Not quite as much love, not even closeness. Robertson ranked highest in 3C—a position that seems Very conservative.
It’s hard on the top line to put up with these kinds of numbers without an elite driver. The Dallas Corporation line tells us that. That’s part of the reason Robertson gets so highly rated by the GSVA: He’s a great goalscorer and great things happen at five when he’s on the ice – especially offensively. Since entering the league, Robertson has been one of 12 forwards on the ice for more than three projected goals per 60 and 3.5 actual goals per 60. Eight of the other 11 goals are at level 2 or above and the other three are fellow players at that level.
What makes it even more impressive is that he does it in Dallas, where it’s hard to be offended. As for his teammates, no one has scored more goals than Robertson over the past two years as Dallas has scored 1.14 more goals per 60 with Robertson on the ice. It also ranks sixth in the relative targets expected for. Combine that with a potential season for points per game and Robertson’s drafts to deserve four wins next season – the highest for a level 3. However, he’s made it to the bottom of it.
I see reasons to put him in a lower rank. His supercharged streak makes it hard to properly assess his individual value and he’s not the most dynamic player either. But the results are hard to ignore. I’ll put it at the top of level 3.
The ‘Big Fault’ is something that’s hard to get rid of for a man of defense and Wiggard has learned this big time away from the season after a massive mistake in the second round.
Despite its modest price tag and the team’s lack of defensive depth, leopards He spent the summer actively shopping for it before including it in a bargain Matthew Tkachuk. His stock has dropped dramatically and this is reflected in this year’s player levels where he has remained at Level 4A despite another stellar season. Last year we wanted to see him deliver on the promise he showed in 2021. He did, but the drop in his reputation at the league level for the project was hard to ignore.
Personally, Weegar could play for my team any night and belong somewhere in level 3. Over the past two seasons, Weegar has averaged a projected goal average of 58 percent and is trailing in the top five in the league. Charlie McAvoyAnd the Devon Toze And the Cal Makar – All while playing the tricky minutes. In 2021, he played away from Aaron Ekblad He was a model and proof that he could lead a pair on his own. Last year he was the team’s best defender at limiting area entries and by far the best puck maker – not Eckblad. In five out of five, the two were equally effective point producers with a point per 60 around 1.3 points, which is good for the league’s top 10.
Weegar deserves a lot more credit for his playing than he gets now. While there is some concern about how he will perform for a new team away from Ekblad, he should get plenty of support on a deep blue streak in Calgary. In all honesty, it will be more interesting to see how Ekblad does without Wiggard.
I found myself on an island arguing that Ovechkin was a clear level 2 player. For two years in a row I was completely surprised by the lack of support I had from my teammates for him, especially after how productive he was last season. Yes, he’s getting older, he’ll be 37 early in the season and eventually he’s going to hit the wall, and yes, he’s not the first man over the boards I want in a critical defensive position. But Ovechkin remains a very special player. He is a physical force to be dealt with given his size, frame, speed and body. He still gets buckets of chances due to those physical attributes and his natural offensive touch. The last time he missed four shots on target was in the 2016-2017 season. Take a look at some of our suites on level 2 and I think it’s right there if not on top of some of them.
Tkachuk has emerged as a strong winger in the National Hockey League. He is an elite scorer and shot generator, he is 10th in the league in shots on goal and is a unique type of player. His level of competition is off the charts to match his sheer size and skill, allowing him to dominate the higher percentage areas in the offensive zone. if it was Senators Making the playoffs anytime soon I think he will be a force in the postseason. He expects to have an impact forward for a long time and I think he will be just as good, if not better, than he was last season. It would be fine at level 3 for me, 3B at least and arguably 3A.
(Top photo by Alex Ovechkin: Dan Hamilton/USA Today)