From outstanding rookies to seasoned veterans and everyone in between, it is often hard to decipher where players rank.
ESPN Insider Rob Vollman recently announced the most valuable NHL players in each age group, compiling his list using several advanced hockey metrics in order to compare skaters to goalies and offensive contributions to defensive play. Here's how the Blackhawks ranked (links for ESPN Insiders):
Captain Jonathan Toews was named the best 26-year-old in the NHL. This is nothing new for the center, as he led his age group last year, when he was 25.
Vollman wrote that Toews is "the league’s most complete player in every zone, game situation and time of the season," and commented on his ability to play against top opponents in both zones while dominating possession. Toews also leads 26-year-olds in the important category of faceoff prowess.
The captain isn’t the only Blackhawk getting noticed in his age group, however. Duncan Keith led his age group last year and grabbed a nod in this year’s group for 31-year-olds. The same goes for Patrick Sharp, who led the 32-year-old category last year. Marian Hossa, 36, received an honorable mention in the 35-and-up age group, as well.
The results were divided among the league, but as always, the Blackhawks' depth from top to bottom was well represented.