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#NHLTopPlayers: Nos. 30-21

NHL Network reveals best of current crop

NHL.com @NHL

As summer winds down, NHL Network is getting you ready for this season by ranking the top 50 players in the League. NHL Network researchers, producers and on-air personalities compiled the list, continuing with players 21-30. Here is their list.

 

[RELATED: Nos. 50-41 | Nos. 40-31 | #NHLTopPlayers coverage]

 

30. Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins

One of the best two-way players, Bergeron won the Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the League for the fourth time in six seasons in 2016-17, when he had 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists), including three shorthanded assists, 17 power-play points (eight goals, nine assists) and a plus-12 rating. The 32-year-old scored seven game-winning goals and won 60.1 percent of his faceoffs, third among players who took at least 100 draws.

Video: NHL Network unveils the Top Players Right Now, 30-21

 

29. Patrik Laine, LW, Winnipeg Jets

Laine, who turned 19 on April 19, finished second among NHL rookies in goals (36) and points (64) in 73 games and led the Jets in goals in 2016-17. He finished second in Calder Trophy voting behind Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, who led NHL rookies in goals (40) and points (69), and scored the seventh-most goals in a season by an 18-year-old in League history. Laine had three hat tricks, five game-winning goals, 14 power-play points (nine goals), a plus-7 rating and a 17.6 shooting percent. He led NHL rookies with an average of 0.88 points per game and was second among rookie forwards with an average of 17:54 of ice time per game (Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche: 18:03).

"The way he skates is similar to [Buffalo Sabres center] Jack Eichel in a way that it doesn't look like he's going that fast, but he's so tall and his stride's so long that he ends up just blowing by guys," said NHL Network analyst Ryan Whitney. "…When you have a release like this, you have that speed, you have that size, I think that you're looking for this guy to get 40, possibly 50 goals this season."

Video: WPG@NJD: Laine dekes, slides puck in for lone SO goal

 

28. Kris Letang, D, Pittsburgh Penguins

Letang had 34 points (five goals, 29 assists) in 41 games in 2016-17, missing half the season because of injuries. He ranked seventh in the NHL in ice time per game (25:31). In each of the previous two seasons, he had at least 11 goals, 43 assists and 54 points. Letang, who has been with Pittsburgh for 11 seasons, has won the Stanley Cup three times (2009, 2016, 2017) and has 386 points (87 goals, 299 assists) in 603 regular-season games, and 68 points (18 goals, 50 assists) in 116 Stanley Cup Playoff games. The 30-year-old was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team twice (2013, 2016).

 

27. Roman Josi, D, Nashville Predators

Josi (12 goals, 37 assists) had his third straight season with at least 49 points in 2016-17 and led the Predators in average ice time per game (25:04). He also had 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 22 playoff games, helping Nashville advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time. In 2015-16, Josi had an NHL career-high 61 points (14 goals, 47 assists) with 24 power-play points (six goals). The 27-year-old has scored at least 12 goals each of the past four seasons and plays in all situations for the Predators.

"The way that he plays is just so consistent," Whitney said. "He doesn't take many nights off. Whereas there's players who can be great some nights and then the next night be struggling, he's pretty even-keeled throughout the season in terms of his production. He doesn't go many games without a point and he constantly seems to make a difference, whether it defensively or offensively."

Video: PIT@NSH, Gm3: Josi hammers home slapper for PPG

 

26. Joe Pavelski, C, San Jose Sharks

The Sharks captain scored 29 goals in 2016-17, just missing a fourth straight season of at least 30 goals. He's had at least 22 power-play points each of the past four seasons and led the League with 11 game-winning goals in 2015-16. Pavelski, 33, has eight 20-goal seasons in the NHL and had a rating of plus-11 or higher each of the past four seasons. He missed one game in the past six seasons. Pavelski helped San Jose reach its first Stanley Cup Final in 2015-16, scoring 23 points (14 goals, nine assists) in 24 playoff games.

 

25. P.K. Subban, D, Nashville Predators

Subban has been one of the most exciting defensemen in the NHL for the past few seasons. In his first season with the Predators after he was traded by the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Shea Weber on June 29, 2016, Subban had 40 points (10 goals, 30 assists), 16 power-play points and two game-winning goals in 66 games. He had 12 points (two goals, 10 assists) in 22 playoff games. Subban, 28, had at least 51 points each of his previous three seasons, including an NHL career-high 60 (15 goals, 45 assists) in 2014-15, when he was named to the NHL First All-Star Team for the second time. The other was in 2012-13, when he won the Norris Trophy. Subban has played in two NHL All-Star Games (2016, 2017).

"P.K. Subban's just so dynamic," Whitney said. "A lot of damage he does offensively is with his shot. He's so good at getting it through. It's really heavy and hard, and it also never gets blocked."

Video: ANA@NSH, Gm4: Subban rips a goal through screen

 

24. Mark Scheifele, C, Winnipeg Jets

Scheifele had a breakout season in 2016-17, finishing seventh in the NHL with 82 points (32 goals, 50 assists) in 82 games. The 24-year-old has increased his goal and point totals, as well as his plus/minus, each season since becoming a full-time NHL player in 2013-14. Scheifele, who scored five game-winning goals and had a 20.0 shooting percent, had three point streaks of at least five games last season.

"He's good at everything," Whitney said. "You see him scoring a lot of goals, but he's also a great passer, great in the offensive zone and somebody who's a big guy. …But, he's a guy who can play in all types of games. You want to do a skill game, you want to have a finesse game, he's there. You want to play hard, you want to play playoff-style hockey, he can also bring it then."

 

23. Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim Ducks

Getzlaf had 73 points (15 goals, 58 assists) in 74 games last season and led the Ducks in the playoffs with 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) in 17 games to help them reach the Western Conference Final. In addition to playing in all situations (even strength, power play, shorthanded), Getzlaf often is used on important faceoffs. The 32-year-old has 814 points (236 goals, 578 assists) in 861 NHL games.

"If any complaint about Ryan Getzlaf is out there, it's that he doesn't shoot it enough, because he has such a seed of a wrist shot," Whitney said. "It's quick, it's a quick release, it's accurate, but he's just a pass-first guy. …I think that he's a Hall of Fame player. I don't just think it, I know it."

Video: ANA@EDM, Gm4: Getzlaf passes Selanne, spurs win

 

22. Tyler Seguin, C, Dallas Stars

Seguin has had at least 72 points each of his first four seasons with Dallas, finishing either first or second on the Stars. He scored 26 goals last season after he had 33, 37 and 37 in the three seasons prior. Seguin, 25, has had at least 24 power-play points every season since being acquired in a trade from the Bruins on July 4, 2013, and has scored 23 game-winning goals in that time.

 

21. Duncan Keith, D, Chicago Blackhawks

Keith has been one of the best defensemen in the NHL for the past decade. He had 53 points (six goals, 47 assists) in 80 games last season, the eighth straight time he's had at least 40 points in a full NHL season. He's averaged more than 24:00 of ice time per game each of the past 10 seasons, and in nine of them has been plus-12 or better. A three-time Stanley Cup winner (2010, 2013, 2015), Keith, 34, won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2015 and the Norris Trophy twice (2010, 2014), and he was named to the NHL First All-Star Team in 2010 and 2014 and the Second All-Star Team in 2017. He was voted one of the NHL's 100 Greatest Players.

Video: CHI@WPG: Keith blasts long-range slapper to pad lead

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