Top 100 NHL players: 70-61
Leading up to the start of the 2019-20 season, theScore will be counting down the top 100 players in the game today, as voted on by our NHL editors. We'll reveal 10 players every day until the top 10 is unveiled Oct. 2.
70. Jaccob Slavin, Hurricanes
Slavin's game isn't very flashy, but it's extremely effective, making the 25-year-old one of the most underrated players in the game. He's led the Hurricanes in blocks in three straight campaigns and ranks 19th among all NHL defensemen in that department since his debut in 2015-16. The 6-foot-3 rearguard has also posted positive possession numbers in each of his four NHL seasons and has hit the 30-point mark three times.
69. Jeff Skinner, Sabres
After eight seasons in Carolina, Skinner finally got his chance to play with an elite playmaking center in Jack Eichel. It resulted in his first 40-goal campaign, and if he sticks with Eichel, it probably won't be his last.
68. Charlie McAvoy, Bruins
Despite being only 21 years old, McAvoy has already proven himself to be a high-value defenseman, as he led the Bruins in average time on ice with over 22 minutes last season, and then upped that total to over 24 minutes per game in the postseason. He was rewarded with a new deal and should help cement Boston's blue line for a long time.
67. Torey Krug, Bruins
Speaking of Bruins defensemen, Krug is a key member of one of the best defensive corps in the NHL. He topped the 50-point plateau for the third straight campaign in 2018-19 despite being limited to 64 games and proved more than worthy of slotting in on Boston's second pairing.
66. Tuukka Rask, Bruins
Rask showed that he's still one of the elite netminders in the game with another dominant performance in 2018-19. The 32-year-old ranks eighth among active netminders in wins and his career goals-against average of 2.28 is good for 11th all time among goalies with at least 150 NHL starts.
65. Rasmus Dahlin, Sabres
Dahlin didn't receive as much national recognition for his rookie season as he should've. He became just the third defenseman ever to record 40 points or more as an 18-year-old, joining Bobby Orr and Phil Housley. The comparisons to Nicklas Lidstrom and Erik Karlsson are lofty, but the 2019-20 season may show us why he's being measured against two all-time greats.
64. Jamie Benn, Stars
Last year, Benn recorded his lowest point total in a full season since he was a rookie, but there's still plenty left in the tank for the former 40-goal scorer. The Stars captain remains a threat whenever he steps on the ice and should be able to top the 30-goal mark again on a strong Dallas roster.
63. Frederik Andersen, Maple Leafs
Like many goaltenders, Andersen has endured inconsistency at times, but the Toronto netminder has been steady overall, posting save percentages of .918, .918, and .917 in his three seasons with the Leafs. His 15.86 goals saved above average at five-on-five ranked fifth among all NHL goalies in 2018-19.
62. Matthew Tkachuk, Flames
Tkachuk broke onto the scene last season as one of the toughest yet most effective players in the league. The 6-foot-2 forward finished second among Flames forwards with 104 hits while also chipping in career highs of 34 goals and 77 points. Tkachuk has all the makings of an NHL captain, and with current leader Mark Giordano turning 36 in October, he could be next in line for the role.
61. Patrik Laine, Jets
In terms of playing a complete 200-foot game, Laine is far too high on this list. He may be one of the league's most lethal goal scorers when he's going, but when he's not, he can be virtually useless. The Jets sniper scored 18 goals in November last year, but no more than four in any other month. He has annual 50-goal potential, but he's also a major defensive liability.
(Analytics courtesy: Natural Stat Trick)
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