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Top 100 NHL players: 50-31

Julian Catalfo / theScore

Leading up to the start of the 2023-24 season, theScore is counting down the top 100 players in the game today, as voted on by our NHL editors. We'll reveal players every day until the top 10 are unveiled Oct. 9.

100-71 | 70-51 | 50-31 | 30-11 | 10-1

Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

Larkin's quietly put together back-to-back 30-goal, near-point-per-game campaigns. Now locked in at an $8.7-million cap hit for the next eight years, the 27-year-old remains the face of the Red Wings for the foreseeable future as the team looks to get back into the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Oettinger was a workhorse for the Stars in 2022-23 and was one of just seven goalies in the league to appear in 60 or more games. The 24-year-old handled his increased workload admirably, establishing new career highs with 37 wins, five shutouts, and a .919 save percentage. He's the guy in Dallas.

There was a time when Malkin was much higher on this list but, despite his drop, he showed last season that he still has plenty left in the tank. The Pittsburgh Penguins power forward, who turned 37 in July, collected 27 goals and an impressive 56 assists in 2022-23. Injuries have been an issue for Malkin in the past, but he played all 82 games in the last campaign. He also took more shots on goal than he had in a season since he led the NHL in that department in 2011-12.

Though it didn't get a ton of attention, Keller enjoyed one of the most impressive seasons in the league last season for the lowly Coyotes, authoring a career-high 37 goals and 86 points after breaking his femur late in 2021-22. From February onward, the 25-year-old was the league's fourth-most prolific scorer, trailing only Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Nathan MacKinnon. Not too shabby.

Stamkos, 33, remains productive, tallying 34 goals and 84 points last season. It was his eighth time hitting the 30-goal mark and seventh time reaching the 80-point plateau. He still possesses one of the game's most lethal one-timers and it's hard to envision him slowing down as long as he stays healthy.

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Despite dipping below the point-per-game mark for the first time since 2016, Marchand was still a massive part of the Bruins' historic regular season. Boston will need the 35-year-old to remain an elite two-way driver as the team enters its post-Patrice Bergeron era.

The 2022-23 campaign was full of even more Mika magic than usual. Zibanejad reached new heights with a 91-point campaign that saw him lead the offensively potent Rangers with 39 goals in 82 contests. Maybe a 100-point season is what's next for the sniping Swede in the Big Apple.

Nylander will be out to prove he deserves a hefty new contract as a pending unrestricted free agent, but he's already done plenty. He notched career highs in goals (40), assists (47), and points while playing in all 82 regular-season games last season, adding four tallies and six helpers in 11 playoff contests. If the move from wing to center sticks, it'll go a long way in securing him the payday he desires.

The Devils have some flashier players, but Hischier is the up-and-coming club's heart and soul. New Jersey's captain put forth a career-high 80 points last season while posting defensive metrics strong enough to earn him second place in Selke Trophy voting. The hardware could very well be in Hischier's near future now that Patrice Bergeron is out of the running.

Toews sometimes gets overshadowed by his defense partner, Cale Makar, but there's no denying that Toews is elite in his own right. He can drive play offensively and he's also a lockdown defender. Two of our voters thought he deserved a spot in the top 25, which is justifiable considering he's finished no lower than sixth in goals above replacement among blue-liners in each of the last three seasons.

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Panarin still ranks among the league's top playmakers: Only Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have tallied more assists than Panarin since 2019. The 31-year-old has scored at a 90-point pace every season in New York and shows no signs of slowing down.

After an injury-riddled first year as a Devil, Hamilton truly arrived in New Jersey in 2022-23. The talented defenseman posted a career-high 22 goals and 74 points while skating in all 82 games for the first time since 2018-19, proving to the Devils that he's worth every penny of the seven-year, $63-million contract he signed in July 2021.

Tkachuk is no longer the Ottawa Senators' brightest star (see below), but the club's captain remains a multi-talented franchise cornerstone and its most important player. The 24-year-old winger collected over a point per game last season and notched at least 30 goals (35) for the second straight campaign. He also ranked fourth in the NHL in shots on goal and 11th in hits while boasting stellar underlying numbers.

Stutzle evolved into a full-blown offensive superstar last season, and don't be surprised if he soars up our list by this time next year. The 21-year-old is one of the top young players in the league and is the Senators' purest offensive catalyst, as evidenced by his 39 goals in 2022-23. The sky truly feels like the limit for Stutzle, and he's just getting started on a career that carries a ton of promise.

Six of our seven voters ranked Hintz between 31 and 42, with the lone outlier coming in at 55. That's about as consensus as it gets for a player in this portion of the rankings. The Stars' first-line center is coming off back-to-back 37-goal seasons and an excellent 2023 playoffs in which he recorded 24 points in 19 games. He's a rare breed with both power and finesse.

Jonathan Kozub / National Hockey League / Getty

Despite the persistent trade rumors, Hellebuyck remains a Winnipeg Jet entering the final season of his contract. A workhorse goaltender of a seemingly bygone era, Hellebuyck led the NHL in games by a netminder for the fourth time in six years and reached the .920 save percentage mark for the first time since his Vezina trophy campaign in 2020. He's in for a big payday next summer.

The Great Eight posted his 13th career 40-goal season last year, but what else is new? It's nothing that we haven't come to expect from the 38-year-old sniper. Not only will Ovechkin be looking to get his Capitals back into the playoffs in 2023-24, but he'll also continue his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky's record: Ovi is 73 tallies away from taking the No. 1 spot on the NHL's all-time goals list.

No NHL goaltender faced more shots or made more saves than Saros last season. Only Hellebuyck played as many games as his Nashville Predators counterpart, and no other puck-stopper saw as much ice time as the Finnish netminder in 2022-23. Despite his workload, Saros ranked among the league's best in save percentage and goals saved above expected. He's been one of the NHL's best goalies for some time now, and he's still in his prime.

Injuries have hurt Stone's stock in recent years, but he proved he's still a world-class player this past spring. He captained the Golden Knights to the Stanley Cup and bagged 24 points in 22 games along the way. A healthy Stone is still the best defensive winger in hockey, and his offensive prowess shouldn't be slept on. Since arriving in Vegas, he's managed 203 points in 218 games.

The newest captain of the Canucks, Hughes has been one of the game's most dynamic offensive defensemen since becoming a full-time NHLer in 2019-20. He ranks third among blue-liners in points in that span, trailing only Roman Josi and Cale Makar. But his defensive game has come a long way since his rookie campaign, and he's established himself as one of the game's best all-around players.

(Analytics source: Natural Stat Trick, Evolving-Hockey)

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