With the Stanley Cup Playoffs set to begin Saturday, we rank the top 30 players who will compete for the ultimate prize (2020-21 stats in tables):
McAvoy probably won't win the Norris Trophy this season, but he's been in the conversation all year long on the strength of his excellent play. The Bruins depend heavily upon the 23-year-old with Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara now playing elsewhere, and McAvoy has proven worthy of the increased responsibility.
Hellebuyck, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, was rock-solid again this season, and he's a major reason why the Jets find themselves in the postseason at all. Winnipeg allowed the fifth-most scoring chances (1,565) and second-most high-danger scoring chances (678) in 2020-21, but Hellebuyck held the fort. He has the skills to backstop the Jets to a lengthy playoff run.
Scheifele is vital to the Jets' offense and enters the playoffs after averaging 1.11 points per game in his most productive regular season yet. He suffered an injury early in last year's qualifying round, and Winnipeg wasn't able to survive without its top pivot.
Kaprizov is already one of the league's must-watch talents just 55 games into his NHL career. The Wild's 24-year-old star is scoring at an elite rate and will likely win the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie this season. Kaprizov embraces the spotlight and seems like the type of player who will take his game to another level in the postseason.
It's been a difficult year for Malkin, both in terms of his health and goal-scoring. The Penguins star said he feels fine after leaving Saturday's game as a precaution. He may not be capable of replicating his playoff performances of old, but the once-dominant center is still a threat to impact postseason games.
Theodore continues to be one of the most under-the-radar elite defensemen in the NHL. He ranks third among Golden Knights skaters with 42 points and has averaged 22:38 of ice time per game. He's one of the league's biggest offensive threats from the blue line and a vital cog in Vegas' potent lineup.
Hamilton turned in yet another brilliant campaign for the Hurricanes this season, finishing top 10 in scoring among defensemen and first in shots on goal - all while controlling 57.17% of expected goals at five-on-five. He plays a key role in Carolina's up-tempo style, and a strong playoff run could soon have the pending unrestricted free agent in line for an eight-figure salary.
Huberdeau is one of the game's top playmakers and will look to lead the Panthers to their first playoff series win since 1996. The dynamic winger ranks seventh among all NHL skaters in assists and produced at a 90-point pace over 82 games for the third consecutive campaign. With just 10 career playoff games under his belt, the 27-year-old will be hungry to seize the opportunity.
Kucherov is perhaps the biggest question mark entering these playoffs. Will he be fully healthy after missing the entire regular season? If so, will there be any rust to kick off? If there is, how quickly can he return to his usual dynamic form? The Lightning superstar would obviously be far higher up this list in a normal year, but it's unclear how much he'll be able to contribute.
The 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner turned in another incredible season with the Blues this year. O'Reilly's two-way game is impeccable, and he's proven over the past two seasons that he doesn't slow down come playoff time; he ranks fifth among all players with 34 points in 35 playoff games since 2019. If the Blues can catch fire with O'Reilly leading the way, they'll be as tough an out as any team.