The NHLPA Player Poll has become a yearly fixture, giving fans an insight into what players have to say in popular public debates. This year’s edition dropped this morning with mostly expected results.
Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy was voted by a wide margin as the goalie players would want in net with one game on the line for the second straight season, while the Colorado Avalanche’s Cale Makar was voted best defenseman in the league by a landslide. Connor McDavid won “most impactful forward in a must-win game,” no doubt buoyed by last year’s electric playoff performance. Other winners were Patrick Kane for best stick-handler, Leon Draisaitl for best passer, Sidney Crosby for most complete player, Brad Marchand for least enjoy playing against (but want on your team), Joe Pavelski for most effective net-front player, and Aleksander Barkov for most underrated. Marie-Philip Poulin was also voted as the women’s hockey player that NHL players would most like to play alongside, past or present, and the Bell Centre was voted as having the best ice in the NHL for the fifth time.
In off-ice results, Las Vegas was voted the best road city to have an off day, Marc-Andre Fleury was voted best locker room presence, and Auston Matthews was voted as having the best shoe game.
More notes from around the NHL this morning:
- Now a Vegas Golden Knight, Stanley Cup-winning netminder Jonathan Quick continues to move up the all-time ranks. With last night’s road win against the Vancouver Canucks, Quick moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list for American-born goaltenders, trailing only Ryan Miller. Quick now sits just 16 wins back of tying the all-time record with 375 wins under his belt.
- In some rare positive injury news for the Montreal Canadiens this season, Jake Evans has returned to practice in a full-contact jersey, while Jesse Ylonen has returned to practice after missing the team’s last game with an illness, per TVA’s Renaud Lavoie. Ylonen hasn’t looked out of place in his first extended NHL look this season, recording five goals and 12 points in 29 games. Evans is nearing a return after missing over two months with a lower-body injury.