Tha Sports Junkies 101

17 great NHL players to watch this upcoming year

Great NHL players


Even though January doesn’t signal the beginning of a new hockey season, there is still plenty of time left in the season for players to shine. The following players (in no particular order) are some of the ones that the show potential of having a spectacular 2017-2018 season.

1-Brad Marchand (Boston Bruins)

Marchand is known for his dirty tricks on the ice. He’s quickly climbing towards best all-around NHL player, being second in the league in goals scored. As a player, he is dominant and aggressive, with a plethora of tricks up his sleeve.

2- P.K Subban (Nashville Predators)

Not to say that other NHL players aren’t as active on and off the ice, but Subban is one of the most active off ice players in the League. Just recently he dressed up as an elderly man to surprise a family on Christmas. With this kind of creativity, it will be interesting to see what he comes up with on the ice.

3- Nolan Patrick (Philadelphia Flyers)

As the No. 2 draft pick in 2017 with family members in the NHL, Patrick seems to have been destined to become an NHL player himself. He grew up in a competitive environment with pro hockey players around to help him perfect and support his natural talent.

4- Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Despite being shorter than 6 foot, Kucherov is not afraid to play dirty. He is currently tied for the lead in goals with 23 and is the first in points with 46. He was not a No. 1 draft, but he has come far to prove to the world of his talent and he is only getting better as a player.

5-Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)

After winning the Stanley Cup the past two years, you would expect the Penguins to have a fantastic season on the ice, however, so far things aren’t looking so good. Maybe 2018 will be the year where Captain Crosby will turn the Penguins around.


6-Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)

McDavid is one of the biggest magnets for penalties in the league. Slowly but surely, the Oilers are turning their season around and it will be interesting to see how McDavid plays into their season.

7– Charlie McAvoy (Boston Bruins)

This Boston Rookie surpassed everyone’s expectations after signing on to the team in April. He currently leads the team in average ice time with Zdeno Chara, with 26:11. He is quickly showing the league that the ice is right where he belongs.

8– Marc-Andre Fleury (Vegas Golden Nights)

After helping the Penguins win the cup, it will be interesting to see him face off against the Penguins in February. Who knows? Maybe his experience with the penguins will help the Golden Knights qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Fleury, who won the Stanley Cup three times with the Penguins, returns to Pittsburgh for the first time Feb. 6. Fleury’s experience should help the surprising Golden Knights down the stretch in their bid to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

9-Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary Flames)

The winner of the 2017 Lady Byng is in my opinion, one of the most exciting players currently in the NHL.

10-Nico Hischier (New Jersey Devils)

The No.1 NHL 2017 Draft pick has been on everyone’s watch. It will be interesting to see where his speed, intelligence and talent will take him this year.

11-Joe Thornton (San Jose Sharks)

Thornton’s contract with the Sharks ends in July. If they don’t keep him then he is going to become a commodity at the trade deadline.

12-Erik Karlsson (Ottawa Senators)

There is no doubt that Karlsson is one of the best defensemen in the NHL, but with his contract expiring in July, the Senators risk losing him if they do not get Karlsson to re-sign.

13-Alex Ovechkin (Washington Capitals)

Ovechkin had a terrible season last year, but as of now he is back on pace for another 50 goal season like the one he had in the 2015-16 season.

14-Clayton Keller (Arizona Coyotes)

Keller won the Tim Taylor Award for the most outstanding freshman in NCAA D1 men’s hockey last season. He scored 45 points (21 goals, 24 assists) in 31 games. Like McAvoy, Keller is from Boston University.

15-Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Stamkos is no stranger to dark times. He missed all but 17 games last season and all but one playoff game the year before. Before that he misses the Sochi Olympics. Hopefully this year will break the players negative streak.

16- John Tavares (New York Islanders)

There’s questions surrounding whether or not Tavares will be back with the New York Islanders next season. If not, he’ll be the biggest unrestricted free agent since Kovalchuk in 2010.

17-James Van Riemsdyk (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Van Riemsdyk ended last season with the second highest score on the Toronto Maple Leafs, behind Auston Matthews. Because of this, Van Riemsdyk might be traded during the season, or he might not. Only time will tell.