Super 16: Top NHL forwards

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Who is the best forward in the NHL right now?

It’s Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, according to a panel of 13 NHL.com staff members who participated in ranking the best forwards in the NHL in this week’s Super 16.

McDavid was ranked first by 10 staff members. Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon received top billing from the other three.

To create the Super 16, each participant put together his or her version of what they think it should look like. Those were submitted and a point total assigned to each.

The forward that was selected first was given 16 points, second got 15, third 14 and so on to No. 16, who got one point.

The Boston Bruins had each member of their top line in the Super 16, with right wing David Pastrnak at No. 7, center Patrice Bergeron at No. 11 and left wing Brad Marchand at No. 15.

There were 30 forwards representing 19 teams who were ranked by at least one of the staff members. Eight forwards were ranked by all 13.

Here is the Super 16:

 

1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Total points: 204

McDavid was second in the NHL last season with 97 points (34 goals, 63 assists) in 64 games. The Oilers captain won the Hart Trophy voted NHL MVP in 2016-17, when he scored 100 points (30 goals, 70 assists) in 80 games, and topped that in each of the next two seasons, winning the Art Ross Trophy (scoring leader) twice, first with 108 points (41 goals, 67 assists) in 82 games in 2017-18 and then with 116 points (41 goals, 75 assists) in 78 games in 2018-19. The 23-year-old is entering his fifth season as Oilers captain.

Video: Top 10 Connor McDavid plays from 2019-20

2. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

Total points: 187

MacKinnon was fourth in the NHL last postseason with 25 points (nine goals, 16 assists) playing 15 games, and was fifth in the regular season with 93 points (35 goals, 58 assists) in 69 games; he was the Avalanche’s leading scorer by 43 points. The 25-year-old was on pace to set an NHL career high for points in a season, but his 99 points (41 goals, 58 assists) in 2018-19 remains his best.

3. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Total points: 161

Crosby scored 47 points (16 goals, 31 assists) in 41 games last season; the Penguins center missed 28 games following surgery on a core muscle injury Nov. 14. Crosby has won the Stanley Cup as Penguins captain three times (2009, 2016, 2017) and the Conn Smythe Trophy voted Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP each of the past two championships. He has won the Hart Trophy, Rocket Richard Trophy (goal-scoring leader) and Art Ross Trophy twice each. The 33-year-old has scored 1,263 points (462 goals, 801 assists) in 984 games, averaging 1.28 points per game, and 189 points (68 goals, 121 assists) in 168 playoff games.

Video: Top 10 Sidney Crosby plays from 2019-20

 

4. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers

Total points: 160

Draisaitl won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy last season, scoring 110 points (43 goals, 67 assists) in 71 games, topping his previous NHL career high of 105 points (50 goals, 55 assists) in 82 games in 2018-19. The 25-year-old center has scored at least 70 points in four straight seasons and is a point-per-game player with 422 points (168 goals, 254 assists) in 422 NHL games.

5. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning

Total points: 153

Kucherov helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup last season by leading the NHL with 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 25 postseason games. The 27-year-old right wing is tied with McDavid for the second-most regular-season points in the NHL the past two seasons, scoring 213 (74 goals, 139 assists) in 150 games (Draisaitl has 215 points in 153 games). Kucherov won the Hart Trophy and Art Ross Trophy in 2018-19, when he scored 128 points (41 goals, 87 assists) in 82 games.

Video: Top 10 Nikita Kucherov plays from 2019-20

 

6. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Total points: 123

Ovechkin, who is Capitals captain, is eighth with 706 NHL goals, two behind Mike Gartner for seventh, 11 behind Phil Esposito for sixth and 25 behind Marcel Dionne for fifth in history. The 35-year-old left wing tied Boston Bruins right wing David Pastrnak with 48 goals, Ovechkin’s record ninth time winning the Rocket Richard Trophy. He needed two goals for his ninth 50-goal season, which would have tied Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most in NHL history.

7. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins

Total points: 114

Pastrnak shared his first Rocket Richard Trophy last season with Ovechkin. The 24-year-old is third in the NHL with 155 goals in 293 games over the past four seasons. His goals have increased in four straight seasons (34, 35, 38, 48); he played 66 games in 2018-19 and 70 last season.

Video: Top 10 David Pastrnak plays from 2019-20

 

8. Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers

Total points: 107

Panarin was third in voting for the Hart Trophy last season, his first on a seven-year contract with the Rangers. The 29-year-old left wing scored 95 points (32 goals, 63 assists) in 69 games, tied with Pastrnak for third in the NHL in points and led forwards with a plus-36 rating. His points have increased in each of the past three seasons (82, 87, 95). Panarin won the Calder Trophy voted as the NHL rookie of the year in 2015-16.

9. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Total points: 106

Kane was eighth in the NHL with 84 points (33 goals, 51 assists) in 70 games last season after he was third with 110 points (44 goals, 66 assists) in 81 games in 2018-19. A three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks, the 32-year-old right wing is one of four players to score at least 1,000 points with the Blackhawks; he has 1,022 (389 goals, 633 assists) in 973 games with Chicago.

Video: Top 10 Patrick Kane plays from 2019-20

 

10. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

Total points: 83

Matthews has scored 158 goals in 282 games since the 23-year-old center was selected by Toronto with the No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft. He is second in goals in that span behind Ovechkin (181) and scored an NHL career-high 47 last season, one short of tying Pastrnak and Ovechkin for the NHL lead.

11. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Total points: 59

A four-time Selke Trophy winner voted as the top defensive forward in the NHL, Bergeron helped the Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011 and reach the Cup Final in 2013 and 2019. The 35-year-old is third in Bruins history in games (1,089), fifth in goals (352) and assists (517), and sixth in points (1,089). He scored 56 points (31 goals, 25 assists) in 61 games last season and has scored at least 30 goals in four of the past five seasons, all after his 30th birthday.

Video: Bergeron places 7th on the top 20 centers list

 

12. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

Total points: 56

Eichel, who is Sabres captain, tied for 10th in scoring last season with 78 points (36 goals, 42 assists) in 68 games. The 24-year-old center scored 82 points (28 goals, 54 assists) in 77 games in 2018-19 and has scored 337 points (137 goals, 200 assists) in 354 NHL games.

13. Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning

Total points: 47

Point was one point behind Kucherov in playoff scoring last season with 33 (14 goals, 19 assists) in 23 games after the 24-year-old center scored 64 points (25 goals, 39 assists) in 66 regular-season games. A third-round pick by the Lightning in the 2014 NHL Draft (No. 79), Point scored 92 points (41 goals, 51 assists) in 79 games in 2018-19.

Video: Top 10 Brayden Point plays from 2019-20

 

14. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Total points: 44

Malkin scored 74 points (25 goals, 49 assists) in 55 games last season, averaging 1.35 points per game, which was tied with MacKinnon for fifth in the NHL. The 34-year-old center is a three-time Stanley Cup champion (2009, 2016, 2017) who has won the Hart Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy and Art Ross Trophy twice. Malkin is third in the NHL since 2006-07 behind Ovechkin and Crosby with 1,076 points (416 goals, 660 assists) in 907 games. His 1.19 points per game is second behind Crosby (1.29) among the 594 players who have played at least 400 games since 2006-07.

15. Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins

Total points: 41

Marchand is fifth in the NHL over the past four seasons with 357 points (137 goals, 220 assists) in 297 games. The 32-year-old left wing has scored at least 85 points in each, including an NHL career-high 100 (36 goals, 64 assists) in 79 games in 2018-19.

 

16. Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks

Total points: 28

Pettersson, a 22-year-old center, scored 66 points in each of his first two NHL seasons; he had 27 goals and 39 assists in 68 games last season, when he scored 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 17 postseason games to help the Canucks reach the Western Conference Second Round for the first time since losing the Cup Final in 2011. Pettersson won the Calder Trophy in 2018-19, when he had 28 goals and 38 assists in 71 games.

Others receiving points: Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets, 18; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning, 13; Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights, 11; Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues, 10; Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes, 8; Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames, 8; Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers, 6; Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche, 5; Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators, 5; Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders, 3; Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets, 2; Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers, 2; Mitchell Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs, 2; Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers, 1; Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers, 1

 

HERE’S HOW WE RANKED ‘EM

AMALIE BENJAMIN

1. Connor McDavid; 2. Nathan MacKinnon; 3. Nikita Kucherov; 4. Leon Draisaitl; 5. Artemi Panarin; 6. David Pastrnak; 7. Auston Matthews; 8. Brayden Point; 9. Jack Eichel; 10. Sidney Crosby; 11. Sebastian Aho; 12. Alex Ovechkin; 13. Patrice Bergeron; 14. Patrick Kane; 15. Aleksander Barkov; 16. Mathew Barzal

TIM CAMPBELL

1. Connor McDavid; 2. Leon Draisaitl; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Patrice Bergeron; 5. Nathan MacKinnon; 6. Nikita Kucherov; 7. Mark Stone; 8. Mark Scheifele; 9. Matthew Tkachuk; 10. Elias Pettersson; 11. Ryan O’Reilly; 12. Filip Forsberg; 13. Brayden Point; 14. Alex Ovechkin; 15. David Pastrnak; 16. Auston Matthews

BRIAN COMPTON

1. Nathan MacKinnon; 2. Sidney Crosby; 3. Connor McDavid; 4. Alex Ovechkin; 5. David Pastrnak; 6. Leon Draisaitl; 7. Nikita Kucherov; 8. Artemi Panarin; 9. Patrice Bergeron; 10. Patrick Kane; 11. Auston Matthews; 12. Brad Marchand; 13. Ryan O’Reilly; 14. Elias Pettersson; 15. Jack Eichel; 16. Mark Stone

NICHOLAS J. COTSONIKA

1. Connor McDavid; 2. Nikita Kucherov; 3. Leon Draisaitl; 4. David Pastrnak; 5. Patrick Kane; 6. Nathan MacKinnon; 7. Alex Ovechkin; 8. Brad Marchand; 9. Sidney Crosby; 10. Patrice Bergeron; 11. Artemi Panarin; 12. Evgeni Malkin; 13. Steven Stamkos; 14. Auston Matthews; 15. Jack Eichel; 16. Mikko Rantanen

TOM GULITTI

1. Connor McDavid; 2. Nathan MacKinnon; 3. Nikita Kucherov; 4. Leon Draisaitl; 5. Patrick Kane; 6. Sidney Crosby; 7. Alex Ovechkin; 8. Patrice Bergeron; 9. Evgeni Malkin; 10. Brad Marchand; 11. Artemi Panarin; 12. Steven Stamkos; 13. Auston Matthews; 14. David Pastrnak; 15. Brayden Point; 16. Mikko Rantanen

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Connor McDavid; Nathan MacKinnon; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Nikita Kucherov; 5. Leon Draisaitl; 6. Alex Ovechkin; 7. Artemi Panarin; 8. David Pastrnak; 9. Auston Matthews; 10. Brayden Point; 11. Jack Eichel; 12. Patrick Kane; 13. Evgeni Malkin; 14. Patrice Bergeron; 15. Elias Pettersson; 16. Sebastian Aho

ROBERT LAFLAMME

1. Connor McDavid; 2. Nathan MacKinnon; 3. Leon Draisaitl; 4. Auston Matthews; 5. Sidney Crosby; 6. Alex Ovechkin; 7. Patrick Kane; 8. David Pastrnak; 9. Nikita Kucherov; 10. Artemi Panarin; 11. Patrice Bergeron; 12. Evgeni Malkin; 13. Steven Stamkos; 14. Jack Eichel; 15. Mika Zibanejad; 16. Jonathan Huberdeau

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Connor McDavid; 2. Nathan MacKinnon; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Alex Ovechkin; 5. Nikita Kucherov; 6. David Pastrnak; 7. Auston Matthews; 8. Leon Draisaitl; 9. Brayden Point; 10. Patrick Kane; 11. Artemi Panarin; 12. Elias Pettersson; 13. Jack Eichel; 14. Evgeni Malkin; 15. Mathew Barzal; 16. Brad Marchand

TRACEY MYERS

1. Connor McDavid; 2. David Pastrnak; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Alex Ovechkin; 5. Leon Draisaitl; 6. Nathan MacKinnon; 7. Nikita Kucherov; 8. Patrick Kane; 9. Artemi Panarin; 10. Brad Marchand; 11. Auston Matthews; 12. Jack Eichel; 13. Evgeni Malkin; 14. Mark Scheifele; 15. Blake Wheeler; 16. Patrice Bergeron

SHAWN P. ROARKE

1. Nathan MacKinnon; 2. Connor McDavid; 3. Artemi Panarin; 4. Leon Draisaitl; 5. Sidney Crosby; 6. Patrick Kane; 7. David Pastrnak; 8. Nikita Kucherov; 9. Jack Eichel; 10. Brad Marchand; 11. Alex Ovechkin; 12. Mark Scheifele; 13. Evgeni Malkin; 14. Auston Matthews; 15. Brayden Point; 16. Patrice Bergeron

DAN ROSEN

1. Nathan MacKinnon; 2. Connor McDavid; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Patrick Kane; 5. Artemi Panarin; 6. Leon Draisaitl; 7. Nikita Kucherov; 8. Elias Pettersson; 9. Evgeni Malkin; 10. Patrice Bergeron; 11. Brayden Point; 12. Alex Ovechkin; 13. Jack Eichel; 14. Auston Matthews; 15. David Pastrnak; 16. Sean Couturier

DAVID SATRIANO

1. Connor McDavid; 2. Nathan MacKinnon; 3. Sidney Crosby; 4. Nikita Kucherov; 5. Alex Ovechkin; 6. Patrick Kane; 7. Leon Draisaitl; 8. Artemi Panarin; 9. David Pastrnak; 10. Jack Eichel; 11. Auston Matthews; 12. Brayden Point; 13. Mika Zibanejad; 14. Evgeni Malkin; 15. Elias Pettersson; 16. Mark Scheifele

MIKE ZEISBERGER

1. Connor McDavid; 2. Nathan MacKinnon; 3. Nikita Kucherov; 4. Leon Draisaitl; 5. Sidney Crosby; 6. Alex Ovechkin; 7. Auston Matthews; 8. David Pastrnak; 9. Artemi Panarin; 10. Jack Eichel; 11. Patrick Kane; 12. Brad Marchand; 13. Brayden Point; 14. Mikko Rantanen; 15. Mitchell Marner; 16. Sebastian Aho

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