TSN Hockey will air the NHL ahead of Friday’s full reveal special (11:30 a.m. ET/8:30 a.m. PT on TSN4 and 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT on TSN5). We have compiled a list of the top 50 players. Today we will announce the players from 30th to 21st place.
Erik Karlsson had a comeback season with the San Jose Sharks last year, scoring 25 goals and 76 assists for 101 points, setting career highs in all three categories. His 101 points were the most by a defenseman since New York Rangers legend Brian Leitch had 102 points in the 1991-92 season.
More importantly for the 33-year-old Karlsson, Karlsson was able to play in 82 games for the first time in seven seasons after suffering multiple serious injuries during that time. He needs to prove he can stay healthy during his upcoming 2023-24 season in Pittsburgh.
After winning his third Norris Trophy last season with a Sharks team that had the fourth-worst record in the NHL, Karlsson is now with Sidney Crosby and a Penguins team that made the playoffs and likely the Stanley Cup Final. I realized that I had a chance to advance.
Karlsson wasn’t ranked on our list last season, missing out for the third consecutive year after eight years on the roster, but he jumped up to No. 21 this year.
At No. 30 is New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin (16th last season). Panarin remains one of the most dangerous forwards in the NHL, leading the Rangers with 29 goals and 92 points in 82 games last season. The 31-year-old was a second-team All-Star and led the Rangers to third place in the Metropolitan Division with 107 points.
Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi (13th place last season) came in at 29th place. After finishing second in Norris Trophy voting with 23 goals and 96 points in 2021-22, Joshi followed that up with a respectable 18 goals and 59 points in 2021-22. He played in 67 games last season. The 33-year-old missed 15 games in the 2022-23 season due to a lingering injury, marking the second time since 2014 that his Predators missed the playoffs.
28th place is Las Vegas Golden Knights center Jack Eichel (35th place last season). The 26-year-old forward was traded from the Buffalo Sabers midway through the 2021-22 season and played his first full season in Vegas last season after recovering from his neck surgery. He made the most of his health, scoring 27 goals and 66 points in 67 games, helping the club win the Pacific Division title. He added six goals and 26 points in 22 playoff games, leading the Golden Knights to their first Stanley Cup championship in franchise history.
At No. 27 is Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen (unranked last season). The third overall pick in the 2017 draft continued his slow development as one of the league’s best young defensemen, scoring a career-high 11 goals and 73 points in 79 games last season. Heiskanen is tied with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes for the league’s most power play points by a defenseman.
New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (unranked last season) came in 26th place. The 28-year-old star netminder broke out last season with a 31-22-7 record and six shutouts. Sorokin was one of the NHL leaders with a 2.34 goals-against average and .924 save percentage, and finished second in Vezina Trophy voting. The 6-foot-2 goaltender received an eight-year, $66 million contract extension this offseason.
Buffalo Sabers defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (unranked last season) came in at No. 25. Dahlin set his career highs last season with 15 goals and 73 points in 78 games. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 draft was third in the NHL with 25 minutes, 48 seconds of ice time and tied for fifth among defensemen in points. Dahlin is in the final year of a three-year, $18 million contract and is eligible for an extension.
At No. 24 is Ottawa Senators forward Tim Stutzle (unranked last season). Stutzle continued his steady development as one of the league’s top young wingers last season, scoring a career-high 39 goals and 90 points in 78 games. The 21-year-old is in the first season of an eight-year, $66.8 million contract and hopes to lead the Senators to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
23rd place goes to Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman (6th place last season). The 6-foot-7 defenseman had a down year by his standards, scoring nine goals and 49 points last season. Hedman has lost his spot on the Lightning’s top power play unit to defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and has struggled to score. The former No. 2 overall pick in 2009 will benefit from a full offseason after the team played an extended June stretch from 2020 to 2022.
In 22nd place is Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov (9th place last season). The 6-foot-3 center had a respectable 2022-23 season, scoring 23 goals and 78 points in 68 games. He added five goals and 16 points in 21 playoff games, leading the club to a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals. Barkov is considered one of the best 200-footers in the NHL, but he was unable to stay healthy and appeared in only one 82-game game in his 10-season career.
Player numbers 11-20 will be announced on Thursday.