Best NHL Players 2023 – Hockey’s Top 10 Finest Stars in Action

Top 10 Best NHL Players 2023


Best NHL Players



Connor McDavid

Edmonton Oilers


Auston Matthews

Toronto Maple Leafs


Roman Josi

Nashville Predators


David Pastrnak

Boston Bruins


Nathan MacKinnon

Colorado Avalanche


Leon Draisaitl

Edmonton Oilers


Victor Hedman

Tampa Bay Lightning


Cale Makar

Colorado Avalanche


Nikita Kucherov

Tampa Bay Lightning


Sidney Crosby

Pittsburgh Penguins

Best NHL Players 2023

Introducing the Best NHL Players of 2023: In the exhilarating world of professional ice hockey, 2023 showcases a roster of extraordinary talent that is redefining the sport. From the electric speed of Connor McDavid to the goal-scoring prowess of Auston Matthews and the defensive excellence of Roman Josi, these elite athletes continue to mesmerize fans and set new standards in the National Hockey League (NHL). Join us as we explore the remarkable careers of the top NHL players who are poised to leave an indelible mark on the league and compete for the coveted Stanley Cup.


1. Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers)

Connor McDavid, the exceptional talent and captain of the Edmonton Oilers, stands as a testament to the sheer brilliance that the NHL has witnessed in recent years. Since his selection as the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, McDavid has consistently astounded fans and experts alike with his breathtaking speed, unmatched vision, and remarkable offensive prowess. He has been the driving force behind the Oilers’ offensive juggernaut, accumulating a remarkable array of awards, including three Art Ross Trophies, two Hart Memorial Trophies, and multiple Ted Lindsay Awards.

Widely regarded as the finest player in the world, McDavid’s transcendent skill set and unwavering dedication to improvement have raised the bar for excellence in the NHL. As he continues to redefine the boundaries of on-ice performance, Connor McDavid remains at the heart of the Oilers’ quest for their first Stanley Cup in over three decades.

2. Auston Matthews (Toronto Maple Leafs)

Auston Matthews, the American-born sniper for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has rapidly ascended to become one of the NHL’s premier goal-scorers. Handpicked as the first overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Matthews made a stunning debut with a historic four-goal performance.

Since then, he has consistently captivated fans with his lethal shot, exceptional puck-handling abilities, and innate hockey sense. In the 2020-2021 season, Matthews secured the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as the league’s leading goal-scorer, cementing his status as an elite offensive talent.

As the cornerstone of the Maple Leafs’ youthful core, Auston Matthews plays a pivotal role in the team’s pursuit of their first Stanley Cup championship since 1967. His offensive prowess, combined with his dedication to excellence, make him a vital asset to Toronto’s championship aspirations, and he remains a player to watch as the Maple Leafs chase hockey glory.

3. Roman Josi (Nashville Predators)

Roman Josi, hailing from Switzerland, has carved out a reputation as one of the NHL’s most dynamic defensemen while proudly serving as the captain of the Nashville Predators. His on-ice presence is characterized by a seamless blend of offensive prowess and defensive reliability.

Josi’s exceptional vision and ability to drive play from the blue line make him a standout performer. In recognition of his stellar contributions, he was honored with the prestigious James Norris Memorial Trophy in the 2019-2020 season, establishing himself as the league’s top defenseman.

Beyond his skill, Josi leads by example, exemplifying a relentless work ethic that inspires his teammates. His invaluable leadership has been instrumental in the Predators’ success, and his combination of skill and dedication solidifies his status as one of the most impactful defensemen in the NHL today

4. David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins)

David Pastrnak, the electrifying Czech right winger, is a vital asset to the Boston Bruins and one of the NHL’s most dynamic offensive talents. Since being selected 25th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Pastrnak has consistently dazzled fans with his remarkable goal-scoring ability, creativity, and slick hands.

He forms an integral part of the Bruins’ formidable “Perfection Line” alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. In recognition of his prowess, Pastrnak shared the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy in the 2019-2020 season, tying for the league’s leading goal-scorer with Alex Ovechkin.

The Bruins, acknowledging his impact on their continued success, secured his services with an impressive 8-year contract extension worth 90 million dollars. Pastrnak’s dynamic offensive capabilities and contributions make him an undeniable force in the NHL, and he remains pivotal to the Bruins’ quest for further triumphs.

5. Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche)

Nathan MacKinnon, the dynamic Canadian center, is the driving force behind the resurgence of the Colorado Avalanche as a league powerhouse. Selected first overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, MacKinnon quickly distinguished himself with his blazing speed, exceptional puck-handling skills, and elite scoring ability.

He not only secured the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie in 2014 but has also amassed numerous awards and accolades throughout his career. MacKinnon’s relentless pursuit of excellence on the ice and his status as a premier offensive talent are pivotal to the Avalanche’s ongoing success. His electrifying performances consistently captivate fans, and as he continues to dazzle, MacKinnon remains at the forefront of the Avalanche’s quest for further glory in the NHL.

6. Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers)

Leon Draisaitl, the German-born hockey sensation, has firmly established himself as one of the NHL’s most dominant forwards. Drafted third overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Draisaitl quickly made his presence felt with his unique blend of size, speed, and finesse. Standing at 6’2″, he possesses an imposing physical stature, which he complements with remarkable puck-handling skills and an innate ability to create scoring opportunities.

His partnership with fellow Oiler and superstar Connor McDavid has become a nightmare for opposing defenses and a central storyline for the team. In the 2019-2020 season, Draisaitl secured the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading point-scorer and won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most valuable player, cementing his status as an elite talent in the NHL.

Beyond his on-ice abilities, Draisaitl is also celebrated for his strong work ethic, humble demeanor, and unwavering dedication to the sport. His meticulous attention to detail and relentless pursuit of improvement have played a pivotal role in his rapid ascent in the league, making him a key figure in the Oilers’ quest for success. As he continues to push boundaries and redefine the role of a top-tier NHL forward, Draisaitl’s legacy in the league is poised to reach even greater heights.

7. Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Victor Hedman, the towering Swedish defenseman, has solidified his status as one of the NHL’s premier blueliners. Selected second overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Hedman boasts a unique combination of size, speed, and hockey IQ that sets him apart as an exceptional force on both ends of the ice.

Standing at 6’6″ and weighing 223 pounds, his imposing physical presence is complemented by his remarkable agility and offensive prowess. Hedman’s accolades include winning the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 2018 and playing a pivotal role in the Lightning’s back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2020 and 2021, where he also earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoffs’ Most Valuable Player in 2020.

Beyond his on-ice contributions, Hedman is known for his leadership qualities, serving as an alternate captain for the Lightning and playing a crucial role in the team’s locker room dynamics. His commitment to perfecting his craft and his ability to elevate the play of his teammates make him an invaluable asset to the organization.

As Hedman continues to anchor Tampa Bay’s blue line, he remains a constant threat to opposition forwards, effectively shutting down top players while simultaneously creating scoring opportunities for his team. Victor Hedman’s name is synonymous with excellence in NHL defense, and he appears poised to further solidify his legacy as one of the best defensemen of his era.

8. Cale Makar (Colorado Avalanche)

Cale Makar, the dynamic Canadian defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche, has rapidly emerged as one of the NHL’s most promising young talents. Selected fourth overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Makar made a remarkable debut during the 2019 playoffs, showcasing his exceptional skating ability, offensive instincts, and poise in his rookie season.

His ability to contribute offensively while maintaining sound defensive play caught the league’s attention, leading to him securing the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s top rookie in the 2019-2020 season. At just 24 years of age, Makar has already won the Norris Trophy in 2022, establishing himself as a prominent figure in the annual discussion of the league’s best defenseman.

His exceptional vision, smooth skating, and knack for generating scoring chances from the blue line make him a key asset for the Colorado Avalanche. As he continues to hone his skills and mature as a player, Cale Makar is set to be a driving force for his team and a standout player in the NHL for years to come.

9. Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning)

Nikita Kucherov, the Russian-born sensation of the Tampa Bay Lightning, is undeniably one of the NHL’s most prolific offensive talents. Drafted 58th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Kucherov has blossomed into a dominant force in the league. His exceptional combination of lightning-fast speed, dazzling skills with the puck, and an unparalleled hockey IQ have made him a vital component of the Lightning’s success.

Kucherov played a pivotal role in the team’s back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2020 and 2021, showcasing his ability to perform under the brightest of spotlights. With an Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in scoring and a Hart Memorial Trophy for being the league’s most valuable player to his name, Kucherov’s continued offensive prowess is crucial to the Lightning’s pursuit of further success.

His ability to create scoring opportunities, both for himself and his teammates, keeps opposing defenses on their toes. In an era where goal-scoring is at a premium, Nikita Kucherov’s presence on the ice is a constant threat, and his highlight-reel plays continue to astound fans and experts alike.

10. Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins)

Sidney Crosby, often affectionately referred to as “Sid the Kid,” is a Canadian hockey icon and the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Since being drafted first overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Crosby has consistently showcased exceptional skill, leadership, and determination. His illustrious career has solidified his status as one of the greatest players in NHL history. Crosby has led the Penguins to three Stanley Cup championships in 2009, 2016, and 2017, bringing the coveted trophy back to Pittsburgh.

Crosby’s individual accolades are equally impressive, with two Hart Memorial Trophies as the league’s most valuable player, two Art Ross Trophies for leading the league in points, and two Conn Smythe Trophies for being the playoff MVP. His impact on the game transcends statistics; Crosby’s work ethic, vision on the ice, and ability to elevate his teammates’ performance are unmatched. Even after more than a decade in the league, he remains a constant force to be reckoned with and continues to be a symbol of excellence in the world of hockey.

What Impact Are International Players Having on the NHL Scene in 2023?

In 2023, the impact of international players on the NHL scene is more prominent and influential than ever before. International players, hailing from countries outside of North America, have become integral to the league’s success, contributing significantly in various aspects of the game.

One notable impact is the infusion of exceptional talent from across the globe, making the NHL a truly international league. Players like Connor McDavid from Canada, Auston Matthews from the United States, and Nikita Kucherov from Russia showcase the diverse range of nationalities that excel in the league. Their presence not only adds to the competitive nature of the NHL but also reflects the sport’s global appeal, attracting fans from different corners of the world.

Moreover, international players have brought unique playing styles and strategies to the NHL, enriching the game with a blend of skills and tactics from various hockey traditions. For instance, European players are often praised for their finesse, creativity, and stick-handling abilities, while Canadian and American players are known for their physicality and determination. This diversity in playing styles keeps the NHL exciting and unpredictable, as teams incorporate different approaches into their gameplay.

Furthermore, international players have helped expand the NHL’s fan base internationally. With streaming services and televised broadcasts reaching a global audience, fans from countries where ice hockey was once a niche sport are now following the NHL passionately. This international fan base not only boosts the league’s popularity but also creates opportunities for the NHL to engage in international exhibitions and tournaments, fostering the growth of the sport beyond North America.

International players are having a profound impact on the NHL scene in 2023 by contributing their exceptional skills, diverse playing styles, and by expanding the league’s global reach. Their presence adds depth and excitement to the NHL, making it a more dynamic and internationally inclusive league.

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