Leon Draisaitl

20 best players in the NHL in 2022-23

Home » NHL » Best NHL players 2022-23: Top ice hockey players currently

There are so many talented players in the game today, but who are the ones in the top tier for this season as the best NHL players 2022-23?

Best NHL players 2022-23

The top NHL players currently stand out among the rest when out on the ice. Whether it is due to their playmaking, goal-scoring, or defensive plays, these 20 players make their presence known each time they step out for a shift.

Some of the players on this list are just getting started and have a long career ahead, while others are towards the end of their careers but have not let the young stars surpass them yet.

There are even some of the best NHL players currently who will be remembered as one of the greatest of all time decades after they hang up their skates.

20. Artemi Panarin

Kicking off the list is New York Rangers winger Artemi Panarin.


Panarin has been a great player ever since he joined the league in 2015. He has averaged more than a point per game in the last five seasons and had a career-high 96 points last season.

Panarin is one of the highest-paid players in the NHL and has been worth every penny to this point for the Rangers. At 30 years old, he is currently in the prime of his career.

19. Brad Marchand

Although 34 years old, Brad Marchand continues to play some of the best hockey of his career.

Last season, Marchand scored 32 goals and had 80 points in 70 games played for the Bruins. Despite his injury that will keep him sidelined until about November, Marchand is still a guy that nobody in the NHL wants to play against.

Marchand is a physical player and gets under the skin of his opponents, but he is also an elite player who can score 30 goals.


18. Jonathan Huberdeau

Jonathan Huberdeau had a stellar year last season with the Flames. He had 115 points in 80 games, which was tied for the second most points by a player that season.

Huberdeau showcased his incredible passing ability in 2021-22, as he led the league with 85 assists, which was six more than anyone else. He is also a weapon on the power play, contributing 38 points last season with a man advantage.

If Huberdeau is able to produce at a similar level this season, he will find himself well inside the top 10 coming into next year.

17. Mikko Rantanen

Mikko Rantanen is not talked about as much as the other stars in this league, most likely to do with the fact that he is the third-best player on his own team.

Rantanen was a force both in the regular season and playoffs for the Colorado Avalanche last season. He had a career-high 92 points in the regular season and then collected 25 points in the playoff run that ended with winning the Stanley Cup.

He may not be in the spotlight often, but it is hard to ignore someone scoring 30+ goals in the last two seasons.

16. Adam Fox

At 24 years old, Adam Fox is already a star in this league and one of the best defensemen in the NHL.

In 2020-21, Fox won the Norris Trophy, which goes to the best defenseman in the regular season. He will definitely be in the conversation for the Norris again this season, especially with his contributions to the power play.

He is a major part of this New York Rangers team, which many believe will be near the top of the NHL Power Rankings throughout the season.

15. Aleksander Barkov

Aleksander Barkov is an elite center who is approaching the prime of his career.

He is Florida’s leader and best player. Last season, Barkov scored a career-high 39 goals in just 67 games for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Panthers. He is also a winner of both the Selke and Lady Byng Trophies.

His greatest strength is his ability to play both sides of the ice, while also being dominant with or without the puck.

14. Kirill Kaprizov

Kirill Kaprizov has only had one full 82-game season under his belt, yet he is one of the best NHL players 2022-23 has to offer.

In a shortened season due to COVID-19 in 2020-21, Kaprizov scored 27 goals in just 55 games to win the Calder Trophy for best rookie. He followed that up by scoring 47 goals and racking up 108 points last season with the Wild.

The sky is the limit entering this season, as Kaprizov could become a top-five player in the next couple of years.

13. Alexander Ovechkin

He may be 37 years old, but Alexander Ovechkin still has plenty left in the tank this season.

Ovechkin is coming off of a season where he scored 50 goals, which was the fourth most in the NHL. He is arguably the greatest goal scorer in NHL history, and for reasons unknown, still remains open from his signature spot.

Sure, Ovechkin’s skating and physicality will slow down due to his age, but that one-timer of his is more than enough to put him alongside the best NHL players currently.

12. Mitchell Marner

Although most of the talk around Toronto is about Auston Matthews, the team does have another sneaky superstar talent in Mitchell Marner.

Marner finished last season with a career-high 97 points, which he did in just 72 games. He creates a lot of chances for not only himself but also for his teammates. His great passing ability and offensive awareness make him a key asset on the power play.

At just 25 years old, Marner still has a lot of upsides, which is why many expect him to crack the 100-point mark this season.

11. Sidney Crosby

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ core is getting older, and the window is getting smaller, but that will not stop Sidney Crosby from producing this season.

Crosby is coming off of an 84-point season while missing 13 games due to injury. It would not be fair to expect him to dominate as he did in his prime, but he still has at least a couple of great years left.

It is clear that Crosby has a lot left to give, so here’s hoping that he stays healthy this year to be able to show it.

10. Nikita Kucherov

Despite playing only 47 games last season, Nikita Kucherov made sure nobody forgot how great of a player he is.

Kucherov not only has all the talent and skill, but he also has accolades which include two Stanley Cups, a Hart Trophy, a Ted Lindsay Award, and an Art Ross Trophy. He is currently in the prime of his career and already has two 100-point seasons under his belt.

With Kucherov healthy, it is no surprise to see many preseason predictions backing the Tampa Bay Lightning to make another deep run.

9. Igor Shesterkin

There is no denying that Igor Shesterkin was the best goalie in the league last season.

He blew away everyone in the Vezina Trophy race, as he posted a goals-against average of 2.07 and a .935 save percentage.

The only thing that Shesterkin is missing is experience. He has only played one full season and will have the opportunity this year to prove that he is a consistent superstar. If he is able to have a similar season, he will climb much further up this list.

8. Roman Josi

We already knew that Roman Josi was a top-five defenseman in the league, but he improved even more last season.

Josi scored a career-high 23 goals in 2021-22, while also adding 73 assists. He not only led all defensemen in assists but also in points with 96.

Josi is an elite threat on the power play, scoring 11 goals and adding 26 assists with the man advantage last year. He was a Norris finalist last season and should be in the mix again this year.

7. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Due to his consistency and two Stanley Cups, Andrei Vasilevskiy gets the nod over Shesterkin as the league’s top goaltender.

It is impossible to ignore all Vasilevskiy has accomplished in the last few years. Along with his two Stanley Cup victories, Vasilevskiy has won a Vezina Trophy and a Conn Smythe Trophy.

He has won over 30 games in each of the last five seasons, which included a league-leading 39 wins last season.

6. Victor Hedman

One of the best NHL players 2022-23, Victor Hedman is the heartbeat of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He may not be the flashiest defenseman like some others in this league but is consistently dominant even with a heavy workload. Hedman ranked third among defensemen in points with 85, and first among defensemen in power play points last season.

Some of his accomplishments so far include two Stanley Cups, a Norris Trophy, and a Conn Smythe Trophy.

5. Nathan MacKinnon

Nathan MacKinnon has been dominating the NHL for over five years now, although that is hard to believe since he is only 27 years old.

MacKinnon is the perfect balance of speed, skill, and power. He takes control of Colorado’s top line and dominated throughout last year’s playoffs on the way to the Stanley Cup.

If he can stay healthy this season, he will have a great shot at breaking the 100-point mark for the first time.

4. Leon Draisaitl

As far as goal scorers go, Leon Draisaitl is one of the best in the league.

Last season, Draisaitl reached a career-high 55 goals, which is the second time he has scored at least 50 goals. His 110 points were the fourth most in the NHL last year and was the third time he surpassed the century mark.

The 2019-20 Hart Trophy winner will definitely be in the mix this season to add a Rocket Richard Trophy to his collection.

3. Cale Makar

It is hard to believe, but 23-year-old Cale Makar is one of the three best NHL players right now.

Makar impressed everyone last season, registering 86 points to capture his first of what looks to be many Norris Trophies in his career.

In addition to the Norris, Makar had 29 points in 20 postseason games, leading the Avalanche to the Stanley Cup while being named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner.

2. Auston Matthews

Leading the league with 60 goals last season, Auston Matthews is the second-best player in the NHL.

He was arguably the best player in the league last year, which is why he was voted as the Hart Trophy recipient. He also took home the Rocket Richard Trophy for the second straight year and the Ted Lindsay Award for the first time.

At just 25 years old, Matthews will be in the mix for the Rocket Richard each season for many years to come.

1. Connor McDavid

When looking at the best NHL players 2022-23, it is clear that Connor McDavid tops the list.

It is difficult to make sense of the fact that McDavid is just 25 years old, considering he has been dominating the league for years now. He led the NHL in points the last two seasons, which included a career-high 123 points last season. McDavid’s speed and skill are unmatched and make defenders look helpless and lost at times.

What may be the scariest part of McDavid’s game is that he still has not unlocked his full goal-scoring potential. If he improves in that department, he will make the gap that is already large between numbers one and two, even larger.

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