COMMENTARY | From a sixth-round draft pick to a three-time Frank J. Selke Trophy winner, Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk is the epitome of a deep pick.
However, Datsyuk is more than a top-tier player, he's one of the most loveable guys in the NHL.
Here are five reasons why we love Pavel Datsyuk:
Datysuk is a human highlight reel. Tune into any random game, and chances are Datsyuk will be pulling off sick moves and making people -- like Logan Couture -- look silly.
If he's not making defenders look silly, he's using his moves on goalies, like this nice move against Marty Turco.
Then there are times when he carries his team on his back, like when he scored this coast-to-coast goal against the Nashville Predators.
Just when you think you've got Datsyuk cornered, he finds a way to wiggle out of the situation. There's a reason Siri knows his name is The Magic Man.
Sense of Humor
While Datsyuk may have a hard time speaking the English language properly, that doesn't stop him from being a jokester.
When he was asked how teammate Henrik Zetterberg transitioned to being the captain last year, Datsyuk said, "How? He cut out the letter 'C' and stitched it on to his jersey, that's how."
It's answers like that you wouldn't expect out of a serious hockey player.
Datysuk also put to rest any speculation that he doesn't run his Twitter account. Said Datsyuk when asked it if it was him behind the Twitter handle: "Of course. Twitter, Facebook, bicycle, car -- I am behind the handle of all of those things myself."
Great word play, Pav.
Now that we know it really is Datsyuk behind that Twitter handle, that makes every tweet more enjoyable. Whether it's asking fans what they are doing on a given day or tweeting photos of himself fishing, Datsyuk isn't afraid to let fans get a behind-the-scenes look into his life.
Some athletes don't like to allow fans into their personal lives; Datsyuk loves connecting with his fans. He realizes he is the face of the Detroit Red Wings franchise, and fans enjoy seeing their favorite players off the ice as well as on the ice.
While it's easy for an NHL star to only think about himself, Datsyuk thinks about others first. He's admitted he would rather pass the puck than score, and it shows as he has notched 512 career assists in his 11-year career.
That rush that players get when they score -- Datsyuk gets that rush when he sets up a teammate. He enjoys making those around him better just as much as he enjoys getting better.
Best two-way player in the NHL
There's no question Datsyuk is the best two-way player in the NHL. He's won the Selke Trophy three times for being the league's best defensive forward, and he is near the top of the list in takeaways almost every year.
He won't dazzle you with a 50-goal season like Steven Stamkos or Evgeni Malkin might, but he'll pick your pocket and stuff the puck in the back of the net. He's deadly on offense, and if you're not careful, he'll make you pay on defense as well.
Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Detroit Red Wings