Steve Downie of the Pittsburgh Penguins leads the NHL in penalties taken with 28 minors through 35 games this season. Dion Phaneuf (27), Evgeni Malkin (23 … really?), P.K. Subban (22) and Brad Marchand round out the top five.
Those are the players taking the penalties; who’s been the best at drawing them?
Some players draw calls with ferocious forechecking or being hard to take off the puck or driving to the net with reckless abandon.
None of them, according to their own assessments, ever dive. Nope, never. Not a once.
(*Clears throat sarcastically*)
Behind The Net is the place to find penalties drawn for players, and we’ve filtered it down to players with 25 games or more this season.
Here are the top 15 players this season in penalties drawn per 60 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time, including how many games they’ve played and their average even strength ice time. Keep in mind that the averages exclude coincidental minors.
Games/AVG TOI EV
1. Daniel Carcillo, Chicago Blackhawks
2. Rob Klinkhammer, Edmonton Oilers
3. Tom Wilson, Washington Capitals
4. Nazem Kadri, Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Vernon Fiddler, Dallas Stars
6. Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators
7. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
8. Lance Bouma, Calgary Flames
9. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings
10. Erik Cole, Dallas Stars
11. Tommy Wingels, San Jose Sharks
12. Tobias Rieder, Arizona Coyotes
13. Richard Panik, Toronto Maple Leafs
14. Tim Jackman, Anaheim Ducks
15. Scottie Upshall, Florida Panthers
There are a couple of players on here that, no doubt, draw their calls by straight up pissing off opponents. Like, for example, the guy leading the top of the list.
But these results are skewed to players with limited ice time. If you cut out the fourth liners and defensemen and focus on forwards with at least 13 minutes of ice time per game at even strength (again, min. 25 games), you get these top 10 players in penalties drawn at even strength:
Games/TOI AVG EV
1. Nazem Kadri, Toronto Maple Leafs
2. Kyle Turris, Ottawa Senators
3. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
4. Dustin Brown, Los Angeles Kings
5. Tommy Wingels, San Jose Sharks
6. Tobias Rieder, Arizona Coyotes
7. Nathan Gerbe, Carolina Hurricanes
8. Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche
9. Nick Bjugstad, Florida Panthers
10. Nick Foligno, Columbus Blue Jackets
Kadri led the league in penalties drawn (min. 70 games, 13:00 EV TOI) last season as well, with 2.0 penalties per 60 minutes at 14:51 average time on ice.
Brown was second (1.8 penalties per 60 minutes EV TOI; 13:12) and Boone Jenner of the Blue Jackets was third (1.8, in 72 games; 13:08 TOI).
Jenner, incidentally, is eighth overall this season with 1.8 penalties drawn per 60 min, but only has 20 games played due to injury.
So there you go: The players this season who have managed to draw the most penalties. We figured we’d put the spotlight on them before the NHL does, with a fine for diving at some point this season.
Not to say some of these players dive, except to say they totally do. But as the saying goes: If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.
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