NHL Power Rankings: 25 best players under age 25

Adam Gretz
·6 min read

In this week’s NHL Power Rankings we take a look at the top-25 players in the league that have not yet celebrated their 25th birthday.

This is our top-25 under 25 ranking.

The emphasis is on “under” 25 here. So any player that is age 25 or older is not included. So players like Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisaitl, and Aleksander Barkov, as great as they are, do not make the cut, even though they just recently turned 25 years old.

As for the players that do make the cut off, here is who we have on the list.

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers. Simply the most dominant player in the NHL regardless of age. He has averaged 110 points per 82 games during his career. That number jumps to 120 points over the past four seasons. That sort of production is something out of a different era.

2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs. He has averaged 45 goals per 82 games since entering the NHL and was going to hit the 50-goal mark this past season had it not been for the shortened season. He seems poised to take over the title of top goal scorer in the league whenever Alex Ovechkin slows down.

3. Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning. He was already on the map as one of the league’s best young players, but his playoff performance this year only cemented that status. An elite scorer, an excellent defensive player, and a possession driver. He does it all.

4. David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins. Already one of the league’s best players and he is just now hitting his peak years. He is now a real threat for 50 goals in a full 82-game season.

5. Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks. He is one of the reasons the Canucks’ rebuild has accelerated so much the past couple of years. If you wanted to argue that he should be a spot or two higher I would listen to it.

6. Miro Heiskanen, Dallas Stars. Norris Trophies (multiple) are in his future. Big time offensive ability with shutdown defense. The total package on defense and a franchise-changing player.

7. Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres. His team has stunk, but that is not his fault. He is one of the league’s best players and it is going to be fascinating what he can do with Taylor Hall on his wing this season.

8. Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche. It is easy for him to get overlooked playing in MacKinnon’s shadow, but he is an outstanding player on his own and one of the league’s most productive forwards.

[Related: 2020 NHL Free Agent Signing Tracker]

9. Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes. If I am working in the Hurricanes front office I am sending Marc Bergevin a holiday card every year for that offer sheet, allowing the Hurricanes to get their franchise player signed to a bargain rate for five years.

10. Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders. He is the one game-breaker the Islanders have, and they have already more playoff success with him as their franchise player than they did over the 30 years — combined! — before that.

11. Charlie McAvoy, Boston Bruins. If he could ever play a full 82-games he would probably be a 50-point player from the blue line with great defense to go with it. A legit No. 1 defender and the leader of the Bruins’ defense for the foreseeable future.

12. Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs. Maybe the Maple Leafs overpaid him, but Marner is already one of the league’s best passers and playmakers and an elite offensive player.

13. Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina Hurricanes. Give it time. It is only a matter of when, and not if, he finds himself higher on a list like this. He plays an advanced all-around game for his age and has 40-goal ability.

14. Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche. The only thing keeping him from being in the top-10 is the fact he has only played one year in the NHL. He will be competing for the Norris Trophy every season.

15. Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks. Take all of those words written in the Cale Makar entry just above and place them right here as well. The Heiskanen, Makar, Hughes Norris races are going to be amazing to watch over the next decade.

16. Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames. The Western Conference version of Brad Marchand and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.

17. Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets. He is right there with Patrik Laine, his Jets teammate, from a goal-scoring perspective and is a better all-around player.

18. Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets. Speaking of Laine… he does one thing exceptionally well. He scores goals. A lot of them.

19. Carter Hart, Philadelphia Flyers. It took them decades but the Flyers finally found their goalie. He is a darn good goalie as well.

20. Pierre-Luc Dubois, Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blue Jackets faced criticism when they originally picked him with the No. 3 overall pick, but they were right. He is already a top-line center and his best days are still ahead of him.

[Related: Winners And Losers From The NHL Offseason So Far]

21. William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs. The criticism that he gets in Toronto is a little much and a little over the top. Is he expensive? Yeah, he is. He is also really good. Better than he gets credit for being at times.

22. Zach Werenski, Columbus Blue Jackets. He and Seth Jones form one of the league’s best defense pairings. Jones is the better all-around player (and just a little too old for this list!) but Werenski puts up the big numbers offensively.

23. Rasmus Dahlin, Buffalo Sabres. If he becomes the player everyone thinks he can be that would be massive for a Sabres team that desperately needs a superstar on its blue line. I think he can be that player.

24. Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks. I do not know if he will ever score 40 goals again, but I think he is closer to that player than the player we saw this past season.

25. Mikhail Sergachev, Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning’s talent level is absurd. They have award winners all over the lineup and always seem to have a pipeline of young talent filling out the rest of the roster. Sergachev is still only 22 years old and is already a top-pairing defender.

Just missing: Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks; Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers; Travis Konecny, Philadelphia Flyers; Anthony Cirelli, Tampa Bay Lightning; Adam Fox, New York Rangers; John Marino, Pittsburgh Penguins; Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers; Mackenzie Blackwood, New Jersey Devils; Nikolaj Ehlers, Winnipeg Jets; Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings

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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

NHL Power Rankings: 25 best players under age 25 originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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