NHL Player Tier: From Seth Jones to Alex Ovechkin, Whose Placement Did We Disagree Most With?

Last Thursday we unveiled the list of top 100 players in hockey for the 2022-23 season, divided into tiers. It was an elaborate project aimed at bridging the gap between the analytical and the traditional mind when it comes to the evaluation of players. This meant gathering opinions from across the league.

What we learned: Everyone has their favorite.

Hockey is a very difficult sport in terms of value, as the importance one person attaches can be quite different from the next. This may be why trades are so hard to come by because teams cannot be seen face to face when it comes to how good a player is. That’s what it meant to make this list in the first place: building a consensus list based on cold hard data from respected analysts based on credible perspectives from hockey insiders.

But it also meant our own disagreement with the final list. The four of us – Shaun, Shayna, Dom and Corey – all had our favorite players we wish they had more. We also had players we wish were less. We’re all proud of the final list and happy with the collaborative effort, but that doesn’t mean we won’t change some things with full control.

If we did, these are the eight players who would have been taken up or down… depending on who you ask.


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Andrei Svechnikov

Huh, that was harder than I thought. Guess I won most of my arguments. That said, for the second straight season, I felt like I was a dissenting voice over Svechnikov. This is where I am obliged to say that no matter how good he is, and how much I like him (professionally and personally), and how good he is with kids and animals, And let’s talk about a Twitter link to that. Something cute… no matter what. We love all these players with all our hearts – especially the ones you love the most.

That said, I’m not sold on placing him a sub-level behind the best wingers in the game. I’m not sold on walking with him Alex Ovechkin And Patrick Kane, no matter how old they are. And I’m not quite down with predicting a huge increase in the launch of the second season in a row. At 22 years old, in its fifth season, he is getting into “he is what he is” territory.


Andrei Svechnikov. (James Guillory / USA TODAY)

And don’t get me wrong; I’ll take a 30-goal, play-driving power forward in my first line at any given day, but the standard for wingers in our short practice is high, and we rarely give them generous launch advantage. I’m not sure why he’s the exception to the rule for the second season in a row. So it’s a minor twist, but for now — and at least for one more season — he’s more sub-par than he should be. Mix in a brutal playoff and the call gets a little easier.

Jordan Kyrou

I’m aware of Kyrou’s defensive issues – as Craig Berub certainly appears to be – but I still think he showed enough last season to land somewhere above 4C. It’s quite simple; He is a young winger coming off a remarkably productive offensive season. He’s gotten better year after year, and I’m willing to bet his five-in-five defenses reach an acceptable level when you bring him somewhere else.

Basically, if it’s what he has – if he never improves, despite showing himself to be a man who does with each passing season – what he brings to the table is already That’s what makes him a top-100 player for me. He deserves the same benefit of doubt as we give people Jack Hughes And Trevor Zegrass,


Shayna

Seth Jones

Tier 4A is full of flawed top-pair defenders, but I think Jones’ flaws should push him down at least one sub-tier. He was dropped two seasons from being a rower in Columbus which gave him the reputation he currently has. And of course, the teams around him are really shattered; blue jacket‘ the stock fell in its last season and blackhawks are disgusting. While the quality of the team around him is clearly out of his control, he isn’t separating himself enough from his teammates.

On the surface, it’s easy to say he’s coming off a 51-point season that was the second best of his career, so his game hasn’t really suffered. But there are some red flags beneath the surface for Jones. His on-ice numbers are the worst numbers of his career. This isn’t entirely surprising given the quality of his teams, but Jones doesn’t really make that much of a positive impression relative to his teammates. And those related to the trend also get tangled up in his microstats, like the fact that he’s struggling more with his breakouts and recoveries.

At this point, there’s enough evidence to move him down – not necessarily out of the rankings altogether, but a sub-tier or two lower because Jones is not at his best and will likely be out of the rankings this year. Not going to get there either.

Jack Hughes

Tier 3A is a pretty good place, but I really think Jack Hughes should go higher. He is the player whom multiple sources have pointed to as a riser who could find himself at full level a year from now. Maybe it’s banking a little bit more on the potential versus what we’ve actually seen NHL Levels so far, but I think at least up to 2C is enough for that bump.

There are two major things going on for Hughes: his progress from his rookie year and the level he played at when he recovered in 2021-22. After a terrifying year, Hughes progressed into his season of sophistication without showing results for it. He then went on to recover last year with 56 points in 49 games, scoring at a pace of 84 points.

In a five-for-five last season, Hughes was an excellent source of offense; that was a positive for Devils, relative to their peers in shot volume and quality and goal scoring. Hughes was one of the top forwards in bringing the puck into the offensive zone with control, often carrying it on his own; Some players were able to match what he created in transition. And the ability to maintain center possession also led to cycling opportunities. With his prime playmaking, Hughes himself generated a high rate of scoring opportunities. And, Unlike his second NHL season, he had sophisticated talent to make an impact with those shots.

That three-year foundation – a particularly terrifying first season – weighs in on his projection for 2022-23. But the growth in that period itself instills in him the confidence to perform better, along with the fact that he needs to be in a better position to succeed. Hughes’ 2021-22 game, and how he’s going to help him on the field this year, should give him a level of power.


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Jason Robertson

Last year there were four top lines that together achieved 60 percent of the expected goals: Boston‘s, Toronto‘s, Calgary‘sand Dallas, Boston’s line is made up of three franchise players, one MVP from Toronto featured and one franchise player, and two franchise players from Calgary. Dallas? Not so much love, not close. Robertson ranked highest in Tier 3C – a placement that seems too conservative.

It’s hard for a top line to have those kinds of numbers without an elite driver. The company that has its line in Dallas is telling this. That’s why Robertson gets such a high grade by the GSVA: He’s a big-time scorer and whenever he’s on the ice great things happen at five-for-five — especially aggressively. Since entering the league, Robertson is one of 12 forwards to remain on the ice for more than three expected goals per 60 and 3.5 actual goals. Eight of the other 11 are in Tier 2 or higher and the other three are linemates of players in that level.


Jason Robertson. (Sergei Belsky / USA Today)

What makes it all the more impressive is that he’s doing it in Dallas, where it’s hard to take offense. Relative to teammates, no one has scored more goals per 60 than Robertson in the past two years, where Dallas scored 1.14 more goals per 60 with Robertson on the ice. It also ranks sixth in relative expected goals. Combine that with a potential points-per-game season and Robertson projects to be worth four wins next season – the most of all in Tier 3. And yet, he is at the bottom of it.

I see the reason to put him down. His supercharged line makes it difficult to assess his personal worth properly and he is not the most dynamic player either. But the consequences are hard to ignore. I would put him at the top of Tier 3.

Mackenzie Vega

Shaking “The Big Mistake” is a difficult task for a defenseman, and Weiger learned that big time after massive one in the second round.

Despite its modest price tag and the team’s lack of defensive depth, panthers Spent the summer actively shopping for him before joining the deal Matthew Tkachuk, His stock declined drastically and this was reflected in this year’s player levels, where he remained in Tier 4A despite another excellent season. Last year, we wanted to see him fulfill the promise he made in 2021. He did, but it was hard to ignore the decline in his league-wide reputation for the sake of the project.

Personally, Weiger can play on my team any night and belongs somewhere in Tier 3. Over the past two seasons, Weigar has earned an expected goal rate of 58 percent, trailing the top five of the league. Charlie McAvoy, Devon Toes And Cale Makar – All the hard minutes while playing. her away from drama in 2021 Aaron Oakleaf was exemplary and proof that he could run a pair on his own. Last year he was the team’s best defender in limiting zone entries and not yet their best puck-mover – Ekblad. On five-on-five, the two have been equally proficient point producers, with a points-per-60 of about 1.3 points, which bodes well for a top 10 in the league.

Weigar deserves a lot more credit for his game than he is getting right now. While there is some concern about how he will perform in a new team away from Eckblad, he should find plenty of support at the deep Calgary Blue Line. In all honesty, it will be more interesting to see how Ekblade does without Vigor.


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Alexander Ovechkin

I found myself on an island arguing that Ovechkin was an obvious Tier 2 player. I was quite surprised two years in a row at how little support I had for him from my colleagues, especially how productive he was last season. Yes, he’s getting old, he’ll be 37 at the start of the season, and he’s finally going to hit a wall, and yes, he’s not the first guy on the board that I want for a crucial defensive position. But Ovechkin is still quite a special player. He is a physical force to be reckoned with in his size, frame, speed and physicality. Because of those physical traits and his natural aggressive touch, he still has many chances. The last time he did not get four shots on goal per game was in the 2016-17 season. I look at some of the wingers we have in Tier 2 and think they are there, if not above some of them.

Brady Takachuku

Tkachuk has emerged as a leading power winger in the NHL. He is an elite scoring chance and shot generator, was ranked 10th in the league in shots on goal and is a unique type of player. His competitiveness level is off the charts with his great size and skill allowing him to dominate areas with a high percentage of the offensive. If senators Get into the playoffs any time soon, I think he’ll be a force to be reckoned with later in the season. He continues to be an influence for a long time and I think he will be just as good if not better than last season. He will be good for me in Tier 3, at least 3B and definitely 3A.

(Top photo of Alex Ovechkin: Dan Hamilton / USA Today)

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