The NBA All-Star Game is a month away and there are some snubs, overrated players and who could make a leap that should be watched.
The “espn undroppable list” is a list of players who are snubs by the ESPN. The list includes overrated players and who could make a leap.
We’ve published our NHL Rank top 100 players for the 2021-22 season, which is a forecast of the top 100 players for the next season. This season, a panel of ESPN NHL experts voted on who they felt would be the top players.
But it doesn’t mean we got everything perfect, so we enlisted the help of a couple of our specialists. Who was left out of the top 100? Who got a really high ranking? Who will rise to the top of the list next season?
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Outside of the top 100, who has received the most snubs?
Greg Wyshynski: Seattle Kraken’s Jared McCann. How is the breakthrough performance for the season’s most fascinating team — the expansion Kraken — not invited to the party if this is intended to be a forecast for the 2021-22 season? The center started the season with a point-per-game average. He’s been an analytics all-star in the previous three seasons, ranking seventh in the NHL in goals scored above average (31.8). Let the McCann loose!
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Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks, Kristen Shilton. Hertl is a calm, reliable two-way player. Last season, he was San Jose’s second-leading scorer, and he continues to put up excellent statistics in the faceoff circle. With Evander Kane sidelined for the first 21 games of the season, Hertl will have even more opportunities.
Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, Victoria Matiash. Kreider looks to be his old 2019 self, scrappy (he has three less hits than Ryan Reaves), productive, and clutch, one (albeit poor) year away from a head-turning performance in 2019-20 — at least until he fractured his foot. The Rangers are far better with the 30-year-old on the ice than without him, according to possession metrics and the old eye test.
Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks, Arda Ocal. Look, I get he’s coming off a lengthy layoff due to injury, he’s 33, and this Blackhawks team hasn’t played particularly well to begin the season, but he’s hardly in the top 100. In the 2020 season, he scored 60 points in 70 games, while Dylan Larkin (No. 96) and Bo Horvat (No. 97) both had 53. Obviously, points aren’t the only thing that counts. But Toews’ absence from the top 100 feels odd.
Can you think of a player that is ranked too high on the list?
Greg Wyshynski: New Jersey Devils’ Jack Hughes (No. 44). There’s no denying that the Devils center has displayed glimpses of greatness in the past, particularly prior to his injury this season. However, it’s tough to place “flashes” ahead of veterans like Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues, Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and the Brothers Tkachuk, all of whom are in Jack Hughes’ rearview mirror on this list.
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins, Kristen Shilton (No. 9). Marchand is an outstanding player without a doubt. Is he, though, still in the NHL’s top ten? Or is he that much better than his colleague David Pastrnak, who is ranked 26th? Questionable.
Mitchell Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs, Victoria Matiash (No. 14). Marner doesn’t deserve his No. 14 overall ranking after the Maple Leafs’ too-short playoff run last spring and this season’s wobbly start (two assists in eight games). Yes, he’s really gifted, and he’ll undoubtedly improve, but the league’s fourth-best winger? This isn’t the season. In light of those listed below, no.
Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames, Arda Ocal (No. 58). With a.904 save % in 2020-2021, he had his worst season since 2015. He built up a lot of equity with the Canucks in the second half of his career, and he’s off to a great start with the Flames this season, but he’s ahead of fellow goalies John Gibson, Darcy Kuemper, Spencer Knight, Semyon Varlamov, Juuse Saros, Jordan Binnington, Marc-Andre Fleury, Cam Talbot, and Carey Price as a projection. Many of the goalies in the later part of our top 100 might spark heated argument.
Which goaltender has the potential to make a significant leap forward next season?
Greg Wyshynski: New York Islanders’ Ilya Sorokin. Sorokin, who is currently unranked on the list, is expected to have another strong statistical season in coach Barry Trotz’s system, and might wind up starting more often than Semyon Varlamov, who did make the list.
Elvis Merzlikins, Columbus Blue Jackets, Kristen Shilton. Merzlikins is a rising talent in Columbus. It’s why the Blue Jackets extended his contract for another five years. Merzlikins has already shown to be a worthy investment. He’ll almost certainly go from sixth to third place in keeper rankings next season.
Frederik Andersen of the Carolina Hurricanes, Victoria Matiash. Perhaps if Andersen wins the Vezina Trophy in Carolina, he’ll reclaim the respect he he well deserves. Is it possible to have too much? Well, from opening night, the recent Leaf has been the top goalkeeper, and he may be in the trophy discussion for the foreseeable future. I understand that this rating is based on individual performance rather than team performance, but playing on a successful Hurricanes team will only highlight what a terrific goalkeeper Andersen is and continues to be.
Spencer Knight of the Florida Panthers, Arda Ocal. In the 2020-21 playoffs, Knight was given two starts over two-time Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky. He is a popular Calder Trophy candidate who has won his first two starts for the Panthers, who are undefeated. I’m looking forward to seeing how his career progresses. If Bobrovsky keeps hot, Florida might have a 1A and 1B goalkeeper scenario — an embarrassment of goaltending riches. Knight, on the other hand, will keep his half of the agreement and see a significant boost in his stock price.
Which skater from outside the top 75 has a chance to make the top 25 next year?
Greg Wyshynski: Detroit Red Wings’ Dylan Larkin. The Wings seem to be nearing the end of their reconstruction, thanks in part to the performance of their top line, which includes Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi, and youngster Lucas Raymond. This season, Larkin is averaging more than a point per game, and a good scoring year might put him back on everyone’s attention.
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Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets, Kristen Shilton. Last season, Ehlers scored a point per game on average. In Winnipeg, he’s off to a strong start, as are Pierre-Luc Dubois and Kyle Connor. If the Jets’ offense gets going and remains hot, Ehlers might rise quickly from his current position of No. 78.
Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks, Victoria Matiash DeBrincat, who is 23 years old and in his sixth NHL season, is set to take his game to the next level. In the making is a great superstar. I also predicted DeBrincat to win the Rocket Richard in the preseason, so I’ll stick with him.
Patrik Laine of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Arda Ocal. We’re seeing flashes of the Laine who was the second overall selection in 2016 and scored 44 goals in 2017-18 so far this season. He has six points in the Blue Jackets’ first six games (two goals and four assists). If he keeps at this pace, I think he’ll rise from his present position of No. 100 to at least vie for a top-25 berth, if not break into it.
Predict the top five for the years 2024-25.
1. Connor McDavid; 2. Cale Makar; 3. Auston Matthews; 4. Elias Pettersson; 5. Kirill Kaprizov, according to Greg Wyshynski.
Connor McDavid is first, followed by Aleksander Barkov, Nathan MacKinnon, Leon Draisaitl, and Auston Matthews.
Connor McDavid, Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov, Leon Draisaitl, Victor Hedman, Victoria Matiash: 1. Connor McDavid, 2. Nathan MacKinnon, 3. Aleksander Barkov, 4. Leon Draisaitl, 5. Victor Hedman
Arda Ocal: Connor McDavid (1st), Nathan MacKinnon (2nd), Kirill Kaprizov (3rd), Auston Matthews (4th), Charlie McAvoy (5th).
The “espn undroppable list nba” is a list of players that are considered to be snubs, overrated and who could make a leap.
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