With some players, you know what you're going to get from them. You expect them to be at the top of the scoring lists, or to be one of the better defenders out there.
Then sometimes you get some players who just shoot out of nowhere and have an amazing year.
Sometimes the players who are supposed to impress leave you wanting a lot more.
Every season is different and new players rise to the challenge and show that they are truly a star in the league.
Here are the top 25 players in the 2011-2012 season to this point.
An ageless wonder, Selanne is one of the only players on the Ducks to be having a good season this year.
Selanne leads the Ducks in scoring again and seems to still have that first step and speed that has made him so dangerous throughout his Hall of Fame career.
He just never stops impressing. I hope he is able to play like this until he's 50.
Kimmo Timonen has been a stabilizing influence on the blue line of the Philadelphia Flyers that has seen its share of issues, mostly through injury.
Without Chris Pronger, other players have needed to step up to shoulder the burden and Timonen has done that fantastically.
Timonen leads all Flyers defensemen in points as well as plus/minus.
Timonen has really stepped up his game for his team this season.
Dion Phaneuf is frequently labeled as one of the more overrated players in the game, but I don't believe that that is fair.
He plays the game the way that it should be and has earned the C that he wears as Toronto's captain.
Phaneuf and the Leafs have been struggling of late, but he still is third on his team in scoring, leads the team's defenders in scoring, and is sixth among NHL defenders in scoring.
He's having a good year, but needs to step back up to help his team steady the ship.
Nicklas Backstrom isn't the usual Washington Capital that you would expect to see on this list, but he has definitely earned his spot with his performance this season.
Backstrom has easily been the most consistent member of the Capitals all year long and leads his team in scoring.
Those numbers also tie him for 12th in scoring in the NHL.
Backstrom is already just 23 points away from matching his point output from a season ago. He is having a great year.
Chara could probably be a bit higher on this list, but he is definitely within the top 25.
He's just a dominant defender like no other that has been seen in the NHL, ever.
His size is well documented, but size is nothing if you can't skate and he has always been able to get around the ice.
His plus-27 rank is more than enough to prove that.
Marian Hossa is having another great year statistically and is currently the scoring leader on the Chicago Blackhawks.
The best part about his numbers is the fact that he is plus-20. People love to downplay the relevance of the plus/minus statistic, but when your main job is to score goals and your plus/minus is still that high, it means you're also playing responsible hockey in your end.
That two-way game is just as valuable as being able to put the puck in the net.
Jason Spezza is the reason that the Ottawa Senators are having such a positive season.
He is by far the best player on the team and has been the catalyst for the offense all year long with his size and will to win.
Daniel Alfredsson may be the captain of this team, but Jason Spezza is leading the Senators right now in more ways than just statistics.
How Lidstrom manages to stay so good year after year is just amazing.
Lidstrom's body must not realize that he's 41 years old, because he has yet to play like he's that old.
He'll probably find his name amongst the finalists for the Norris Trophy again, but then again that's old hat to him by this point.
Jimmy Howard could possibly be a bit higher on this list due to the fact that he currently leads all goalies in wins at the moment.
Still, his goals against and save percentage numbers, while very good, are not as spectacular as players high on this list.
Nonetheless, Howard is truly beginning to come into his own as one of the top goalies in the league. He's going to have a lot of work in front of him if the Red Wings wish to catch the Blackhawks in their division and go deep into the playoffs.
How long has it been since we could include a member of the Florida Panthers in a list like this?
Brian Campbell is second amongst defensemen in scoring this season, and is leading his team in assists.
Campbell is looking like he might be having a career year if he keeps up his production at this pace.
There are few people in the history of the game that make handling the puck look as easy as Pavel Datsyuk does.
Datsyuk is currently tied for ninth in the league in scoring and continues to be one of the best two-way forwards that the game has today.
Datsyuk has won the Selke several times and figures to be a finalist for the award once again this year.
Jonathan Toews has been a workhorse for his team throughout the season.
He isn't leading the team in scoring, but he is by far the best player on his team and is easily the most valuable.
He just works so hard every single time he is on the ice and has so much skill that it's scary.
He really reminds me a lot of Joe Sakic when he was younger, both in the way that he is so effortlessly skilled and the way that he leads his team.
He expects just as much out of himself as he does anybody else on that team, probably more.
Without Sidney Crosby, the pressure all falls squarely on Malkin's shoulders to be the guy that leads the team offensively.
Malkin has had a lot of help from James Neal, but he has definitely stood up to the challenge.
Though Malkin has played seven games fewer than many of his teammates, he still leads the team in scoring by a great deal.
Malkin is carrying the load and making it look easy.
Erik Karlsson has emerged as one of the top offensive defensemen in the entire NHL this season and currently leads all defenders in scoring.
He has been a huge part of the surprising season for the Ottawa Senators.
In a few years he could be the most dominant offensive defender in the entire league—if he hasn't reached that status already.
Shea Weber will be considered the best defenseman in the NHL once Nicklas Lidstrom retires and for obvious reasons.
Weber is a bigger and stronger version of Lidstrom, a defenseman who does everything that his team needs in every situation.
Weber even leads his team in scoring despite being out for a few games with a head injury.
Weber will have his name etched onto that Norris Trophy several times before his career is over.
Daniel Sedin isn't having as great of a year as he had a season ago, but he is still among the scoring leaders of the league.
Daniel always benefits from playing with twin brother Henrik, but his individual skill is formidable nonetheless.
He hasn't been as dominant, but he is still doing well enough to squeak into the top 10 this season.
Tim Thomas is one of the greatest stories of overcoming the odds that any sport could possibly tell.
Thomas is following up his Vezina season with more spectacular numbers and amazing saves.
17 wins, 1.99 goals against average and a save percentage of .938.
He's definitely getting a lot of help from his offense this year, but Thomas would be putting up these amazing numbers no matter what.
Another stellar year for Jonathan Quick, but the team as a whole isn't doing as well.
If the seemingly offensively loaded L.A. Kings could figure out how to score more often, then the team would easily be picking up more wins, thanks to Quick's fantastic play.
1.93 goals against, .934 save percentage and a league-high six shutouts make Quick an easy addition to the top 10 players this season.
Joffrey Lupul has benefited greatly from the fantastic play of Phil Kessel, but he has also been part of the reason for it.
Both Kessel and Lupul have pushed each other in the best possible way since the beginning of the season. They both make the other guy a better player.
Lupul is set to have a career season this year, having already almost matched his highest point output in a season in half of the games.
Stamkos is having a fantastic year for a team that is having a terrible season.
Stamkos currently leads the league in goals scored with 28, and looks to have a much better second half to the season than he did a year ago.
Stamkos is the premier sniper in the league right now.
Despite his fantastic number, Lundqvist could still be one of the most underrated goalies in the league.
He's so consistently awesome for his team and this season has been no different.
Lundqvist has 18 wins, a 1.89 goals against average and a save percentage of .939.
It's no wonder that the Rangers have been able to jump to the top of the league behind his spectacular play.
Say whatever you want about Henrik Sedin, the guy just plain knows how to get the job done.
Sure, he dives and embellishes, but he is also one of the most skilled playmakers that the league has seen in its recent history.
Henrik Sedin once again finds himself atop the league in points with 49 points and looks to just be warming up.
The Canucks had a slow start, but thanks to Henrik's play the team has begun to roll through their schedule and pile up wins just like it did a season ago.
If there is a man that could give Giroux a run for his money as the league MVP, it would be Phil Kessel.
Kessel has played with a chip on his shoulder all year long. He has been among the goal-scoring leaders since the start of the year and trails only Steven Stamkos.
To put it into perspective, Kessel had 32 goals all last season. He's already within eight goals of last season's mark, and we're not even at the All-Star break yet.
Kessel has been the heart of the Maple Leafs and continues to perform well, even as the team struggles.
Nobody expected anything out of Brian Elliott this season after he signed a two-way contract with the St. Louis Blues to serve as the backup to Jaroslav Halak.
Elliott not only performed well, he supplanted Halak as the starter of the Blues and has put up some freakishly good numbers this year.
In 20 starts, Elliott has posted a 1.62 goals against average and a save percentage of .940.
He has been lights out all year and could be a front-runner for the Vezina Trophy for the league's best goaltender at the end of the year.
To this point of the season, Claude Giroux has probably earned himself the Hart Trophy as the MVP of the league.
He has been consistently great all year long. Injuries haven't even stopped this guy.
In the game that he came back from a head injury, he had four points and looked as if he had never missed a beat.
Claude Giroux has been the man of the year.