Ranking the Top Penalty Killers Among NHL Forwards Today

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Ranking the Top Penalty Killers Among NHL Forwards Today
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Often the difference between a good penalty kill and a great one is a forward like Jordan Staal or Frans Nielsen who can win faceoffs, block shots and win battles along the boards and in front of the net. Who are the ten best active NHL forwards at killing penalties?

As explained in the companion piece about the best penalty-killing defensemen, it can be difficult to measure a player's defensive abilities with analytics. The two primary statistics of choice are how much they play, and how well the team does at preventing attempted shots when they're out there.

Remember that attempted shots also approximate how frequently opponents have the puck, gain the zone, and create opportunities. A team that is reducing attempted shots is usually reducing those key success factors as well. And yes, naturally there is a team effect to this kind of analysis.

Two players that barely missed the list are Tomas Plekanec and Patrice Bergeron. For any other great penalty killers that missed the list, remember that this is only one perspective, and not everyone shines under this particular lens. Now turn over.


The raw data used in the author's calculations at the top of each slide is from Behind the Net and includes 2010-11 through this past week-end. 


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