Each NHL team has its share of star players whose talent and skills stand out from the rest of the roster. It can be a dazzling offensive forward, a gifted two-way defenseman or a goaltender who can carry a team to victory.
On every roster there's also a player whose contributions are no less important but is often overlooked by the fans. In many cases these players aren't as flashy or as naturally skilled. However, their work ethic and shrewd hockey sense make them invaluable.
Sometimes they're checking line forwards whose efforts containing a rival club's scorers makes the difference between winning and losing. It can be a defenseman willing to sacrifice his body for a big hit or a blocked shot with the game on the line. Sometimes it's a goaltender whose efforts are overshadowed by the performance of his superstar teammates.
At times a truly skilled player's obvious strengths can overshadow their other talents. A player who would be a standout on a lesser team can be outshone on a star-studded roster. A highly paid player on a bad team can be singled out for his salary instead of praised for his skills.
Here's a look at the most underrated player on every NHL team this season.
Note: All stats effective March 25, 2014.