My Size Hockey Player: The Top 15 Undersized Players in the NHL
Go to the website of your favorite NHL team, or any NHL team for that matter, and take a quick peek at the roster.
You'll see a bunch of players listed at various larger than life heights: 6'0", 6'2", 6'3", and some even as tall as 6'6".
But if you look hard enough, other numbers may jump out at you: 5'8", 5'9", or 5'10".
Some of the best players playing in the NHL today are not over six feet tall.
Yes, it is possible to be short and make a name for yourself in professional hockey.
In this slideshow, you will get to know 15 small players who are making big impacts on their teams.
There was only one requirement to be included in this slideshow: All players featured had to be 5'10" or smaller. I started with 50 players who met that requirement and cut them down to 15.
So take a seat, preferably on your knees or sitting on the floor so these guys don't feel overwhelmed by your height, and enjoy the show.
No. 15: Derek Roy, Center, Buffalo Sabres
Vital Statistics: 5'9", 180 pounds
Roy has been with the Buffalo Sabres since the 2005-2006 season.
In 2007, he set a Sabres record for fastest playoff goal when he scored nine seconds into Buffalo's matchup with the Ottawa Senators in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
He finished the 2009-2010 season with 69 points in 80 games and had a plus-four rating. He was also ranked 10th in the NHL with six game winning goals, and his season was highlighted with 10 power play goals on Buffalo's 17th ranked power play.
No. 14: Steve Sullivan, Left Wing, Nashville Predators
Vital Statistics: 5'8", 161 pounds
When not begging Dustin Byfuglien to not crush him, Sullivan is an alternate captain for the Preds.
After missing the entire 2007-2008 season with a back injury, Sullivan retained midway through the 2008-2009 season and put up a respectable 32 points in 41 games. He was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy that season.
This season, he appeared in all 82 games for Nashville, scoring 51 points in the regular season and had three points and a plus-two rating in six playoff games.
No. 13: Tobias Enstrom, Defense, Atlanta Thrashers
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 180 pounds
Enstrom has not missed a game for the Thrashers in three years. This season, he had a breakout year with 50 points in 82 games.
He also set two franchise records this year. He surpassed Yannick Tremblay for Atlanta's all time record among defensemen, putting up 120 points in his three seasons with the Thrashers. He also has the record for most assists in a season for a defenseman, with 44 this year.
Enstrom played on the 2010 Swedish Olympic team, recording two assists in four games.
No. 12: Marc Savard, Center, Boston Bruins
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 191 pounds
Marc, don't be mad that you're so small. You've still accomplished a lot in the NHL.
Despite being saddled with injuries during the 2009-2010 season, Savard still managed to score 33 points in 41 games and post a plus-two rating. One of his biggest highlights was scoring the game winning overtime goal in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Before joining the Bruins, Savard spent three seasons with the Atlanta Thrashers. He set a franchise record with seven assists in two games on November 11 and 12, 2005.
He also had 69 assists in the 2005-2006 season, which was good enough for another franchise record for most assists in a single season. That year, he had his best NHL season to date, finishing with 97 points.
Savard also represented the Bruins in the 2008 and 2009 NHL All-Star Games.
No. 11: Michael Cammalleri, Left Wing, Montreal Canadiens
Vital Statistics: 5'9", 182 pounds
Cammalleri found his offensive touch this year in his first season with the Canadiens.
He finished the season with 50 points in 65 games and a plus-seven rating. He also had two hat tricks, but he really broke out during Montreal's playoff run.
Cammalleri finished first in goal scoring among playoff participants with 13 goals and eighth in points with 19. He was also third in playoff game-winning goals with three.
During the Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Cammalleri tied a Montreal franchise record with seven goals in a seven game series. He ties for the record with Habs greats such as Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, and Guy Lafleur.
Even if Chris Pronger wanted to eat him for breakfast, being in elite company isn't bad for a player who only stands six inches taller than your writer. I'm jealous.
No. 10: Saku Koivu, Center, Anaheim Ducks
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 178 pounds
Koivu, an alternate captain for the Ducks, came to California this season after spending 13 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens. He was the team captain for nine of those seasons.
He finished this season with 52 points and a plus-14 rating and has had more than 50 points in a season every year for the last seven years.
Koivu has represented Finland in four Olympic games (1994, 1998, 2006, and 2010) and has brought home three bronze medals and one silver medal.
Koivu's best career highlight came in 2002 when he re-joined Montreal after battling lymphoma. When he came out to the ice on April 8, 2002, the hometown crowd gave him an eight minute standing ovation. He was awarded the Masterton Trophy after the playoffs that year.
The only thing Koivu is missing in his illustrious career is a Stanley Cup. Will he stick around in the NHL to get it? I hope he does, because in my opinion, he is one of the players most deserving of hockey's biggest prize.
No. 9: Kris Versteeg, Right Wing, Toronto Maple Leafs
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 182 pounds
Luckily for Versteeg, the Stanley Cup isn't taller than he is. At least I don't think it is...
In his rookie season with the Blackhawks in 2008-2009, he finished second in NHL rookie scoring with 53 points. His performance earned him a nomination for the Calder Memorial Trophy, which he lost to goaltender Steve Mason of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
This season, he finished the regular season with 44 points in 79 games and a plus-eight rating. He was also third in the NHL with three shorthanded goals scored.
During the playoffs, he posted 14 points in 22 games en route to the Blackhawks' first Stanley Cup in 49 years.
Versteeg will be missed in Chicago, but hopefully, his success translates to a playoff run for the Maple Leafs.
No. 8: Ray Whitney, Left Wing, Phoenix Coyotes
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 180 pounds
Whitney has been in the NHL for 17 years. He broke into the NHL with the San Jose Sharks in 1991, who were a new team at the time. He is the only player from that inaugural squad still active in the league.
Most recently, Whitney just finished playing five seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes, where he served as an alternate captain. He won a Stanley Cup with the Canes in 2006, scoring 15 points in 24 games. Ironically, his best season was the year after, when he had 83 points in 81 games.
He finished the 2009-2010 season with 58 points in 80 games. His next destination will be Phoenix, where he recently signed a two year contract.
Whitney was also a two time NHL All Star, representing the Florida Panthers in 2000 and the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2003.
No. 7: Brian Gionta, Right Wing, Montreal Canadiens
Vital Statistics: 5'7", 173 pounds
Gionta is the smallest player featured on this list, as well as the smallest active player in the NHL, but he has had a pretty big career to date.
Prior to joining Montreal, Gionta played seven seasons with the New Jersey Devils. He won his first Stanley Cup in 2003 and had nine points in 24 playoff games.
Gionta only got better after that. He has had 40 points a season every year for the last five years. In 2006, he finished the season with 48 points, becoming the first Devils player to have 40 goals in a season since Patrik Elias and Alexander Mogilny in 2001. That tally is enough to hold the franchise record for most goals in a season.
Half of his goals in 2006 (24) were power play goals, which set another New Jersey record for most power play goals in a season.
He just finished the first season of a five year contract with Montreal, where he finished with 46 points in 61 games. He had 15 points in 19 playoff games and was seventh in playoff goals scored with nine.
No. 6: Daniel Briere, Right Wing, Philadelphia Flyers
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 179 pounds
Briere finished the 2009-2010 regular season with 53 points in 75 games.
In the playoffs, he was the NHL's leading scorer 30 points (12 goals, and 18 assists) in 23 playoff games. His point total set an NHL record and a Flyers franchise record for most points in a single Stanley Cup playoff run.
Briere is a one time NHL All-Star. He represented the Buffalo Sabres in the 2007 game in Dallas and was named the game's MVP after scoring five points (one goal, four assists) for the Eastern Conference.
No. 5: Martin St. Louis, Right Wing, Tampa Bay Lightning
Vital Statistics: 5'9", 177 pounds
Martin St. Louis, an alternate captain for the Lightning, has been playing in Tampa Bay for the last 10 years.
In 2004, he won his first Stanley Cup, which was also the Lightning's first Cup in franchise history. In addition to the Cup, he picked up four NHL awards: the Art Ross Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award, and the Hart Memorial Trophy. He had 94 points in the regular season and 24 points in 23 playoff games.
St. Louis is a five time NHL All Star, having represented the Bolts in the 2003 and 2004 games, as well as participating in the last three All-Star Games (2007, 2008, and 2009).
He finished this past season with 94 points in 82 games, good enough for sixth in the NHL in scoring. His 65 assists were fifth in the league.
He also took home the Lady Byng Trophy at this year's NHL awards, an award given to the player that best exemplifies sportsmanship in the league.
St. Louis played for Canada in the 2006 Olympics, where he had three points in six games as Canada fell to Russia in the quarterfinals.
No. 4: Kimmo Timonen, Defenseman, Philadelphia Flyers
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 194 pounds
Timonen, one of the Flyers' alternate captains, played all 82 games for the Flyers during the 2009-2010 regular season and finished with 39 points. He also had 11 points in 23 playoff games.
Timonen has represented Finland in three Olympic games (1998, 2006, and 2010) and has won one silver medal and two bronze medals in competition.
He was named to four NHL All-Star Games (2000, 2004, 2007, and 2008) but only played in the 2004 and 2007 festivities.
Prior to coming to the Flyers, Timonen spent seven seasons with the Nashville Predators, where he holds the franchise record for career assists with 222.
No. 3: Mark Recchi, Right Wing, Boston Bruins
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 190 pounds
Recchi is the oldest active player in the NHL at 42 years old and ranks in the top 10 of all time games played with 1,571.
He is a two time Stanley Cup winner. He won his first title with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1991 and hoisted the Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006 after being traded there from Pittsburgh.
Recchi was an alternate captain for the Bruins this year and finished the season with 43 points and 10 points in 13 playoff games.
He holds the Flyers regular season scoring record with 123 points during the 1992-1993 season.
In March 2009, he became the oldest player to score five assists in a game. He was a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning at the time and accomplished this feat in an 8-6 Lightning win over the Calgary Flames.
He is a seven time NHL All-Star and was the game's MVP in 1997.
No. 2: Brian Rafalski, Defenseman, Detroit Red Wings
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 194 pounds
Rafalski is a three time Stanley Cup winner. He won two Cups with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and 2003 and won his third with the Red Wings in 2008. In 2000, he finished with a plus-21 rating, which was second among Devils defensemen and first among all NHL rookies.
In the 2008 Finals, he scored the Wings' first goal of Game Six, which helped Detroit clinch the Stanley Cup with a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rafalski participated in his second Olympics this year when he represented the U.S.A. in Vancouver. He finished first in defensemen scoring with eight points and was named the Olympics' best defenseman.
He is also a two-time NHL All Star, participating in the 2004 and 2007 games. He was a starter for the Eastern Conference in 2004.
No. 1: Patrick Kane, Right Wing, Chicago Blackhawks
Vital Statistics: 5'10", 178 pounds
Kane, the first overall pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, won the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2008 after finishing the season with 72 points in 82 games. He beat Blackhawks teammate Jonathan Toews to receive the award.
In 2009, he finished with 70 points in the regular season and scored his first career hat trick against the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs. Although the Hawks were eliminated in the Western Conference Finals by the Red Wings, Kane still finished the playoffs with 14 points in 16 games.
This year, he finished the regular season with 88 points in 82 games, which ranked nine in the NHL. He was eighth in assists with 58 and was named to the 2009 NHL All-Star Game.
In the 2010 Olympics, he won a silver medal with Team USA and scored five points in six games.
In this year's playoffs, Kane was third in NHL playoff scoring with 28 points and second in playoff assists with 18. He scored the game winning goal in Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals, defeating the Flyers to end the Hawks' long Cup drought.