Patrick Kane, Martin St. Louis and the 30 Best NHL Players Under Six Feet Tall
So many people believe that hockey is a sport of size, weight and brute force. Well, the next 30 players prove that you don't have to be 6'6 and 230 pounds of pure muscle to contribute to the game.
A throwback to arguably the best "shorty" of all time is Theo Fleury (pictured here), standing a mere 5 feet, 6 inches tall, but still sniping enough goals to average over a point a game for his entire career - 1088 points in 1084 career games played.
Just one key point to mention before we get started, any players who did not play at least 15 games this season were not included in the list. This includes: Paul Kariya, Zach Parise, Marc Savard and Chris Drury.
So here we go!
30. Mike Comrie: Pittsburgh Penguins
Jump starting our countdown is Mike Comrie, Pittsburgh's 5'10 center. Comrie has only played 16 games this year with the Pens, but he has tallied 5 total points all assists, and 18 penalty minutes. Comrie isn't the best of the NHL shrimps, but he's absolutely deserved his 30th spot.
29. Steve Sullivan: Nashville Predators
Nashville's shortest, Steve Sullivan, is our number 29. The 5'8 left wing has some impressive points, racking up 15 points and a +3 rating, and even looking up to all of his teammates, he leads them as their alternate captain. At 36-years-old, the smallest Pred is, ironically, looked up to by the younger comrades despite being physically looked down on.
28. Andy MacDonald: St. Louis Blues
The 5'10 Blue, Andy MacDonald is next up on the countdown. The solid center has 17 points with +3 rating, and leads St. Louis in points earning him the admirable 28th seat on our list of littles.
27. Kimo Timonen: Philadelphia Flyers
Our next sensational shorty is 5'10 Kimo Timonen of the Philadelphia Flyers. The first defender to make the list has some impressive numbers with 11 assists this season leading the Philly defenders in that category.
26. Doug Weight: New York Islanders
Islander captain, Doug Weight, is next up, standing at 5'11, and tallying nine points with seven assists. The center also sees plenty of penalty kill time, unfortunately leading to a -3 rating. However, the captain is absolutely deserving of the 26th seat on the list.
25. Darren Helm: Detroit Red Wings
Measuring in at just one inch under six feet is Detroit center Darren Helm, who hasn't played the most impressive season when discussing numbers. He still has played an impressive year and deserves his post on our countdown.
24. Mark Recchi: Boston Bruins
Boston's alternate captain, the 5'10 Mark Recchi, is number 24 on the countdown. The right winger has posted some pretty impressive numbers with 17 points and a +2 rating, landing him in our top 25.
23. Jeff Skinner: Carolina Hurricanes
Skinner is the first player who is young enough to actually have the chance to be disqualified from this list, at 18-years-old, he could potentially grow up to six-feet tall, but for now he's still safely under the mark at 5'10. The rookie right winger has posted 20 points in his first season, however the veterans have the reputation that have earned them higher rankings.
22. Tobias Enstrom, Atlanta Thrashers
One of the alternates of the revamped Atlanta Thrashers is the 5'10 defender, Tobias Enstrom. Enstrom has had a very impressive year with 22 points in 28 games played, and a +2 rating. A offensively minded defender has made a big name for him despite his smaller stature.
21. Stephane Robidas: Dallas Stars
Standing at 5'11, Dallas alternate captain, Stephane Robidas stands in our 21st spot. The Star has a surprising 31 penalty minutes, an unusually high number for someone his size. With one powerplay goal and a +6 rating.
20. Jussi Jokinen: Carolina Hurricanes
Measuring in just short of six feet at 5'11 is Carolina left wing Jussi Jokinen. The forward has 10 penalty minutes, and 20 points including 15 assists. Jokinen has absolutely impressed me personally enough to close out rankings 20-30 in the 20th seat.
19. Scott Gomez: Montreal Canadiens
Canadiens center Scott Gomez also measures in under the six-foot height limit, and is the first player to break in the top 20 smaller NHL players. Another player who just breaks the limit, standing at 5'11, Gomez has nine points this season and six penalty minutes.
18. Kris Versteeg: Toronto Maple Leafs
Our 18th spot goes to the 24-year old forward, Kris Versteeg, of the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 5'10 winger has 15 points this season, with 17 penalty minutes, and a team-leading five power play goals. Versteeg was a tough one to place, with a -11 rating, however he still broke safely into our top 20.
17. Brian Gionta: Montreal Canadiens
The smallest of our top 30 stands a mere 5'7, and that is the Canadiens captain, Brian Gionta. The right winger, although he may be considered "fun sized" knows how to tally the right kind of points with 16 points, and a +2 rating.
16. Claude Giroux: Philadelphia Flyers
When placed among the other shrimps of the National Hockey League, Giroux would tower over most, standing at 5'11. The right wing has posted 25 points this season, and 16 penalty minutes earning him the seat just one outside of the top 15.
15. Saku Koivu: Anaheim Ducks
Saku Koivu, the 5'10 center for Anaheim, is the resident faceoff-fiend and has played at an impressive enough calibre to land in the top 15 of the league's littles. With 14 points, and 20 penalty minutes, the mini-veteran has also proven himself valuable on the penalty kill, and with a team like Anaheim, it's anything but a surprise that they need reliable penalty killers.
14. Matt Duchene: Colorado Avalanche
Another center lands on the list as a giant in the list of miniatures. The Colorado center has 24 points and 21 penalty minutes this season, and is anything never concerned about size difference when it comes to dropping the gloves for a few punches. A very unexpected trait for a player under six-feet tall.
13. Michael Cammalleri: Montreal Canadiens
Canadiens captain Michael Cammalleri lands on the list in the seat that is the same number that is seen on his sweater, number 13. With 18 points, and 18 penalty minutes, Cammalleri leads by example and works to keep morale up on the team he leads.
12. Jaroslav Halak: St. Louis Blues
The first goalie to make our list is the 5'11 Blues goalie, Jaroslav Halak. With a decent record of 11-7-3, and a .910 save percentage, Halak is strong enough to make a respectable 12th on our list, but not impressive enough to break our top 10.
11. Brian Rafalski: Detroit Red Wings
Falling just outside of the top 10 is Detroit defender, Brian Rafalski, who stands two inches short of six feet. It's surprising to find a small defender, let alone one that has a sensational 15 assists, and a +7 rating. Even more surprising is the fact that there is another defender who landed in the top 10 of our list.
10. Daniel Alfredsson: Ottawa Senators
The 5'11 captain of the Senators has done enough this season to land in the top 10 of the list. Alfredsson has just four penalty minutes, demonstrating his disciplined play, and a still impressive 18 points, proving he's enough to be the right wing on the top line in Ottawa.
9. Danny Briere: Philadelphia Flyers
Standing a ridiculous eight inches shorter than Chris Pronger is Danny Briere, who has 20 points, 45 penalty minutes, and a +11 rating, making his small stature just about the only small numbers next to his name. The right wing has proven enough to be the ninth best of the smaller NHL players.
8. Dan Boyle: San Jose Sharks
One of San Jose's best defenders measures in just shy of six feet tall at 5'11, which when compared to resident giant, Joe Thornton, it is quite the comical sight. With 19 points and 22 penalty minutes, the shark defender is, in my opinion, the best defender under our six feet mark in the league today.
7. Mike Richards: Philadelphia Flyers
Another relatively tall star in the list of shorties is our number seven, Mike Richards of the Flyers. The 5'11 center has 28 points and 29 penalty minutes earning him a comfortable seventh seat in our top ten shrimps in the league.
6. Tim Thomas: Boston Bruins
The best goalie under six feet tall is, in my perspective, Boston's Tim Thomas who stands at 5'11, but has posted some big numbers with his smaller stature. With a record of 13-2-2, a 1.46 goals against average and a .956 save percentage, Thomas leads the league in both GAA and save percentage, making him a big name, even though he is physically a small goalie.
5. Henrik Zetterberg: Detroit Red Wings
Yet another Red Wing makes the list with Zetterberg sitting comfortably in the fifth spot, starting off our top five on the right foot. The 5'11 center has 25 points, 10 penalty minutes and a +5 rating, and is one piece of Detroit's most dangerous line offensively.
4. Martin St. Louis: Tampa Bay Lightning
Martin St. Louis is the smallest of our top 10, standing just 5'8 tall but absolutely making a huge name for himself offensively with 34 points already this season. St. Louis has also been one of the fastest forwards in the league, making him an offensive force to be reckoned with on so many occasions. The alternate captain of the Lightning is flanked by two other 6'4 leaders making his small size that much more apparent.
3. Pavel Datsyuk: Detroit Red Wings
The last of the Red Wings lands at number three on the list, with left winger Pavel Datsyuk standing just 5'11 tall. Datsyuk leads the wings with 29 points, but his 11 penalty minutes has kept him out of the box enough to tally two of his goals on the powerplay. Datsyuk is another piece of the forceful Detroit offense making him an impressive forward, even with a defensive mind on his shoulders. Datsyuk's two-way play has landed him in the top three.
2. Patrick Kane: Chicago Blackhawks
The smaller of Chicago's dynamic duo, Patrick Kane, is our number two best player in the NHL under six feet tall. Even though Kane is now day-to-day, he still has played 28 of Chicago's 29 games this season and has scored 27 points ranking him second on the team, and leading the team with 16 assists. The young 22-year-old star has made a name for himself after being half the duet (with Toews) that helped lead the Blackhawks to be the Stanley Cup Champions.
1. Sidney Crosby: Pittsburgh Penguins
The shorter of the NHL's two poster boys, Sidney Crosby, is the leader of our list, rounding it out at number one. Standing 5'11, Crosby leads the league with 48 points, split evenly between assists and goals. The Penguin captain also has a +12 rating, and just 17 penalty minutes, keeping himself out of the box allowing his numbers to continue to sky rocket into impressive point totals.