Alex Ovechkin and the 15 Most Exciting Players in the NHL

Liz BrownsteinContributor IOctober 20, 2011

Alex Ovechkin and the 15 Most Exciting Players in the NHL

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    Have you ever turned to or watched a certain NHL game just because of one player who seems to have a sort of finesse or pizazz that is amazingly rare. Sometimes just one player can seem to control the entire pace of the game and single-handedly change the outcome.

    With so much talent found throughout the league, these next 15 players still manage to demand attention when they hit the ice. So here’s my list of the 15 most exciting players to watch in the NHL.

15. Mike Green

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    The only defender that is on this list is Mike Green of the Washington Capitals who starts us off at No. 15. One of the key reasons why Green is my pick for the 15th most exciting player in the NHL is because he is consistently joining the offensive rush.

    This Capitals blueliner has the skills to bury plenty of goals. For a defender his puck-handling and skating skills are unmatched, earning him a spot on this ranking. Need some more convincing? Check out that beautiful goal.

14. Rick Nash

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    In short, Columbus’s captain, Rick Nash, is one of the most amazing snipers in the NHL. When Nash hits the ice, every Blue Jacket fan knows that some highlight reel worthy plays might ensue.

    Nash is an incredible stick handler, a skilled sharp shooter and has posted at least 30 goals in six of the past seven seasons in the NHL. For just a taste of Nash’s talent, check out the clip with one of his most impressive goals.

13. Jarome Iginla

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    The star player on the Calgary Flames’ roster is Jarome Iginla, who is one of the best leaders, and most consistent goal scorers in the league. Iginla is exciting for more than just his ability to score goals.

    Considering the Flames captain isn’t afraid to drop the gloves when the time is right, his presence is always noted by opposing teams. Known also for his dedication to the sport, Iginla is absolutely a force to be reckoned with in the NHL. For more convincing about Iginla’s talent, watch that embedded video of his hat trick against the Minnesota Wild.

12. Claude Giroux

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    Some players just seem to have a knack for getting the puck slipped by a goaltender. Claude Giroux is one of those players. Giroux is arguably one of the best players, if not the best player, on the Philadelphia Flyers’ roster.

    Giroux somehow manages to get goals from unexpected angles, and it just seems to me that he is always in the right spot on the ice to score a goal. From where I’m standing, Giroux is talented enough to expect at least a 35-goal season, and if you need any more examples of why he earned his spot at No. 12, here’s a great example.

11. Martin St Louis

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    Martin St. Louis is one of those players that as soon as he bolts on to the ice, the level of excitement will instantly increase. St. Louis has some of the sweetest hands and some of the speediest skating skills in the NHL, making him a shoe in for this sort of list.

    St. Louis is absolutely an electric and skilled player, both when scoring and when he’s setting up his line mates for a scoring chance. For other testaments of St. Louis’s talent, check out the clip on this slide or click here to see an amazing shootout goal.

10. Patrick Kane

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    One of the young stars on the Chicago Blackhawks roster is Patrick Kane who pretty much helps to define what a young superstar is. Kane has scored plenty of highlight reel worthy goals, and his brilliant hands are just one of the many skills that he possesses.

    Patrick Kane was voted as one of the leaders for the All-Star game last season, and he scored the Stanley Cup winning goal when Chicago won it all. Some demonstrations of Kane’s skills can be found either in the clip on this page, or by clicking here.

9. Daniel Sedin + 8. Henrik Sedin

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    As strong and exciting as the Sedin twins are individually, they are even more exciting as a duo. The Sedin brothers partner up for some of the most exhilarating and impressive goals in the league each and every year.

    Both of the twins are regularly found at the top of the NHL statistics leaders in points, goals or both.

    So as impressive as the Sedin twins are separately, they are even more exciting together. They seem to constantly be aware of where the other brother is on the ice, and that connection can really produce some of the best goals.

    Need some examples of the power of twins? Try clicking here.

7. Anze Kopitar

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    One of the most well rounded players in the NHL is Los Angeles King, Anze Kopitar. This young star has some of the most amazing skills in pretty much every facet of the game, including stickhandling, puck control, skating and of course, goal scoring abilities.

    Kopitar completely controls the ice whenever he steps on it to play, and with his skill set, he is expected to help lead the Kings well into the postseason. For more reasons why Kopitar has earned his spot on this list, check out this link as well as the video to the left...

6. Sidney Crosby

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    Even though he has yet to play in the NHL this season, Sidney Crosby is expected to be returning to the Pittsburgh Penguin lineup soon, and he is still talented and exciting enough to make this list.

    Crosby is arguably the best player playing hockey today, scoring plenty of goals to keep the Penguin fans happy. “Sid the Kid” has some of the most undeniable talent in the NHL today, and because of that, his presence is always a threat to whoever he’s facing. Crosby seems to be the answer to everything, as seen on this slide and in this link.

5. Bobby Ryan

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    Anaheim Duck top liner, Bobby Ryan, makes our list as the fifth most exciting player in the National Hockey League. At just 24 years old, Bobby Ryan is absolutely one of the most stylized and exciting players whenever he gets the puck.

    Ryan has some of the most unbelievable stick and puck handling skills, which has helped him score some pretty incredible goals. He has tallied three consecutive 30-plus goal and 50-plus point seasons starting back with the 2008-2009 season. For some proof, check out the video that rounded off a hat trick, or this link to an amazing goal that was arguably the goal of the playoffs.

4. Tim Thomas:

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    Boston Bruin goaltender, Tim Thomas, is my pick for the most exciting goalie in the National Hockey League. After setting a new record for a regular season save percentage last season, it’s pretty clear that Thomas is a talented goalie and will pretty much sacrifice anything to make the save.

    Thomas won both the Vezina and the Conn Smythe trophies last season while back stopping the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Championship. For some of Thomas’s impressive saves, click here, or check out the video to the left.

3. Steven Stamkos

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    Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning is a huge scoring threat thanks to several different contributing factors. Stamkos has an astonishingly lethal one-timer trigger, incredible skating skills and puck handling that makes deking defenders look effortless.

    Stamkos has been a leading goal scorer in each of the past two seasons, including tallying 51 goals and 95 points in the 2009-2010 season. Even as one of the younger players on the Tampa Bay roster, he definitely is a huge threat, as shown in this clip, and starting around the 55 second mark in the clip on this slide.

2. Pavel Datsyuk

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    There is a good reason why the term “Datsyukian Deke” has caught on. Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings is one of the most talented players on both sides of the game. Defensively, he will sacrifice anything to help his team, and offensively he is talented enough to score consistently.

    Datsyuk has embarrassed so many goalies and dangled around so many defenders, he is absolutely a lethal player when he has the puck on his stick. You can never really predict where Datsyuk will try to take the play, and some of his bests are shown on this slide, or by clicking here, and here.

1. Alexander Ovechkin

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    Who else could top this sort of list? When you have a player, like Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, who can score some dazzling goals, it’s no surprise his style has landed him at No. 1.

    Even though Ovie has a bit of an ego, he lives up to many expectations by showing off his talent in very dramatic ways. Ovechkin has a huge personality, and his talent is just as impressive.

    There are so many clips of highlight reel worthy plays and goals, it was difficult to narrow it down to just a few. This one isn’t much of a surprise considering he scores on his back, and here are other clips that show off his talent. Click here, or here for more testaments to Ovie’s talent and drama along with the clip on this page.