The Hockey News has unleashed its annual yearbook, previewing the 2012-13 campaign. Included in the issue is the magazine’s ranking of the top 50 players in the NHL today.
Two Bruins made the list.
Zdeno Chara was ranked ninth overall and trailed only Drew Doughty (sixth) of the Kings among defensemen. In his assessment of the B’s captain, Ken Campbell said, “Sometimes people forget what a dominant force Chara is and how consistently good he is. Perhaps that’s why he’s won only one Norris Trophy.”
Alternate captain Patrice Bergeron placed 27th on the list. Campbell wrote that Bergeron, the 2012 winner of the Selke Trophy as the league’s top defensive forward, “drives the bus in Boston.”
In climactic fashion, here are a few other noteworthy players that made the list:
Habs winger Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn.) placed 44th after scoring 33 goals this past season.
Coyotes d-man Keith Yandle (Milton, Mass.) was one spot ahead of him at 43rd, earning praise for his mobility, puck-handling and one-timer.
Former Bruin Joe Thornton came in 39th. The Sharks captain had 77 points in 82 contests last year.
Former B’s winger Phil Kessel came in 32nd after notching a career-best 82 points in 2011-12.
Conn Smythe winner and Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Quick was the highest-ranked netminder. The Hamden, Conn., native ranked fifth overall.
Moving up from Quick, Philly’s Claude Giroux placed fourth, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was third, Tampa’s Steven Stamkos was second and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin topped the list.