Forward | Montreal Canadiens
There’s nothing quite like the bitter hatred spewing from battles between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, two Original Six teams. A New Englander captaining the Habs requires a special kind of verve. In his role, Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn.) can drive fans of the Black and Gold wild, and that in and of itself is influence. The former Taft School star was the top-scoring New Englander in the NHL last season with 67 points.
Forward | Minnesota Wild
In many ways, Coyle’s tale is the dream for a Boston-area kid: Shine in prep school (Thayer Academy), the college ranks (Boston University), for Team USA at world juniors then in the NHL (Minnesota Wild). You can toss in there Coyle’s title flurry in the QMJHL (Saint John’s Sea Dogs), too. The Weymouth, Mass., native hits all the marks, having left his stamp on every avenue of elite hockey.
Forward | Nashville Predators
Two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, an NCAA title in 2009 at Boston University and now a journey down to Nashville, where the land of country music transformed the 2017 NHL playoffs. The Unionville, Conn., native, whether it’s through clutch goals or his staunch locker room presence, simply gets it done.