The Best Hockey Players Of 2023



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From rising rookies to marvelous veterans, from breakout stars to living legends, the NHL is currently filled to the brim with some of the best show-stopping talents and electric athletes the league has ever seen. Fans around the league are able to watch the best hockey players of 2023 night in and night out as they deliver spectacular stat padding performances, jaw-dropping feats of skill and finesse, and of course, compete at the highest level for the Stanley Cup. The best NHL players are redefining and revolutionizing the game of hockey, and fans are quickly coming to the realization that we are currently in the golden age of magnificent talent on the ice. 

Hockey fans are viewing a new generation come in and cement themselves in the history books and redefine the game with players like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews rapidly becoming Hart, Calder, Norris, and Stanley Cup winners. Of course, we couldn't forget the young up-and-comers like Cale Makar and Kirill Kaprizovwho are ready to show their time is now, or the grizzled vets like Nikita Kucherov and Alexander Ovechkin who are proving to the NHL world that they aren't out of gas just yet. The NHL has the deepest set of players it has ever seen, and with so much incredible talent in the league, it is nearly impossible to determine who the best player in the NHL is, and that is where you come in.

Vote up the best hockey player of 2023 to leave your mark in NHL history, then, be sure to check out The Best NHL Players of All Time and The Best Hockey Coaches of All Time to get your full and complete history in the world of hockey.

  • Connor McDavid
    Photo: Edmonton Oilers / Instagram

    The NHL world knows Connor McDavid as arguably the greatest hockey player of the last 20 years, and he seems to only be getting better and better as time goes by. The once-in-a-generation talent is regarded as can't miss tv, not only by fans, but by his opponents as well, as every night he does something truly remarkable and never before seen on the ice. A brilliant offensive talent who can easily take a game over and one of the premier defenders in the league who can shut down any opponent, McDavid is truly the whole package and the NHL star of the century.

    • Birthplace: Richmond Hill, Canada
    • Team: Edmonton Oilers
    • Position: Center
  • Cale Makar
    Photo: Cale Makar / Instagram
    25 votes

    One of the brightest up-and-coming starts in all of the NHL, Cale Makar is entering his fourth season as a professional already regarded as a top 5 player in the league. A defensive juggernaut with phenomenal skating skills, many analysts believe that Makar has the opportunity to become the first defenseman since Chris Pronger in 2000 to win MVP. An elite two-way player who is barely coming into his prime and is already a champion, Makar has the potential to become one of the best hockey players the world has ever seen.

    • Birthplace: Alberta, Canada
    • Team: Colorado Avalanche
    • Position: Defenseman
  • Auston Matthews
    Photo: Toronto Maples Leafs / Instagram

    A massive, hulking man standing at 6-foot-3 who is light on his feet and utterly brilliant on the ice, Auston Matthews is one of many in a new generation of hockey players who are revolutionizing and perfecting the game as we know it. One of only nine NHL players of the last 30 years to achieve 60 goals in a single season, Matthews is one of the most unstoppable and unguardable players in all of hockey, and his redefined passion for defense is helping him round out into a wonderful all-around player. Many in the NHL are waiting with baited breathe to see what offensive show Matthews will bring in the 2022-23 season.

    • Birthplace: San Ramon, California
    • Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
    • Position: Center
  • David Pastrňák
    Photo: NHL Česko / Twitter

    While impending contract extensions may put a damper on David Pastrnak's 2023, there is no doubt that he is going to show up and show out as one of the best players in all of the NHL. Getting better and better with each passing season, Pastrnak has been the top goal-scorer for the Boston Bruins for numerous seasons, and the team finally decided to get the forward some much-needed help in bringing back David Krejci. With defenses no longer able to solely focus on Pastrnak, fans should prepare themselves for the season of a lifetime.

    • Birthplace: Havířov, Czech Republic
    • Team: Boston Bruins
    • Position: Forward
  • Leon Draisaitl
    Photo: Leon Draisaitl / Instagram

    Not every team can say their second-best player is a Hart Trophy-winning center, but the Edmonton Oilers, they are the rare breed that can say they have two of the best players in all of the NHL, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. A stellar offensive superstar who can score with the best players in the league, Draisaitl has taken it upon himself to truly round out his game and has become a killer on the defensive end as well later on in his career. Gutsy, passionate, dedicated, and driven to perfection, Draisaitl is looking to end his career on top of the world.

    • Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
    • Team: Edmonton Oilers
    • Position: Forward
  • Nathan MacKinnon
    Photo: Nathan MacKinnon / Instagram

    While it may have taken Nathan MacKinnon some time to fully develop into his new role with the Colorado Avalanche, once he did, the team seemed all but unstoppable on their way to a Stanley Cup victory in 2022. Reaching the twilight of his career, MacKinnon has become a grizzled veteran leader that the Avalanche desperately needed him to become, and in the process of changing his role, he managed to become a superstar and one of the best players in the league. With phenomenal talent on both ends of the ice, a passion and drive to win, and just a few years left in his career, MacKinnon is going to go out with a bang in 2023.

    • Birthplace: Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada
    • Team: Colorado Avalanche
    • Position: Centre