Ranking the 9 NHL Players for 2023-24

As the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals edges closer to the last days, we look at the players’ performances. Sometimes, ranking these athletes can be difficult, considering that opinions vary and the game can change to favor one team over the other. However, we concentrate on the track records as a way of determining the best hockey players in the NHL right now.

Who are the Popular Players in the NHL in 2024?

Naturally, one would expect to find the names of Connor McDavid of Edmonton Oilers (which is one the favorites for the 2024 Stanley Cup), Cale Makar, Auston Matthews and Nathan MacKinnon on the list.

In this article, we evaluate the top 9 players who are showing up greatly in the 2023-24 season. The Flyers odds to make the playoffs are out of the equation, as the Philadelphia Flyers failed to qualify for the fourth consecutive season, after the Washington Capitals beat them 2-1 to advance in the tournament.

Connor McDavid, Oilers

Edmonton Oilers top star Connor McDavid is one of the highest-ranking players in the National Hockey League. He has not only shown incredible performance in the current tournament but has also built a solid track record.

Besides hitting 60 goals in the last tournament, he also made the highlights as the first player to secure 150 points in 27 years. His team, the Edmonton Oilers, has the chance of a lifetime to break what has become a streak of inability to win the Stanley Cup. This is one of the closest times they came to having it after making a 2006 appearance, but they ended up losing to the Carolina Hurricanes in a seven-game series.

Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche

The Center for the Colorado Avalanche, Nathan MacKinnon, is one of the best players in the NHL and stands a better chance of hitting the highlights sooner than expected. Reputed for his passion for the game and the powerful shots, Nathan is the player to beat in the buildup to the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals.

Although he hasn’t shown much to look out for, his record of 111 points in the 2022-23 tournament and putting up 553 points in 409 games is something to hold onto.

Cale Makar, Avalanche

The Defenseman for the Colorado Avalanche, Cale Makar, is one of the best NHL players right now, and many eyes are on him. Haven entered the season as one of the top three in the league, he’s already building on the impressive leading of the team to winning the Stanley Cup in the previous two seasons.

If last season’s injury stopped him from participating in 22 games, but yet he finished with 17 goals and 66 points couldn’t hold him down, nothing can. This might just be proving Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur’s statement right: “You do not play hockey for good seasons. You play to win the Stanley Cup.” 

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs’ Center, Auston Matthews also makes the list of best hockey players participating in the 2023-24 season. While he didn’t put up a great performance in the last season, especially after scoring less goals, he has however, made significant improvements in the aspect of defense and snapping shots past goalies at the speed of light.

Matthew Tkachuk, Panthers

Florida Panthers forward, Matthew Tkachuk is one of the best hockey players right now for these reasons:

  • He helped the team to lift the Stanley Cup last season.
  • Matthew is known for showcasing the best hands in the game.
  • His physical attributes and aggression are cherries on top of his heads-on tackling of opponents.

Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs

Mitch is the forward for the Maple Leafs, and though he’s come under criticism like other players, he still has his head above the ice and continues to shine. Scoring 99 points in the last season attests to this, and he follows up by maintaining 1.1 points in a game.

Sidney Crosby, Penguins

Sidney of the Pittsburgh Penguins has shown consistency in the game. Some may argue that age is not on his side, but the 36-year-old continues to put in his best even though it hurts that he missed the playoffs for the first time since his rookie days.

He scored 93 points in the last season and in the buildup to the 2024 Stanley Cup Finals, we expect him to put on his best hands to help the team to victory.

Juuse Saros, Predators

The goalie for the Nashville Predators, Juuse Saros, is one of the best hockey players, owing to his ability to hold down the spot since Pekka Rinne’s retirement. He finished with a rate of 46.7 based on the goals saved. As the tension builds and more strategies unfold, the Predators need a “gifted hand” like Saros’ behind the net next season, as they couldn’t advance after a 1-0 loss to Vancouver Canucks in May.

Leon Draisaitl, Oilers

To wrap up the list of top-ranking best players in the NHL, we have Edmonton Oilers’ forward Leon Draisaitl. Best described as the “Robin to McDavid’s Batman,” Leon is not only a power-play weapon but also a good offensive player with the best passes in the game.

He finished with 28 points in the last season and capped the last two seasons with 107 goals. He had told the NHL, in an interview that “Sometimes it’s just learning how not to lose the game instead or learning how to win it,” indicating that his team, Edmonton Oilers are putting in the work to learn from the last two defeats and emerge winners this season.


The 2024 Stanley Cup Finals will be held on June 24, 2024. As to be expected, the best NHL players right now, from Connor McDavid to Cale Makar, Nathan MacKinnon and Auston Matthews are doing all they can to help their team lift the Cup. Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers are the top favorites this season.