NHL is one of the oldest professional leagues in North America and is currently in its 104th season. It is the most anticipated event each year for ice hockey fans around the world. It’s been more than 2 months now since the current season began, and a gradual picture is emerging as to which teams will qualify for the play-offs, and compete for the coveted Stanley Cup. Sports websites and betting sites have regularly been putting out expert NHL picks to help fantasy players and punters make a better selection.
Here, let’s have a look at the top 3 players who are a smart choice for the punters during the current season.
Already considered to be one of the best players of all-time at the young age of 24, no punters list of picks is complete without Connor McDavid. Born in 1997 in Ontario, Canada, he played minor ice hockey at the Greater Toronto Hockey League as a member of Toronto Marlboros. At the 2011-12 season, he scored 79 goals, and completed 130 assists, in 88 games, collecting 209 points, for which he was named as the GTHL Player of the Year.
Due to this performance, he became only the third player to be granted the `Exceptional Player´ status, making him eligible for the OHL Priority Selections of 2012. He was picked up by the Erie Otters as the first overall selection. He won yeo consecutive OHL rookie of the month awards, for scoring points in 15 consecutive games. He, later on, went on to score 66 points for the season, the highest points by an Otters rookie, winning the award for the top rookie in the OHL.
He entered the NHL with the Edmonton Oilers in 2015 and has been with them ever since. In 2016, he went on to become the youngest captain in NHL history. Since then, he has continued with his stellar form and recently scored his 500th point.
Despite missing three consecutive games due to a head injury, this center player from the Colorado Avengers is still one of the top picks for the punters. He was the youngest player to play for the Avs, when he debuted in 2013, and went on to win the Calder Trophy for the rookie of the year, again, the youngest player to do so. During the 2015 season, he became the youngest player from the Avalanches to score a hat trick while playing against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has also been a part of the NHL All-Star game for 2 consecutive years in 2017 and 2018.
For the 2019-20 season, he won the Lady Byng Award, for gentlemanly conduct as well as sportsmanship. He is also the alternate captain for the Avalanches.
Playing for the German National Team at the international level, this 25-year-old center left-winger became the highest-drafted German player, when he was drafted third overall by the Edmonton Oilers during the 2014 drafts.
2017 was a great season for him, as he became the first Oiler in almost two decades to have 6 consecutive multi-point games. He also became the second-youngest player to score a hat trick in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the franchise. And it has only gotten better for him since then, as in 2020, he became the first German to become the NHL’s leading scorer and win the Art Ross Trophy. He also went on to win the Ted Lindsay Award and the Hart Memorial Trophy.
This year, during the game against Ottawa Senators, he became the first Oiler in the past 35 years to record six assists.