Apr 21, 2012; Sunrise, FL, USA; Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss shoots a rat down the ice after the Panthers 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils in game five of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at BankAtlantic Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

My Top 20 Forwards Of The 2011-2012 Season


First of all, I’m just going to warn you guys, many of you may disagree with me and some may agree, so comments are surely welcomed!

What I based my ratings on were points, plus/minus, blocked shots, points vs. division opponents, and the ratio of takeaways and giveaways. I believe the best players in the world are both outstanding offensively but also just as effective defensively. Since some of the players didn’t play the entire season I did calculations based on the games played. For example, Jonathan Toews played only 59 games and tallied 57 points, had he have been healthy all season long his projected  total amount of points would have been 80. I know it’s not entirely accurate but I’m confident Toews would’ve been around that range, had he been healthy.

I also based the ratings on plus minus. Plus minus really tells whether or not the player is committed to playing their whole shift and I believed it was very important in that aspect. Blocked shots, a stat that gets heavily overlooked. I believe that a good shot blocker helps the entire team, as does the takeaways to giveaways ratio. What I did with that ratio was divided it by 2 to make the actual outcome a little more precise. And finally, the points vs. division opponents is key to how a team finishes the season. In nearly all the divisions this season, the division crown was not given until the last couple games of the season.

In all the formula should looks like this:

Points if had played 82 games + plus/minus + blocked shots if had played 82 games + takeaways/giveaways divided by 2 + points vs. division = Total

So, many of you will disagree with this formula, but I think it’s actually pretty good.

#20

Zach Parise. Zach Parise is a player that is very smart with the puck and had an amazing +30 rating on the giveaway / takeaway department. Parise was a leader for the Devils and was very smart about handling the puck and not turning it over. Parise is a very dangerous player, and should be kept a close eye on at all times.

#19

Tyler Seguin. Seguin is still an under rated player who had one of the highest +/- ratings in the entire NHL. Seguin tallied 24 points in his division games and he was a big reason why Boston won their division against a very good Ottawa Senators team.

#18

Patrick Kane. After having a below average season, Kane still managed to crack the top 20 in my book. His hockey IQ is already off the charts even at such a young age. Kane also like Parise is very smart with the puck and rarely turns it over. Had Kane been as productive as years before, he probably would have cracked the top 10.

#17

Henrik Sedin. After having a gladiator like season last year, Sedin saw his numbers drop to about a point per game type of player this year. A pass first type of player, seemed to slow down after his brother Daniel went down with an injury late in the season. Sedin is not known for being a shot blocker, so some may be surprised he is so high on this rating.

#16

Jason Pomminville. A very good two way offensive player who’s 52 shot blocks was one of the highest of the 37 players I used for the rankings. His 73 points also helped his cause. Although Buffalo failed to make the playoffs, Pomminville was not a reason why.

#15

Joe Thornton. At the age of 32, his leadership on and off the ice cannot be overlooked. A point per game player all his career, its no surprised Joe is ranked #15.

#14

Jordan Eberle. A highly underrated player who was one of the biggest bright spots this season for Edmonton. Eberle was outstanding this year finishing with a +4  +/- rating on a very below average team. His 51 blocked shots also like Pomminville shows he was not afraid to lay the body out. A bright future ahead for Eberle and the Edmonton organization.

#13

Jason Spezza. A very good two way player who thrives on scoring goals. His projected 86 points had he played 82 games ranked him 5th in the NHL, but his poor -20 giveaway/takeaway rating lowered him down the rankings. Spezza is a guy any team would love to have.

#12

Martin St. Louis. This guy never ages. In my opinion, the smartest player in the NHL right now and a guy that lives off passing to a player named Steven Stamkos. We here in South Florida have seen what St. Louis can do with a stick and a puck and let me tell you, most times he makes me mad.

#11

Loui Eriksson. A highly underrated player who has had 3 straight seasons with 70 or more points. Since he is playing in Dallas, he goes highly under the radar but if you look closely at his numbers, he is a very great hockey player. Erikkson actually tied our next player on the list, and this next player surely gets much more media attention then Loui.

#10

Marian Gaborik. A man that has a lethal shot and a attitude for winning. Gaborik was a very good two way player in a system where they thrive in blocking shots. His 76 points led the #1 seeded Rangers, and his two way play was for sure noticed this season. The All star MVP cracks the top 10 and he hopes to help the Rangers go deeper into the playoffs.

#9

Patrick Sharp. Had it not been for a injury that made him miss some games, Sharp would have certainly been close to 80 points for the season. Sharp had a +13 giveaway/takeaway rating which like Patrick Kane shows the Blackhawks don’t turn the puck over. Sharp has a knack for finding the net and I’m not surprised Sharp cracked the top 10 and his 33 goals were just 3 short of tying his career high.

#8

Jamie Benn. By now I’m sure most of you guys are like what the heck? But lets take a deeper look at Jamie Benn. Jamie Benn blocked 60 shots, most of any top forward in the league. His projected 73 points ranked him in the top 25 in the league. He had a positive 5takeaway/giveaway ratio, compared to Kovalchucks -70 giveaway/takeaway ratio. Albeit, I’m surprised Benn is ranked so high, but the numbers don’t lie. This All Star had a great year, and he is expected to help Dallas for a long time in the future.

#7

Jonathan Toews. Had it not been for a concussion suffered during the season, Toews would have been a 80 point guy for sure. Toews had an amazing +57 giveaway/takeaway rating and its no surprise he is ranked at this spot. A player that looks to only get better as his career goes on, I wouldn’t be surprised if he reaches the 100 point range sometime in his career.

#6

Steven Stamkos. The man just scored 60 goals, how is he not in the top 5? His 34 points vs. division opponents were the most in the whole league, and his 48 5on5 goals were by far the most in the league as well. Stamkos is definitely an All World player, but it’s fair to put him here at the #6 spot, the top 5 won’t come as much of a surprise to most of us. Or maybe it will.

#5

Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Pavel Datsyuk. Simply put, the man is a magician. His hockey IQ is off the charts and it was not a surprise Team Chara selected him #1 overall in the Fantasy All Star Draft. Have we ever seen a player like Datsyuk, I certainly haven’t. This man does moves you can’t even do in video games. It’s no surprise he cracked the top 5. A 4 time Lady Byng award winner, a 3 time Selke Award winner and a 2 time Stanley Cup champion, this man is already headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

#4

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Claude Giroux. His 93 points were a career high. His 65 assists were a career high. His 28 goals were a career high. He currently has 15 points in like 9 games in the playoffs. He has blocked 50 shots. He is probably considered the best player in the world right now by many people. Is there anything more to say? The man was unstoppable all year long.

#3

Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-US PRESSWIRE

Anze Kopitar. There was not a single component in Kopitars game that was in the negatives. His 51 assists and 76 points were among the league leaders. His +12 +/- rating was amazing considering he played on the lowest scoring team in the NHL. His 53 blocked shots were tops in the ratings. He had a giveaway/takeaway rating above 50. And his 28 points vs. division opponents were among the top in the league. Are you still there? This man is a beast. Plain and simple. His leadership is a key reason why these Kings are taking the playoffs by storm.

#2

Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-US PRESSWIRE

Marian Hossa. Yes, you read it correctly. Marian Hossa. Just think about this, Hossa took the puck away from the opposing team 94 times, ranking 6th in the league, but whats even more outstanding was that he only gave it away 29 times. 29 times! Are you kidding me? In 82 games, he only turned it over 29 times. Kovalchuck turned it over 100 more times in about the same amount of games, and you wonder why he is not on this list. What makes Hossa so special is his ice vision, he see’s the ice so well and he is a natural goal scorer as well. 77 points are no joke either. A man thats usually used to scoring, saw his assists go up to 48, the highest ever since playing for the Atlanta Thrashers in the 06-07 season. Many are surprised, but Hossa is a very smart forward.

#1

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-US PRESSWIRE

Evgeni Malkin. No surprise here. Had Malkin played a full season, he would have reached the 118 point mark. A player that has taken the back seat of the Crosby train, finally was able to play a full year with all the attention on him, and boy he didn’t dissapoint. His plus minus rating was a career high +18, and his blocked shots were among the highest as well. Malkin deserves every possible award that can be handed out and he was not stopped all year long. He made it look so easy and thats why I have him ranked the #1 forward for the 2011-2011 season.

Again, these were just based on my own formula and it was something that I did for fun. I hope you enjoy it and I hope you can comment and share your opinions as well.

By the way, the reason players like Sidney Crosby and Nicklas Backstrom aren’t on here, are because I wanted to do it on players that played over 50 games this year. Naturally those two belong on this list, but they didn’t play a full season so I didn’t feel like they deserves to be on here.

So thanks again for reading and I hope you comment belong.

Make sure to like is on Facebook as well. Remember to also follow the entire Rat Trick team on Twitter! Me  @davidbub_2 . Frank Rekas @therattrick.  David Lasseter @davidlasseter , Josh Luecht@joshluecht, Patrick McLaughlin @PatrickRattrick, Scott Mullin @GreatScottsman, Paige Lewis@Peejlewiz, Adam Reid @AdamReid_ and Gabby Kiger @gabbykiger .

God Bless.

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