April 5, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal (12) scores the game winner in the shootout against the Montreal Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj (30) at the PNC center. The Hurricanes defeated the Canadiens 2-1 in the shoot out. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE

Who Are The Best Offensive Players In The Southeast?


April 7, 2012; Winnipeg, MB, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos (91) during the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at the MTS Centre. Tampa Bay wins 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-US PRESSWIRE

Just like every other sports league in the country, the NHL is filled with talent. The National Hockey League possesses some of the greatest hockey player in the world. Whether it is Canadian stars such as Sidney Crosby and Steven Stamkos or Russian’s coming overseas like Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin, it is not secret that the best hockey players in the world have interest in playing in the NHL. Offense is a key to any team’s success. If your team is not scoring goals, chances are your team isn’t winning. With many great offensive players, the Southeast Division just might be the division with the deepest offensive talent. We are now going to take a look at who I believe are the top five offensive players in the Southeast Division.

Number 5- Kris Versteeg, Florida Panthers

February 25, 2012; Raleigh, NC, USA; Florida Panthers right wing Kris Versteeg (32) carries the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC center. The Panthers defeated the Hurricanes 3-2 in a shoot out. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-US PRESSWIRE

Prior to last season the Florida Panthers signed Kris Versteeg with the hopes that he can help carry this offense to be one of the best in the league. Although the Panthers failed to be one of the top offenses in the league, Kris Versteeg did not fail to impress. Last season was a good one for Versteeg as he continuously gave the Florida Panthers a scoring option. In his 71 games that he played in, Versteeg was able to score a total of 54 points. Despite missing eleven games to injury, he was still able to be the Panthers third best scorer, as he ended up just seven points behind Tomas Fleischmann. When Kris is on the ice, the Panthers offense is always in attack mode. With his great ability to skate and his blazing speed, Versteeg is always a threat to score. The biggest concern with Kris is his health, however if he is able to stay healthy throughout the season, he has the potential to be placed higher on this list.

Number 4- Jordan Staal, Carolina Hurricanes

April 18, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal (11) celebrates his goal in the first period against the Philadelphia Flyers during game four of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the at Wells Fargo Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

For the past six seasons Jordan Staal has been a part of the Pittsburgh Penguins franchise. This year Staal will be wearing red as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. Jordan was shipped over to Carolina on draft day, in which was labeled has a huge steal for the Hurricanes, giving up a couple of prospects and their first round selection in the draft. The past few seasons Staal has been behind players such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and James Neal. Despite being behind those great players, Staal was still able to keep his numbers up. In the past six seasons with Pittsburgh, Staal has scored a total of 248 points, which is 41.3 points per year. Now he has the opportunity to play alongside his brother, Eric, who is also an exceptional scorer as well. With the two brothers now taking charge in Carolina, the sky is the limit for this 23 year old center.

Number 3- Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

 

Apr 22, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) shoots in the second period against the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-US PRESSWIRE

This might be a little low for Ovi, but after last season he needs to prove that he could be the player that he used to be. Alex Ovechkin took over the city of Washington D.C seven years ago with his ridiculous goals and he aggressiveness towards the game. With two MVP trophies and four division titles under his belt, Ovechkin has been nicknamed “The Great One”. Unfortunately for the great one, his numbers have taken a severe drop in the past two years. Just three seasons ago, Ovi was scoring over 100 points per season; he is now down to just 65. Maybe the big contract and stardom finally got to “The Great One”. However even with his numbers down, he is still one of the most productive players not only on the Capitals, but in the Southeast Division. If he could figure out what has been going wrong, he could easily be number one on this list, and however, until then, he is sitting pretty at number three on this list of top offensive players in the Southeast Division.

Number 2- Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes

Yes, two out of the five players on this list are both from Carolina and both share the last name. The Staal brothers have taken over Carolina. Although the past few seasons have been good to Eric, they haven’t necessarily been good to the Hurricanes. Last season the Hurricanes failed to qualify for the playoffs, finishing in last place in the Southeast Division. Even with the poor play from last season, the Hurricanes are expected to do a lot more in the division this year. Throughout his career, Eric has been nothing short of spectacular scoring a total of 574 career points, eight years. Other than his rookie campaign, Staal has scored more than 70 points each season, certainly an impressive number. During his time in Carolina, Staal has basically done it all, winning a Stanley Cup and making the All-Star game a total of four times. Staal has shown absolutely no sign of slowing up and with his brother now by his side, look for him to have yet another big year leading the Hurricanes in scoring yet again.

Number 1- Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

SURPRISE! Okay, not really too big of a surprise here. Last year was the year of Steven Stamkos. Yes, Steven has had good year before, but none like the one he had last year. In 82 games, Stamkos scored an incredible 60 goals, joining the exclusive 60 goal club. Stamkos was probably one of the only thing Lightning fans had to look forward to last season, as they failed to reach the postseason. This up and coming season will be another great one for this 22 year old stud. With his offensive skill set, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he wins the Hart Memorial Trophy this season. Great things are in Stamkos’s future and for him, things are only getting started.

So there you have it, my list of the top five offensive players in the Southeast division. I would love to see who you guys think should’ve either have been taking off this list or should’ve made this list.

Thanks For Reading!

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Tags: Alex Ovechkin Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal Florida Panthers Hart Trophy Jordan Staal Kris Versteeg Nhl Pittsburgh Penguins Southeast Division Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning Washington Capitals