With the 2015-2016 season officially behind us and new Stanley Cup Champions crowned, now would be a good time to look back at this past season and reflect on all the amazing performances we’ve seen. There have been a lot of spectacular players both in the regular and post-season, but I want to try to narrow it down to a sort of post-Stanley Cup All-Star team, encompassing the truly great players from this season. This will not be an easy task, as picking the best players from this past season must incorporate more than just goals and assists, but each player’s true value to their teams, and to the entire league. These players must have truly made an impact on their team’s success, whilst also acquiring personal glory through the season. And of course, this All-star team will include player performances from both the regular season and playoffs. For the formation of this All-Star team we’re going to pick the top four players at each forward position, and top six defenders and explain why they deserve to be on the team. So let’s take a look at the NHL’s top left wingers.
Alex Ovechkin had himself one heck of a regular season, as is expected from one of the top talents in the NHL. Ovechkin finished off the regular season with a league-leading 50 goals as well as 71 total points. The 30-year-old left winger for the Capitals helped his team reach second overall in goals per game at 3.0, and fifth in power play percentage – thanks to his 19 power play goals, which was also a league leading stat.
Next on the list is Dallas Stars winger Jamie Benn, who also had an outstanding regular season this year. Benn finished the regular season in second place for points (89), and third in goals (41). The 26-year-old also finished second in the league in power play goals (17), which was just two behind Ovechkin.
Keeping with the mix of outstanding regular season and postseason performances, next on the list is the Stanley Cup Champions’ own Carl Hagelin. Hagelin was an integral part of the Penguins winning the Cup this year, and for that reason, he deserves a spot on the team. He leads all left wingers in the playoffs in both points (16) and goals (6). He scored as many goals for his team as superstar forwards Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, and had the highest +/- of the Penguins at +9.
The fourth and final left winger to make this team is a player that many might not expect. Number 13 for the Calgary Flames, Johnny Gaudreau finishes off the list of left wingers. The 22-year-old has spent three years in the NHL but has only really played the past two seasons, both with the Flames. I picked Johnny because despite being so young, he still ended up with 78 points in his 79 games played this season, placing him fifth among all forwards for the regular season, and second among all left wingers. This kid has improved all of his scoring numbers from last year, including goals, assists, and points, and also managed six game-winning goals for his team.