Maybe it’s their rugged good looks or the brute masculinity on display at their jobs in the rough and tumble world of pro hockey. Maybe it’s a little of both – or something else entirely. Whatever the case may be, NHL superstars don’t ever seem to encounter much trouble in the lady department.
After all, when you’re young, famous, wildly successful and in the best shape of your life, it’s awfully hard to stay single and doubly so with beautiful women pining for your attention in NHL cities from coast to coast.
You’ve got to imagine, though, that the dating scene for guys in the NHL can’t be easy. You’ve got the constant out-of-town road trips, the eternal possibility of being traded to a different team on the other side of the country and the seemingly unending stream of team-related off-ice obligations.
Nonetheless, most players still find time to maintain some semblance of a romantic life away from the rink. And boy, do they ever. Have you seen some of these smokeshows? I guess it’s nothing new, though. The NHL and the term power-couple are basically synonyms these days. (I’m looking at you, Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood.)
Suffice it to say that the lucky ladies on this list have all locked down a real catch in their superstar significant other, although the guys would probably argue it the other way around. From summer flings to LTRs, here’s a look into the love lives of 15 NHL superstars and the women they’re currently dating.
17 Sidney Crosby (Kathryn Leutner)
Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby, one of hockey’s greatest current players, sure stays tight-lipped about his relationship status. We don’t know a whole lot about his girlfriend, Kathryn Leutner, who he’s been dating for almost nine years, but we do know she’s a model from Virginia and has been featured prominently in several different magazines.
After much speculation over the years, it was basically confirmed when Leutner showed up to cheer on her boyfriend’s Team Canada hockey team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
It’s rumored they broke up for a while some time between 2010 and 2011, but based on recent photos of the two in public, they’re still going strong. You’d think after nine years we might be seeing some fancy new jewelry on her left hand soon, but I’ll leave that between Sid the Kid and his better half.
16 James Neal (Melanie Collins)
You probably know the bubbly Melanie Collins better as the blazingly hot sports and entertainment host on things like the Golf Channel, NBA-TV, the BIG Ten Network, E! News Now, NASCAR.com, Yahoo! Sports and CBS Sports than as the girlfriend of Nashville Predators winger James Neal.
She’s a model, too, in case you needed one more reason to be jealous.
Collins graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s degree in 2008, and before she and Neal got together, she had a four-year relationship with the St. Louis Blues’ Scottie Upshall. Apparently hockey players are her type. Not to worry, though, Collins and Neal are still going strong, and now you’ll think of James every time she pops up on your TV. Sorry.
15 Drew Doughty (Nicole Arruda)
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty’s doing well for himself. Almost too well. One look at his blonde-haired, brown-eyed knockout of a girlfriend, Nicole Arruda, and you’ll see what I mean.
According to her Twitter bio, Arruda is a programmer and tech venue specialist – not what you might expect on first blush. So basically, she’s smart, beautiful and has definitely read a book or two. Plain and simple, Doughty hit the girlfriend jackpot.
Lucky for him, she seems totally smitten. And when she’s not posting cutsie photos of the love-struck romance, she’s hanging out with her girlfriends or catching rays in exotic locations.
No word yet on any forthcoming engagement news, but Doughty might want to put a ring on it soon, before she realizes she’s out of his league.
14 Mark Scheifele (Dara Howell)
Canadian power couple alert! These two are literally a couple made of gold. I’ll explain.
Scheifele, a high-flying centerman for the Winnipeg Jets, won gold with Team Canada in the 2016 IIHF World Championship in Russia last spring. Before that happened, his girlfriend, Dara Howell, a Huntsville, Ontario native, won a gold medal in slopestyle skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Oh, and she also competes in the Winter X Games.
So what makes these two so great together? I’m guessing it’s their mutual dedication to achieving athletic greatness. According to Howell, they love to get competitive in every sport possible. Bowling? Yep. Wake boarding? Check. Golf? You know it. She claims to beat him in most things, but then again, Scheifele’s a pretty humble guy, so I’ll just leave it right there.
13 Gabriel Landeskog (Mel Shouldice)
Get a load of these two lovebirds. Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is dating blonde-haired beauty Melissa Shouldice, who hails from Toronto. Shouldice attended Guelph University, where she earned a psychology degree, which makes her both smart AND beautiful.
While she was at Guelph, Shouldice was a regular at Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs games when the Avs were in town.
The pair have been together for a few years now, and she has even made trips with him overseas to Stockholm, Sweden, where Landeskog is from originally. So I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.
These days, Shouldice and Landeskog share a downtown Denver loft, just a few blocks from the Avalanche’s home arena, Pepsi Center. They also have an adopted dog, Zoey, together, which makes for just the cutest little hockey family.
12 Jamie Benn (Katie Hoaldridge)
I don’t know if there is such a thing as a perfect girlfriend, but if there is, it’s Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn’s insanely beautiful and talented girlfriend, Katie Hoaldridge.
Let’s see. Easy on the eyes? Check! She’s a model. That’s all you really need to know. Intelligent? Check! She went to the University of Texas in Austin and earned a degree in television and radio AND in communications and psychology. Athlete? Check! Hoaldridge was a cross-country runner both in high school and in college. She even appeared on the cover or “Runner’s World Magazine.” Cool as hell? Check and check! She goes to football games, isn’t afraid to goof off and even straps on the skates with her superstar boyfriend from time to time.
Jamie Benn, you’re a lucky man. Don’t let it go to your head.
11 Nathan MacKinnon (Vanessa Morgan)
Successful people just seem to gravitate towards each other. That much is true for Colorado Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon and his stunning Canadian girlfriend, actress Vanessa Morgan. The two met in 2014 and flooded social media with the typical lovey-dovey couple pictures we all know and love.
You might recognize Morgan from some of the roles she has played on the silver screen. She’s appeared in things like “My Babysitter’s a Vampire,” “Saving Hope,” “Some Assembly Required,” “Finding Carter,” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”
Morgan, despite being a few years older than MacKinnon and staying super busy under the lights of Hollywood, made plenty of time for her hockey-playing boyfriend early on in the relationship, but there have been some rumors floating around lately that the couple might be on the rocks. Keep an eye out for all the juicy gossip.
10 Matt Martin (Sydney Esiason)
When you’re an NHL star visiting your girlfriend’s parents and you’re not even the most athletic one in the room, you know there’s a pretty high standard to meet. Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matt Martin is currently dating Sydney Esiason. If her last name sounds familiar, it’s because her dad is THE Boomer Esiason of past NFL fame and who currently serves a football analyst for CBS Sports.
Martin first met his girlfriend’s dad when he was playing for the New York Islanders. According to the story, Boomer came into the room wearing a New York Rangers jersey to break the ice, so at least he has a sense of humor about the whole thing.
Esiason is currently working as the host of “SI Wire” for Sports Illustrated and shares a home with Martin on Long Island.
9 Steven Stamkos (Sandra Porzio)
Tampa Bay Lightning centerman Steven Stamkos tends to keep his dating life more of a private affair, but as far as we know, he’s still dating his longtime girlfriend, the classically beautiful Sandra Porzio.
Reportedly dating since 2012, the couple doesn’t share a whole lot of details regarding the nature of their love lives, and I can totally respect that. Lord knows it’s easy to get swept up into the glitz and glamour of the celebrity couple life, and before you know it, you’re reading headlines about your relationship even you had no idea about.
Porzio still participates in activities with other team WAGs and steps out with her beau now and then to attend things like award shows and other star-studded events But don’t hold your breath on the sweet, sweet story of how they first met.
8 P.K. Subban (Adora Nwakwesi)
Adora Nwakwesi might just be the smartest significant other on this entire list. She is extremely well educated, has tons of professional experience and definitely brings the bulk of the hotness factor to this NHL relationship.
According to her LinkedIn page, Nwakwesi holds a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from the University of Western Ontario and a certificate in project management from the University of Toronto. She’s worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Brain and Mind Institute, Green Communities as an environmental project assistant and Sport Physiotherapy Canada among others, and currently serves as a rehabilitation therapist for Lawlor Therapy Support Services.
If that wasn’t enough, she has also dabbled with running a health and fitness blog.
Subban and Nwakwesi have been linked as far back as 2010, when Subban was skating for the Montreal Canadiens, before his trade to Nashville. Clearly, she’s the brains and he’s the brawn.
6 Jonathan Toews (Lindsey Vecchione)
When you finally compose yourself and retrieve your jaw you just dropped to your chest, you’ll have to eventually come to grips with the fact that there’s no WAY that Jonathan Toews’ girlfriend Lindsey Vecchione is real life.
Two-time lingerie football league champion, “Playboy” model and so hot it almost hurts? It can’t be. I didn’t know the trifecta actually existed. Nonetheless, the Canadian bombshell, for whatever reason, chose to get cozy with Toews, and the two are taking Chicago by storm.
Toews and Vecchione first got together in 2014 when she was a high-end hairstylist, and since then, she’s nearly broken the internet with some her steamy online photos. She’s friends with a lot of the other Blackhawks’ wives and girlfriends and is a regular at the United Center when her beau is in town for a home game.
4 John Tavares (Aryne Fuller)
New York Islanders forward John Tavares has won the heart of classic beauty Aryne Fuller, which makes him a very lucky man. She’s got the brains to match the beauty, too.
Fuller graduated with honors from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in kinesiology and also earned Master’s degree in rehabilitation therapy and physiotherapy from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Like Kathryn Leutner, Fuller also had the opportunity to travel to Russia to watch her man skate for Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics. So basically, Fuller is the ultimate girlfriend. She’s smart, travels thousands of miles to support her boyfriend and can even fix his hockey-related injuries. Need I say more?
3 Auston Matthews (Emily Ruttledge)
Ahh, young love. This cute little couple must be trying to cope with the challenges of a long-distance relationship now that Auston Matthews is an NHL star playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, while his girlfriend, Emily Ruttledge, is back home, attending Arizona State University.
These high school sweethearts still seem to be making it work, though. Ruttledge likes to tweet things about her superstar boyfriend, who had an immediate impact on the league when he scored four goals in his NHL debut, although they both seem to keep it pretty low-key.
We can only hope the prom photo of the two that is circulating around the web is a representative of their everlasting love, but it’s not always as easy as it might seem to maintain a relationship on opposite sides of the continent. Only time will tell.
2 Patrik Laine (Sanna Kiukas)
They say opposites attract, but not in the case of Winnipeg Jets rookie phenom Patrik Laine. The youngster, who is already drawing Rookie of the Year rumors, is dating a Finnish hockey star in her own right, Sanna Kiukas.
Kiukas was a stand-out skater for the Finnish under-18 international team and also spent some time in the SM-sarja league, but she might have become girlfriend of the year when she decided to move to North America last year to support Laine as he began his NHL career.
Laine’s Instagram account is chock-full of couple-y photos of the two, so it looks like her support has been invaluable to Laine’s quick start to the season. Clearly, this hockey-playing Finnish power couple’s decision to take their talents to Canada and the NHL is one we can all benefit from.
1 Jaromir Jagr (Veronika Koprivova)
Can we all just take a second and recognize the legend that is Jaromir Jagr and his rockstar-like dating life? The man is 44 years old, dates drop-dead beautiful women nearly half his age and still makes it look easy.
Jagr has been linked to more beautiful women than Hugh Hefner could shake a stick at, so maybe that’s what keeps him young. I mean, you can’t deny eternal bachelorhood and everything that comes with it is doing wonders for his seemingly unending youthfulness.
You’ve got to at least offer a slow-clap of respect for his ability to avoid being tied down for too long by a wife or long-term relationship. Either way, more power to him.
Currently, Jagr is dating the young, blonde and beautiful Veronika Koprivova, whom he met at last year’s World Hockey Championship in Prague, where Koprivova was working as a hostess for the tournament. She now lives with him in Miami, and by the look of her Instagram account, she’s not exactly hating her new life away from the Czech Republic. Jaromir, you dog!