Hall Of Fame Bound? Every NHL Franchise’s Most Likely Candidate For Induction

The quality of being great, distinguished, or eminent-that is the definition of greatness, and in order to achieve greatness, a person needs to strive to be the best they can be, and to learn and train at every possible opportunity. People can be great at anything, whether it be at puzzles, filmmaking, video games, teaching, being a doctor, lawyer, actor, or salesman, but the most revered form of greatness resides in the sporting world. Sports, especially at the professional and Olympic level, are the epitome of competition, and it is because of this that athletes are placed into separate categories based on how skilled they are and by how well they have performed in comparison to others.

North America is home to the four biggest professional sports leagues in the world, and each one has its own special place in which athletes who have exemplified greatness are recognized, and that place is known as the Hall of Fame. Whether you played in the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL, being inducted into the Hall of Fame is the biggest honor one can receive, as their career was deemed to be so great that it deserves to be remembered for all time. The Hall of Fame does not induct anyone, though; it is an honor reserved for the best of the best, and in every sport, including hockey, you can likely pick out the one player on every team who you think deserves a spot in it, which is what this article is all about.

Here is a list of every NHL franchise's next likely Hall of Fame inductee.

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30 Anaheim Ducks: Ryan Getzlaf

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For years now, going to the state of California has been a road trip that many NHL teams have dreaded, not because of the great weather, but because the state is home to three of the toughest teams in the Western Conference to play against. The Anaheim Ducks are one of those three teams, and they have been highly competitive for the past decade, a decade in which they have missed the playoffs only twice, and where the became Stanley Cup Champions in 2007. A big reason for their competitiveness is Ryan Getzlaf, the team’s current captain, who the team drafted in the first round back in 2003. Since Getzlaf's debut in 2006, he has spent the entirety of his 11-year career with Anaheim, where he has scored over 760 points in just over 800 games, making him the best candidate for the franchise’s next Hall of Famer.

29 Arizona Coyotes: Shane Doan

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No matter the sport, it is incredibly rare for a player to spend their entire career with the same team, especially if that career spans over two decades, but that is indeed the case with Shane Doan who has been with the Arizona Coyotes since the 1995-96 season. Doan’s career with the franchise started when they drafted him 7th overall in the 1995 draft while the team was still located in Winnipeg, and when the team moved to Arizona, he went along and made the state his new home. In his 20 seasons with the Coyotes, Doan has played in 1,500 games, where he has scored over 950 points and is on the cusp of joining the 400 goal club; and it is because of those stats as well as what he has helped do for hockey in Arizona, that he deserves to be the first Hall of Famer strongly associated with the franchise.

28 Boston Bruins: Zdeno Chara

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As one of the NHL’s original six franchises, the Boston Bruins have had multiple Hall of Fame players in their organization, with the most prominent of these players being Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque, two of the best defensemen to ever play the game. Boston’s current captain is defenseman Zdeno Chara, and although this massive Slovak is nowhere near the player that Orr and Bourque were, he is still a defenseman who is more than worthy of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Chara started his career with the Islanders and then played for a time in Ottawa before making his way to Boston in 2006, and in his now 11 seasons with the Bruins, he has so far captained the team to one Stanley Cup title in 2011, and personally won the league’s best defenseman award in 2009. For his career, Chara has played in over 1,300 games, where he has a +/- of over 200, and over 570 points including 179 goals.

27 Buffalo Sabres: Jack Eichel

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Up until just recently, the Buffalo Sabres were a terrible team, to the point that they were literally one of the worst in the entire league, but luckily, being that bad paid off as it allowed them to draft high and get good players like Jack Eichel. In last year’s draft, the Sabres drafted Eichel with the second overall pick, and had he not been in the same draft with Connor McDavid, he would have undoubtedly been taken first overall. The current NHL season marks only Eichel’s second as a professional, but although he is still incredibly young, he has already demonstrated that he is destined to be an elite player in the league for years to come. In not even 100 career games, Eichel has nearly 30 goals and 70 points, which is a rate of production that will surely get him into the Hall of Fame, especially if he wins one or more Cups along the way.

26 Calgary Flames: Johnny Gaudreau

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Here we have our first Canadian NHL team with the Calgary Flames, and although they currently have some talented players on their roster, the team is not performing that well this season. One of these talented players is winger Johnny Gaudreau, who the Flames drafted in the fourth round in 2011, and despite the position he was drafted in, he is likely the cornerstone of the franchise going forward, especially when you consider the fact that he currently their best offensive threat. Gaudreau has been in the NHL for three seasons now, and in that time, he has so far played in just over 180 games, which has seen him score 160 points, which basically makes him a point-per-game player, and the thing about these kinds of forwards is that they tend to end their careers with numbers big enough to one day get inducted.

25 Carolina Hurricanes: Cam Ward

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In 2006, the Carolina Hurricanes not only won their division, but they also managed to go all the way to the Stanley Cup Final, where thanks to several key players, they went on to win the first championship in the franchise’s history. That year, the Hurricanes were able to score when they needed to, but the main reason why the team won the Cup that year was the performance of their goalie, Cam Ward, who was even named the MVP of that championship series. Carolina drafted Ward in 2002 late in the 1st round, and although he started the 2005-06 season as the team’s back-up goalie, he took over the number one spot during the playoffs, and has not relinquished the position since. The entirety of Ward’s 11 seasons have been spent in Carolina, and although the team has underperformed most of those years, he has remained one of their best players, and this season he will be earning his 300th win as a goalie, with his career 2.25 goals against average and .917 save percentage helping to pad his resume.

24 Chicago Blackhawks: Marian Hossa

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Here we have the Chicago Blackhawks, who happen to not only be another of the NHL’s original six teams, but who are also currently the most successful hockey team to take to the ice the past decade, as evidenced by their 3 Stanley Cup wins in 2010, 2013, and 2015. The reason behind Chicago’s success lies heavily with their drafting, and as of right now, the team has at least five players bound for the Hall of Fame, with one of them being Marian Hossa, who was actually not drafted by the team. Hossa was originally a draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, and he went on to play for Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Detroit before signing as a free agent with Chicago in 2009; and no matter the team he played for, he would always produce. As an 18-year NHL veteran, Hossa’s career is nearing its end, which is why he will likely be the next Hall of Famer to come from the Blackhawks organization, and deservingly so as he has scored over 500 goals and 1,100 points.

23 Colorado Avalanche: Jarome Iginla

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In 1995, the Quebec Nordiques were relocated to Colorado where they became known as the Avalanche, a move which turned out to be quite fortuitous for the franchise as the team went on to win the Stanley Cup in both 1996 and 2001. In 2014, the Avalanche signed Canadian winger, Jarome Iginla to a 3-year deal, which was a significant decision made on Iginla’s part, who at this point in his career, just wants to win the Stanley Cup at least once before retiring. Iginla was originally drafted by Dallas in 1995, but he never played a game for the Stars, and was instead signed by the Calgary Flames the following year, and it was with Calgary that he built his Hall of Fame career. In all, Iginla spent 15 seasons with Calgary, where for 10 of those seasons he served as captain, and in his quest for a cup he has also played for Boston and Pittsburgh; and in his 18-year career, he has scored 614 goals and almost 1,300 points.

22 Columbus Blue Jackets: Brandon Saad

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are currently one of the youngest teams in the NHL as the franchise entered into the league in the year 2000, and in its 16 years of existence, the team has offered very little to cheer for as they have only made the playoffs twice. Things for the franchise seem to be turning around though, especially this year where the team appears to be highly competitive, and a big reason for that is the coaching as well as some player acquisitions which include forward Brandon Saad. He may only be 24 years old, but Saad is already an accomplished player who was a part of Chicago’s last two Stanley Cup wins, and he is an incredibly versatile player who can also put up points. Chicago traded Saad to Columbus in 2015 due to salary cap issues, and the Bluejackets immediately signed him to a 5-year deal, and with good reason, as in just over 300 career games, Saad has just over 200 points and 90 goals.

21 Dallas Stars: Tyler Seguin

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Based on his performance the past few seasons, the Boston Bruins are probably regretting the fact that they traded away Tyler Seguin in 2013, seeing as he has made it abundantly clear that he is one of the biggest offensive threats in the NHL. Seguin was drafted by the Bruins 2nd overall in 2010, and was quite helpful in the team’s championship win later that season, but because of off-ice issues, Boston believed that it was better to just send Seguin somewhere else. Since going to Dallas, Seguin has helped the team to become a goal scoring powerhouse, and now that he is entering into his prime, he will likely be good for a few 40 goal seasons. So far, Seguin has scored just over 170 goals and 380 points in less than 500 career games, and if his numbers continue to climb, or even stay the same, he will have enough points to earn a spot in the Hall.

20 Detroit Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg

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As a part of the league’s original six teams, the Detroit Red Wings have had a great deal of Hall of Fame players, with their 2002 roster in particular being quite riddled with great players, as 9 of them are now in the Hall of Fame. Pavel Datsyuk, who just retired from the NHL this past offseason, will be joining those players in the Hall shortly, but when he retired, he also left behind his long-time teammate Henrik Zetterberg, who has built his own induction worthy career. Detroit drafted Zetterberg in the 7th round in 1999, and after debuting in the 2002-03 season, he has spent his entire 13-year career with the Red Wings, where he has a Stanley Cup win and Finals MVP under his belt to go along with over 300 career goals and 850 points.

19 Edmonton Oilers: Connor McDavid

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A generational player is literally that-a player who possesses so much skill, that they will be the best player in the game for a good 10-year span, and in hockey, the prime examples of this are Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby, and in the 2015 draft, the Edmonton Oilers got one of these players in Connor McDavid. Before he was even drafted, McDavid was touted as a generational player, who would become the centrepiece of whichever franchise was lucky enough to get him, which is why several teams that year tried their best to tank and finish in last place. In the end, it was Edmonton who got him, and although he has not even played in 100 career games yet, McDavid has already shown that he will likely be a first ballot Hall of Famer, as he will reach the 100 point mark before reaching the 100 game mark, meaning that the 19 year old is so far good for just over a point per game. With production like this, there is no doubt that McDavid will join all the other Oilers currently in the Hall when his career is done, with the only question being how many Championships he will have won with the team.

18 Florida Panthers: Jaromir Jagr

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For years, the Florida Panthers were a terrible team, and thanks to moves made by the front office, the team has gotten much more competitive, and one of the moves which were made, was bringing in veteran Jaromir Jagr, who is a guaranteed first ballot Hall of Famer. Jagr came into the NHL at the start of the 1990-91 season, after being drafted by Pittsburgh 5th overall, and over the course of his 22 year career in the league, he played with Washington, the Rangers, Philadelphia, Boston, Dallas, and New Jersey before coming to Florida in 2015. In his career, Jagr has won the Stanley Cup twice, the Art Ross Trophy for most points in a season 5 times, and the league MVP once, but what guarantees his spot in the Hall is the fact that his 755 career goals are good for the 3rd most all time, and by the time this season is over, he will have over 1,884 points, which will leave him with the second most points all time.

17 Los Angeles Kings: Anze Kopitar

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We return to the state of California to visit the Los Angeles Kings, who have now taken a small step back after being an incredibly competitive team that managed to win the Stanley Cup twice in 2012 and 2014. The Kings won these championships because of their physicality and how well they grinded down the opposition, but they likely would have not won these titles if they did not have Anze Kopitar on their roster. Los Angeles drafted Kopitar in the 1st round of 2005, and after debuting with the team in the 2006-07 season, he has now spent his entire 10-year career with the franchise, and aside from putting up points, he is also one of the NHL’s best two-way players, as evidenced by him finally winning the Selke award last year for being the league’s best defensive forward. By the end of this season, Kopitar will have played in over 800 games, in which he will have scored over 250 goals and 700 points, and at only 29 years of age, if this level of production holds up a few more years, he will be in the Hall of Fame shortly after retiring.

16 Minnesota Wild: Zach Parise

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In 1993, Minnesota lost their first NHL franchise when the North Stars were moved to Dallas, but in the year 2000, all was made right again when the State of Hockey was awarded a new franchise known as the Wild. The Wild have made the playoffs the past 4 seasons, and although they have never made it past the 2nd round, they were quite competitive, and a part of that is thanks to forward Zach Parise, who the team signed as a free agent in 2012. Parise started his career with New Jersey who drafted him in 2003, and while with the Devils, he was by far the most important part of the team’s offense, a trend which now continues in Minnesota. In his 11 years in the NHL, Parise now has just over 300 goals and close to 650 points, and if he continues to play at this level for a few more years, he will likely be looked at to be the first player to play for the Wild franchise to enter the Hall of Fame.

15 Montreal Canadiens: Carey Price

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The Montreal Canadiens are the most historic and successful team in NHL history as the franchise has been around for over 100 years and has so far won a record 24 Stanley Cup championships. In its storied history, the Canadiens have had over 40 players or coaches who are now in the Hall of Fame, including legends like Maurice Richard, Patrick Roy, and Jean Beliveau, and when Carey Price retires, he will definitely be joining them in the Hall of Fame. Montreal drafted Price 5th overall back in 2005, and after debuting with the team in the 2007-08 season he has gone on to become the best goalie in both the NHL and the world. Price has spent his whole 9-year career with the Habs, and so far he has 250 career wins, a .921 save percentage, and a 2.40 goals against average. As of 2015, Price is now also one of only 4 goalies in history to win both the MVP award and Vezina Trophy for being the league’s best goalie in the same year, which really helps to pad his resume.

14 Nashville Predators: P.K. Subban

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Last offseason, the hockey world was shocked to learn that Montreal had traded their best defenseman in P.K. Subban to the Nashville Predators, a deal which did not go over too well with Montreal fans; but which made Predator fans quite happy. Subban was drafted by Montreal in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft, and from the time he debuted in 2010, it became clear very early on that he had the skills to be an elite NHL defenseman. So far, Subban has played in the league for 8 seasons, and he has already won the Norris Trophy for being the NHL’s best defenseman once, during the 2013 campaign where he was amongst the highest scoring D-men that year. It is true that Subban is known more for his offensive capabilities than his ability to defend, and yet he still has a +/- of over 20 to go along with the 70 goals and almost 300 points he has scored in less than 500 games.

13 New Jersey Devils: Taylor Hall

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The big trade last offseason may have been the one involving P.K. Subban, but another rather high-profile deal which took place the very same day was the one between New Jersey and Edmonton, which saw Taylor Hall dealt to the Devils. It was the Oilers who drafted Hall into league in 2010 with the 1st overall pick, and although he had a problem with injuries in the first few years of his career, he has expressed the kind of talent expected of a future Hall of Famer. The only reason why Hall was traded, was because the Oilers had far too many forwards, and desperately needed to improve their blue-line now that they have McDavid, and in doing so, they gave New Jersey a franchise-type player to build around, as Hall has played in just over 400 career games, and has 140 goals and 350 points to show for it.

12 New York Islanders: John Tavares

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This list is filled with former number one draft picks, primarily because players who are ranked that high are considered to be great enough to build a contending team around, and players like that tend to always end their careers by being inducted into the Hall of Fame. In 2009, the New York Islanders drafted such a player in John Tavares, and even though his career got off to a slow start production wise, he has matured into being the most important and vital member of the Islander’s roster. So far, Tavares has spent his entire 8-year career with the franchise, and in that time he has been able to amass almost 220 goals and 500 points in less than 550 games, which practically makes him a point-per-game player who is entering into his prime.

11 New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist

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Every NHL team hoping to win the Stanley Cup needs to have a good goalie in order to do so, as it is the most important position on the team, and the New York Rangers have been fortunate enough to have one of the best goalies in the world for 11 seasons now. Henrik Lundqvist was drafted by the Rangers in 2000 with the 205th overall pick, and despite being selected that low, he has been an elite goalie in the NHL ever since debuting during the 2005-06 season. This season, Lundqvist is having an uncharacteristically bad year, but this bump in the road does nothing to tarnish his Hall of Fame caliber career, which includes winning the Vezina in 2012, and earning nearly 400 wins with a .920 save percentage and 2.29 goals against average.

10 Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson

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The Ottawa Senators are one of those teams which do well one year, and then not so well the following year, but fortunately for Sens fans, this year seems to be one of the more decent ones as they are currently in a playoff spot. Whether the team has been bad or good though, one thing has been constant the past 8 years, they have had one of the NHL’s best defensemen in the form of Erik Karlsson. The Senators drafted Karlsson 15th overall in 2008, and has been with the main roster since his debut in 2009, where he now serves as both the team’s captain and their top defenseman. Karlsson’s career still has years to go, but he has already built the foundation to be the first defenseman to play for the franchise to be inducted into the Hall, as he has scored 107 goals and 412 points in just over 500 career games, and he has already won the Norris Trophy twice in 2012 and 2015.

9 Philadelphia Flyers: Claude Giroux

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So far, the Philadelphia Flyers are having a great season, to the point that they appear to be unbeatable at times, and a big reason for that is the fact that they can put the puck in the net, seeing as they are currently one of only three teams to have scored 100 goals collectively. The Flyers are currently being captained by Claude Giroux, a centreman who the team drafted late in the 1st round in 2006, and who has been a titular part of the team’s roster since the 2008-09 season. Giroux has led Philadelphia in scoring 3 times, and has finished in the top 3 of league scoring twice, which is why he has garnered 175 goals and nearly 550 points in just over 600 career games. Should Giroux manage to score another 300 points or so in the next few years, there is a good chance he will be considered to be the next Flyer inducted.

8 Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby

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Last season ended with the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Stanley Cup, a win which was quite well deserved considering how dominant they were in the latter half of the regular season and throughout the postseason. In 2005, the Penguins won the draft lottery which allowed them to take Sidney Crosby 1st overall, which is probably the luckiest thing to ever happen to a franchise considering that he is already a first ballot Hall of Famer. Crosby has spent his entire 12-year career with Pittsburgh, and in that time he has won 2 Stanley Cups, a Finals MVP, 2 league MVPs, and 2 Art Ross Trophies; and this season will see him reach the 1,000 point milestone after having played in less than 800 games, numbers which pretty much guarantee his spot in the Hall.

7 San Jose Sharks: Joe Thornton

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After years upon years of playoff disappointments, the San Jose Sharks finally made it to the Stanley Cup final last year, where they ultimately lost to Pittsburgh, and that loss may have likely been the last chance for a Hall of Famer to win his first championship. Joe Thornton has been in the NHL since 1997, after being drafted by the Bruins 1st overall, and from the moment he first took to the ice, it became obvious that he was a talented player. After spending parts of 8 seasons with Boston, Thornton was traded to San Jose in 2006 where he has played ever since, and for more or less his entire 18-year career, he has been known as the the best playmaker in the game. He may not have a Cup, but by the time this season is over, Thornton will have scored over 380 goals and 1,370 points, which are numbers deserving of the Hall of Fame.

6 St. Louis Blues: Vladimir Tarasenko

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The hockey Hall of Fame is home to several Russian born players who have had outstanding careers, and the St. Louis Blues currently have a Russian on their roster who looks like a player bound for the Hall of Fame one day. In 2010, the Blues drafted Vladimir Tarasenko with the 16th overall pick, and from the very first moment he stepped onto the ice in 2013 you could tell he was special, which is why in just 5 years, he has emerged as one of the more skilled and offensively threatening players in the league. As of right now, Tarasenko has played in less than 300 career games, but in those games he has scored 120 goals and over 240 points; and now that he is entering his prime, he will be putting up big numbers for years to come which will likely make him a candidate for induction in the future. 

5 Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos

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For the past three seasons, the Tampa Bay Lightning have been amongst the top teams in the NHL, and with good reason, considering that their team is stacked with incredible players at every single position. In 2008, Tampa struck gold when they were awarded the 1st overall pick in that year’s draft, a pick.which turned out to be Steven Stamkos, who is not only the centerpiece of the team, but also the best pure goal scorer in the league. Stamkos has so far spent his whole career with the Lightning, and in those 8 years, he has 321 goals and 582 points in 586 games, and should this former 60 goal scorer keep up this pace, he will easily finish his career with over 500 goals and 1,000 points, which would be perfect Hall of Fame numbers

4 Toronto Maple Leafs: Auston Matthews

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Here we have the Toronto Maple Leafs, the final original six team to appear on the list, and it is a franchise which has had its fair share of Hall of Famers throughout its nearly 100 years of existence. For the past decade, the Leafs have been a dismal team, and now that they have finally decided to go through a proper re-building phase, they are already starting to see some benefits, as last year they performed so poorly that they won the 1st overall pick, which they used to draft 18 year old Auston Matthews. Seeing as Matthews has not even played in 50 career games yet, it may seem way too early to proclaim him as the Leaf’s next Hall of Famer, but in the small sample size of games he has played, he has already demonstrated that he will likely be the best player the team has had in over 20 years, which includes the likes of Leaf’s great Mats Sundin, who has already been inducted.

3 Vancouver Canucks: Henrik Sedin

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It is fair to say that the Vancouver Canucks are having a terrible season, and that they will likely miss the playoffs by a wide margin, but at least performing so poorly may garner them a top 3 draft pick of impeccable skill. The last time the Canucks drafted so high for an impact player was in 1999 when they drafted the Sedin twins 2nd and 3rd overall, and both Henrik and Daniel have been with Vancouver for the entirety of their 16-year careers. Both brothers are exceptional players who will certainly be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the same time, but if one had to be inducted first, it would have to be Henrik as he is the better all-around player by a very small margin. When this season comes to an end, Henrik will have played in over 1,200 games and scored over 1,000 points, which are landmark numbers for the Hall.

2 Washington Capitals: Alexander Ovechkin

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Last year, Sergei Fedorov was inducted into the Hall of Fame, and for a long time, he held the record for the most goals scored by a Russian born player, a record which was broken last year by Alexander Ovechkin. The Washington Capitals drafted this Russian superstar 1st overall in 2004, and he was a superstar from basically the moment he first skated in an NHL rink, and he is singlehandedly the savior of the Capitals franchise. Ovechkin is now playing in his 12th season, and by the time the year is over, he will have scored both his 550th career goal and 1,000th point, which are numbers completely deserving of the Hall of Fame; but the only question is whether or not he will be inducted with a Stanley Cup title under his belt.

1 Winnipeg Jets: Patrik Laine

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Last year, the Winnipeg Jets had a terrible season, which surprised many hockey insiders and fans do to the fact that they are a fairly physical and skilled team, but that subpar performance was not all that bad seeing as it earned them last year’s 2nd overall pick. With that pick, they drafted Finnish winger, Patrik Laine, whose career has already gotten off to an incredible start, as he has managed to score nearly 20 goals and 30 points in just over 30 games. Laine is still only 18 years old, and like Matthews who was mentioned earlier, it may seem too early to declare him a future Hall of Famer, but from what he has shown on the ice so far, there is a good chance he will have that kind of career.

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