The National Hockey League features insane athletes; with speed and agility being feature qualities.
Skipping leg day is always a bad idea for anyone on a workout routine, a tidbit of information that gets thrown around a lot. That’s largely due to leg day feeling the least important (it is most definitely important). When it comes to the NHL, lower body and core strength are two highly valued qualities. As a result, some players look like they only ever workout their legs. You’ll search for a while if you’re looking for an NHL version of LaRon Landry.
Contrary to what many fans might guess, the most jacked NHL players aren’t so often the enforcers (or at the very least, they aren’t the ones who like to show off their bodies). While those guys tend to be the biggest in general, the ones with the craziest bodies tend to be the power forwards, as well as the defensemen charged with shutting them down.
In addition you’ll see a lot of veterans. While some might picture a young hot shot when talking about the most jacked NHLers, for vets to excel as they get older, being in top physical condition becomes more of a requirement.
15. Alec Martinez
Alec Martinez is a Stanley cup winning defenseman for the Los Angeles Kings. He’s built like many of the NHL’s elite shut down defensemen. However, the blue liner largely flies under the radar. Unless you’re scoring points, it’s really hard to become a household name as a defenseman.
Kings fans are very aware of what he does at least. He’s been with the team since 2011 and is currently under contract till 2021.
14. Ryan Kesler
Ryan Kesler is certainly one of the more toned players in the National Hockey League. The veteran has spent most of his 11 year career with Vancouver but has played the past two with Anaheim.
While he’s never gotten back to the peak he had in ’09- 11′, many felt that the polarizing player could give the Ducks the boost they needed to finally send them over the top. After narrowly missing out of the Stanley cup finals last season, the Ducks and Ryan Kesler will get another shot shortly.
13. Jarome Iginla
38 years old and likely at the tail end of his career, Jarome Iginla has been one of the more popular and physically dominant players in the league.
NHL players don’t continue to find success in their later years by being out of shape. It takes commitment and hard work. The future Hall of Famer has had an amazing career; it’d be nice to see him snag a cup before he hangs it up.
12. Sidney Crosby
Considering what many fans think of Sidney Crosby, it likely comes as a surprise to see him here. If you’ve seen him shirtless, it’s probably more of a surprise. Nothing against his upper body, but if you’re ranking players on that he’s probably going to be pretty far down.
Rather, Crosby’s thighs are absolutely crazy, they look almost look out of place. You certainly don’t become one of the top scores in the NHL by slacking off.
Crosby is one of the players who probably puts significantly more of a focus on his lower body than anyone else.
11. Alex Wennberg
Alexander Wennberg was the 14th overall pick in 2013 draft by the Columbus Blue Jackets. He remains one of the team’s top young players and a player Jacket fans can rest their hopes one.
It isn’t terribly often young players come into the league looking like Wennberg. He’s certainly a player who puts in the effort.
10. Michael Grabner
Michael Grabner has had a disappointing NHL career. After being taken 14th overall in 2006, he didn’t manage to see significant playing time until the 2010- 11′ season with the New York Islanders. He put up impressive numbers, scoring 34 goals in 76 games; a total that was tied for 8th in the league along with Bobby Ryan, Patrick Sharp and Danny Briere.
Unfortunately, Grabner was never able to replicate that year. We can assume that it isn’t for lack of staying in shape though. What Grabner lacks in playing ability he certainly makes up for in his physical appearance.
9. Johnny Oduya
Johnny Oduya got quite a bit of attention following the recent Blackhawks cup win after popping off his shirt while celebrating. Oduya joined the Stars after winning the cup in Chicago last year. With all the surrounding talent, the veteran defenseman should have a decent shot at getting two in a row with two different teams.
8. Tyler Seguin
The Boston Bruins made a trade for Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow, and Matt Fraser. In exchange they gave up Tyler Seguin and 90% of their female fans – a trade that Boston probably regrets. The management probably misses Seguin’s scoring ability more than anything else. The fans are split.
The second overall pick in 2010 has been ripping it up in Dallas, where he’s been averaging a little over a point-per-game. Still, you have to appreciate all the work he puts in at the gym, right?
7. Martin St. Louis
Martin St. Louis is listed as 5′ 8″ – 180. Many probably wouldn’t expect him to be as jacked as he is. While his upper body is impressive, it isn’t overly notable for an athlete. His legs on the other hand, are absolutely insane.
It was announced in July of 2015 that he was retiring. In his last season this past year with the Rangers, St. Louis played 74 games and scored 52 points. He capped off his career with a nice season.
Up to this point, only current NHL players have made this list. However, Martin St. Louis is more than deserving of an exception.
6. Jarret Stoll
Jarret Stoll is widely considered to be one of the NHL’s strongest and most physically fit players. He’s gotten quite a lot of attention recently. First, for dating popular sports journalist Erin Andrews. Then later he was busted for cocaine position. That is quite the surprise – especially since it came out of the sports world. Even those who don’t really know anything about physically fitness would probably feel comfortable saying that cocaine is definitely not a good way to stay in shape.
5. Milan Lucic
Milan Lucic is one of the more feared players in the NHL. He plays much more recklessly and is sometimes a little dirty with his style of play. At 6′ 3″ – 233, Lucic seems to be all muscle; something that is a requirement for anyone who wants to play like he does.
The power forward knows how to get under the skin of his opponents. He gives the Kings a nice physical edge, even if he does let his emotions get the best of him on occasion.
4. P.K. Subban
P.K. Subban is Montreal’s Star defenseman, despite what the media might be saying about him as the trade deadline approaches.
When you look at him, he appears to be built like a stay-at-home defenseman. But it turns out that he’s one of the NHL’s most impressive blue liners. He’s a player that can beat up opponents with his physical style of play, as well as dance around them and make plays with the puck; a frustrating combination for opponents.
3. Steven Stamkos
Steven Stamkos is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the NHL. You don’t get that tag by skipping days in the gym. His 500 lb dead lift video is quite impressive. Anyone who hasn’t seen it should take a look at it.
It’s hard to imagine a player like Stamkos ever leaving the organization, at least not in the near future. But he’ll be an unrestricted free agent for the upcoming season, which changes things considerably. Thankfully for Tampa Bay fans the team’s management seems committed to keeping the star.
2. Jaromir Jagr
The 44 year old legend was famed throughout his career for many things, one of which is being in peak physical condition. Not only has he been able to play into his 40’s, something that’s uncommon for the average NHL players career, but he’s been able to have an outstanding amount of success – all things considered. Being in as great of shape as he is undoubtedly plays a large role in that. He’s a guy who’s 100% committed to his sport and all he’s managed to accomplish is proof of that.
While was undoubtedly in better shape earlier in his career, he’s very deserving of a top spot nevertheless. Especially considering that he’s one of the older players on this list.
1. Zdeno Chara
Zdeno Chara is famed as one of the most physically intimidating hockey player in the NHL due to being 6′ 9″ and 250 pounds. Particularly large hockey players don’t often make it in the NHL. Chara has been dominating the NHL for most of his career. He has enough of the required skating and general athletic ability to excel. He’s far more than just the big defenseman who fights and shoves people away from the goalie. Though people might understandably overlook that at times.
He showed off his body several years ago in “The Body Issue”. The ESPN magazine drew some controversy due to showing almost entirely nude athletes.
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