Top 15 NHL Players on Teams that Suck

Spring is around the corner, and for a select 16 teams that could only mean one thing; the end of an 82-game long season to pursue another glorious 16 wins that will lead to the hoisting of the Stanley Cup. Playoff hockey is the land of upsets, Cinderella stories, grittiness, and the best hockey you’ve ever seen. It is a very exciting time for players old and new in the NHL.

But for the 14 NHL teams at the wrong end of the standings, it is a time of what could have been, of rebuilding, of conditioning, and of wondering how some star players would perform had they the chance to play some playoff hockey. Some players have gotten stuck on bad teams for the majority of their careers, such as Shane Doan and Ryan Smyth for many years in Edmonton. Heck, many quality players coming into this year were stuck on bad teams, such as Antoine Vermette, Andrej Sekera, Jeff Petry and Keith Yandle, but they were spared close to the deadline by being traded to a playoff team, or one that's in contention.

Now, this isn’t to say that all the NHL teams that didn’t secure a playoff position suck. To the contrary, most of these teams were fighting for a playoff berth until the end. But there are few teams that continue struggle, despite the good players and leaders on their team. Here are the top 15 NHL players on teams that suck. For this list, we're taking into account the caliber of the player, the state of their team in the standings this year and considering their track record in recent years.

15 Jeff Skinner

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14 James Van Riemsdyk

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

13 Brandon Dubinsky 

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

12 Evander Kane

Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

11 Eric Staal

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

10 Scott Hartnell

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

9 Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

8 Nick Foligno

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

7 Ryan Johansen

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

6 Jordan Eberle

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

5 Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

4 Sergei Bobrovsky

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

3 Taylor Hall 

Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

2 Phil Kessel 

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Before we go any further, I am aware of the fact that Phil Kessel’s performance this season should be a factor in him being included in an article that mentions “best” NHL players. It’s true, his prolonged, three month mid season slump has been absolutely numbing for Toronto fans to say the least, and it’s even been a factor in the rumor mill concerning his departure from Toronto. But the truth is, when Phil Kessel isn’t slumping, he could sure put that puck away, and without that, the Maple Leafs could barely win a game. Kessel’s slump has gone a long way in highlighting some of Toronto’s major issues defensively and offensively, and their season has suffered greatly for it. Despite his issues this season, the 27-year-old has tallied a total of 94 goals in his past three seasons with the Leafs, and he has reached the 30-goal plateau in his last five seasons, something he is in danger of not doing this season.

1 Cory Schneider

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Cory Schneider’s statistics are among the best in the league. The only difference between him and the others in the top is that Cory Schneider is not in the playoff hunt. How can a goalie posting the 3rd best save percentage in the league at .928% not be in the playoff race, you may ask? The answer lies in the team in front of him, which has been struggling to find their identity all year. Schneider has played a resounding 65 games this season, and to post those numbers on this team with that workload is a feat in itself.

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Top 15 NHL Players on Teams that Suck