I decided to make a short list of the five players who I thought were the best passers in the National Hockey League, in no particular order. Feel free to disagree and debate!
The Best Passers in the NHL
Nicklas Backstrom (shoots Left), Washington Capitals
- Set-up man for Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin.
- Season so far: 18 assists in 25 games.
Joe Thornton (shoots Left), San Jose Sharks
- Set-up man for Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau.
- Season so far: 17 assists in 21 games.
Henrik Sedin (shoots Left), Vancouver Canucks
- Set-up man for Daniel Sedin.
- Season so far: 25 assists in 22 games.
Martin St. Louis (shoots Left), Tampa Bay Lightning
- Set-up man for Steven Stamkos.
- Season so far: 21 assists in 25 games.
Sidney Crosby (shoots Left), Pittsburgh Penguins
- Set-up man for, well, kind of Evgeni Malkin, but only on the power play, really.
- Season so far: 23 assists in 26 games.
Points of note:
- All five of these players shoot left.
- Only Henrik Sedin has more than an assist per game.
- Sidney Crosby is the best goal-scorer of this group, and also has the least skilled wingers, despite which he is second in the league in assists and first in points.
- Backstrom is the youngest of these players. He has been having more success passing to Semin than Ovechkin this year, surprisingly. Look for his assist numbers to increase when Ovechkin (who only has 10 goals so far) turns the rockets on.