NHL's best players under age 25 for 2018 – SB Nation

The NHL has a bright future with young talent already dominating the league. They’re no longer the big-bodied, physical players, but ones that bring a new element to the league with speed, skill and dynamic scoring.

For the second straight year, SB Nation’s NHL team blogs have ranked the top 25 players under age 25 across the league. There are several top players who did not make the cut, which goes to show just how deep the talent is.


Players need to be age 24 or younger by Aug. 1, 2018, to be eligible for the rankings. If a player turns 25 before that date, they’re out. Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau barely made the list by 13 days.


The rankings are compromised of ballots submitted by 22 SB Nation NHL team sites. Each one submitted their own list then the rankings were broken down into points with 25 points for No. 1, 24 points for No. 2 and on down the list. Those point totals were complied with the No. 1 spot receiving the most points.

Who’s No. 1?

Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid holds the top spot for a second straight year. The 21-year-old, who was a unanimous pick, scored a league-high 100 points during first full season en route to winning the scoring title and league MVP. He did build off that season with 41 goals and 108 points during the 2017-18 campaign. Despite the Oilers failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs, McDavid won the scoring title again and the Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most outstanding player as voted on by NHL Players Association members.

Biggest rise

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon made the biggest leap by 12 spots from No. 14 to No. 2. MacKinnon was fifth in the NHL

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