HomeWorld NewsEvery NHL team’s most likely future Hall of Famer: Alex Ovechkin among locks, Connor McDavid on right track
Every NHL team’s most likely future Hall of Famer: Alex Ovechkin among locks, Connor McDavid on right track
August 23, 2023
The greatest hockey players of all-time are enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame, which is located in Toronto. There is no official criteria to help decide which players earn this very special honor. However, based on past voting, it’s not hard to see what voters look for in a Hall of Famer.
In utilizing some obvious criteria when selecting which players get elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame, I’ve created a list that includes one player active on every NHL team right now that has the greatest chance of being enshrined in Toronto once their career is complete. Here is the criteria that was used in selecting the most likely players that could be Hall of Fame bound one day and whether they’re currently a “lock” for that distinctive honor.
Which player from your favorite team made the cut? Let’s take a closer look.
Similar to the Ducks, the Coyotes are also rebuilding and have stockpiled a ton of prospects throughout their system. With that in mind, it’s extremely tough to forecast a Hall of Famer this early in their respective careers.
Keller is coming off of a career year in which he registered 86 points (37 goals and 49 assists) during the 2022-23 season.
The Coyotes star forward has tallied back-to-back 60-point seasons, including scoring 65 goals during that span. Keller has recorded 342 points in his professional career thus far, and he’s only 25 years old.
Bruins icon Patrice Bergeron announced his retirement following the 2022-23 campaign, so Pastrnak makes the most sense to replace him here.
Pastrnak has developed one of the sport’s top playmakers during his nine-year career. The Bruins winger has racked up 617 points (301 goals and 316 assists) while tallying 101 power-play goal (seventh in team history). Pastrnak compiled a 113-point season (61 goals and 52 assists) in 2022-23, which included the first 60-goal season of his NHL career.
Pastrnak hasn’t quite achieve Hall of Fame status just yet. However, if he can tally a few more 100-point seasons, a trip to Toronto for enshrinement is well within the range of outcomes.
Huberdeau really boosted his stock with a career-high 115-point 2021-22 season. It’s worth noting that Huberdeau had a lackluster 2022-23 season that resulted in him registering just 55 points (15 goals and 40 assists).
If Huberdeau can bounce back and return to a 80-90-point range on a yearly basis, he can definitely be a Hall of Famer one day.
Connor Bedard has yet to play a second in the NHL, but the expectations are through the roof. Bedard has been billed as a generational talent that is being compared to the likes of Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.
The 18-year-old compiled a 143-point season (71 goals and 72 assists) with the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats during the 2022-23 campaign.
This would’ve been an easy one last season with Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews still being members of the Blackhawks. However, since they’re currently free agents, Bedard gets the nod based on his career projections.
Makar was one of the biggest factors in Colorado’s Stanley Cup run during the 2022-23 season. It was a sensational campaign, as the former first-round pick won the Norris Trophy (given to the NHL’s best defenseman) and Conn Smythe Award (given to the playoff MVP).
Makar has recorded 246 points (65 goals and 181 assists) in just three professional seasons. The 23-year-old star obviously has a long way to go, but Makar is already drawing comparisons to Bruins great Bobby Orr.
Johnny Gaudreau was a six-time All-Star during his nine years with the Calgary Flames. During that time, he tallied 609 points (210 goals and 399 assists) while recording a career-high 115 points during the 2021-22 season.
Gaudreau now plays on a line in Columbus with Patrik Laine, which should continue to allow Gaudreau to showcase his playmaking ability that has transformed him into one of the top stars in the sport.
For over a decade, Joe Pavelski was the face of the San Jose Sharks franchise. He ranks second in goals (355), power-play goals (221), game-winning goals (60), third in points (1,111) and fourth in assists (406) in the team’s history.
Pavelski has also registered the most playoff goals (73) by an American-born player in NHL history.
Even in his late 30s, Pavelski has tallied three consecutive 25-goal seasons, while even recording a career-best 81-point season during the 2021-22 campaign.
Seider started off his NHL career by winning the Calder Trophy during the 2021-22 campaign.
In his rookie campaign, Seider tallied 50 points (seven goals and 43 assists) and became just the fifth defenseman to win the Calder Trophy in the past 20 years. Seider followed that up with a 42-point season (five goals & 37 assists) in 2022-23.
He obviously has a long way to go in his career, but producing an award-winning season in his first professional year certainly sets the bar high.
After spending the first six seasons of his NHL career with the Flames, Matthew Tkachuk was traded to the Panthers last summer.
Tkachuk’s first campaign in Florida was certainly a season for the ages. Tkachuk tallied a career-high 109 points (40 goals and 69 assists), and it marked his second consecutive 40-goal season.
Tkachuk is a very physical forward that helped lead the Panthers advance all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in 2022-23. If 100-point seasons are consistently in the cards for Tkachuk, being enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame one day is a definite possibility.
During his 17-year NHL career, the Kings center has accumulated 1,141 points (393 goals and 738 assists). He currently ranks second in team history in assists and only trails Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne by nine points in that department.
He also ranks third in points in team history and helped bring two Stanley Cups to Los Angeles.
In my opinion, Kopitar is a Hall of Famer, but he also doesn’t play in what you’d call a hockey hotbed, which could hinder his chances.
When you talk about the top goaltenders of all-time, Marc-Andre Fleury is in that conversation.
He’s amassed 544 wins, a 2.58 goals-against-average, a .913 save percentage and 73 shutouts during his 19-year NHL career. Only Martin Brodeur and Patrick Roy have more wins.
Fleury helped lead the Pittsburgh Penguins to three Stanley Cups during his 13 seasons with the franchise. In addition, Fleury won the Vezina Trophy in 2021 at 36 years old as a member of the Golden Knights. He’s certainly going to get the call to Toronto when his career is over.
It’s no secret Carey Price ranks as one of the top goalies in the modern era of hockey. The Montreal Canadiens netminder has racked up 361 career wins, which puts him only behind Minnesota Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury on the active list.
Price joins Jacques Plante (1961-62), Jose Theodore (2001-02) and Dominik Hasek (1996-97, 1997-98) as the only goalies to win the Hart and Vezina Trophies in the very same season. During the 2014-15 season when he achieved that feat, Price put together a 44-16-6 record to go along with a 1.96 goals-against-average and a .933 save percentage.
Price hasn’t made a determination on if his playing career is over, but regardless he has likely done enough to reach Hockey Hall of Fame status.
Josi has placed himself among the NHL’s top defensemen as he’s been a Norris Trophy finalist in two of the last four seasons and won it in 2020.
The four-time All-Star had a career-best 96-point season (23 goals and 73 assists) in 2021-22 and finished second in the Norris Trophy voting to Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche.
Josi’s offensive acumen allowed him to record more points in a season than any player in team history. He’s not quite a Hall of Famer just yet, but if he can put together a few more elite seasons, there should be no doubt that he’ll be in Toronto one day.
Hughes is coming off of a career-best 99 points (43 goals and 56 assists) during the 2022-23 season, and he helped lead the Devils to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Devils star was also an All-Star in each of the past two seasons.
Hughes is just 22 years old, so tabbing him for the Hall of Fame is very premature. If he can continue to produce like he has the past two seasons, an enshrinement in Toronto may not be out of the question.
Sorokin finished the 2022-23 season with the third-lowest save percentage (.924) in the league.
He was a Vezina Trophy finalist as the league’s top goalie in 2022-23 after compiling a 31-22-0 record and a 2.34 goals-against-average. Sorokin has also registered 13 shutouts in each of the past two seasons.
Sorokin has been the Islanders starting netminder in each of the last two seasons. While that isn’t a massive sample size, Sorokin can certainly be Hall of Fame worthy if he continues having seasons like his last two.
Shesterkin led the NHL in both goals-against-average and save percentage during the 2021-22 season.
He won the Vezina Trophy as the league’s top goalie in just his second season. In his Vezina-winning season, Shesterkin posted a 36-13-4 record, a league-best 2.07 goals-against-average and a league-best .935 save percentage while also recording six shutouts.
Shesterkin has only been a starting netminder for three years, but after what he accomplished in such a short time, Hall of Fame aspirations aren’t crazy to think about.
Couturier has developed into one of the top two-way centers around– he even won the Selke Trophy during the 2019-20 campaign.
Couturier has registered 460 points (180 goals and 280 assists) while recording 370 blocked shots in his 11 years in Philadelphia. If Couturier ends up being moved down the road or the Flyers can surround him with more talent, it’ll go a long way toward improving Couturier’s Hall of Fame resume.
Duh. Sidney Crosby is going to go down as one of the best NHL players ever. He is one of just 19 players that has won the Hart Trophy multiple times. He’s also a two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner as he earned the honor during two of the Penguins’ three Stanley Cup-winning postseasons.
Crosby has registered 1,502 points during his 18-year NHL career, which is good for 15th on the all-time points list. There’s no doubt that the Penguins center will be enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame one day.
Jordan Kyrou has really developed into one of the league’s more dangerous offensive weapons over the past two seasons.
The Blues star is coming off of a season in which he registered 73 points (37 goals and 36 assists) following a career-high 75-point campaign in 2021-22.
Obviously, Kyrou is just 25 years old and only has two elite seasons under his belt thus far. Still, if Kyrou can continue to showcase his ability as a gifted playmaker, he can definitely have a place in Toronto one day.
The Lightning star center has recorded more points (1,056) than any player in franchise history. After having two down years by Stamkos’ usual standards, he compiled a 106-point season in 2021-22 and helped lead the Lightning back to their third consecutive Stanley Cup Final appearance.
Stamkos holds many franchise records, including most career goals (515), most goals in a single season (60), most game-winning goals in a single season (12), most career hat tricks (nine) and most career power-play goals (195). There’s no doubt that Stamkos will be enshrined in Toronto one day.
At 24, Pettersson’s career has gotten off to a very strong start with 323 points over his first five professional seasons.
Pettersson’s accolades already include winning the Calder Trophy in 2019 and being selected to the All-Star Game on three occasions. As is the case with many of these selections, Pettersson likely has 10-15 years remaining in his career, so it’s tough to forecast if he’ll keep producing at an elite level. But the hall of fame potential is there.
Following spinal cord surgery that limited him to 34 games during the 2021-22 season, Jack Eichel bounced back with a sensational campaign in 2022-23. Eichel registered 66 points (27 goals and 39 assists) in 67 games.
Eichel also helped lead the Golden Knights to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history as he tallied 26 points (six goals and 20 assists) in his playoff debut.
Despite just finishing up his eighth NHL season, Eichel is still just 26 years old and likely has a decade or more left in his career.
One of the other few obvious ones on this list. Alex Ovechkin currently has the second-most goals (822) in league history as he only sits behind Wayne Gretzky (894).
During the 2021-22 campaign, Ovechkin topped the 50-goal mark yet again and in doing so, tied Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most 50-goal seasons in NHL history.
It’s likely that Ovechkin can break Gretzky’s all-time goals record after compiling a 42-goal season in 2022-23. Whether he achieves that feat or not, Ovechkin has already more than secured his place in Toronto.
Morrissey has accumulated 242 points (56 goals and 186 assists) in seven professional seasons.
During the 2022-23 campaign, Morrissey racked up a career-high 76 points (16 goals and 60 assists), while logging a career-best 24:13 of ice time. Morrissey’s previous highest point total was 37 points during the 2021-22 season
Morrissey is currently 28, so he’s entering the prime of his career. The Jets blue-liner will definitely need to put together a few more elite seasons before being considered for enshrinement given the disparity between his most recent two seasons.