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Honorable Mentions:

 Patrice Bergeron, Anze Kopitar, Henrik Lundqvist, The Sedin Twins (Henrik and Daniel), Connor McDavid, Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Toews, Erik Karlsson, Zdeno Chara, Marc-Andre Fleury.

 Top Picks of the 2010s:

Jonathan Quick

 Jonathan Quick is an exceptional goalie. Not only for his explosive and athletic playstyle but in a league where big and tall is the rule in goal, he THE exception to that rule. Jonathan Quick’s stellar play and high save ability led the Los Angeles Kings to two cups in the early 2010s in 2012 and 2014. To call him a key contributor is an understatement: Quick LED the Kings to those two titles with his outstanding play. In addition to his 2 Stanley cups, Jonathan Quick also collected the Conn Smythe award as playoff MVP in 2012 and won the William Jennings trophy (for the fewest goals allowed) twice in 2014 and 2018.

Carey Price

 Few goalies in league history, let alone the decade, can say that they carry a team the way Carey Price did for the Montreal Canadiens of the 2010s. With his play, he dragged those teams into the playoffs single-handedly year after year. His performance in the 2014-15 season was one of the best single-season performances by a goaltender in league history. During that season, he brought home the Vezina (for best goaltender), Hart, Jennings, Pearson awards and led the league in save percentage to boot! Few goaltenders in history could be considered the cornerstone of a franchise, but that is precisely what Carey Price is. 

Drew Doughty

 Regarded as one of the best defensemen in the league early in the decade, he led the dominant LA Kings squads of the early 2010s to 2 Stanley Cup championships in 2012 and 2014. He also won the Norris Trophy as the best defenseman in the league in 2015. While he didn’t have the flash or the offensive numbers of his contemporaries (such as Erik Karlsson), he was, without question, one of the most gifted defensive defensemen in the league, 

Duncan Keith

 When you think of the Chicago Blackhawks teams of the early 2010s, Duncan Keith might not pop out at you immediately, but without him, the Blackhawks do not win those three championships in 6 years. He is one of three defensemen in NHL history to hold 2 Norris Trophies (the Norris Trophy is awarded to the league’s top defenseman) and a Conn Smythe. The other two players? Bobby Orr and Niklas Lidstrom, elite company for sure. His rock-solid play was the foundation of a veritable dynasty in the 2010s. 

Evgeni Malkin

 Playing alongside a legend like Sidney Crosby and still being seen as a star in your own right might seem impossible for some, but not for Evgeni Malkin. Known as “Geno” by Penguins fans, he is every bit as dynamic as his once-in-a-generation teammate. Malkin has won a boatload of awards during his accomplished career, and the 2010s were no different. The 2011-12 season was incredibly kind to Malkin as he took home the Hart Trophy as league MVP, the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most outstanding player selected by the NHLPA, and the Art Ross award the top point-getter with 109 that season. He would also make the NHL all-star team three times during the decade and took home 2 Stanley Cup championships with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning them in back-to-back seasons in 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

Patrick Kane

 Regarded as the greatest American-born player in history, Patrick Kane helped anchor a dynasty in Chicago in the 2010s. Starting in the very first year of the decade (2010), Patrick Kane scored the cup-clinching goal to secure the Chicago Blackhawks their first Stanley Cup victory in 49 years over the Philadelphia Flyers (before that point, the Blackhawks hadn’t won the cup since 1961, the era before expansion). The team would follow wins in 2013 and 2015, all on stellar goal-scoring from Patrick Kane. He would finish the decade with the most points (792) and win the Conn Smythe award in 2013 and win the Hart, Art Ross, and Ted Lindsay Awards (formerly the Lester B. Pearson Award) 2016. 

Alexander Ovechkin

 Regarding his generation’s most incredible goal score (and perhaps of all-time), Alexander Ovechkin finished the decade with the most goals by any player with 437. In addition to that, he brought home a ton of individual hardware during that period, winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (awarded to the player with the most goals) six times, the Hart Trophy, and the Ted Lindsay award.

 A significant point of criticism that Ovechkin faced throughout his career was despite his accolades; he never won the big one. That all came to an end in 2018, as his Washington Capitals defeated the expansion Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup and winning the Conn Smythe award as playoff MVP in the process. As of this writing, he’s within striking distance of catching Wayne Gretzky for the all-time lead in goals, and it remains to be seen if he will indeed catch him. Regardless, Ovechkin will go down as one of the greatest of all time and certainly one of the decade’s greats. 

Sidney Crosby

 The 2010s as a solid decade for “Sid, The Kid”, and the scary part is that it could have been even better if it weren’t for injuries. Regarded as the second most outstanding player of all-time behind Gretzky, he finished the decade leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017, winning the Conn Smythe award both times as MVP of the playoffs. He also took home two “Rocket Richard” awards, the Mark Messier leadership trophy, the Ted Lindsay Award twice, the Art Ross, and the Hart Memorial trophies once each. He’s arguably the greatest player of his generation and easily at the top of the list for the decade’s best player. He’s arguably the greatest player of his age and easily at the top of the list for the decade’s best player.