Pittsburgh Penguins- Jeff Carter #77
I could go with the obvious choice here and say Sidney Crosby but that would be a cop-out. Instead, I'm choosing the newly acquired centerman Jeff Carter. Since being traded to the Penguins, Carter has been absolutely BUZZING- he went from 8 goals in 40 games with Los Angeles... to 9 goals in 14 with Pittsburgh! Former teammate Anze Kopitar was teary-eyed talking about the trade saying, "I don't think he gets enough credit or got enough credit for, you know, showing the way as a leader. You think about it, I mean, [Tanner Pearson] and [Tyler Toffoli], back in the day, they were on his wings and he took them- he took it pretty personally to get those guys going and groom them right and obviously did a great job". Its hard not to root for guys like that! A great, very impactful player but an even better leader. Jeff Carter, such a beauty!
Washington Capitals- T.J. Oshie (Also #77)
T.J. Oshie is one of those few guys that everyone likes and can be inspired by. From day one, Oshie has endeared himself to hockey fans far and wide with his charisma and energy on the ice. In the 2014 Winter Olympics, he earned the nickname "T.J. Sochi" and was dubbed an American hero by the United States media after capitalizing on 4/6 shootout opportunities to win Game 2 against Russia. Yet, never one to bask in the spotlight, Oshie turned the attention to the United States military saying, "The American heroes are wearing camo. That's not me". The last couple years have been very emotional for T.J. Oshie. After winning the Stanley Cup as a member of the Washington Capitals in 2018, T.J. had a chilling interview about his dad, Tim, who was battling with Alzheimer's:
This season, the hockey world mourns the loss of Tim "Coach Osh" Oshie who passed away earlier this month. I would love to see Oshie hoist the Cup not just for himself, but for his dad.
Boston Bruins- Taylor Hall #71
Taylor Hall is playing the best hockey of his career as a Bruin and he's proving all the doubters wrong! I'll gladly admit to being one of those doubters! In Edmonton, Buffalo, and even New Jersey (where he won the Hart Trophy for league MVP), I've always been critical of Hall. He just strikes me as someone who sees himself above the team. For example, when Connor McDavid (THE BEST PLAYER IN THE WORLD) was drafted by the Oilers... Hall put out this tweet: "Welcome to Edmonton, Connor! Don't mess up everything we've built the last 5 years!" You don't say that to a future teammate! But Bergeron and Marchand must have set him straight because Hall-sy in Boston versus him on past teams has been a NIGHT AND DAY difference. I've seen Taylor Hall battle in corners, backcheck and even crash the net as a Bruin! He's actually playing with some heart and adding relentlessness to his already amazing skillset! I love the way Hall has played as of late and I would be excited to see him hoist Lord Stanley after taking huge strides in his game and character.
Toronto Maple Leafs- Joe Thornton #97
Jumbo Joe is one of the most decorated NHL players to never win a Stanley Cup. Thornton is a 6-time All-Star, has an Art Ross, Hart, Spengler Cup, Swiss Hockey Championship and 4 gold medals (2x World Cup of Hockey, 1x World Junior Championship, and 1x 2010 Winter Olympics). He deserves Lord Stanley!
Montreal Canadians- Tyler Toffoli #73
This one may be a bit controversial, but the Montreal Canadians player I'd be most excited to see win the Cup this year would be Tyler Toffoli. And this is not a knock on Carey Price or Brendan Gallagher! Carey Price has been the NHL's best goalie for years now, and there is a fearlessness in Gally's game that I would love to add to my own. The duo has been the beating heart of Montreal during a tough rebuild and are more than deserving of a Cup! But specifically this year... has any Hab bought into the system more than Toffoli?! Tyler Toffoli brings so much passion every time he steps on the ice. Just listening to him talk, you can hear how committed he is to the team. Plus, he's been finding the back of the net consistently, all season long! Toffoli just checks all the boxes in my head! He's a certified beauty!
Winnipeg Jets- Mark Scheifele #55
To me, Mark Scheifele embodies what it means to "love the game". Obviously anyone who has put in the work to reach hockey's highest level loves the game, but the vast majority of NHL players believe in the importance of "leaving everything at the rink". That's not Scheifele at all! A self-proclaimed hockey nerd, Mark Schiefele literally is at the airport with his team after the game... waiting for the plane while watching another game! If he isn't playing hockey, he's training for hockey and if he isn't training for hockey, he's watching hockey. In the long quarantine last year, Scheifele even started writing about hockey! Mark Schiefele is also arguably the smartest player in the NHL. I would love to see him raise the Cup!
Minnesota Wild- Matthew Boldy #67
Did I seriously just choose Matthew Boldy, a rookie who has never suited up for an NHL game yet, as the Minnesota Wild player who I'd be most excited to see win the Stanley Cup this year?! Yes, that is exactly what I did (I'm such a salty Knights fan LOL). I can't stand Joel Eriksson-Ek, Matt Dumba, Ryan Hartman or Kevin Fiala!
Oops, did I forget someone? Oh yeah, Kirill Kaprizov's another one! I forgot all about him, he's been so irrelevant this series! All chirping aside, these guys are talented hockey players and the Wild are a great team. They 100% have a chance to win Lord Stanley this year and if they do, they deserve it... but it doesn't mean I have to be happy for them. I wouldn't be caught dead cheering for Minnesota!
Colorado Avalanche- Nathan MacKinnon #29
There is no player in the NHL more deserving of a Stanley Cup than Nathan MacKinnon. I can't do him justice. Simply put, Nate MacKinnon is DOMINANT. He's a winner, he plays his biggest games on the biggest stages and can singlehandedly drag his team into the fight. This man has speed reminiscent of McDavid, a bullet of a shot, and the size and strength to play that highly coveted power-forward role. Mac does everything he can to win games- he already took less money for the benefit of the team and he is prepared to do so again. If Vegas lost to Colorado but MacKinnon got his Cup, I would be halfway happy. He's so deserving!
Florida Panthers- Aleksander Barkov #16
Aleksander Barkov has been a lesser-known superstar in the NHL for years now. I'd love to see him finally get the recognition he deserves by winning a Stanley Cup!
Carolina Hurricanes- Dougie Hamilton #19
Similar to Barkov, I'm choosing Dougie Hamilton because I want to see him fully get the respect he deserves. The Canes sound like their trying to low-ball him a bit in contract negotiations and that's just not fair. Hamilton is one of the best offensive D-men in the entire NHL and should be paid as such.
Edmonton Oilers- Connor McDavid #97
I love Connor McDavid, but he needs to prove himself in the playoffs. Averaging 1.9 points per game in the regular season makes you one of the best in your generation... but doing it in the playoffs puts you in GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) conversations. If Vegas gets eliminated and McDavid gets his Cup, I would be halfway happy (similar to MacKinnon)! The McSaviour deserves to experience playoff success.
St. Louis Blues- OMG THEY'RE ALREADY OUT
(GOODBYE PLAYOFF BRACKET 😂😂😂)
Vegas Golden Knights- Marc-Andre Fleury #29
There is no player in the NHL I'd rather see win another Stanley Cup than Flower. At age 36, Fleury is enjoying the best season of his illustrious career, posting a .928 save percentage. While he already has 3 Stanley Cups to his name, they were all from his tenure in Pittsburgh. Flower NEEDS one in Vegas! He's the face of the franchise!!!
Nashville Predators- Filip Forsberg #9
Nashville wouldn't be where they are right now without the offence provided by "Filthy" Fil Forsberg. Thus, he is undoubtedly the Predators player I'd be most excited to see win the Cup this year.
New York Islanders- Mathew Barzal #13
Since the Islanders play a very team-oriented game, it is hard to pinpoint just one guy who I'd most love to see hoist the Stanley Cup from over there. But for the sake of this article, I'm choosing Mathew Barzal. Barzy is an offensive wizard and he's got wheels to rival McDavid. There's a certain electricity when he's on the ice, just because of what he can do with the puck. He's such a fun player to watch!
Tampa Bay Lightning- Steven Stamkos #91
When Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in the bubble last year, Stamkos was battling a lower-body injury. He only was able to play two minutes in the entire playoffs... he scored a goal in those two minutes though! While Stammer was obviously overjoyed to finally have his name engraved on the Cup, I'm sure he wants another where he can actually be there for the entire ride.
I hope you guys enjoyed this article! Which player would you most like to see hoist the Stanley Cup this year? Let me know in the comment section below: