NHL 23 Best Players List
NHL 23 is returning with improved player characteristics following another thrilling season. Hockey enthusiasts won't be surprised by who ranks first. It is also not unexpected that the Colorado Avalanche, the defending Stanley Cup winner, is in first place with two players ranking in the top 10 and three players ranking in the top 15. The top NHL 23 players are listed here, ordered by overall rating.
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Sidney Crosby - 93
Sidney Crosby, a stalwart for Pittsburgh and a potential Hall of Famer, is the final player on the list with an OVR rating of at least 93. The number one overall choice from 2005 remains still tough, sporting 85 in Poise to match with his 94 Hand-Eye & Passing, and 93 in Deking & Puck Control. With 91in Slap Shot Accuracy, Slap Shot Power, Wrist Shot Accuracy, and 90 Wrist Shot Power, The Playmaker can score as well as the top Snipers. With scores of 94 for defense awareness, 86 for shot blocking, and 94 for stick checking, Crosby is also a capable defender. With 88 in Faceoffs, he will be challenging to defeat in the faceoff as well. He can shoot with his backhand with remarkable force and precision thanks to his Zone Ability, Beauty Backhand.
With a high number of assists, the 3-time Stanley Cup winner enjoyed a spectacular Crosby season in 2021–2022. He appeared in 69 games, recording 31 goals and 53 assists. He contributed to eight goals and eight assists throughout the playoffs as the Penguins were defeated by the New York Rangers in the opening round in six games. Crosby has won the Hart Memorial Trophy & the Smythe Trophy twice in his career.
Roman Josi - 93
Roman Josi, a defenseman with the Nashville Predators, is the third and final defenseman on this list. Along with 90 for poise and 85 for discipline, Josi also boasts 94 stick checking, 90 shot blocking, and 96 defensive awareness. His physical qualities, which include 92 in Strength, 89 in Durability, 87 in Body Checking, and 85 in Aggressiveness, are nevertheless acceptable even though they fall short of Hedman's. Send It, his zone skill gives Josi a significant boost to pass assist and thus the capacity to automatically saucer long passes.
As the top defenseman in the 2019–2020 season, the two-time All-Star has previously won the Norris Memorial Trophy. Josi played in 80 games with an average ice time of 25:33 in the 2021–2022 season, displaying outstanding endurance. He has 73 assists in addition to his 23 goals. He received 46 penalty mins, which equates to a typical two-minute penalty in only 23 games. He contributed one goal and one assist to Nashville's first-round loss to eventual champion Colorado.
Victor Headman - 93
Left defender Victor Hedman, who is equaled for the second-best defenseman in NHL 23 with the previous player on the list, is the first representation of Stanley Cup Final runner-up Tampa Bay. His defensive skills score the highest, with 95 for defensive awareness, 95 for stick checking, and 90 for shot-blocking. He also has 94 Balance and 95 Poise. His 93 in Strength, 90 in Body Checking, and 88 in Aggressiveness are all strong physical traits, but his 82 in Durability might be improved. Stick 'Em Up, Hedman's Zone Ability grants him exceptional defensive stick speed & improved accuracy while poke checking while moving or against momentum. Additionally, it lessens the likelihood of a penalty—important for any defensive.
Hedman has proven his value on the defensive end while playing with Tamba Bay, which has advanced to the previous three Stanley Cup Finals, winning the first two. The Smythe Trophy was awarded during the Lightning's first championship victory in 2019–2020, and the two-time champion earned the Norris Memorial Trophy in 2017–18. Hedman skated on the ice for an average of 25:05 per game in 2021–2022. He contributed 65 assists along with his 20 goals. In 23 playoff games, he recorded 3 goals and 16 assists. Colorado defeated Tampa Bay in six games, ending Tampa Bay's hopes of a three-peat.
Patrick Kane - 93
Patrick Kane, a longtime right winger for Chicago, is still a great athlete. The former first-round choice in 2007 has a shooting percentage of 89 in Slap & Wrist Shot Power, 95 in Slap Shot Accuracy, and 97 in Wrist Shot Accuracy. Kane is an expert with the puck as evidenced by his 96 overall Puck Skills rating. With 96 for Agility, 95 for Acceleration, and 92 for Speed, he is also swift. Kane possesses 95 Poise as well, but just a modest 70 in Discipline. Kane has a great toe drag as well as stick handling speed thanks to his zone ability, Puck on a String.
The 16-year-old veteran has won three championships, including the Smythe Trophy in 2013. He was also the 2015–2016 Hart Memorial Trophy winner. Kane played in 78 games in 2021–2022, scoring 26 goals and dishing out 66 assists.
Leon Draisaitl - 93
Leon Draisaitl is another Sniper who is more than just a shot. Draisaitl carries a strong mixture of Puck Skills & Shooting to optimize his awareness with his 97 in Offense Awareness. He has 92 in Slap and Wrist Shot Power, 94 in Slap Shot Accuracy, and 95 in Wrist Shot Accuracy. Draisaitl possesses 94 in Hand-Eye and Passing, 93 in Deking, and 95 in Puck Control when handling the puck. Draisaitl also plays well defensively, scoring 93 for Stick Checking, 91 for Defense Awareness, 90 for Poise, 81 for Shot Blocking, 80 for Discipline, and a respectable 85 for Faceoffs. Tape to Tape, Draisaitl's Zone Ability, grants him tremendous strength and accuracy across all passes inside his field of view, and the passes would automatically saucer when required.
Draisaitl had a successful season in 2019–2020, taking home the Lindsay Award, Ross Trophy, and Hart Memorial Trophy. Draisaitl scored 55 goals and had 55 assists over 80 games between 2021–2022. He had seven goals with 25 assists in 16 playoff games, which is a playoff record, however, Edmonton lost to eventual winner Colorado there in Western Conference Finals after being swept by them.
Nathan McKinnon - 94
Nathan MacKinnon, a center and right winger for the Avalanche completes the fluctuating trend of 94 OVR players in NHL 23 whose last names start with the letter "M." The 2nd Avalanche in the top four, not simply the top nine, is MacKinnon. Along with excellent skating skills like 95 in Acceleration, Agility, & Speed, 90 in Balance, and 88 in Endurance, the Playmaker also boasts 96 Off. Awareness. His puck skills are indeed excellent, with 94 in Deking, Hand-Eye, & Passing and 95 in Puck Control. He is a capable scorer with Shooting abilities of 92 or 94. Ankle Breaker, MacKinnon's zone skill, allows him to deke rivals at tremendous speeds.
By capturing the Calder Memorial Trophy & earning a spot on the All-Rookie team, MacKinnon demonstrated why he should have been the first choice in 2013. He was also awarded the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for 2019–2020 for exhibiting excellent sportsmanship throughout the season. MacKinnon played 65 games in the 2021–2022 season, scoring 32 goals and dishing out 56 assists. MacKinnon contributed 13 goals and 11 assists in 20 games during the Stanley Cup-winning playoff run, tying Evander Kane in scoring the most goals in the playoff.
Auston Matthews - 94
NHL 23's cover athlete is rated highly once more, with 94 OVR. The Sniper is the epitome of a sniper, with 97 Off. Awareness in addition to 97 in Wrist Shot Accuracy, 96 in Slap Shot Accuracy, 94 in Wrist Shot Power, and 92 in Slap Shot Power in his shooting abilities. f But he is more than just a shooter; he also possesses crucial center skills like 95 for Hand-Eye, 95 for Puck Control, 9 3 for Passing, and 92 for Deking. He possesses 94 in Defense Awareness and Stick Checking, which is good for a center. Shock and Awe, Matthews' Zone Ability, grants him tremendous power and accuracy while firing from or immediately after a toe drag.
Since joining the league, Matthews has been dazzling, taking home the Calder Memorial Trophy in 2016–17 and earning a spot on the All-Rookie team. In 2021–2022, he also received the Lindsay Award and the Hart Memorial Trophy, making him the MVP in the eyes of players and voters alike. Additionally, he has won the Maurice Richard Trophy twice for the season's leading goal scorer. Matthews recorded 60 goals & 46 assists over 73 games for the 2021–2022 season. He scored four goals and five assists during the playoff as the Maple Leafs were defeated by eventual Eastern Conference champions Tampa Bay in the first round in seven games.
Cale Makar - 94
Cale Makar, a right defender, is the very first representative of the Stanley Cup victors. The only defenseman among the three players with such a 94 OVR rating is Makar, who is also the top defender in NHL 23. With 97 in Deking and iPuck Control, 96 in Passing, and 92 in Hand-Eye, Makar excels with the puck. Makar has 96 in Acceleration, Agility, & Speed, making him a swift skater as well. He has 95 for defense awareness & Stick Checking as the top defenseman, along with 89 for shot blocking, 90 for poise, and 85 for discipline. On the fast break, he can keep up with even the swiftest centers and wingers while establishing a confining zone of impenetrability. Makar can turn tight turns quickly and with remarkable mobility thanks to his Zone Ability, Elite Edges.
The young Makar has so far established a strong career for himself, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy for best rookie in 2019–2020 and earning a spot on the All-Rookie team. His contribution to Colorado's championship triumph in the 2021–2022 campaign earned him the James Norris Memorial Trophy for best defenseman as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy for outstanding player in the Stanley Cup finals. In 77 matches played throughout the season, he scored 28 goals with 58 assists while spending an average of 25:40 on the ice.
Connor McDavid - 95
Unsurprisingly, center Connor McDavid, whom many people believe to be the finest player in hockey, is at the top. In addition to having the attribute ratings, the previous first overall choice is the only player to even have five qualities with a rating of 98 or above! In addition to having 98 in Offense Awareness and Agility, McDavid also has 98 in Hand-Eye, Passing, & Puck Control. Additionally, he possesses 97 in the categories of deking, acceleration, speed, as well as wrist shot accuracy. Overall, the Playmaker archetype in NHL 23 is just as talented as many people think they are. With the puck in his hands, McDavid has outstanding agility, speed, & acceleration thanks to his Wheels X-Factor Zone Ability.
The 2015 first-round choice has already had a career that has numbers and honors worthy of the Hall of Fame, however, a Stanley Cup victory has evaded him — and every Canadian club for decades. Nevertheless, McDavid has won the Art Ross Trophy four times for earning the most points in a single season, the Hart Memorial Trophy twice as the league's MVP, and the Ted Lindsay Award three times as the finest player as chosen by his teammates. He and another player on this ranking helped Edmonton reach the 2022 Western Conference Finals, but they were swept by the Colorado Avalanche, who went on to win the championship. McDavid tallied 123 points for the 2021–2022 season on the strength of 44 goals & 79 assists.
As you reach the end of this list, you now know who the top players in NHL 23 are. What players are you going to seek out for your team?