Loui Eriksson Voted NHLs Most Underrated Player

Loui Eriksson of the Dallas Stars
Loui Eriksson of the Dallas Stars was voted the most underrated hockey player by his NHL peers

A few days ago, we brought you Sports Illustrated’s poll about the NHL’s most overrated players. Today, we’re gonna take a look at the opposite end of the spectrum. In this SI poll, NHL players voted on who they thought was the most underrated hockey player.

Taking the crown of most underrated player is Dallas Stars winger Loui Eriksson. The Swedish star has grown into a standout player who has recorded new career highs in points every year since entering the league in 2006-07. So far this season, Eriksson has piled on 40 points through 16 goals and 24 assists. He’s on pace to approach the 80 point mark, which would be another career best.

As Eriksson’s offensive numbers begin to grow, so does his defensive prowess. Eriksson is lined up against some of the oppositions best players, and proving he can handle the workload by posting a plus 12 rating at the seasons midway point. Not only is Eriksson turning into a solid defensive forward, but he does it the right way – without taking penalties. In all of last season, Eriksson only picked up four minor penalties, he’s on pace for the same this season with only two penalties thus far. With tremendous talent and ability, along with great numbers that are only getting better by the year, it’s no wonder Loui Eriksson is the league’s most underrated player.

Coming in at 2nd on the list is Eriksson’s teammate, and Dallas Stars winger, Jamie Benn. Just like his teammate, Benn has consistently improved year after year. This season, his third in the league, Benn is a mere 14 points shy of setting a new career high. His 13 goals and 29 assists thus far have him on pace to easily best his numbers from last season, and Benn is also on his way to finishing the season as a plus player for the first time in his career.

Third on the list is Joe Pavelski, the young San Jose Sharks center. In his short six season career, Pavelski has already notched 119 goals and 155 assists for a point total of 274. This year, Pavelski looks to best his previous career high of 25 goals. He is currently tied for second on the team in goals with 16.

Having an incredible rookie season with 7 shorthanded goals, along with being a prominent defensive forward, might have helped Jordan Staal land at number four on the list. Staal was on pace for career numbers both last season, and this season, but has continued to be plagued by the injury bug. Staal is an important piece to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and should help them turn things around once he is healthy again.

Rounding out our top five is Chris Kelly of the Boston Bruins. Kelly has never stood out on the scoresheet, but is one of those depth players that is vital to a teams success. Obviously a lot of NHL players think he could be more than that too. Kelly helped the Bruins to a Stanley Cup Championship last season, and his 23 points have helped them get off to a 28-11-1 record.

Here are the remaining most underrated hockey players:

6. Pavel Datsyuk
7. Patrick Sharp
8. Claude Giroux
9. Frans Nielsen
10. Zach Parise
11. Tomas Fleischmann
12. Mikko Koivu
13. Martin St. Louis
14. Anze Kopitar
15. Ryan Suter

How accurate do you think the NHL players were? If it were your list, who would you have voted most underrated?

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