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January 29, 2013
Player Power Rankings
Sharks Show Bite

by Tom Awad and ESPN Insider

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Every Monday until the end of the season, Hockey Prospectus will provide updated Player Power Rankings for the top 10 skaters and top five goalies in the NHL based on HP's proprietary value metric, GVT, a statistic that combines player contributions in all aspects of the game, including defense and the shootout.

In the first player rankings of the regular season, a pair of Sharks have been lighting the lamp with regularity, while Martin Brodeur continues to show no signs of his age. Meanwhile, a rookie is making a very visible early impression for the St. Louis Blues.

Player Power Rankings: Skaters
These rankings are through Jan. 26.
Rank Player Team Pos. Off. GVT Def. GVT Shootout GVT Total GVT
1 Patrick Marleau San Jose Sharks F 4.6 0.5 0.0 5.0
The last time a player opened an NHL season with four multi-goal games, motorized automobiles were still a novelty and Woodrow Wilson was U.S. president. That's how special Marleau's season start has been.
2 Joe Thornton San Jose Sharks F 3.5 0.6 0.0 4.1
With Thornton and Marleau still making magic in San Jose, it's a good time to remember that Thornton has been the premier playmaking center of the last decade, easily leading the league with 663 assists since 2001-02.
3 Marian Gaborik New York Rangers F 3.3 0.7 0.0 4.0
Gaborik had four points to lead the Rangers past the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, and looks to lead the team in scoring for the third time in four seasons.
4 Daniel Winnik Anaheim Ducks F 2.7 0.8 0.0 3.4
The most unexpected player here, Winnik is already 45 percent of the way to his career high in goals, which is just 11, and may soon match his career-best GVT of 4.5
5 Thomas Vanek Buffalo Sabres F 3.2 0.3 0.0 3.4
Amazingly, Vanek has been involved in 82 percent of the Sabres' goals so far this season.
6 Vladimir Tarasenko St. Louis Blues F 2.7 0.6 0.0 3.3
Only 21, Tarasenko was one of eight players to average a point a game in the KHL this season. Among the others? Evgeni Malkin, Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Radulov, Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk.
7 Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks F 3.0 0.2 0.0 3.2
On top of leading his team in points, Kane also leads Hawks forwards in even-strength, power-play and total ice time.
8 Marian Hossa Chicago Blackhawks F 2.9 0.3 0.0 3.2
With impressive longevity, Hossa just keeps producing: His total GVT of 183.2 over the last 11 seasons is second-highest among position players (just behind Thornton's 189.0) and fifth in the NHL over that period.
9 T.J. Oshie St. Louis Blues F 1.7 0.8 0.6 3.1
Despite showing huge promise, Oshie has only incrementally improved his GVT since his rookie season, from 8.1 in 2009-09 to 9.0 in 2010-11, 10.4 the season after and 11.2 last season. This could be the year he breaks out.
10 Erik Karlsson Ottawa Senators D 2.2 0.9 0.0 3.1
It's only a matter of time before Karlsson leads all defensemen in every offensive category imaginable; he's also ninth in total ice time, including playing almost 3 minutes a game shorthanded.

Player Power Rankings: Goalies
These rankings are through Jan. 26.
Rank Player Team Pos. Goalie GVT Def. GVT Shootout GVT Total GVT
1 Craig Anderson Ottawa Senators G 5.9 0.0 0.0 6.0
No, I wasn't expecting Ottawa to be fourth in the East either. Much credit can go to Anderson, who has allowed a minuscule two goals in three games for a 0.67 GAA and .977 save percentage.
2 Ryan Miller Buffalo Sabres G 5 -0.2 0.0 4.8
Miller was considered the best in the world three years ago, when he won the Vezina and led the USA to within a goal of an Olympic gold medal. If he regains even a fraction of that form this year, the Sabres will be dangerous.
3 Kari Lehtonen Dallas Stars G 4.7 -0.2 0.0 4.6
Last year, the Stars got a .922 save percentage from Lehtonen but only .905 from Richard Bachman and Andrew Raycroft. With more Lehtonen this year, they could make the playoffs.
4 Carey Price Montreal Canadiens G 4.4 0.0 0.0 4.4
With the team's other young star, P.K. Subban, still not signed, Price has been shouldering the load, allowing just four goals in the team's first three games. If he puts up 29.5 GVT like he did in 2010-11, the Canadiens will be in the top six in the East.
5 Martin Brodeur New Jersey Devils G 4.2 0.2 0.0 4.4
Who's too old? After two less-than-stellar seasons, the legendary Brodeur is back to terrifying shooters. His career GVT now stands at 311.8, sixth all-time among NHL goaltenders.

A version of this story originally appeared at ESPN Insider Insider.

Tom Awad is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Tom by clicking here or click here to see Tom's other articles.

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<< Previous Article
The Blue Line (01/29)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Player Power Rankings (04/11)
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Premium Article Player Power Rankings (02/05)
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Zamboni Tracks (01/30)

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