13 Nhl 17 Best Players of All Time

Brandon McNally

NHL 17 is the latest installment in EA Canada’s long-running hockey franchise. Developed for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, NHL 17 offers a wide variety of game modes and gameplay options, including a brand new expansion draft mode and an improved A.I. system.

With realistic visuals and intense gameplay, NHL 17 is a must-have title for any hockey fan.

Table of Contents

1. Anže Kopitar

Los Angeles Kings

Anže Kopitar Career

  • 2003: Slovenia: WJC18 
  • 2004: Slovenia: WJC 
  • 2004: Slovenia: WJC18 
  • 2005: Slovenia: WJC 
  • 2005: Slovenia: WJC18  
  • 2005: Slovenia

Anže Kopitar is a NHL all-star and two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings. 

Kopitar was drafted by the Kings in 2005, and has become one of the league's most consistent players over his career.

He has won numerous awards including the Selke Trophy (2011) as the best defensive player in hockey, and The Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (2012) for gentlemanly play. 

Kopitar currently plays for Slovenia at the international level, and he led his team to Olympic gold in 2014.

In 2018, he announced that he would be retiring from professional hockey following this season's playoffs with the Kings Anže Kopitar is a Slovenian-born, Los Angeles Kings center who has played in the NHL since 2002. 

Kopitar won the Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2012 and 2017, and he was named to the All-Star team in both years.

He has also been selected for the Olympic Team twice: in 2010 and 2014. In 2018, Kopitar was voted as one of Canada's Top 10 most popular athletes according to an online poll carried out by Sportsnet/TVA sports news network Anže Kopitar is married to model Jelena Firecuda and they have two children together.

Also Played For: 2020–21 nhl season, 2019–20 nhl season

2. Corey Perry

Right winger

Corey Perry Career

  • 2000–01: Peterborough Bees
  • 2001–02: London Knights
  • 2002–03: London Knights
  • 2003–04: London Knights
  • 2003–04: Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
  • 2004–05: London Knights
  • 2005–06: Portland Pirates
  • 2005–06: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
  • 2006–07: Anaheim Ducks
  • 2007–08: Anaheim Ducks
  • 2008–09: Anaheim Ducks
  • 2009–10: Anaheim Ducks

Corey Perry is a left winger who has played for the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs in his NHL career. He was drafted by the Ducks in 2003 and won two Stanley Cups with them before moving to Toronto in 2014.

Corey achieved international recognition when he led Team Canada to gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics and 2016 World Championships, as well as silver at the 2011 World Junior Championships. 

In 2017-18, Perry finished fourth on the Leafs with 36 goals and fifth with 66 assists for 104 points - both career highs - helping them reach the playoffs for only the second time in eight years.

On July 1st of 2018, it was announced that Perry had signed a five-year contract extension with Toronto worth $26 million CAD (USD$22 million). Known for his speed, agility, wrist shot, and powerful slapshot from close range, he is considered one of hockey's most dangerous scorers.

Also Played For: tampa bay lightning, memorial cup

3. Duncan Keith


Duncan Keith Career

  • 2002–03: Michigan State University
  • 2002–03: Kelowna Rockets
  • 2003–04: Norfolk Admirals
  • 2004–05: Norfolk Admirals
  • 2005–06: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2006–07: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2007–08: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2008–09: Chicago Blackhawks

Duncan Keith is a former NHL defenseman who played for the Chicago Blackhawks. Keith was drafted in the third round of the 2002 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets.

He made his debut with Winnipeg during the 2003-2004 season and spent six seasons with them before being traded to Chicago in 2008-09. With Chicago, he won two Stanley Cups (2010 and 2013) and three Presidents' Trophies (2009, 2010, 2011).

Injuries forced him to retire from professional hockey at age 36 after playing in just 57 games over two seasons with Los Angeles in 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively. 

Keith has since been appointed as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Championship where they reached their first ever Final tournament.

Duncan Keith is a veteran defenceman who has played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers and NHL Draft. 

Duncan Keith was drafted in the 54th overall by Chicago Blackhawks in 2002. After playing with the Blackhawks for four seasons, he moved on to play with Edmonton Oilers where he remained until his retirement in 2022.

He has amassed over 550 games played as a professional hockey player and holds several records including most points (246) and assists (203) from a defenseman in an NHL career. 

In 2018, Duncan Keith was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame after being selected unanimously by the selection committee. 

His determination to win games at any cost has made him one of the most respected players in all of hockey history, both on and off the ice.

Also Played For: nhl 16, 2012–13 nhl season

4. Jakub Voráček

Right winger

Jakub Voráček Career

  • 2005–06: HC Rabat Kladno
  • 2006–07: Halifax Mooseheads
  • 2007–08: Halifax Mooseheads
  • 2008–09: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 2009–10: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 2010–11: Columbus Blue Jackets
  • 2011–12: Philadelphia Flyers
  • 2012–13: HC Lev Praha
  • 2012–13: Philadelphia Flyers

Jakub Voráček is a 33-year-old right winger who currently plays for the Philadelphia Flyers. Voracek was drafted by the Flyers in 2007, and has since played over 550 games in the NHL.

He originally played as a forward, but he has recently transitioned to playing on the right wing due to his ability to create offence from that position. 

Voracek is known for his hard work ethic, as well as his puck possession skills which enable him to create chances for himself and others on the ice.

He has won two Stanley Cups with Philadelphia (in 2011 and 2018), and also represented Czech Republic at both the Olympics (2008) and World Championships (2013). 

In 2017, he became an unrestricted free agent after five seasons with Philadelphia, but re-signed with them shortly afterwards Jakub Voráček was drafted by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2007 and has since played for HC Kladno, HC Lev Praha, and Philadelphia Flyers.

Voráček is known for his speed and playmaking ability on the ice. He has represented his country at multiple tournaments such as the World Championships and Olympics. 

Voráček will be looking to continue his successful NHL career when he joins the Chicago Blackhawks this upcoming season.

Also Played For: philadelphia flyers

5. Vladimir Tarasenko

Right winger

Vladimir Tarasenko Career

  • 2007–08: Sibir–2 Novosibirsk
  • 2008–09: Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 2009–10: Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk
  • 2009–10: Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 2010–11: Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 2010–11: Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk
  • 2011–12: Sibir Novosibirsk
  • 2011–12: SKA Saint Petersburg
  • 2012–13: SKA Saint Petersburg
  • 2012–13: St. Louis Blues
  • 2013–14: St. Louis Blues

Vladimir Tarasenko is a Russian-born right winger who plays for the St. Louis Blues in the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted by the Blues in the first round, third overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Tarasenko has been named to four All-Star teams and won two Stanley Cups with St. Louis in 2017 and 2018. In addition to his hockey career, Tarasenko also holds a degree from Kazan University in criminal justice and business administration.

Outside of hockey, he is known for his charity work which includes supporting children’s cancer causes through. The Vladimir Tatarinov Children’s Cancer Fund International Foundation and helping raise money for victims of Russia’s 2014. 

Winter Olympics terrorist attack through Sport Relief Russia/Kazan 2020 Support Fund projects organized by Mylan Ukraine together with world soccer stars like Andriy Yarmolenko, Benjamin Pavard and Denis Cheryshev among others.

Also Played For: 2017–18 nhl season, st louis blues trade

6. Brent Burns


Brent Burns Career

  • 2001–02: Couchiching Terriers
  • 2002–03: Brampton Battalion
  • 2003–04: Minnesota Wild
  • 2003–04: Houston Aeros
  • 2004–05: Houston Aeros
  • 2005–06: Minnesota Wild

Brent Burns is a defenseman and right wing for the San Jose Sharks. He was drafted by the Sharks in the third round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Burns has won two Stanley Cups with San Jose, in 2016 and 2017.

He also won a gold medal at the 2010 Olympics as part of Canada's team that defeated Sweden to claim their fourth consecutive Olympic gold medal. 

In 2019, he was named an ambassador for Team Canada at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics Brent Burns was born in Regina, Saskatchewan on December 5th, 1988.

He played junior hockey with the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL and then attended Michigan State University where he played for the Spartans' college team. 

The Minnesota Wild drafted him in 2003 and he made his NHL debut that season playing 11 games for them. 

In 2006-07 he had a breakout year scoring 35 goals and 74 points which helped him win the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year in 2007-08 From 2008 to 2017. 

Burns has been one of the best defensemen in the league averaging over 25 points per season while also serving as an important member of Team Canada at several international tournaments including winning gold medals at both World Championships (2011 & 2015) and Olympic Games (2010).

On July 1st, 2017 Brent signed a long term contract extension with the Minnesota Wild worth $58 million dollars making him their highest paid player ever.

Also Played For: 2018–19 nhl season, carolina hurricanes

7. Zach Parise

Left wing

Zach Parise Career

  • 2000–01: Shattuck-Saint Mary's
  • 2001–02: Shattuck-Saint Mary's
  • 2001–02: US NTDP U18
  • 2002–03: University of North Dakota
  • 2003–04: University of North Dakota
  • 2004–05: Albany River Rats

Zach Parise is a left wing who was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in 2003. He has played for the Wild, New Jersey Devils, Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes over his career.

In 2019, he signed with the Vegas Golden Knights as an unrestricted free agent. Parise has scored more than 700 goals and 1800 points in his NHL career so far. 

He won two Stanley Cups with the Devils in 2012 and 2018, as well as two Olympic gold medals (2006 and 2010).

Zach Parise is married to Mandy LeBlanc-Parise; they have four children together – Jack (born October 25th 2006), Lillian Grace (born November 20th, 2009), Nicholas Owen (born April 3rd 2013) and Aidan Jameson LeBlanc-Parise( born January 26th 2020).[2] Zach Parise is a former first-round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils.

Zach Parise has spent his entire professional career with the Devils, and he has been an integral part of their team since 2005. 

In 2008, Zach Parise was named to the All-Star Team for the first time in his career. He finished second in voting behind Sidney Crosby. 

In 2013, Zach Parise led all NHL players with 54 points (20 goals and 34 assists) in 48 games played during the regular season.

He helped lead New Jersey to their fifth Stanley Cup championship that year. In 2015, Zach Parise was traded to Minnesota Wild along with Pekka Rinne for Mike Fisher and Martin Havlat.

 The move reunited him with longtime teammate Devan Dubnyk, who had also been drafted by New Jersey as a goaltender back in 1997. 

As of 2019, Zach Parise is fresh off yet another successful campaign where he scored 37 goals and added 41 assists for 78 points over 82 games played during the 2018–19 season - good enough for sixth overall in scoring on the league's most offensively potent team.

Also Played For: ncaa hockey, minnesota wild

8. Ryan Suter


Ryan Suter Career

  • 2002–03: U.S. NTDP U18
  • 2003–04: Wisconsin Badgers
  • 2004–05: Milwaukee Admirals
  • 2005–06: Nashville Predators
  • 2006–07: Nashville Predators
  • 2007–08: Nashville Predators

Ryan Suter is a defenseman for the Minnesota Wild and has been in the NHL since 2005. He was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2003 but never played with them as they traded him to the Minnesota Wild before he ever played a game.

In 2009, Suter signed an eight-year contract extension with Minnesota worth $60 million which made him one of the highest paid defensemen in hockey at that time. 

He won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins (2011, 2016) and also helped Denmark win gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics where he scored Sweden's only goal in their semifinal loss.

Ryan Suter will turn 38 on January 21st 2020 and has said that if he can play another four or five years then it would be perfect but admitted that his body might not allow him to do so anymore.

Ryan Suter is a talented defenseman who has played in the NHL for 10 seasons. He was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2003 and has been with them ever since.

In his career, he has won two Stanley Cups with the Predators and also appeared in several other championship games. 

He is known as one of the best defensemen in the league and is often compared to teammate Shea Weber because of their dominant play on the ice together.

Also Played For: dallas stars, nashville predators

9. Phil Kessel


Phil Kessel Career

  • 2001–02: Madison Capitols
  • 2002–03: Madison Capitols
  • 2003–04: U.S. NTDP U17
  • 2003–04: U.S. NTDP U18
  • 2018–19: Pittsburgh Penguins
  • 2019–20: Arizona Coyotes
  • 2020–21: Arizona Coyotes
  • 2021–22: Arizona Coyotes

Phil Kessel is a talented and experienced player who has had success in the NHL. He was drafted by the Boston Bruins in 2005 and has played for them, as well as other teams, over the course of his career.

In 2019 he signed with the Arizona Coyotes and had an impressive season playing alongside fellow American Clayton Keller. Phil Kessel is known for his speed and scoring ability from close range, which makes him a threat to score anytime he gets on the ice.

He will be 36 years old at the end of this season and may be coming to the end of his career, but he remains one of the most dangerous players in hockey Phil Kessel is a skilled player who has spent his entire career with the Boston Bruins. 

He is known for his speed and scoring ability, having recorded over 1000 points in his NHL career.

Kessel has represented the United States at various international tournaments, including the Olympics and World Championships. 

In 2018 he was named as one of the most valuable players in the league by ESPN analysts Keith Law and Craig Button, after leading Boston to their first Stanley Cup championship in 44 years.

Also Played For: vegas golden knights, pittsburgh penguins

10. Patrik Laine

Left wing

Patrik Laine Career

  • 2012–13: Tappara
  • 2013–14: Tappara
  • 2013–14: Tappara
  • 2016–17: Winnipeg Jets
  • 2017–18: Winnipeg Jets

Patrik Laine is a young, talented Finnish ice hockey player who has been making headlines in the NHL. He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets with the third overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Patrik Laine is known for his speed and scoring ability; he led all rookies with 33 goals last season. Patrik Laine's parents are immigrants from Finland, which may have helped him develop into a skilled hockey player.

In addition to his playing career, Patrik Laine will be studying business at college after completing this year’s junior season with TPS Turku of the Finnish SM-liiga (second division). 

We can expect to see more great things from Patrik Laine as he continues to develop as an athlete and student.

Patrik Laine is a young, dynamic scorer who has shown great potential in his short career thus far. He was drafted by the Winnipeg Jets with their second-overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft and has since made an impact on both club and country. 

Patrik Laine is known for his excellent shot and ability to score goals at any time of the game, making him a highly sought after player in today's hockey scene.

His international experience includes playing for Finland at various youth levels before breaking into the senior team in 2015. Patrik Laine will no doubt be one of the focal points of Team Finland as they look to make it all the way to the World Cup this year.

Also Played For: winnipeg jets, nhl 22 best young players

11. Dustin Byfuglien


Dustin Byfuglien Career

  • 2003–04: Prince George Cougars
  • 2004–05: Prince George Cougars
  • 2005–06: Norfolk Admirals
  • 2005–06: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2006–07: Norfolk Admirals
  • 2006–07: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2007–08: Rockford IceHogs
  • 2007–08: Chicago Blackhawks
  • 2008–09: Chicago Blackhawks

Dustin Byfuglien is an American professional ice hockey player who currently plays for the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL). 

He was drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers with the fifth overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and has since played for several other teams, including Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators and Detroit Red Wings.

In 2016, he joined his fourth NHL team when he signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets. Known for his powerful slapshot and physical play, Byfuglien has twice been voted to serve as captain of his team; first with Avalanche in 2009–10 season and then again with Capitals in 2013–14 season. 

He is married to Jennifer Schamberg and they have two children together: Jackson Arthur Sullivan Byfuglien (born May 1st 2014) and Ella Elizabeth Annabelle "Lena" Byfuglien (born March 10th 2017).

Dustin's hobbies include hunting big game such as elk, deer or moose; playing video games; spending time outdoors fishing or skiing.

Watching sports events on television; cooking elaborate meals for friends and family members at home or at restaurants whenever possible; reading non-fiction books about history or science topics that interest him.; collecting vintage cars.

Also Played For: 2010–11 nhl season, atlanta thrashers

12. Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson Career

  • 2006–07: Södertälje SK
  • 2006–07: Södertälje SK
  • 2007–08: Frölunda HC
  • 2009–10: Binghamton Senators
  • 2009–10: Ottawa Senators
  • 2010–11: Ottawa Senators
  • 2011–12: Ottawa Senators

Erik Karlsson is a two-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenceman. He has also been a six-time all-star and three-time winner of the Ted Lindsay Award as the league's most valuable player on the ice for individual effort and leadership.

Karlsson has captained the Ottawa Senators to the playoffs in each of the past six seasons and back to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017. 

He has also been named to the NHL All-Star Team six times and the Olympic Team for Sweden in 2018. Karlsson was born in Landsbro, Sweden, and played junior hockey with Djurgårdens IF.

He was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the first round, seventh overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Karlsson has been married to his wife Melker since November 2016. 

He has two children, Emilia (born August 2017) and Hugo (born December 2018). Karlsson is a two-time winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL's best defenceman.

Also Played For: ottawa senators, jokerit

13. Marc-Édouard Vlasic


Marc-Édouard Vlasic Career

  • 2002–03: West Island Lions
  • 2003–04: West Island Lions
  • 2003–04: Quebec Remparts
  • 2004–05: Quebec Remparts
  • 2005–06: Quebec Remparts
  • 2006–07: San Jose Sharks
  • 2007–08: San Jose Sharks
  • 2007–08: Worcester Sharks
  • 2008–09: San Jose Sharks

Marc-Édouard Vlasic is a defenseman for the San Jose Sharks. Vlasic was originally drafted by the Sharks in the first round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Vlasic has played for the Sharks for his entire NHL career. Vlasic has been a key player for the Sharks, as he has recorded over 350 points in his career.

Vlasic has also been a member of Team Canada at the Olympics, World Championships, and World Cup of Hockey. In 2018, Vlasic won the Norris Trophy, the NHL's top defensive honor.

Vlasic is married and has two children. Vlasic is a member of the Canadian Olympic team. Vlasic is a versatile player, as he can play bothdefense and forward. Marc-Édouard Vlasic is a defenseman for the San Jose Sharks, and he has played for the team since 2006.

He was drafted in the 35th round of the 2005 NHL Draft by the Sharks. Vlasic has played for Team Canada at various international tournaments. 

He is a good skater, and is able to move around the ice well. Vlasic is a physical defenseman, and is able to hit hard. He is a good penalty killer, and is able to keep the puck out of their net.

Vlasic is a defensive specialist, and is not known for his offense. He is a long-time member of the Sharks, and is set to continue playing for them for many years to come.

Also Played For: san jose sharks

Final Words

NHL 17 is the latest installment in EA Canada’s long-running hockey franchise. Developed for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, the game features a number of new features and updates, including a revamped skating system, new goalie AI, and new co-operative play.

While the game does not feature a career mode like its predecessors, it does include a variety of different modes, including a new “EASHL” mode which is a 3-on-3 hockey tournament.

Photo of author

Brandon McNally

I have been playing hockey my whole life. I am currently a professional hockey player with the Calgary Flames. I am also a part time coach at the University of Calgary and the head coach of the Calgary Northstars Minor Hockey Association. I have always wanted to be an NHL player and I am very excited to be one! My hobbies are playing hockey, coaching, and spending time with my family. LinkedIn

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