Alex Ovechkin Conference
Alex Ovechkin – Alex Ovechkin was selected first overall by the Capitals in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He comes from a family of athletes as his mother won two Olympic gold medals while competing for the Soviet women’s basketball team at the 1976 and 1980 Summer Olympics. The first sign of Alex Ovechkin’s future as a hockey player came when he was just two years old in a toy store when he picked up a toy hockey stick and refused to let go. As a child, whenever he saw a hockey game on television, he dropped all of his toys and ran to the TV not letting anyone in the house change the channel. During his rookie campaign with the Capitals, he won the Calder Memorial Trophy as rookie of the year putting up 106 points. Ovechkin has led the NHL in goal scoring, and won the Rocket Richard Trophy 6 times in his career. As of 2017, he may arguably be the best active NHL player to not yet win the Stanley Cup.
Sidney Crosby Conference
Sidney Crosby – Sidney Crosby had an exceptional minor and junior hockey career and was one of the most highly regarded draft picks in hockey history, leading many to refer to the 2005 Draft Lottery as the “Sidney Crosby Sweepstakes.” He has coined the nicknames “Sid the Kid” and “The Next One” since joining the NHL. He was selected first overall on the 2005 draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins and had a brief tenure playing alongside Mario Lemieux who took Crosby under his wing and even let him live in his home as a rookie. He led the NHL with 120 points in just his second season capturing his first Art Ross Trophy becoming the youngest player to ever win a scoring title in any North American Sports League. He has already won 3 Stanley Cups and an Olympic gold medal and still has much hockey left to play.
Connor McDavid Conference
Connor McDavid – Connor McDavid was selected first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2015 NHL Entry draft. In his second season in the league, he won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer, The Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most outstanding player, and the Hart Memorial Trophy as the most valuable player to his team. Because of his high level of play as a junior player, he was granted Exceptional Player status by Hockey Canada and was allowed to be entered in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection at just 15 years old. He was named the captain of the Oilers in 2016 becoming the youngest captain in NHL history and in 2017, he signed one of the most lucrative contracts in NHL history becoming the franchise player for Edmonton. McDavid grew up a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs but his favorite player is another first round draft pick, Sidney Crosby.
Johnny Gaudreau Conference
Johnny Gaudreau – Gaudreau was drafted by the Calgary Flames in 2011. As a rookie, he was given the nickname of “Johnny Hockey.” As a member of Boston College, he won the Hobey Baker Award as the best player in the NCAA and was also selected to play in the 2015 All Star Game in his first full NHL season. He was a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s best rookie.