Ryan McDonagh‘s pedigree, winning two Stanley Cups with the Tampa Bay Lightning, isn’t enough for him to make this list. However, his play through the first half of the season, missing seven games due to injury, definitely qualifies him.
McDonagh scored his first goal as a Nashville Predator on January 6, and it was a beauty. Cutting across the slot, fighting off a defender, and falling to the ice as he put the puck in the back of the net.
The statistic that stands out the most about McDonagh is his plus-minus rating. In 34 games played on a struggling offensive team that ranks 27th in the league in goals for with 115 goals, Ryan McDonagh is a +12. When he is on the ice, he makes it nearly impossible for the opposition to score.
Ranking 2nd on the team in blocked shots, 3rd in time on ice average, and starting 65.5% of his shifts in the defensive zone. It is apparent that the coaching staff has confidence in the 33-year-old Minnesota native.