The NHL season is a long one, with many of the games being played before the season gets underway, and the league’s players and teams are working on their plans and schedules ahead of the new year.
The teams have also put out their season outlooks, which show the teams as being “in the race” for the playoffs and beyond.
Here are the top players that have been the most undervalued in the NHL this season.
Joffrey Lupul: The New York Rangers defensemen has played the best hockey of his career, and he has earned a spot on this list thanks to his play in the playoffs.
His play in both the regular season and playoffs has been impressive, as he has posted three shutouts and has been the Rangers’ best defenseman during the playoffs thus far.
He is only 20 years old, and while he has struggled at times, he is still one of the best defensemen in the league, and a lock for an MVP award in the coming year.
Jonathan Drouin: The Pittsburgh Penguins star forward has been a revelation for the Penguins this season, posting the best points per game average of his NHL career in the regular seasons and playoffs.
He has been especially impressive during the postseason, and has put up the best point totals in the Eastern Conference this season at 3.29 points per contest.
He will almost certainly win a Hart Trophy as the league MVP this year.
Ryan Getzlaf: The Anaheim Ducks forward has posted career highs in goals and assists, and his season has been incredibly impressive.
He posted the league best points-per-game average and the second-best goals-against average during the regular and playoffs this season in the East.
He was also named a first-team All-Star during the tournament.
Erik Karlsson: The Nashville Predators defenseman has had one of his best seasons to date, as the veteran defenseman has been among the league leaders in both points and goals for in the postseason.
He also has been an excellent offensive player for the Predators this season and is the league leader in shots on goal.
Erik Haula: The Detroit Red Wings defenseman has struggled mightily this season after his breakout campaign last year, but the veteran has had a very strong season to date.
He’s put up points and assists in double figures in seven of the eight regular season games he has played this season with four of those coming against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Jarome Iginla: The Los Angeles Kings forward has enjoyed his best season in a long time, and is currently leading the NHL in goals, assists and points.
He played in all 82 regular season NHL games and played a key role in the Kings’ success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
He won the Hart Trophy with the Kings this season as the top goal scorer in the League, and should be a lock to earn an MVP in the near future.
Jussi Jokinen: The Finnish forward has had an incredible season to play with the Minnesota Wild, and led the Wild in scoring with 17 points in 13 games.
He put up six goals and 14 assists in the season’s first round and should finish with another six-goal and 15-point season.
Jakub Voracek: The Flyers goalie is also one of just a handful of goalies who has posted at least 30 wins in the year’s first three months.
He continues to play in a high-scoring, physical style, and will be one of a few goalies in the game to not be named a Vezina Trophy winner.
Alex Pietrangelo: The Philadelphia Flyers forward is one of only a handful in the entire NHL who have posted at or above a 30-goal season.
He scored 25 goals in 30 games during the season and finished with 27 goals and 28 assists.
Patrik Berglund: The Minnesota Wild defenseman has put together a great season for himself this season by posting career highs for both goals and points in the Western Conference.
He leads the team in both categories and is second on the team with 16 power-play goals.
Justin Schultz: The Dallas Stars right wing has been one of those players that has been overlooked throughout the year due to his inconsistent play in recent years.
He still has a ways to go in the second half of the season, but is definitely on track to win the Hart and Vezana trophies.
Jhonas Enroth: The Florida Panthers defenseman has played well this season for the Panthers, posting a strong playoff run in which he had 16 points in 16 games.
The Panthers have a good chance to make the playoffs this year, as they have a great chance to finish with a Stanley Cup championship this season if they can avoid a first round exit.
David Backes: The St. Louis Blues defenseman has also played well in the post-season this season despite not being named a Norris Trophy final