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Sporting News names Sidney Crosby best athlete under 25, but NHL has plenty more

Jun 18, 2010, 8:20 PM EDT

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Crosby7.jpgSo, the Sporting News named Sidney Crosby the best athlete under the age of 25.

Athletes were judged on major stats; championships to which they’d made major contributions; buzz factor; and age.

Crosby, who is 22 years old, was ranked No. 1, followed by Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic (24); Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder (21); Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans (24); and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals (24).

That’s some impressive company. (Waits for angry Washington Capitals to yell themselves hoarse.) I think Crosby is a pretty good choice, but honestly, the cream of the NHL crop seems to be in that age range. Let’s take a look at the best players under 25, beyond Alex Ovechkin and Crosby.

It’s an impressive list, but keep in mind I’m leaving out the good-but-not-great-just-yet players such as John Tavares and Matt Duchene.

Forwards

Evgeni Malkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Eric Staal, and chances are a lot of others I’ve forgotten. (Sorry, Jordan Staal.)

Defensemen

Mike Green, Drew Doughty, Erik Johnson, Shea Weber, Brent Seabrook Ryan Suter, Tyler Myers, Keith Yandle and maybe a few others? (I don’t think Victor Hedman is worthy just yet.)

Is Dion Phaneuf good enough to be on this list?

Goalies

Marc-Andre Fleury, Tuukka Rask, Semyon Varlamov (maybe?) and Jaroslav Halak.

From the looks of this list, there are plenty of great players at or under the age of 25. Considering the fact that athletes tend to hit their prime around those years, this certainly bodes well for the future of the league.

  1. George Fallar - Jun 18, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    Keith Yandle should be on the D list. One good year doesn’t make a career, but Yandle deserves to be on the list because of his contribution to the Coyotes this year.

  2. James O'Brien - Jun 18, 2010 at 9:32 PM

    I thought about putting Yandle on the list but decided against it. But you know what? He was really good. So twist my arm, I’ll put him on there :)

  3. Matt Cox - Jun 19, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    The Caps fans can yell all they want but one of the judging factors is “championships to which they’d made major contributions””, which Sid has a Stanley Cup and an Olympic Gold that he scored the game winning OT goal, Alex has neither.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. K. Hayes (2102)
  2. S. Crosby (1968)
  3. R. Johansen (1607)
  4. D. Alfredsson (1521)
  5. J. Giguere (1343)