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How many Penguins are in the top 125 players in the league

September 18, 2023, 5:08 PM ET [46 Comments]
Ryan Wilson
Pittsburgh Penguins Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The aging Penguins are heading into a huge season and will continue to lean into their older superstars. Where do they land on in the league’s current landscape?

The players were split among the four tiers, but also within the tiers with an A,B,C, and sometimes D designation. Given the Penguins are a top heavy team I thought it would be interesting to see where the Penguins key players landed.
The first tier was the MVP tier which is for players who will get serious trophy consideration. There were no Penguins to be found in what effectively was the top nine of the league.

The second tier is for franchise players like elite top line forwards or elite top pairing defenseman. Sidney Crosby was at the top of this list with a 2A rating. The last player on this tier was Erik Karlsson who is a 2C player. This checks out because Sidney Crosby is their best forward and Erik Karlsson is now their best defenseman. Being on this tier isn’t a slight. It means the player is still really awesome.

Tier 3 is for all stars which they define as not the best player on a contending team, but an integral part of any team’s success. If you’re looking for Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang you won’t find them here. This is where the executives, coaches, analysts and scouts put Jake Guentzel as a 3B. Guentzel landing in a spot like this is why his next contract is almost definitely going to start with an eight in front of it and perhaps more (I think 8.5ish will be the number).

Tier 4 is called ‘top line’ and this is where you find strong support pieces for a contending team. Both Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang were listed here as 4B players. For the Penguins to make some actual noise this year both of these players are going to have to play more along the lines of a tier 3 player or above.

Mind you this is just 20 people’s opinions and has no bearing whatsoever on reality. That said, I can’t say I think the Penguins should have any other players on the list. I feel guys like Rickard Rakell and Bryan Rust fall outside the top 125 players in the league. If they’d like to play themselves onto a list like this, that would be terrific.

The Penguins uphill climb begins in a few weeks and the four players on this list are going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting.

Thanks for reading!
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