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Top 10 Shootout Players to Fear in NHL 21

nhl 21 shootout top 10

NHL 21

Top 10 Shootout Players to Fear in NHL 21

In preparation for the release of NHL 21, the development team over at EA Sports highlighted — through Instagram @easportsnhl — their player ratings and attributes for NHL 21. Like always, those NHL 21 ratings garnered a ton of reactions and included a high level of criticism from fans and critics of the series. I found myself in disbelief over most of their top 10 lists, especially when it came to their list of “top 10 deking” players, which I’ll reference specifically with this article (and critiqued before right here). That said, instead of just criticizing, I now want to put together my own top 10 list of players to use for shootouts in NHL 21.

This is a “two birds, one stone” outcome for me because looking specifically at the “top 10 deking” list — the list that did not include Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon on it — I wanted to see what a top 10 shootout list would look like based on EA’s ratings and attribute system.

In today’s NHL, the shootout has now become a common event after its inclusion in the 2005-2006 season. Furthermore, the breakaway still remains one of the most exciting players in hockey. So where is the breakaway/shootout list? The top 10 deking list doesn’t necessarily apply here because NHL players don’t just deke when they are in all alone on the goaltender. The wrist shot and quick release from players like Auston Matthews are equally as lethal when attacking the net.

So, for the purpose of this top 10 list, I took into account what would be the most important attributes that relate to a breakaway/shootout. The five key attributes I looked at were deking, offense awareness, wrist shot power, wrist shot accuracy, and puck control. Additionally, I added all five of the player’s attribute ratings and then divided that number by the five categories to get the player’s overall shootout rating. Yes, I know skating is also a necessity when it comes to shootouts, however, not really.

After all, just check out this legendary clip. To this day, it is still one of my favorites.

Additionally, when it comes to the NHL series, I also have to once again mention the elephant in the room, and that is the lack of player separation in the ratings. It’s fun to talk about ratings and top 10 lists, but until franchise players play differently than star players, and star players play differently than depth players, overalls will remain merely just a number in some respects. However, that is another painfully long discussion for another day.

NHL 21 – Top 10 Shootout Players To Fear

1. Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers

95 Overall
  • Deking – 96
  • Puck Control – 96
  • Offense Awareness – 98
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 95
  • Wrist Shot Power – 90

475/95 Shootout Rating

nhl 21 shootout

2. Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks

91 Overall
  • Deking – 97
  • Puck Control – 96
  • Offense Awareness – 95
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 95
  • Wrist Shot Power – 89

472/94.4 Shootout Rating

3. Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning

94 Overall
  • Deking – 94
  • Puck Control – 95
  • Offense Awareness – 96
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 95
  • Wrist Shot Power – 90

470/94 Shootout Rating

nhl 21 shootout

4. Evgeni Malkin – Pittsburgh Penguins

91 Overall
  • Deking – 93
  • Puck Control – 95
  • Offense Awareness – 94
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 94
  • Wrist Shot Power – 93

469/93.8 Shootout Rating

5. Artemi Panarin – New York Rangers

91 Overall
  • Deking – 96
  • Puck Control – 94
  • Offense Awareness – 95
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 93
  • Wrist Shot Power – 91

469/93.8 Shootout Rating

6. Alexander Ovechkin – Washington Capitals

93 Overall
  • Deking – 90
  • Puck Control – 94
  • Offense Awareness – 96
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 94
  • Wrist Shot Power – 94

468/93.6 Shootout Rating

7. Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs

91 Overall
  • Deking – 92
  • Puck Control – 94
  • Offense Awareness – 93
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 96
  • Wrist Shot Power – 92

467/93.4 Shootout Rating

8. Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins

93 Overall
  • Deking – 94
  • Puck Control – 94
  • Offense Awareness – 95
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 93
  • Wrist Shot Power – 90

466/93.2 Shootout Rating

9. Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton Oilers

93 Overall
  • Deking – 90
  • Puck Control – 94
  • Offense Awareness – 96
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 94
  • Wrist Shot Power – 92

466/93.2 Shootout Rating

10. David Pastrnak – Boston Bruins

91 Overall
  • Deking – 94
  • Puck Control – 94
  • Offense Awareness – 95
  • Wrist Shot Accuracy – 94
  • Wrist Shot Power – 89

466/93.2 Shootout Rating

nhl 21 shootout

Bottom Line

I think this list is a solid representation of breakaway/shootout players to fear in the EA NHL series. It’s not who I would pick in real life, but I’m trying to stay within the rules I created and the ratings we currently have right now. Yes, I would like to see a Nathan MacKinnon — or maybe even a Mitch Marner or Aleksander Barkov — on this list instead of Alexander Ovechkin. However, at least this time there is no Steven Stamkos from the Tampa Bay Lightning on this list like there was for the top 10 deking list the EA NHL team released.

For me personally, my top three shootout players to fear in real life would be:

  • T.J. Oshie – Washington Capitals
  • Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks
  • Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning

I don’t have a set order for any of the three, but I don’t think you can really go wrong picking any one of them if you need to secure that extra point at the end of a regular season game.

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