NHL playoff player rankings
Early look at the players who could be in the mix for the Conn Smythe Trophy
Editor's note: These rankings are based on player production in terms of Hockey Prospectus' GVT valuation metric. If you are unfamiliar with GVT and how it works, you can learn more here.
Throughout the season, Hockey Prospectus provided Player Power Rankings for the top 10 skaters and top five goalies in the NHL based on HP's proprietary value metric GVT, a statistic that combines player contributions in all aspects of the game, including offense, defense, goaltending and the shootout. With the shootout eliminated for the playoffs, that component is removed from the equation.
It's time to reveal the top 10 skaters, five defensemen and five goaltenders based on their production throughout the beginning of the postseason. As we get closer to the Stanley Cup finals, this will be a guide to which players should be in the mix for the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP), if a strict mathematical approach was taken to the award. Note that players whose teams have been eliminated will remain on the rankings list for the edition after that elimination occurs, but will be removed afterward.
The spectacular -- and spectacularly young -- Nathan MacKinnon leads the rankings, along with leading the league in playoff scoring. Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask tops the list of goaltenders after the Boston Bruins quickly dispatched the Detroit Red Wings.
Top 10 Forwards
1. Nathan MacKinnon, F, Colorado Avalanche
Off GVT: 2.8 | Def GVT: 0.8 | Total GVT: 3.6
MacKinnon has been nearly unstoppable in Colorado's series against Minnesota, tallying two goals and eight assists to lead the league in playoff scoring. Oh, and he doesn't turn 19 years old until Sept. 1.