Hockey is Canada’s sport, and there is no question about it. 41% of all NHL players are from Canada, and no other country comes close to competing with that percentage. Some of the top players of all time are from Canada, but what about from just one city? This post is taking a look at what an all-time lineup of just Calgary players would look like.
Calgary’s best NHL lineup
Centre – Brayden Point
There isn’t a center from Calgary that comes close to Brayden Point. A two-time Stanley Cup Champion, a near point-per-game player, and all-around elite talent. At 27 years old, Brayden Point has proved why he is one of the league’s top centres. There is so much career left for Point, and it is likely he adds to his pretty impressive resume. Putting up a career-high of 95 points last season is definitely one way to prove to the world what you are capable of. Point was a third-round pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, however, if the draft was redone today, he would likely be a top five pick.
Left Wing – Taylor Hall
Another current NHL player makes the all-time NHL roster. Hall is a five-time NHL All-Star and is a former Hart Trophy winner. Hall has proved to be a very solid top-six player, despite certain down seasons and injury troubles. However, Hall brings a lot of speed and skill to the table, and when he is on his game, he is thought to stop. Taylor Hall is second all-time on points by Calgary-born players.
Right Wing – William Nylander
Is Nylander technically Swedish and was he only just born in Calgary? Yes. Do I care? No. Am I going to include him on this list anyway? Yes. Selected eighth overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, Nylander has proved that he is an elite talent in the league. Nylander has put up 430 points in his career, which is ninth all-time out of all Calgary-born players, however, he is fifth when it comes to points per game.
Nylander is able to sign a contract extension now, as he has just one year left on his current deal, and it’s safe to say Flames fans are itching for him to come back “home.”
Defence – Cale Makar
Cale Makar is the best defenceman in the league currently, and I don’t think it is that outrageous to call him a future Hall of Famer. He is a Stanley Cup Champion and is a generational talent at only 24 years old. Outside of the Stanley Cup, Makar has also won the Calder Trophy, Norris Trophy, and Conn Smythe Trophy. At only 238 games played, Makar has already cracked the top 20 of all-time Calgary-born players for points, and he is second for points per game, averaging 1.03.
Defence – Mike Green
Mike Green emerged in the league as one of the best offensive defensemen in the league. From 2007 to 2010, Green put up some of his best numbers in Washington, putting up 56, 73, and 76 points in each season respectively. For two of those season’s, he was over a point per game. Green was a two-time All-Star, a finalist for the Norris Trophy twice, and made the NHL First All-Star Team twice. After his tenure with the Washington Capitals, Green moved on to the Detroit Red Wings for five seasons, while ultimately finishing his career playing two games with the Edmonton Oilers.
Goalie – Mike Vernon
A Calgary-born legend, Mike Vernon would be between the pipes on this roster, and nobody else comes remotely close. Vernon is a NHL Hall of Famer and a Calgary Flames legend. He put up 385 wins in his career. The next highest Calgary-born goalie put up only 80. Vernon is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion, a Conn Smythe Trophy winner, and was a Vezina Trophy finalist. He was just inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame this current offseason.
Old and new
Based on this list, it seems like Calgary is starting to produce more and more quality NHL talent compared to the past, as three of the five players are all current NHL players today. The future is bright, and I would not be surprised to see some new names start to compete for a spot on this list in future years. Maybe somewhere down the road, the names of Josh Morrisey and Peyton Krebs start to make some noise to be included. Morrisey has already started to prove himself, as he was a Norris Trophy finalist last season. It’s still incredibly early, especially for Krebs, but anything is possible.