Today we take a look at some of the more underrated players around the league. Who’s the most underrated first-line winger? Third-line center? Backup goaltender? Here’s my list… the All-Underrated Team. Debate it all you want!
LW- Zach Parise
RW- Dustin Brown
LW- Brooks Laich
Every team needs a Brooks Laich. The ninth-round pick of Ottawa in 2001 has found his stride with the Capitals on the second line. He notched 59 points a year ago and could easily put up 60 or 70 this season. Laich logs minutes in all situations… and scores in all situations.
RW- Rene Bourque
LW- Jason Chimera
LW- Brandon Prust
Prust will take on anyone in a fight, but can also chip in offensively if needed.
C- Scott Nichol
RW- Jannik Hansen
Hansen can be a pretty valuable bottom-six forward when healthy.
Second Defensive Pairing:
Keith Yandle and Mark Giordano
In his first full season in the NHL, Yandle tallied 41 points from the back end for Phoenix. He’s still somewhat of an unknown around the league. Yandle was easily the Coyotes’ best defenseman last year. Giordano had a bit of a breakout season in 2009/10. He has become a go-to defender in all situations for Calgary, picking up a career-high 30 points last year.
Third Defensive Pairing:
Roman Polak and Josh Gorges
Polak, 24, is an unheralded shutdown blueliner. He led all Blues defensemen in combined hits and blocked shots last year. Gorges quietly logs the most minutes for Montreal and was a big contributor on the back end during their Cinderella playoff run.
Photos credit: Getty Images, UPI
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