Before we dive into the 2020 Top 25 Under 25 list, let’s take a closer look at which players received votes. Excluding the community ballot, we had 14 TIG and Friends voters.
A grand total of 85 different players received at least one vote.
Only one player received a vote on every single ballot, with another three left off two ballots. The largest group was, by far, players who only appeared on one ballot — a trait shared by 28 players.
If you voted in the Community Ballot, you’ll know 36 of the players who received votes. Of those 36, 30 hold a place on our final list, as we also include five honorable mentions.
The votes by position broke down about how I expected them too. Of the 85 players who received votes, 54 were forwards, 19 were defenders, and 12 were goaltenders.
Forwards are notoriously easier to rank and compare because their stats tend to make them the easiest players to analyze and measure against each other. Defenders — especially ones who tend to be stay-at-home defenders or not as offensive as other defenders — get trickier. But by far and away, goaltenders are the hardest to rank, not only against each other but also against their peers. Despite this, we had five goalies appear on our final list.
It’s no surprise at all that 75 percent of the players who got a vote are from North America. Of them, 36 players were American and 28 were Canadian. Another seven countries were represented in our 85 player list, with Finland coming in third with seven players.
All 21 non-North American players on the list have played on their National Team at either the U18 level or the senior team level. Coincidentally, the exact same number(21) of Canadian and Americans have also worn their country’s colors in IIHF play.
Interestingly though, on our final list of 30 players, five of them have never played for their National Team in IIHF World Championships.
We also broke our list of 64 North American players who received a vote down by state and province, just for the heck of it.
Where they played in 2019-2020
This is a list of the best young players in the world, which is why it features an abundance of players who were recently in the NCAA. A total of 44 of the 85 players who received a vote played in the NCAA last season. That’s 52 percent. The next highest pool of players was the NWHL with 16 and the PWHPA with 11. The SDHL was close behind with seven. The other leagues with players receiving votes were the WHL (the Russian league) and three pre-collegiate leagues.
Every NCAA conference had at least two players voted on. Unsurprisingly, the WCHA lead the way with 16 players.
Tomorrow we start with our first set of honorable mentions!