Wayne Gretzky just revealed his favorite NHL player and it's a name you know well

Published August 20, 2023 at 1:34 PM

Even though he hasn't played in the NHL for over 20 years, the great Wayne Gretzky is still very active in the hockey world. He's not afraid to voice his opinion, and for people of Generation X, alongside Mario Lemieux, he's considered one of the best players in NHL history.

But above all, the Great One is a hockey fan, just like you and me. As reported by Samuel Doiron from Habsolumentfan.com, he does have favorite players.

However, when the American network TNT recently asked him who his current favorite player in the NHL is, his answer was quite surprising.

While one might expect Gretzky to name players like Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, or Nathan MacKinnon, he instead chose Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders.

Excuse me?

Yes, it seems that number 99 has a soft spot for this all-around player. You can hear his reasoning in the video linked below.

"I am truly amazed by his talent and how good he is, I've said it often. I've seen Messier, Lemieux, Lafleur... this kid is truly special. Now he has to do the work. Lemieux, Bossy, Lafleur, they did it, they became Hall of Famers."

"Barzal has everything he needs to become the NHL's best player and win the Stanley Cup."

Quite surprising, isn't it?

For a player who hasn't surpassed 62 points since his 85-point rookie season in 2017-2018, it's a bold choice. However, there are reasons his offensive production isn't on par with a McDavid or MacKinnon.

Islanders' number 13 plays for a team known for its defensive style, yet Barzal has managed a tally of 215 points in 254 games over the past four seasons.

Many experts even predicted he would be on the Canadian Olympic team in 2022, obviously before the NHL players' participation was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That said, Mathew Barzal is far from being the best player in the NHL at the moment, even ranking 110th on the list published by NHL Network. You can check out the list by clicking on the link here, but he's talented enough to be a cornerstone for the Islanders' offense.

However, he will need more offensive support if he ever hopes to win the Stanley Cup one day.
August 20   |   717 answers
Wayne Gretzky just revealed his favorite NHL player and it's a name you know well

Which one is the best, in your opinion?

Mathew Barzal9112.7 %
Nick Suzuki30142 %
Sebastian Aho27638.5 %
Roope Hintz496.8 %
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