Every team sport benefits from having players who can manage the methods of possession and position their teammates for success. This is essential for both short-term and long-term success. In hockey, forwards, centers and wing players are the Playmaker archetypes. If you wish to improve your lineup, you may locate the top NHL 23 playmakers in the NHL by the overall rating below. Each highlighted player has a minimum OVR of 90.
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As he begins his fifteenth season with the Lightning, Steven Stamkos has served as a pillar of Tampa Bay. Stamkos skates fluidly, scoring 94 for acceleration, 93 for agility, 92 for speed, and 88 for balance. Along with 90 Hand-Eye, Stamkos also boasts 93 in Offense Awareness, Deking, Passing, as well as Puck Control. He possesses 94 in Slap Shot Power, 92 in Wrist Shot Power, and 92 in Slap Shot Accuracy, with 90 in Wrist Shot Accuracy, making him a proficient shooter.
In 81 games in 2021–2022, he participated, tallying 106 points on 42 goals and 64 assists. He contributed 11 goals and 8 assists for a total of 19 points in NHL 23 playoff games as Tampa Bay just missed winning a third straight title.
Auston Matthews with an OVR of 94 and Mitchell Marner are hoping to break Canada's Stanley Cup drought together. His 96 in Passing, 95 in Puck Control, 94 in Deking, and 93 in Hand-Eye combined with his 95 Offense Awareness and 90 Poise make him the greatest with the puck. With 93 in wrist shot accuracy, 92 in Slap Shot Accuracy, 88 slap shot, and wrist shot power, he shoots accurately. With 93 in Agility, 92 in Acceleration, as well as 90 in Speed, he also qualifies as a swift skater.
The Playmaker for the Maple Leafs is beginning his sixth season with the group. In 431 games, he scored 139 goals plus 320 assists for 459 points. This 2016–2017 All-Rookie Team member as well as two-time All-Star has contributed seven goals as well as 26 assists (33 points) in 39 matches.
Evgeni Malkin, another seasoned Pittsburgh Penguin on our list, is seated gallantly among the top NHL 23 playmakers in the NHL. He is still playing at a high level despite being 36 years old. Malkin scores 93 Off and 95 Poise. His puck skills are 93 for deking, and passing, as well as puck control with 90 for hand-eye coordination. His shooting score is 92 for Slap Shot as well as Wrist Shot Power with 90 for Slap shot & Wrist Shot accuracy. He's slower than he previously was, as was to be anticipated, but he's still speedy enough thanks to his 99 in Acceleration, Agility, as well as Speed in addition to his 91 Balance.
After a respectable 2021–2022 season, Malkin is vying for his fourth championship. In just 41 games, he accumulated 42 points (20 goals, 22 assists). However, he also contributed three goals with three assists (a total of 6 points) in 7 playoff matches as Pittsburgh succumbed to the New York Rangers in a tense first-round series.
The skillful playmaker Johnny Gaudreau of Columbus is hoping to be the catalyst for the Blue Jackets to not simply reach their inaugural Conference Finals but also their initial Stanley Cup Finals. Gaudreau possesses good puck-handling skills thanks to his combination of 96 in Offense Awareness, 95 in Poise, 96 in Deking, 95 in Puck Control, 94 in Passing, and 93 in Hand-Eye. 92 in wrist shot accuracy, 91 in slap shot accuracy, 89 in wrist shot power, with 88 in slap shot power all indicate that he has higher passing than scoring potential. Boasting 94 in Agility as well as 93 in Acceleration and Speed, he is also swift.
After playing his initial nine seasons in Calgary, Gaudreau is beginning his first season in Columbus. In 605 games, he has played, he has 212 goals with 401 assists for a total of 613 points. In 42 playoff games, Gaudreau has contributed 11 goals as well as 22 assists for a total of 33 points.
The first Playmaker archetype with an OVR rating above 90 is Artemi Panarin. With 96 in Offense Awareness and Deking, and 95 in Hand-Eye, Passing, as well as Puck Control, he excels on offense. Despite having 91 in Wrist Shot Power with 89 in Slap Shot Power, he has had the shot precision of a sniper, scoring 94 including both Slap Shot as well as Wrist Shot Accuracy. With 93 in Agility, 92 in Acceleration and Speed, 89 in Endurance, 88 in Durability, and 85 in Balance, he is also an excellent skater.
In 75 games, Panarin concluded the 2021–2022 campaign with 22 goals as well as 74 assists for 96 points. The Rangers fell to the Lightning during the Eastern Conference Finals in six games, and the previous Calder Memorial Trophy winner contributed six goals and ten assists for a total of sixteen points in 20 postseason games.
After playing his first seasons in Florida, including the 2021–2022 Presidents' Trophy award club, Jonathan Huberdeau is beginning his first season in Calgary. Huberdeau combines 94 in Deking and Hand-Eye with 96 Off. Awareness, 90 Poise, 95 in Passing as well as Puck Control, and 96 Off. Awareness. With 92 Agility as well as 91 Acceleration and Speed, he moves quite quickly. With 92 in Wrist Shot Accuracy, 91 in Slap Shot Accuracy, 90 in Wrist Shot Power, & 89 in Slap Shot Power, Huberdeau is a skilled shooter as well.
Huberdeau was crucial to Florida's 2021–2022 campaign. In 80 games, he had 30 goals and 85 assists for 115 points. In 10 games, he tallied a single goal plus four assists for a total of five points as Florida was heartbreakingly swept by Tampa Bay in the second round. He merits a position among the top NHL 23 playmakers, without a question.
Given that he is also among the top 10 athletes in NHL 23 overall, the veteran great is still going from strength to strength as one of the league's finest playmakers. With 94 in Offense and Defense Awareness and 95 in Poise, Crosby is able to maintain his composure in any circumstance. Along with his shooting skills of 91 in Slap Shot Accuracy, 91 in Slap Shot Power, and 90 in Wrist Shot accuracy, he also possesses 94 in Hand-eye and Passing, 93 in deking, and 93 in Puck Control. With 91 in Balance, 90 in Acceleration, Agility, and Speed, plus 88 in Endurance, he can still skate effectively.
Crosby has won the Hart Memorial Trophy twice and three championships overall. The eventual Hall of Famer is now in his eighteenth campaign and has 519 goals plus 896 assists for 1,415 points across 1,111 games, all with Pittsburgh. It is clear why Crosby should be a leading contender for the NHL's 23 greatest playmakers given his incredible statistics up to this point.
In his pursuit of a second straight Stanley Cup victory, Nathan MacKinnon is one of the two Colorado Avalanche athletes with a 94 OVR, with the other being defenseman Cale Makar. MacKinnon combines outstanding skating abilities (95 in Acceleration, Agility, as well as Speed with 90 in Balance and 88 in Endurance) with excellent puck skills (95 in Puck Control and 94 in Deking, Hand-Eye, as well as Passing). He scores 92 in the remaining three Shooting qualities and 94 in Wrist Shot accuracy. He is a dangerous hockey player because of his speed and talent.
In the 2021–2022 season, Mackinnon played a crucial role in the Avalanche's Stanley Cup-winning run. In 640 games throughout the course of his career, MacKinnon scored 243 goals as well as 409 assists for 652 points. In 70 postseason games, he contributed 41 goals with 52 assists for a total of 93 points. As a result, it comes as no surprise that he is considered one of the top NHL 23 playmakers.
Connor McDavid, who appears on most of these rankings and is rated first overall in NHL 23, needs no introduction. With Hand-Eye, Passing, Puck Control, Offense Awareness, as well as Agility, McDavid has five characteristics at 98. Aside from having 95 OVR, he is the sole player with a 98 ranking in any attribute. McDavid is outstanding at worst and amazing at best, leaning more toward the latter, depending on your perspective.
As he begins his ninth NHL season, all with Edmonton, McDavid has already established a Hall of Fame-worthy career. McDavid scored 44 goals and had 79 assists for 123 points in 80 games during the 2021–2022 season. Before Edmonton lost to eventual winner Colorado in a whitewash during the Western Conference Finals, he tallied 10 goals with 23 assists (33 pts) in 16 playoff games.
As we come to the end of our NHL 23 Best Playmakers List, you now know which Playmaker types in NHL 23 received the highest overall ratings. Will you go for Connor McDavid, the top player in the league, or will you choose Johnny Gaudreau, who could be a bit easier to trade for?