As the NHL regular season comes to a close, playoffs are on the horizon. Now is an excellent time to look back on the 2020-21 regular season. The season saw several Hitmen alumni excel throughout the 56-game stretch. Six former Hitmen players were named on official NHL rosters to begin the 2020-21 NHL regular season. These include household names such as Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and fresh faces in the NHL, such as Jake Bean of the Carolina Hurricanes.
This list is a set of power rankings, ranking Hitmen alumni based on their performance throughout the 2020-21 NHL regular season.
— NHL (@NHL) May 11, 2021
As a member of the Florida Panthers, Driedger’s on-ice performance was superb, earning him the top spot on this list. While only appearing in 23 games throughout the regular season, the panthers’ goalie posted a 14 win and six-loss record while averaging a .927 save percentage. At only 27 years old, this season has been Driedgers’ most impressive season as a professional.
Driedger had spent three seasons with the Hitmen between 2011 and 2014. Before his breakout year with the Panthers this season, Driedger had bounced around the world of hockey, including spending significant time with the Ottawa Senators and the Springfield Thunderbirds of the AHL.
With consistent performances like Driedger displayed in the 2020-21 NHL season, expect to hear his name quite often. Driedgers’ stellular performance has earned him the top spot on the list of Hitmen alumni in the NHL this past regular season.
The Wilds’ centerman put together another impressive NHL season together. Rask scored ten goals and added 13 assists to reach 23 points in 53 games played throughout the regular season. Rask played a crucial role in helping the Minnesota Wild clinch the 3rd seed in the Honda West division.
Before his time in the NHL, Rask spent two seasons with the Hitmen from 2011-2013. He scored 104 points for the franchise while appearing in 101 games.
— NHL (@NHL) August 6, 2020
The young defenseman has appeared in 55 games for the Philadelphia Flyers. Sanheim has showcased a ton of upside throughout the season. Unfortunately for Sanheim, I cannot rank him any higher on this list due to a -22 plus-minus rating while on the ice. As Sanheim gains experience, look for this to change as he can climb this list.
As a Calgary Hitman member, Sanheim appeared in 186 games and scored 162 points during that time.
I hate to put an all-time Hitmen great so far down the list but, it’s just not possible for Getzlaf to rank in a higher slot. Getzlaf is well known as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, Hitmen alumni of all time. His decorated NHL career is highlighted by scoring 982 points, playing in 1,101 games, and winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. But for Getzlaf, in 2021, he was outplayed by younger Hitmen alumni. This regular season Getzlaf had 17 points in 48 games.
As a member of the Hitmen from 2001-2005, Getzlaf had an incredible year, scoring 215 points in 233 games.
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) December 1, 2019
As the second goaltender on this list, Jones has had an impressive NHL career. The 31-year-old goaltender appeared in 34 games for the San Jose Sharks in the 2020-21 NHL season. Jones posted a .88 save percentage throughout those 34 games.
Although Jones still earned significant playing time with the Sharks this regular season, he cannot be placed higher on the list than the previously listed Hitmen alumni in the article.
Throughout Jones’ career as a Hitmen, he appeared in 128 games from 2006-2010.
First NHL goal for Jake Bean!!! pic.twitter.com/KuZswefzmd
— NHL (@NHL) February 28, 2021
Although nobody wants to be last on any power rankings list, for Jake Bean, it’s not too bad of a spot. That’s because the 22-year-old rookie won’t be here for long. Bean finished the 2020-21 regular season with 12 points in 42 games played for the Carolina Hurricanes. Bean, by all means, played a solid rookie season and showed a lot of upsides. Unfortunately, however, the 22-year old stats throughout the NHL regular season do not hold up to those previously listed.
Look for Bean to climb the latter in future years as he earns his spot in the NHL.
Bean is the most recent Hitmen alumni of this list playing with the organization from 2014-17 before being traded to the Tri-City Americans.