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Mass. Hockey’s NHL Play(er)s of the Season

By Jamie MacDonald, 07/19/18, 12:30PM EDT


Who doesn’t love seeing a slick play or a topshelf goal—especially when they are one of our own Massachusetts own.

We took the top 10 Massachusetts-born scorers this past season in the National Hockey League and collected their most memorable on-ice moments of 2017-18. 

1: John Carlson


For fun, every hockey fan should go into the rabbit hole that is John Carlson goals. In addition to all the one-timers, back in 2010 he scored one of the biggest goals in Team USA’s IIHF World Junior Championship history.

This past year, in addition to scoring a career-high 68 points, the Natick-born Carlson led all defensemen in playoff scoring with 20 points. Among those 20 points were five goals, including this cannon on a one-timer during Game 4 of Washington’s second-round series with the rival Penguins. Carlson and the Caps, of course, advanced past Pittsburgh and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

Bonus Carlson:

Trust us. Watch.

2: Jack Eichel


Once a Boston University boy wonder who led the nation in scoring (71 points in 40 games) as a freshman, the Chelmsford native scored a career-high 25 goals this past season, but we have to give him credit for this All-Star celebration. On a side note, the ease with which Eichel generates pace on the one-timer really isn’t quite fair. 

3: Keith Yandle


Comfortable on the rush, Yandle, a Milton native born in Boston, pushes the pace to create a two-on-one, then goes high blocker for one of his eight goals during a 56-point season. 

4: Kevin Hayes


Outdoor hockey alert! It was a happy New Year for the big Dorchester native who played four seasons at Boston College. The 6-foot-5 Hayes shows off some nimble skills with a modified spin-o-rama and goal off the back of an unsuspecting goaltender. 

5: Charlie Coyle


While this may not be a goal scored, consider it a squad goal. Coyle plays the part of hometown hero for a fellow Weymouth native who traveled to New York, donning a Coyle in the stands, no less, to watch the Wild play the Islanders.

6: Chris Kreider


Kreider, born in Oxford and a Boston College alum, uses his wheels to start a breakout by himself, then moves the puck to a teammate while getting open on the far post in time to convert a pretty tic-tac-toe chance for the Rangers (and bring out the Oh-Baby! best in Sam Rosen).

7. Noah Hanifin


Before Hanifin, the Boston-born Norwood native who became the youngest player to play for Boston College, had been traded to Calgary, he had recorded a 10-goal campaign for Carolina — including this heads-up read of a broken play where he jumps into a scoring position, takes a cross-ice pass and immediately goes high-glove from inside the dot.

8: Conor Sheary


Born in Winchester and a former UMass captain, Sheary, before being traded in the offseason to Buffalo, converted on a breakaway that became an outnumbered battle that the 5-foot-8, 175-pounder won with a chip shot off a two-time Vezina winner. 

9: Jimmy Vesey


Three’s a charm for Vesey, who was born in Boston and is a Harvard alum, after showing off his foot skills, his sniping skills on a close-range shelf job, and his long-distance range for his first career hat trick.

10: Brian Gibbons 


Gibbons, born 30 years ago in Braintree and a Boston College alum, does most of the work himself here, keeping the puck low, doggedly working to get it back after blowing a wheel, then burying an OT game-winner.

2017-2018 Stanley Cup Champion John Carlson