NHL esports Player Power-Rankings

June 2019

RANK PLAYER ID  TDIBonesSleevesSaadOohwayy
1Finlandi_Eki_i11111
2USATop Shelf CookieUp+533222
3CanadaYung GrenDown-122334
4CanadaMg x NuclearUpNR*44443
5USAJohnwaynee90Down-255555
6CanadaJoshfearlessDown-267677
7FinlandHansulinhoUp+686868
8CanadaRegs84Down-3787116
9USAJrPens91Down-399999
10USAHK_OFsDown-1101111810
11FinlandPleeMaker1210101012
12FinlandKriketsi17Down-41112121611
13CanadaSitfulDown-31313131214
14CanadamiviensDown-21414141613
15USANJD3VSUpNR*1515151315

NR* means the player was not ranked in the previous month’s Power Rankings

To create these power rankings, each of the staff members independently puts together their version of what the Top 15 should look like. Those are submitted and a point total is assigned to each player based on their rank. The player ranked first is given 15 points, second gets 14, third gets 13 and so on down to No. 15, which gets one point. Any player on this list that did not appear in a writers’ Top 15 is shown as rank #16 and received zero points. These points are totaled and sorted to create the list that you see above.

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1. Erik “Eki” Tammenpää

Last Month: #1

Eki is back on form and looks as dominant as ever heading into the Grand Finals of the 2019 NHL Gaming World Championship as the #1 seed. He added another $5,000 to his already sizeable winnings this season with a 1st place finish at the European Regional Finals, dominating some of the best players in the world in the process. He still hasn’t lost a game at the NHL GWC live events, and it’s entirely possible he sweeps the field again to win back-to-back titles.

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2. Matthew “Top Shelf Cookie” Gutkoski

Last Month: #7
Matthew 'Top Shelf Cookie" Gutkoski scores the deciding goal in OT to win the 2019 NHL GWC US Regional Finals

Cookie has skyrocketed up the Power Rankings since he made his first appearance on the list back in April. Without question, he is currently the best NHL 19 player in America and is probably the most improved player over the course of the entire season. Cookie’s game is full of surprises and he can score goals in many different ways, which forces his opponents to play reactionary defense. If there’s anyone that can give Eki a run for his money in Vegas, it’s Cookie.

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3. Matthew “Yung Gren” Grenier

Last Month: #2

Gren’s consistently elite performances are what’s keeping him above the guy who humbled him at the Canadian Regional Finals earlier this month. It was a surprisingly difficult road that Gren had to take to qualify for the Grand Finals. Half of the games he played at the Canadian Regionals were decided in overtime, including a surprising first game against ‘mrdreezy’ and a thrilling Best-of-3 series against arch-rival ‘Joshfearless’. He’s achieved his main goal for the tournament, which was to get to Vegas, but now he’s got a very tough path to $50,000. If he can beat Johnwaynee and Hansulinho in the round robin, he’ll have the luxury of playing Eki in the semi-finals. Definitely not an ideal situation for Gren, but it’s not impossible either.

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4. Karl “Mg x Nuclear” Caslib

Last Month: NR*

‘Nuke’, as he likes to be called, caught the NHL gaming community totally off-guard after he won the Canadian Regional Finals, taking down some of the best Canadian NHL 19 players in the process. With his win, he’s already cracked the Top 15 in terms of career player earnings. Heading into Vegas as the #3 seed, I like his matchup against Top Shelf Cookie in the semi-finals. Both players are creative offensively and are playing on the big stage for the first time in their careers. One of these guys will take home at least $15,000. If it’s Nuke, I just hope he finally cracks a smile.

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5. John Wayne “Johnwaynee90” Casagranda

Last Month: #3

John looked like he was going to steamroll through the NHL GWC American Regionals once again. He dominated his first two series, sweeping ‘frogstomp33’ and 2018 NHL GWC Runner-up ‘JrPens’. He looked poised to become the second ever double-Regional champion but was out-matched by rising star Top Shelf Cookie. John’s game is all about puck possession and patience, but the speed and creativity of Cookie’s players were just too much to handle. John drafted a very similar team for the finals in Vegas, but has to go through Hansulinho and Yung Gren this time. He’s a proven winner, but with two incredibly tough games ahead of him, let’s see if he can make some of that magic happen again in 2019.

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6. Joshua “Joshfearless” D’Eri

Last Month: #4

I really thought it was going to be Josh’s year this time around. Having missed the Regionals last year, he looked hungry and ready to compete for a chance at Vegas. The problem was, he ended up on the same side of the bracket as Yung Gren, who has had his number all season long during LAN events. Having lost to Gren in the 2018 Snider Cup and 2019 Wild Gaming Tournament, this was Josh’s chance at redemption. It’s safe to say that this was the most exciting Best-of-3 series of 2019, but unfortunately for Josh, he fell just short once again. Nonetheless, he’s still one of the best players in the world and had the puck bounced his way a few more times this year, we would be seeing him in Vegas no doubt.

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7. Hannes “Hansulinho” Kettunen

Last Month: #13

Heading into the European Regionals, Hansulinho was my pick to make it to Vegas alongside Eki, and here we are. He’s kind of been flying under the radar all year, and prior to the NHL GWC, he really hasn’t found much success this year other than a 4th place finish at the Bolts Chel Challenge. Since then, he’s taken a lot of time to work on his game and prepare for the GWC. It definitely worked, seeing as he breezed through online qualification and used his brain and his #1 seed to draft the best team in Stockholm. Between Johnwaynee and Yung Gren, Hansulinho is definitely the underdog heading into the round-robin, but that hasn’t prevented him from winning key games in the past.

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8. Justin “Regs” Reguly

Last Month: #5

Going a whole month of NHL esports without Regs just feels weird. Earlier this season, he was largely considered the best player in North America from February to April 2019. Now that he’s been eliminated from the NHL GWC, he hasn’t had any other chances to compete. We know deep down he’s still an incredible NHL 19 player, but with having accomplished nothing this month, he continues to slip down this list.

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9. David “JrPens” Roebuck

Last Month: #6

JrPens is still the best player in the world to not win an NHL esports tournament. Although it was unfortunate that he had to play Johnwaynee in the semi-finals of the American Regionals, JrPens had a whole year to learn from his mistakes and bounce back. He got off to a rough start against John in their first game, and after that, he just couldn’t find his rhythm. It’s back to the drawing board for JrPens, and we can now officially say that we’ll have a new runner-up in this year’s NHL GWC.

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10. Josh “HockeyKings” Fuss

Last Month: #9

Like Regs, HK is another elite talent that was a glaring omission from the NHL GWC this year. He lost in the 5th and final round of online qualifiers, and since then he hasn’t been able to maintain his spot on this list. Regardless, HK was still able to make an appearance at the American Regionals this year as a guest and got some games in against the guys during practice. Hopefully he keeps up his confidence, works on his defense, and comes back stronger next season.

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11. Paul “PleeMaker” Arontie

Last Month: #11

For the second time in two years, Plee finished 3rd at the European Regionals. For whatever reason, he just can’t pull through and win games in big moments. He just narrowly missed out on what would have been a dream scenario for him and his good pal Eki to have them qualify for the NHL GWC finals together. Instead, it looks like he’ll have to attend the finals as a guest once again. The silver lining here is that we all get to see him wear another stellar three-piece suit.

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12. Kristian “Kriketsi” Veijola

Last Month: #8

Kriketsi had the misfortune of matching up against Eki in the semi-finals of the European Regionals this year. He looked dominant in the quarters, after sweeping the Austrian underdog ‘Eilung’ while not allowing him to score a single goal. His matchup against Eki was a different story, and mid-way into their second game, it seemed that all Kriketsi wanted to do was find a place to have a smoke. There’s still a big gap to close between the rest of Europe and Eki, but if there’s one player who could burst up this list, it’s Kriketsi.

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13. Harley “Sitful” Sitko

Last Month: #10

After observing both Nuclear and Sitful during their practice sessions at the Canadian Regionals, it was clear to me that whoever won their first-round series was going to go on and qualify for Vegas. It’s a shame that their series had to be played off-stream because it was a hell of a battle. Sitful proved to me that he’s still one of the best in Canada and he took Nuke to overtime in Game 3 before losing in heartbreaking fashion. Let’s hope he continues to pour hours into NHL games to prepare for the NHL 20 season.

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14. Michael “Miviens” Viens

Last Month: #12

Aside from Regs, Miviens is the best player that failed to qualify for the Canadian Regionals. His road to Toronto was arguably the toughest our of everyone, having to go through both Canadiens-27 and Sitful to qualify. He ultimately lost to Sitful in a game that could have gone either way. Once again, it just wasn’t in the cards for one of the oldest players in the community. We’ll see if he can stay patient, enjoy his off-season and return with a fire in his belly next year.

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15. Mike “NJD3VS” Duro

Last Month: NR*

NJD3VS impressed everybody this year at the American Regionals. In a matchup that was almost guaranteed to go the distance, he beat McLxvinn in the quarterfinals to move on and face Top Shelf Cookie in the semis. Although he failed to produce against the very best, he still showed everyone what he is capable of, and is one of those players that everyone should keep their eye one heading into NHL 20.

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PLAYERS ON THE BUBBLE

  • Brendan “McLxvinn” Reed
  • Samuel “Canadiens” Landry
  • Ryan “Bouch” Bouchard
  • Charles “NippinBiscuits” Ferris
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The Official 2019 NHL GWC Simulation