NHL esports Player Power-Rankings

December 2019

1USATop Shelf CookieUp+111111
3CanadaMg x NuclearUp+133324
6CanadaYung GrenDown-366666

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.


1. Matthew “Top Shelf Cookie” Gutkoski

Last Month: #2
Matthew 'Top Shelf Cookie" Gutkoski scores the deciding goal in OT to win the 2019 NHL GWC US Regional Finals

With the NHL 20 esports season just getting underway this month, there’s no reason why the reigning NHL Gaming World Champion should not retain the top spot on our list. Having one of the best years of competitive NHL that we’ve ever seen, Cookie has proven he’s one of the best 1v1 players in the world. He’s been keeping relatively quiet as of late, but we know he hasn’t lost a stride and will be looking to continue his dominance in NHL 20.

2. Justin “Regs” Reguly

Last Month: #8

After a dominant NHL 19 esports season, where he was arguably the most consistent player, Regs failed to qualify for the 2019 NHL GWC. This was a huge shock considering he won two major tournaments last season (Washington Capitals and Winnipeg Jets). However, it doesn’t look like he let that get to him. He started off NHL 20 by retaining a spot in all eight weeks of GamerSaloon’s Elite 8 event, winning half of the weekly tournaments and winning the entire event late last month. Safe to say Regs is back in form and ready to compete again this season.

3. Karl “Mg x Nuclear” Caslib

Last Month: #4

Nuke hasn’t taken his foot off the gas after his incredible run to the 2019 NHL GWC finals last season. Over the past two months, he’s gone toe-to-toe with Regs in the Elite 8 winning the other 50% of the weekly tournaments and finishing 2nd place ahead of many other top players on this list. Aside from his stellar gameplay, his humble personality and chill vibes have allowed him to build a decent audience post-GWC. He now regularly draws over 100 viewers to his Twitch streams and he’s still one of the best players in the world.

4. John Wayne “Johnwaynee” Casagranda

Last Month: #5

Like fellow American ‘Top Shelf Cookie’, Johnwaynee has been keeping relatively quiet this month – at least when it comes to gameplay. When it comes to off-ice activity, he’s arguably been the face of NHL esports. Last month, he made history by becoming the 1st player to sign with an NHL team, the Washington Capitals. Now a member of Caps Gaming, he’s looking to continue his dominant play in NHL 20 after winning two major NHL esports tournaments last season (Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning).

5. Erik “Eki” Tammenpää

Last Month: #1

Heading into the 2019 NHL GWC Finals, the odds were that Eki was going to repeat and win another title. However, things didn’t really go his way after being upset by Johnwaynee and then losing to Mg x Nuclear in the 3rd place match. To say he was disappointed is an understatement, and he’s been looking to bounce back from those tough losses ever since. Post-GWC, he’s been placing high in some local tournaments back in Finland, including eSM 2019 and the annual IS Cup. He definitely hasn’t lost confidence, but it’s going to take another strong performance in NHL 20 before he climbs up back to where he was on this list.

6. Matthew “Yung Gren” Grenier

Last Month: #3

Yung Gren has been a Top 5 player for as long as we’ve been making these lists, so it’s weird to see him on the outside for once. Now teammates with the other Canadians ahead of him on this list, Gren should be looking to make another run at the NHL Gaming World Championship and improve upon his back-to-back 5th place finishes. He’s undoubtedly one of the best in the world, and he’s still only 18. A little more consistent play during major events should help Gren climb the list and get back into the Top 5.

7. Joshua “Joshfearless” D’Eri

Last Month: #6

The NHL 19 season was a step forward for Josh. He won his first major NHL tournament last year – the 2019 Blackhawks Chel Tourney, and he was one goal away from an appearance in the 2019 NHL GWC Finals. If Josh can continue to improve on his mental game, he should be able to stay more composed when the bounces aren’t going his way. We’re expecting another strong year out of Josh, including a deep run in Leafs Gaming League: Season 2 for a share of their $20,000 prize pool.

8. Josh “HockeyKings” Fuss

Last Month: #10

One of the most offensively gifted players in the world, HK showed flashes of brilliance last year. He finished 2nd in both the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets tournaments and won the Xbox side of the Chicago Blackhawks tournament. What’s more, if he had a valid passport in time for the Winnipeg Jets tournament, he would have battled Regs for the championship instead of Miviens. For HK, consistency is the name of the game. If he can work on his defensive skills, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with this season.

9. Hannes “Hansulinho” Kettunen

Last Month: #7

Hansulinho is one of the best all-around NHL esports players in the world. He has a proven track record in 1v1 events after making the 2019 NHL GWC finals. This Fall, he also added to his 6v6 resume by back-stopping HAVU NHL en-route to the IS Cup 4 championship. His experience playing as a goalie in EASHL also benefits his 1v1 gameplay, allowing him to take games into his hands and make game-saving stops. This makes him one of the most exciting players to watch and also one of the most difficult players to score on.

10. “xGeimer”

Last Month: NR*

The first fresh face on this list, Geimer is the player to watch this season. After playing (and losing) against him at the local NHL 19 tournament hosted by Michael Del Zotto, I knew he was capable of competing against the best this season. He’s already started to prove me right after winning the first LAN of Leafs Gaming League: Season 2, finishing ahead of other top talents like ‘Bouch’, ‘Odie’ and ‘Sitful’. Make sure to keep an eye out for him next weekend as he aims for another LGL S2 LAN win.

11. Samuel “Canadiens” Landry

Last Month: NR*

Canadiens is a talent comparable to ‘HockeyKings’ – highly talented offensively, but needs to work on his defensive responsibilities. If there’s one thing that holds true in both real and virtual hockey, it’s that defense wins championships. If Canadiens wants to become a Top 10 player, he’ll need to start shutting down his opponents and start winning some tournaments. His 3rd place finish in the Elite 8 speaks volumes about how far he’s come since just last year, but he’s still got some adjustments to make before he can consistently challenge the best in the world.

12. Tyler “DaddyPadre” Stewart

Last Month: NR*

DaddyPadre continues to hang around despite being one of the oldest players in the community. As a new father and the emergency goalie for the reigning Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, we can’t blame him if he was too busy for competitive NHL last season. Now that the dust has settled, he looks like he’s ready to compete once again and hold his spot on this list for more than a few months.

13. Michael “Miviens” Viens

Last Month: #14

Local tournaments aside, Miviens has struggled to find his footing this season. He appeared in only half of the Elite 8 weekly tournaments, where his highest finish was 3rd. Overall, he finished 9th and was unable to win many games against other top North American players. Although he did win another Montreal Canadiens esports LAN, his opposition was relatively weak. He’ll need to get back to his Winnipeg Jets tournament form in order to contend for more major titles.

14. Joonas “SUPERVIRTA” Virta

Last Month: NR*

The 2nd and final rookie on this list, the super-streamer Virta has also worked his way up to become one of the best players in the world. Going from a wanna-be pro player to a 2019 NHL GWC European finalist, you just love to see how good he’s become simply from putting in the hard work and time required to be one of the best. Let’s hope he continues to compete and share his knowledge and skills with the rest of the community.

15. David “JrPens” Roebuck

Last Month: #9

JrPens is sitting at the lowest rank he’s ever had on this list simply because he still hasn’t produced at the highest level. Without a major tournament win, JrPens has started to fall down the ranks and appears to be struggling in NHL 20. Placing no higher than 5th in any of the Elite 8 events, he’ll need to use his analytical skills to tweak his game and continue to compete.


  • Kristian “Kriketsi” Veijola
  • Brian “Keso_Paghuni” Donald
  • Ryan “Bouch” Bouchard