Ranking the Top 15 Players in the Rangers and Panthers Series

May 16, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Rangers players celebrate their victory against
May 16, 2024; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; New York Rangers players celebrate their victory against / James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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We are a few days away from a clash between two juggernauts with the Eastern Conference title on the line. The New York Rangers and Florida Panthers square off with the chance at the Stanley Cup looming. 

The Rangers began the playoffs as the league's hottest team starting 7-0. They stumbled in back-to-back games against Carolina but were able to close out the series in six games. 

The Panthers have had a similar start to their postseason. They cruised past the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games and took care of business in six games against the Boston Bruins after dropping Game 1 by a score of 5-1.

Both of these squads have elite talent on all ends of the ice. Below is my ranking of the top 15 players in this star-studded series.

Stats from NHL.com

SV%= Save Percentage, GAA= Goals Against Average, PPG=Power Play Goals, FO%= Faceoff Percentage, GWG= Game Winning Goals, SOG= Shots on Goal. 

15. Brandon Montour 

Regular Season: 33 Points (8G 25A) 168 SOG +1 Rating

Playoffs: 8 Points (3G 5A) 28 SOG +4 Rating

14. Alexis Lafrenière

Regular Season: 57 Points (28G 29A) 217 SOG 5 GWG

Playoffs: 10 Points (4G 6A) 26 SOG +1 Rating 

13. Gustav Forsling 

Regular Season: 39 Points (10G 29A) 160 SOG +56 Rating

Playoffs: 7 Points (2G 5A) 25 SOG +8 Rating 

*First in the league in Plus-Minus*

12. Carter Verhaeghe 

Regular Season: 72 Points (34G 38A) 246 SOG +17 Rating 

Playoffs: 11 Points (6G 5A) 41 SOG +2 Rating 

11. Aaron Ekblad 

Regular Season: 18 Points (4G 14A) 98 SOG +27 Rating 

Playoffs: 4 Points (4A) 18 SOG +6 Rating 

10. Mika Zibanejad 

Regular Season: 72 Points (26G 46A) 12 PPG +15 Rating 

Playoffs: 14 Points (3G 11A) 2 PPG +2 Rating 

9. Chris Kreider 

Regular Season: 75 Points (39G 52A) 18 PPG 246 SOG 

Playoffs: 10 Points (7G 3A) 2 PPG 29 SOG 

8. Vincent Trocheck 

Regular Season: 77 Points (25G 52A) 11 PPG 58.7 FO%

Playoffs: 14 Points (6G 8A) 4 PPG 58.3 FO%

7. Matthew Tkachuk

Regular Season: 88 Points (26G 62A) 280 SOG +19 Rating 

Playoffs: 14 Points (4G 10A) 44 SOG +2 Rating 

6. Adam Fox 

Regular Season: 73 Points (17G 56A) 6 PPG +21 Rating 

Playoffs: 4 Points (4A) 14 SOG +1 Rating 

5. Sam Reinhart 

Regular Season: 94 Points (57G 37A) 27 PPG +29 Rating 

Playoffs: 9 Points (5G 4A) 48 SOG +3 Rating 

*First in Power Play Goals and second in goals scored this season*

4. Aleksander Barkov

Regular Season: 80 Points (23G 57A) 57.3 FO% +33 Rating 

Playoffs: 13 Points (5G 8A) 56.3 FO% 3 GWG

*2024 Selke Trophy winner (best defensive forward)*

3. Sergei Bobrovsky 

Regular Season: 36-17-4 Record 2.37 GAA .915 SV%

Playoffs: 8-3 Record 2.37 GAA .902 SV%

2. Artemi Panarin

Regular Season: 120 Points (49G 71A) 11 PPG +18 Rating

Playoffs: 11 Points (4G 7A) 4 GWG 28 SOG 

*Fourth in the league in points this season*

1. Igor Shesterkin

Regular Season: 36-17-2 Record 2.58 GAA .913 SV%

Playoffs: 8-2 Record 2.40 GAA .923 SV% 

The series kickstarts on Wednesday, May 22 at Madison Square Garden, puck drop at 8:00 p.m. EST.