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I know that a player’s listed height and weight are rarely accurate. It’s not uncommon for a player that’s actually 5-foot-10 to be listed at 6-feet.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come away from a media availability in an NHL locker room shocked at the actual height of some of these guys. Hockey isn’t alone in this. It happens in all sports.
Size still matters in the NHL, but it’s nice to see that there’s more room for smaller players in the game. Now more than ever, it appears as though teams are less hesitant to use a “under-sized” hockey player.
I thought it would be fun to look at some of the most productive players that are listed below 6-feet tall because there are so many good ones.
This list isn’t based on who I’d build my team around. It’s more of a ranking based on players I’d want on my fantasy team between now and the end of the regular season.
Here’s the list:
1 - Adam Fox (5-11, 183 pounds) – D – New York Rangers
The Rangers don’t have a single forward listed at less than six feet, but they have one of the top defenders in the game. Fox, who won the Norris Trophy last year, is putting together another impressive year. Not only does he have huge offensive numbers, he is almost averaging 25 minutes of ice time per game. He’s a monster and he’s going to be for a long time.
2 - Cale Makar (5-11, 187 pounds) – D – Colorado Avalanche
Makar’s first three years couldn’t have gone much better from an offensive standpoint. He picked up 50 points (57 games) and 44 points (44 games) and he’s already up to 27 points in 24 games this year. If you’re trying to pick between Fox and Makar from a fantasy perspective between now and the end of the season, you might as well just flip a coin. They’re both legit.
3 - Brayden Point (5-10, 183 pounds) – C – Tampa Bay Lightning
I’ll never understand how the Lightning were able to uncover this gem in the third round of the 2014 draft. Point isn’t just one of the best “small” players in the league, he’s one of the top guys in the game today. The 25-year-old missed an extended period of time with an injury, but he’s back and rolling again. He’s picked up 56 points in 46 games during Tampa’s last two playoff runs.
4 - Brad Marchand (5-9, 181 pounds) – W – Boston Bruins
Marchand’s NHL career got off to a solid start. He produced a reasonable amount of points and he was able to agitate like few others in the game. But over the last few years his production has spiked. In his last five seasons, these are the point totals he’s put up: 85, 85 (68 games), 100, 87 (70 games) and 69 (53 games). He currently leads the Bruins in scoring with 30 points in 23 contests. Whether you want to admit it or not, Marchand has become of the best players in the game.
5 - Kirill Kaprizov (5-10, 202 pounds) – W – Minnesota Wild
I know the Wild didn’t win Saturday’s Winter Classic against the Blues and I also realize that Kaprizov’s goal in that game was a little fluky, but he still managed to fend off a much bigger opponent (Colton Parayko) in the lead up to that goal. Kaprizov’s second NHL season in going even better than his first one did. He has 39 points in 31 games and he could easily be at the top of this list by the end of the season.
6 - Patrick Kane (5-10, 177 pounds) – W – Chicago Blackhawks
On most teams, Alex DeBrincat (5-7, 165) would be the top “small” player, but Kane will always get the nod with Chicago. The veteran has put together eight point-per-game seasons in his last nine years, but he “only” has 26 points in 28 games to lead Chicago this year. The 33-year-old is still remarkably slick on the ice.
7 - Sidney Crosby (5-11, 200 pounds) – C - Pittsburgh Penguins
I still have a hard time believing Crosby is 34 years old. He’s never been the flashiest of super stars, but he’s been so efficient throughout his career. His goal production is a little low so far this year, but he’s still rolling at more than one point per game. Crosby has four goals and 16 assists in 19 games this season. He’s going to go down as one of the all-time greats.
8 - Johnny Gaudreau (5-9, 165 pounds) – W – Calgary Flames
Johnny Hockey’s contract year has gone pretty well. The 28-year-old is bouncing back in a big way, as he had 49 points in 56 games last year compared to 36 points in 30 games this year (last year’s totals aren’t even that bad). It’ll be interesting to see if his days in Calgary are over after this season. Maybe he wants to return to the States?
9 - Quinn Hughes (5-10, 180 pounds) – D – Vancouver Canucks
The 22-year-old has been on a roll since the start of December. He’s picked up 12 points in 11 games since then and his fantasy stock continues to trend upwards. The only Canuck with more points than Hughes (28) is forward J.T. Miller (36).
10 - Claude Giroux (5-11, 185 pounds) – C – Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers’ three leading scorers are all below six feet. Giroux, Cam Atkinson (5-8) and Travis Konecny (5-10) have all made an impact this year. Giroux’s level of consistency has been remarkable. Yes, his production dipped over the last couple of years, but there was no way he was going to be able to keep producing 85-plus point seasons into his mid-30s. He has a very healthy 29 points in 32 clashes in 2021-22.
11 - Jack Hughes (5-11, 175 pounds) – C – New Jersey Devils
Hughes missed time with an injury, but he’s made a big-time impact on the Devils roster this season. New Jersey’s two leading scorers are both listed at 5-10 (Jesper Bratt and Andreas Johansson), but neither of those players is better than Hughes. The 20-year-old has 15 points in 16 games this season. He’s quickly developing into an electric offensive threat.
12 - Lucas Raymond (5-11, 182 pounds) – W – Detroit Red Wings
Raymond has put together a very impressive rookie year. The fourth overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft already has 28 points in 33 games this season. The Red Wings’ rebuild isn’t complete yet, but they have some foundational pieces in place and this 19-year-old is definitely one of them.
13 - Teuvo Teravainen (5-11, 191 pounds) – W – Carolina Hurricanes
Teravainen was an outstanding acquisition from Chicago a few years ago. He’s blossomed into a legitimate offensive threat. He played in just 21 games last season, but he’s posted three 60-plus point seasons since joining the Hurricanes and he’s on pace to do it again this year.
14 - Juuse Saros (5-11, 180 pounds) – G – Nashville Predators
We have our first goalie on the list! It’s a shame that I couldn’t get Rocco Grimaldi (5-6) on this list, but Saros deserves a lot of credit for Nashville’s success this year. There aren’t many starting goalies that aren’t huge and that makes him accomplishments even more impressive. He has a 16-9-1 record with a 2.24 goals-against-average and a .925 save percentage this season.
15 - Joe Pavelski (5-11, 195) – C – Dallas Stars
Someone should tell Pavelski that 37-year-old forwards aren’t supposed to produce this much offense. He put up 51 points in 56 games with Dallas last year and he’s already up to 27 points in 29 games this season. He leads the team in points and he’s tied for the team lead in goals (12). Assuming he stays healthy, he should continue to score points for a Stars team competing for a playoff spot.
16 - Anthony Duclair (5-11, 197 pounds) – W – Florida Panthers:
Duclair has run hot and cold during his career. There’s been times where he’s looked like an impact player, but he’s also moved six times in seven NHL seasons. He seems to have found a home in Florida though. He’s a nice complimentary piece on an excellent team. He has 22 points in his first 24 games.
17 - Jonathan Marchessault (5-9, 180 pounds) – W – Vegas Golden Knights
Marchessault is the expansion draft present that keeps on giving for the Golden Knights. The 30-year-old is third on the team in scoring behind Chandler Stephenson and Reilly Smith and he’s one of the guys that stepped up with Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone sidelined earlier this season. He has a team-high 16 goals and 24 points in 30 games this season.
18 - Torey Krug (5-9, 194 pounds) – D – St. Louis Blues
Finding players under 6-feet tall on St. Louis’ roster isn’t an easy task. But they have a couple of under-sized defenders on their blue-line that have made a difference. The 30-year-old has 17 points in 28 games in his second year with the Blues. Two of his five goals have come on the power play.
19 - Tyson Barrie (5-11, 197 pounds) – D – Edmonton Oilers
Barrie’s offensive numbers are down, but he’s still having a decent fantasy season. He’s up to 17 points in 32 games this year and he gets quality power play time on a great unit so those numbers could go up.
20 - Nick Suzuki – (5-11, 205 pounds) – C – Montreal Canadiens
After going to the Stanley Cup Final last year, the Habs have been a mess this year. Suzuki hasn’t taken the next step many expected him to take, but he doesn’t have much help around him. I still think he’s going to be a quality two-way center for a very long time. He leads the team in scoring with seven goals and 19 points in 34 games.
21 - Clayton Keller (5-10, 178 pounds) – W – Arizona Coyotes
I’m going to be blunt here, the Coyotes are a disaster. They’re the worst team in the NHL and they don’t have a very good roster. But Keller is a quality player that can be part of the solution. He leads the team in goals (10) and points (23), which aren’t the most impressive totals on this list, but what do you expect? His numbers would be way higher if he was on any other team.
22 - Jordan Eberle (5-11, 187 pounds) – W – Seattle Kraken
The Kraken are having a typical expansion year, but they’ve been able to get some positive performances from certain individuals. Eberle is one of those. He’s second on the team in goals, with 12, and he’s first on the team in scoring, with 22 points. It’s tough to trust any Kraken players in fantasy right now though.
23 - Max Domi (5-10, 194) – W – Columbus Blue Jackets
Domi’s second year in Columbus is going much better than his first. The Blue Jackets gave up power forward Josh Anderson to get him in a trade from Montreal, so they’ll need him to be a big part of their future. Domi has 15 points through 20 games. He’s not going to be a primary scorer on the team, but he’s a useful secondary scorer.
24 - Viktor Arvidsson (5-10, 185 pounds) – W – Los Angeles Kings
Arvidsson’s first year in LA has gone relatively well, as he’s up to eight goals and 18 points in 26 games. Last season, in Nashville, he had 10 goals and 25 points in 50 games. So, he’s almost there. The 28-year-old is a solid secondary scorer, but he won’t put up big-time numbers.
25 - Jamie Drysdale (5-11, 175 pounds) – D – Anaheim Ducks
The 19-year-old has gone a little cold as of late, but that’s normal given his position and age. He has just one assist in his last 10 outings, but he has a respectable 14 points in 35 games in 2021-22. It’s entirely possible that he hits a wall later on in the year, but it’s also possible that he pushes through and takes his game to another level.
26 - Alexander Barabanov (5-10, 192 pounds) – W – San Jose Sharks
Barabanov never really got a real shot in the NHL before this season, but he’s shown that he could be productive. The Maple Leafs gave him 13 games in 2020-21 and the Sharks gave him nine games last season (seven points). In his first full year, he’s managed to accumulate a healthy 18 points in 28 games.
27 - Alex Kerfoot (5-10, 181 pounds) – C – Toronto Maple Leafs
Kerfoot gets the nod because Mitch Marner is listed at 6-feet on the nose (yeah, right). The Leafs center is a quality depth forward that also finds a way to get under the opponent’s skin at times. He’s put up a very respectable 19 points in 31 games this season.
28 - Jeff Skinner (5-11, 197 pounds) – W – Buffalo Sabres
Skinner is having a much better year this year than he did in 2021, but it’s still not good enough given his $9 million salary. It’s not his fault that the Sabres were willing to pay him, but he hasn’t lived up to the deal. He has 10 goals and 18 points in 31 games this season. He had seven goals and 14 points in 53 contests last season.
29 - Jean-Gabriel Pageau (5-11, 180 pounds) – C – New York Islanders
The smaller players on the Islanders roster have struggled this year. Pageau, Anthony Beauvillier and Kyle Palmieri haven’t produced as much as we expected them to. Of course, starting the season on a 13-game road trip and having your roster decimated by Covid hasn’t helped.
30 - Conor Sheary (5-9, 179 pounds) – W – Washington Capitals
The Capitals have two players under six feet (Dmitry Orlov is the other one). Sheary is having a very reasonable season in Washington, as he’s picked up seven goals and 15 points in 27 games.
31 - Tyler Ennis (5-9, 161 pounds) W – Ottawa Senators
Not only is Ennis short by NHL standards, he’s also very light. Of the top 13 scoring leaders on the Sens roster, Ennis is the only one under 6-feet. The 32-year-old has one goal and 11 assists in 26 games this season. He’s currently on the Covid list.
32 - Cole Perfetti (5-11, 177 pounds) – C – Winnipeg Jets
Don’t get it twisted, Perfetti has a very high ceiling, but he’s not there yet. He’s only played two games for the Jets and he’s failed to register a point. The Jets don’t really have a smaller player that makes a significant impact on their team.