Top 10 NHL Black Hockey Players 2023 Rankings
Ranking the best current black hockey players in the NHL in honor of Black History Month
Black History Month
As we celebrate Black History Month, it's important to acknowledge the significant contributions that black players have made to the sport of hockey.
Despite the NHL being primarily composed of white players, Black American and Black Canadian athletes have broken barriers and proven their worth at the highest level of the game.
From Willie O'Ree, the first black player to take the ice in the NHL, to the current crop of talented and promising players, Black American / African American athletes are leaving their mark on the sport and changing the perception of who can excel in hockey.
In honor of Black History Month, we want to shine a spotlight on the best Black NHL players currently of the 2022-2023 season.
These players are not only excelling on the ice, but they are also breaking barriers and changing the image of the league.
They are famous black hockey players, role models, trailblazers, and their performances on the ice should be celebrated. So, let's take a moment to recognize some of the best and most talented list of black players in the NHL today.
Top 10 Black NHL Players
10. Ryan Reaves
Team: Minnesota Wild
Ryan Reaves, a 35-year-old enforcer, may not light up the scoreboard, but his impact on the Minnesota Wild goes beyond the stat sheet.
In 36 games this season, he has 6 assists and a plus-minus of -3. Despite his lack of offensive production, Reaves brings a physical edge and toughness to the Wild's lineup.
He was acquired by the Wild in November 2022 in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2025 NHL Entry Draft from the New York Rangers, where he was scoreless in 12 games.
His presence on the team is not just limited to the ice, his impact on the Wild locker room is becoming increasingly apparent as he brings a strong veteran leadership and a positive influence on the team's culture.
9. Jalen Chatfield
Team: Carolina Hurricanes
Jalen Chatfield is a talented young defenseman currently playing for the Carolina Hurricanes. He joined the team on a one-year contract in 2021 and quickly impressed the organization, leading to a two-year contract extension through the 2023-2024 season.
In his 44 games this season, he has scored 4 goals, an assist, and has a plus-minus of +6. Despite his limited experience, he is known for his solid positional play and offensive flair.
He scored his first NHL goal in December 2022 in a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. As he continues to gain more experience, Chatfield has the potential to become a valuable asset for the Hurricanes.
8. Jordan Harris
Team: Montreal Canadiens
Jordan Harris, an American professional ice hockey defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens. He is one of the best active black players in the league currently.
His impressive statistics this season, including a goal, 10 assists and a plus-minus of -6 in 41 games, are a testament to his skill and dedication to the sport.
Harris was selected in the third round, 71st overall, of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Canadiens, and he has since established himself as a rising star in the league.
7. Caleb Jones
Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Caleb Jones plays for the Chicago Blackhawks of the and is making a name for himself as one of the best active black players in the league.
Despite his young age, the 25-year-old defender has already made a significant impact on the ice, with a goal, 8 assists and a plus-minus of -13 in 33 games this season.
With an average of 18:03 of ice time per game, Jones has put up a solid 9 points and 27 shots on goal, 30 blocks and 28 hits, displaying his versatility and strong defensive skills.
His impressive performance is not only due to his natural talent but also the legacy of his family, his older brother Seth Jones, is also a defenseman and his father is former NBA player Popeye Jones. Jones is definitely a player to watch in the future.
6. Dakota Joshua
Team: Vancouver Canucks
Dakota Joshua is a rising star in the NHL, currently playing as a prospect for the Vancouver Canucks. Despite his young age, Joshua has already made a significant impact on the ice with his impressive statistics this season; 6 goals, 3 assists and a plus-minus of -11 in 40 games.
Joshua was selected 128th overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and since then he has been working hard to become a complete player.
Known for his high-energy game, he skates hard, throws hits and is currently second on the team in hits. He has also been consistently good on the penalty kill.
5. Evander Kane
Team: Edmonton Oilers
Evander Kane, a professional ice hockey left winger for the Edmonton Oilers, is a formidable player on the ice. With a career that spans several teams, Kane has proven himself as one of the best active black players in the league.
He was drafted 4th overall by the Atlanta Thrashers in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and since then, he has been impressing fans and coaches with his dynamic and powerful playing style.
Kane's recent four-year, $20.5 million contract extension with the Oilers is a testament to his talent and potential.
Despite a recent injury that caused him to miss some games, Kane still managed to notch 5 goals, 8 assists, and a plus-minus of +3 in 15 games this season, showing his resilience and determination to succeed.
4. Seth Jones
Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Seth Jones is one of the best active black players in the league, Jones was selected fourth overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and since then he has been consistently impressing fans and coaches with his skill and performance.
This season, he has amassed 4 goals, 15 assists, and a plus-minus of -25 in 32 games, displaying his versatility and strong defensive skills.
He is also showing improvement in his offensive game, putting him on pace for close to 60 points over an 82-game season.
Jones’ defensive impacts have been consistently good, suppressing shot attempts, chances, and expected goals more than they were in previous seasons.
3. Anthony Duclair
Team: Florida Panthers
Anthony Duclair is a vital player for one of the elite teams in the NHL, known for his offensive prowess and dynamic play style.
However, his season was put on hold due to an unfortunate Achilles injury in June. As one of the league's top Black players, his recovery has been closely monitored by fans and teams.
Thankfully, recent reports indicate that he has been pushing himself hard on the ice during his recovery, signaling positive progress from his Achilles tendon surgery in July.
With 31 goals and 27 assists in 74 games last season, his absence has been felt by the Panthers, who have struggled to match their previous season's scoring output, dropping from the top-scoring team in the NHL to the 15th-best.
Duclair's return, targeted for after the All-Star game in February, will bring a much-needed boost to the Panthers' offensive game as they aim to make a strong push for the playoffs.
2. Kyle Okposo
Team: Buffalo Sabres
Kyle Okposo, an American professional ice hockey right winger, is a seasoned veteran in the NHL, who is currently leading the Buffalo Sabres as their captain.
He was drafted in the first round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Islanders, where he played for eight seasons before joining the Sabres.
He has a wealth of experience, having played a total of 16 seasons in the NHL, amassing an impressive 226 goals and 355 assists in 945 games, making him one of the best active black players in the league.
Despite a slow start this season due to an injury, Okposo has shown his resilience and skill, scoring 7 goals, 10 assists, and a plus-minus of +5 in 36 games.
1. K'Andre Miller
Team: New York Rangers
K'Andre Miller is a promising young defenseman for the New York Rangers. Drafted in the first round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, he has quickly made a name for himself as a reliable and versatile player on the team's blue line.
Despite a slow start to the season, Miller has found his offensive game and has 5 goals, 20 assists, and a plus-minus of +2 in 45 games.
Even beyond his strong defensive skills, Miller has also been displaying flashes of offensive brilliance, including scoring one of the best goals of the season against the Flyers.
His powerful shot, ability to create scoring opportunities and well-rounded play has made him a force to be reckoned with on the ice.
As he continues to develop and hone his skills, Miller has the potential to become one of the elite defensemen in the league.
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