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Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy, Bucs’ Tom Brady top NHL Player Poll

Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos also receive recognition in this year’s voting.
Of the 537 votes cast for, “If you need to win one game, who is the goalie you want on your team?” 37.4 percent of NHL players chose the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy.
Of the 537 votes cast for, “If you need to win one game, who is the goalie you want on your team?” 37.4 percent of NHL players chose the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Apr. 27|Updated Apr. 27

TAMPA — The Lightning’s star-studded roster was recognized by fellow players in results from this year’s NHLPA Player Poll, released Wednesday. Four Bolts players — and a football GOAT — were among the top vote-getters in responses from more than 500 players to the 15 questions on the ballot.

Asked, “If you need to win one game, who is the goalie you want on your team?” 37.4 percent chose the Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy. He was selected as the league’s best goalie in last year’s poll.

Related: Perseverance personified: Lightning’s Alex Killorn nominated for Masterton Trophy

The reigning Conn Smythe winner (as playoff MVP) is an appropriate pick. He has won 38 of his 62 starts this season, second-most in the league, behind Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky (39 wins in 53 starts).

Defenseman Victor Hedman finished high in a couple of categories: “Which player do you least enjoy playing against, but would like to have on your team?” (6.9 percent, fourth-most) and “If you need to win one game, who is the one skater you would want on your team?”( 6.7 percent, third-most).

The former Norris Trophy winner is having a career season, with 82 points (20 goals and 62 assists) in 80 games. In Tuesday’s win against the Blue Jackets, he picked up his 600th career point.

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman received 6.7 perent of the votes when NHL players were asked, "If you need to win one game, who is the one skater you would want on your team?”
Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman received 6.7 perent of the votes when NHL players were asked, "If you need to win one game, who is the one skater you would want on your team?” [ NHLPA ]

Lightning forwards Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov seem to possess shots that many players envy. Each received 1.3 percent of the votes cast for, “Which player do you wish you could shoot like?” tied for fifth-most.

Kucherov also received 6.2 percent of the votes (fifth-most) for, “Who is the best passer?” Limited by injuries to just 45 games this season, he has nevertheless dished out 42 assists.

Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov were among the popular choices for, "Which player do you wish you could shoot like?"
Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov were among the popular choices for, "Which player do you wish you could shoot like?" [ NHLPA ]

The poll also included off-ice questions, including Which non-NHL athlete would you like to trade places with for a day?”

Bucs quarterback Tom Brady led the voting with 18.3 percent. Brady, who has won seven Super Bowl championships, most recently with the Bucs following the 2020 season, unretired in mid-March and will play his 23rd NFL season and third with Tampa Bay this fall.

Contact Mari Faiello at mfaiello@tampabay.com. Follow @faiello_mari.

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