In a recent poll conducted by ESPN.com's Craig Custance, a handful of NHL executives, coaches, and players were asked to rank their top-5 franchise players in the league by point value.
No. 1 on that list? Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.
“He puts my franchise on the map,” one executive told ESPN.com (subscription required). “On a scale of 1 to 10 for his skill, he’s probably a seven. His skating is a six. But his compete is a 10. His hockey sense is a 10. His defensive play is a 10. His character is a 10. His will is a 10. He’ll do things franchise-wise not only to make the guys on the ice better, but to make the team better.”
Toews totaled 43 points and earned six first-place votes in the poll. Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby arrived in a close second with 41 points, collecting four first-place votes.
“Jonathan Toews has ownership of that team. He makes everyone accountable. He makes everyone better,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “There aren’t a lot of guys in the NHL you can say that about. He might be the only one.”
Earlier this week, Toews commented on what it's like to be mentioned in the same conversation as one of the game's best in Crosby. See what Toews had to say here.