No. 2: Dallas’ Jamie Benn
Look, it isn’t Benn’s fault his GM can’t see the team has no goaltending. If the Stars had one serviceable netminder last season, Benn could’ve been hoisting the silver chalice first among his team. Instead, they couldn’t get past St. Louis in the conference semifinals.
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But Benn is certainly not the reason for that. He’s been a fantastic team leader since 2013, helping the team through its transition from afterthought to conference power by doing everything well on the ice.
Benn hit 87 points two seasons ago for the Art Ross, then scored 89 last year to finish second in the league. He makes up one-third of one of the league’s most-potent lines, along with Tyler Seguin and Patrick Sharp. He’s defensively responsible, possesses the puck well, has a good head on him and just plays the game the right way.
Really, the sky would be the limit for Benn as the Stars’ captain if he was in another division. The Central Division is so cutthroat that Benn’s efforts will stand out in the regular season, but risk getting washed away quickly in the playoffs.
Still, at just 27 years old, he’s likely going to add some more hardware to his resume as Dallas’ captain. Will he bring the city hardware to share as well? Only time will tell.
Next: Captain No. 1