Soon the Stanley Cup playoffs will get underway and sports betting Canada will be all over the odds on which teams are favored to go all the way and lift Lord Stanley’s mug aloft.
Hockey is a sport where symmetry isn’t merely coveted, it’s virtually a required element to play in the league. Whether it’s quotes or clothing, there’s often a sameness to NHL players. From their getting pucks in deep mantras to their traditional dark blue suits, it’s often hard to tell one player from another.
It’s even officially entrenched in the CBA the players agreed to in 2005. “Players are required to wear jackets, ties and dress pants to all Club games and while travelling to and from such games unless otherwise specified by the Head Coach or General Manager,” the clause reads.
Fortunately, there are a select few players who are willing to push the envelope. They choose to go their own way and stand out in the crowd. Some bring their unique stylings to the ice, others do it via their choice of wardrobe, and then there are some capable of setting the standard in both categories.
These are the best-dressed players in the NHL today.
William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs forward brings all kinds of variants to his fashion sense, from clothing to coiffures. It’s earned him the nickname Willy Styles in the Toronto dressing room. When he showed up with cornrows in his hair at the start of the 2019-20 season, it was big news in a city where even the miniscule movement in Leafs land is covered as if it’s vital to national security. Nylander’s $2460 Prada coat also made waves.
“Willy’s just a fun, outgoing guy and obviously likes to be a little bit different and showcase that, which is fantastic,” Leafs captain John Tavares told TSN.
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
In a poll of NHL fans last season, Bruins forward Pastrnak was voted the league’s best-dressed player. He garnered over 32 percent of support.
He’s donned a pink suit with black Indiana Jones-style hat, even adding pink sunglasses to the look. Then there was his plaid suit with a matching bow tie.
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
When you’ve got your own clothing line, you definitely qualify as a fashion plate. Stars forward Seguin can rock the casual look and be equally in style with a Wall Street motif of three-piece suit and matching gold watch.
“Fashion became a bit of a hobby for me over the years,” Segun told themanual.com. “I have an appreciation for anything that has a distinct design aesthetic from cars to the perfectly tailored suit. I have an ever-growing collection of watches, cufflinks, and there are also a few cars in my garage.
“There is a tradition in hockey of the players dressing for games in suits. Having to sort out suits for the games really opened doors for me to experiment with my own personal style. I have developed a knack for selecting shirts, ties, and shoes that express my personal style.”
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto goes two deep in fashion icons, Matthews, who says he developed his fashion sense while playing a season in Switzerland, is known for his wide-brimmed hats and comfy loafers. He even accessorizes stylishly. Matthews is a bro of pop star Justin Bieber.
“I definitely think it’s evolved quite a bit,” Matthews said of NHL fashion sense in an interview with GQ. “The guys are younger and they like to wear different stuff, like stuff that stands out and not just black and white.”
P.K. Subban, New Jersey Devils
The Devils defenseman and former Norris Trophy winner was acknowledged for his fashion sense when Subban was selected among Sports Illustrated’s Fashionable 50 athletes in 2019. He even partnered with clothier RW&CO to design a collection of men’s suits.
“I think that it continues to change and get tweaked every year, but the one thing that I’ll always maintain in terms of my style and fashion sense is to straddle the line as someone who is creative and fashion-forward but also someone who is classic, clean, and sharp,” Subban told Sharp Magazine, explaining his fashion sense. “I want to reflect and respect what I represent and that’s the organization I play for and my family, but I’m still  years old. I want to be fashionable. But the one thing that defines what I wear is that it has to be tasteful.”