NHL History: 30 best players in the 21st century (Updated 2023)

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Duncan Keith
Duncan Keith: (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) /

30 best NHL players of the 21st century: 15. Duncan Keith

Duncan Keith might not have the long resumè that Pronger has, but no one can deny how great he was on the ice, and his lack of dirty hits gets him slightly ahead. Keith was running a defense that became a dynasty.

He’s only known life with the Blackhawks and recently the Edmonton Oilers and has played now across three eras. He was great in every single one of them and continues to do his thing even on a brand new team.

Only three times in 16 years did Keith have a PDO under 100 (which is considered average). Two of those seasons came at the beginning of his career. He’s also been an incredible time-eater. There’s never been a season where Duncan Keith played less than 23 minutes a game. Even in his rookie season, he averaged 23:26 of ice time per game. He’s played more than 29,000 minutes in his 16-year career. He’s also been incredibly durable. He’s missed more than 10 games in a season once.

Keith has won every award there is to win. He’s a two-time Norris winner, a three-time Stanley Cup winner, the 2015 Conn Smythe winner, and a three-time All-Star. Keith was one of the best during a long NHL career, and he’s still going at a very high level.