Hockey season is officially in full bloom. If you’re looking for fashion sense in sports, the NHL probably isn’t going to be a premiere destination in your search.
The pastiche of the Good Ol’ Boy is still in full effect, with some of the league’s leading stars doing as little as possible to ruffle feathers, make an impression off the ice, or attract attention for anything outside of team-related activities. John Tavares, Sidney Crosby, and Steven Stamkos are all great examples of players who possess otherworldly talent, but are as dull as a game of solitaire once they take off their jersey.
Still, the league isn’t completely barren of flair. Between the masses of forgettable faces and passive presentations of self, there are players dripping with panache and willing to show it whenever possible. There aren’t many, but the ones who do are all the more memorable for it.
These are the NHL’s five most fashionable players, part of the rare few in hockey willing to showcase their individuality without a sense of shame.
EVANDER KANE – SAN JOSE SHARKS
If you don’t recognize Evander Kane from his hard-bodied play for the San Jose Sharks, you may recognize him for sticking out like a sore thumb in a sea of plain black suits. Always made for big city style, Kane has meshed well with the culture of San Jose, and looked extremely comfortable with the Atlanta Thrashers before the team relocated to the much quieter, less flashy city of Winnipeg, MB.
Kane’s eye for style has landed him in Sports Illustrated’s Fashionable 50 for 2019, and his clean cuts and colourful looks give him an individual presence in a league that tends to lean conservative when it comes to personality.
HENRIK LUNDQVIST – NEW YORK RANGERS
A king should dress the part, and there are few who enter a room looking more regal than King Henrik. His chiseled features, finely combed hair, and perfectly salted beard are always visible on the ice, but have historically been more appreciated outside of the rink, where he can usually be found in a clean-cut suit imparting grace into the ground with every step he takes.
Lundqvist has appeared in various fashion outlets over the years, shredded guitar for Jimmy Fallon, and has even been the subject of a style-stealing advice column from GQ. The quintessential Rangers goaltender is the embodiment of classical swagger, and is the epitome of traditional men’s style within the NHL.
BRENT BURNS – SAN JOSE SHARKS
Fashion is subjective, and there’s no player that proves that quite like Brent Burns. When the San Jose Sharks defenceman appears on the red carpet, he makes an impression like few others. His toothless grin and wiry, uncut beard are enough to capture attention in most contexts, but his eclectic collection of flannel-print suits and poorly matched shoes bring his presence to a new echelon of “Huh? What? I guess.”
Check out NHL.com’s rankings of Burns’ colourful clothing choices for a quick taste of just how unique this All-star blueliner’s sense of fashion is.
AUSTON MATTHEWS – TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
Since entering the NHL in 2016, 22-year-old Auston Matthews has stunned the league with his even-strength scoring ability, leadership skills, and most surprisingly, his fashion sense. The Toronto Maple Leafs forward has made his interest in clothing and style well-known since the start of his career, showcasing his fashion-forward mindset everywhere from his personal Instagram page to the cover of Sharp magazine.
The All-star centre has given interviews detailing his stake in the medium for the aforementioned Sharp and GQ, and his presence in the fashion world has been a breath of fresh air in a sport where player personalities take a back seat to their on-ice performance.
P.K. SUBBAN – NEW JERSEY DEVILS
P.K. Subban is an NHL icon in the making. He’s collected a Norris trophy as the league’s top-rated defenceman, has been named to the league’s First All-Star team twice, and captured the Western Conference title with the Nashville Predators before falling short in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2017. While his merits on the ice are worthy of praise, one of the most memorable aspects of the 30-year-old defenceman is his sense of style.
Never one to keep his personality under wraps, Subban’s eclectic clothing collection has graced the red carpets of countless high-profile NHL events and always command the attention of those around him. Whether it’s his variety of round-brimmed hats, his colourful ensemble pieces, or his energetic suits (which have earned him comparisons to Canadian hockey icon Don Cherry) Subban has been a force both on and off the ice as one of the NHL’s elite talents and elite dressers.
The current Devil’s style has earned him numerous profile pieces, and he recently graced the cover of SI’s Fashionable 50 issue alongside fiance and World Cup ski racer Lindsey Vonn. For anyone looking for a bit of flair in the hockey world, P.K. Subban stands head and shoulders above the rest as a beacon of cool in the coolest game on earth.
Top Image: Instagram, @subbanator