Even though the 2015-2016 NHL season just ended – with the Pittsburgh Penguins lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup after beating the San Jose Sharks 4-2 in a best-of-seven series – ice hockey is still very hot. You don’t need to look further than Instagram to see just how active many of the sport’s most popular NHL players are.
Whether it’s candid shots of their day – or professional photos or video taken by a sponsor – NHL players use Instagram to engage with their fans in a much more personal way. We took a look at the data to see if players’ photo- and video-sharing performances match their play in the rink. Continue reading to see who truly is on top on Instagram.
Sharing photos and video on Instagram might not be as hard as saving shots on goal, but Florida Panthers’ goalie and career journeyman, Mike McKenna (@mikemckenna56), makes it look easy. Unmasked in his photos, he shares pictures of his family, food, and vacations away from the ice. He’s about 300 posts ahead of the No. 2, Vancouver Canucks’ defenseman Nikita Tryamkin (@nikita_tryamkin88). Nikita posts plenty of updates as a newlywed, having shared everything from the proposal to the honeymoon with his fans.
New Jersey Devils’ right winger Jordin Tootoo (@jtootoo22) somehow finds time to share photos of his life – involving a brand new baby – amidst his busy schedule as a professional hockey player. Edmonton Oilers’ right winger Nail Yakupov (@nailer1064) and Washington Capitals’ forward Evgeny Kuznetsov (@kuzy092) follow behind our top three to lead the NHL on Instagram as the five most prolific posters.
In the land of likes, one NHL player reigns supreme. Three-time league MVP and Washington Capitals’ forward and captain Alexander Ovechkin (@aleksandrovechkinofficial) earns more than 3,000 likes on average than the next-closest player. Alex’s profile includes photos of his fiancee, videos from nights out with his crew, and promotional reposts that generate likes relative to his prominence and performance as a player.
In the crowd looking up at Ovechkin’s Instagram might, the next-closest tier of players are Montreal Canadiens’ defenseman P.K. Subban (@subbanator) and Dallas Stars’ forward Tyler Seguin (@tseguin92). These two – separated by around 1,400 likes on average – offer up more professional photos of their adventures, not just in hockey, but around the world. Subban shares his travels across the U.S., partaking as a spectator in other sports events (NBA Finals), while Seguin brings us to the red carpet, Playboy Mansion, and the ESPYs.
Separated by an average of 1,100 likes per post are Chicago Blackhawks’ forward Andrew Shaw (@shawz65) and Detroit Red Wings’ defensive forward Pavel Datsyuk (@datsyuk13hockey). They actively use Instagram to share their lives with the fans. Shaw offers a great glimpse into his routine and life – he and his wife went to a Halloween party as “Game of Thrones” characters Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen – with the occasional sponsored post.
Datsyuk keeps a focused approach on all things within his own brand, whether it is photos of him working out at the Redwings facilities or announcing a sale on his online merchandise shop. These five average the most likes per post on Instagram out of all NHL athletes.
Instagram Power Play
When you’re facing off against the crowded world of Instagram, a large volume of posts is great, but it’s even better to be a high-performing and established NHL player. These athletes are earning likes as quickly as the accolades they’ve received on the ice. Before you lace up your skates and head back into the rink, be sure to check out Fanatics.com for the best official NHL apparel and merchandise.