Captain, Pittsburgh Penguins
Expectations were high for this #1 overall draft pick when he was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005 and quickly dubbed “The Next One,” following legendary player Wayne Gretzky. Crosby did not disappoint when he finished sixth in the NHL in scoring in his rookie year.
In only his second season, Crosby became the superstar everyone was hoping for. Leading the NHL in scoring, he became the youngest player and only teenager to win a scoring title in any North American sports league. After the tremendous 2008 campaign, he filled his trophy room with prestigious NHL hardware; the Art Ross trophy for scoring leader, Hart Memorial Trophy for MVP from hockey writers, and Lester B. Pearson Award for MVP from the NHL Players Association. While the accolades solidified his reputation as the greatest young player, a loss to the Detroit Red Wings in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals left Crosby wanting more.
His hard work before the 2010 season culminated with being named the youngest team captain in NHL history. Leading the Penguins back to the Stanley Cup in a rematch with Detroit, Crosby’s Penguins took the trophy home after a compelling game seven which was the most watched NHL game in over 25 years.
While Crosby has played in numerous international tournaments for Team Canada, at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, he established his place among the all-time Olympic legends. After an early round defeat to the United States, Team Canada was eager to prove themselves the greatest international hockey country on their home ice in Vancouver. A late goal in the 3rd period by the US brought the game to Overtime when Sidney scored the game winning goal giving Canada a 3-2 victory in the OT period. Crosby defended his medal at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, winning the gold again.