1. Sidney Crosby (age: 22), C, Pittsburgh Penguins
Highlights: 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick, 2006-07 Hart Trophy winner, 2006-07 All-Star, 2008-09 Stanley Cup champion, 2009-10 league goals leader
5 years ago: "I was a part of a young team, and I got a great opportunity to play a lot, especially my first year. We didn't have a good team, but we had a lot of young guys trying to work our way in. It was a lot of fun to be a part of that."
5 years from now: "Hopefully, I'm a much better player. There are things that you look to be better at and improve. As a team, we've come a long way. Hopefully, I can be a part of that group that's really established as a competitor each and every year—you look at the Detroits of the world, a team that every year is right there. That's what we want to be known as."
Not since ... Vincent Lecavalier in 2000 had a 19-year-old been named a team captain, as Crosby—27 days younger than Lecavalier had been—was in 2007.
Lecavalier says: "Sid has done a very nice job handling so much at such a young age. It's not only his being captain of the Penguins; he's the face of the game for the NHL and for hockey everywhere. From what I've seen, he's done a great job balancing it all, including the leadership role. And, I hate to say it, but he's still improving as a player, if that's possible."