Why he deserves more attention: tied for fourth in the NHL with 78 points; second behind Alex Ovechkin with 38 goals; +25 with 6 GWG; His contract is a steal with only a $3.125 cap hit through the 2010-11 season.
A couple of months ago, I discussed the best contracts in the Pacific division for Battle of California. There were some pretty big names with some cap-friendly contracts: Marc Edouard Vlasic, Dustin Brown, Ryan Getzlaf and others garnered a lot of votes. But Parise might give the Devils the best deal in the league.
While Steve Mason gets most of the Calder trophy attention, Pekka Rinne is putting up similar numbers with very little fanfare. Sure, he dipped his foot in the NHL pool before (2 games in 2005-06 and 1 game in 2007-08) but he's not exactly Chris Weinke out there.
Why he deserves more attention:He's not quite "near-elite" but he's developing into an elite goal scorer with a shot at a 40 goal season (currently at 32 goals cored). He's also only 23 years old.
Eriksson quietly hit the 30-goal mark this season. He's just a natural goal scorer and should hover around 30 as long as he has centers like Brad Richards playing with him. Another Dallas Stars unsung hero is James Neal, who is having a splendid rookie season with 21 goals already.
Obviously, this isn't a comprehensive list. Just a few guys who are better than their lack of publicity would suggest. What are some of your "unsung heroes" in the NHL?