NHL 20: Fastest Players – Forwards and Defensemen

Let’s face it: ever since NHL 18, speed always wins in these games.


Whether it’s up the middle, along the boards, or tracking back to goal, your team needs fast players.

As is the way, the forwards in EA’s NHL 20 tend to be faster than the defensemen, making one-on-ones with goaltenders quite easy to manufacture with the right pass to a fast skater. In equal measure, if you want to stop a surging speedster, you want your defensemen to boast plenty of speed to be able to skate back and cut off the shooting lane.


Finding an average rating of the three core speed attributes in NHL 20 – agility, acceleration, and speed – we’ve established the fastest forwards and the fastest defensemen in the game. While the base Hockey Ultimate Team versions of these players are often weakened, due to the system needing to make better versions of each player to encourage later loot box purchases, they’ll likely be equivalently ranked within the variant type.

So, here are the fastest skaters in NHL 20. All of the figures are taken from within Franchise Mode on the 10 October 2019 Online Roster.

Connor McDavid, Speed Score: 96.7

Overall: 94
 Team: Edmonton Oilers
 Age: 22-years-old
 Position: Center
 Player Type: Playmaker
 Shoots: Left
 Nationality: Canadian

Connor McDavid continues to prove himself to be one of, if not the, best players in the NHL. By his 26th game of this season, the speedy Canadian center had already racked up 18 goals and 47 points, only trailing teammate Leon Draisaitl by a single point.

The face of the Edmonton Oilers franchise is absurdly fast in NHL 20, clearing the competition of the fastest players in NHL 20 by a good 2.7 points through the average scoring. McDavid boasts 96 speed, 97 acceleration, and 97 agility to prop-up his five-star skating rating. With offensive awareness of 97, five-star puck skills, and five-star shooting, it’s difficult to not score points with the 22-year-old in almost every game.

Taylor Hall, Speed Score: 94.0

Overall: 89
 Team: New Jersey Devils
 Age: 27-years-old
 Position: Left Wing
 Player Type: Sniper
 Shoots: Left
 Nationality: Canadian

Despite the talent on the New Jersey Devils team, they somehow continue to struggle. Taylor Hall has become the go-to goalscorer for the Devils, but coming out of an injury-plagued campaign, the left-winger has struggled for goals. Through 23 games, Hall scored four goals and 21 points, which, to be fair, is an admirable tally for such a low-ranked team. It does, however, pale in comparison to his 39-goal, 93-point 2017/18 season.

The former Edmonton Oiler boasts tremendous stats in skating to rank as the joint-second fastest skater in NHL 20. Hall’s 95 acceleration, 95 speed, and 92 agility give him a hefty 94.0 speed score. Like McDavid, Hall also touts mighty complimentary stats to make him a major offensive threat, including five-star shooting, five-star puck skills, and a 92 for his offensive awareness.

Johnny Gaudreau, Speed Score: 94.0

Overall: 90
 Team: Calgary Flames
 Age: 26-years-old
 Position: Left Wing
 Player Type: Sniper
 Shoots: Left
 Nationality: American

When hockey fans think of speedy skaters, they’ll invariably conjure images of the diminutive Johnny Gaudreau leaving hulking defensemen in his wake. Last season, Gaudreau came but a point away from hitting a century, with 36 of those 99 points being goals. In the opening 27 games of the season, the American tallied a fair 20 points, but overall he and the Calgary Flames had been struggling to hit their stride.

In NHL 20, Gaudreau and Hall tie as the second-fastest skaters. The sniper’s incredible 95 in deking, hand-eye, and passing compliment his five-star skating tremendously. To rank as one of the fastest players in NHL 20, the Flames sniper boasts a 94 in acceleration, 93 in speed, and 95 in agility.

Matt Duchene, Speed Score: 93.3

Overall: 87
 Team: Nashville Predators
 Age: 28-years-old
 Position: Center
 Player Type: Playmaker
 Shoots: Left
 Nationality: Canadian

The Nashville Predators’ new center is delivering on the hopes that he’d provide some scoring depth and strength in the duel on the second-line, amassing six goals, 17 points, and a faceoff win percentage of 52.4 per cent through 22 games. In his 23-game stint with the Columbus Blue Jackets last season, Matt Duchene notched four goals and 12 points, so he’s performed better on the scoring front for the Preds thus far.

The former Avalance, Senators, and Blue Jackets playmaker clocks in with a speed score of 93.3 to rank as one of the fastest players in NHL 20. With a 94 for speed, 93 for agility, and 93 in acceleration, Duchene can blaze up the middle of the ice to find himself in on goal. As an added bonus, his 87 faceoffs and 85 poise make the Canadian a tough competitor when the puck drops.

Erik Karlsson, Speed Score: 92.0

Overall: 90
 Team: San Jose Sharks
 Age: 29-years-old
 Position: Defenseman
 Player Type: Offensive Defenseman
 Shoots: Right
 Nationality: Swedish

The San Jose Sharks endured a torrid start to the 2019/20 season but managed to begin to surge back up the Western Conference, getting close to breaching the Pacific Division playoff places by their 25th contest. Goaltending has been the major problem, with the defence strategies also struggling to help, but Erik Karlsson’s 40 blocked shots, three goals, and 18 points in 24 games have made him one of the more reliable defensemen so far.

Karlsson ranks as the joint-fastest defenseman in NHL 20 with Cale Makar, boasting a rating of 92 in the attributes of acceleration, agility, and speed. The Swede’s 92 defensive awareness, 91 stick checking, and 85 discipline make him very useful when chasing surging forwards, even if his strengths are primarily at the offensive end of the ice.

Those skaters shown above are the top four fastest forwards and the fastest defenseman in NHL 20, but the following players also boast strong speed attributes:

NamePositionPlayer TypeSpeed RatingSkating Overall
Nathan MacKinnonCenterPlaymaker93Five-Star
Steven StamkosCenterPlaymaker93Five-Star
Evgeny KuznetsovCenterPlaymaker93Five-Star
Jack HughesCenterPlaymaker93Four-Star
Dylan LarkinCenterPlaymaker92.7Five-Star
Patrick KaneRight WingSniper92.7Five-Star
David PastrnakRight WingPlaymaker92Five-Star
Andrew CoglianoLeft WingTwo-Way91.6Four ½-Star
Cale MakarDefensemanOffensive92Four ½-Star
Shayne GostisbehereDefensemanOffensive91Four ½-Star
Drew DoughtyDefensemanTwo-Way90.3Four ½-Star

Looking for more NHL 20 guides?

NHL 20 Franchise Mode: Best and Worst Teams to Use and Rebuild

NHL 20: Complete Team Strategies Guide, Line Strategies Guide, Best Team Strategies

Looking for the best players?

NHL 20 Draft: Best Players and Top Draft Steals 2020

NHL 20 Draft: Best Players and Top Draft Steals 2021

NHL 20: Top Faceoff Centers

NHL 20 Franchise Mode: Best Free Agents

NHL 20 Franchise Mode: Best Young Centers

NHL 20 Franchise Mode: Best Young Goaltenders

NHL 20 Franchise Mode: Best Young Defensemen

NHL 20 Franchise Mode: Best Young Left Wingers

NHL 20 Franchise Mode: Best Young Right Wingers

NHL 20 Ratings: Best Young Skaters

NHL 20 Ratings: Best Snipers

NHL 20 Ratings: Best Enforcers


Ben Chopping

Will give almost any game a chance, particularly those that include wildlife, monsters, or prehistoric creatures of any kind.

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