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The NHL's most underappreciated players in 2021-22, including Robert Thomas, Matthew Tkachuk, Ilya Sorokin

Calling an NHL player "underrated" has always been a bit ridiculous.

The moment a player is called "underrated" is the moment when his value is acknowledged for not having been acknowledged. Players like Loui Eriksson and Nicklas Backstrom were called "the most underrated player in hockey" for several seasons. How many years must pass before they are, in fact, very much rated properly?

Please note that there's a difference between a player being underrated and their performance being underappreciated. For example: No one's going to call Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen "underrated," as the sixth-leading scorer in the NHL over the past two seasons.