Inside the 2018/2019 NHL season on Twitter

By Christopher Doyle
Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Each fall, the @NHL conversation heats up on Twitter across the U.S. and Canada. Heading into the 2018/2019 season, it is a combination of top trends, emerging superstars and even familiar faces in new places that are defining how and when users talk about the league on Twitter.

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The Teams

Though the Washington Capitals (@Capitals) hoisted the #StanleyCup this past June, it was a number of other teams owning the conversation on Twitter during the 2017/2018 regular season.

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These were the 10 @NHL team accounts that earned the most regular season mentions on Twitter during the 2017/2018 regular season, with Canada’s own Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) and Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) deep in the mix.

  1. Vegas Golden Knights @GoldenKnights)
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins (@Penguins)
  3. Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs)
  4. Boston Bruins (@Bruins)
  5. Chicago BlackHawks (@NHLBlackHawks)
  6. New York Rangers (@NYRangers)
  7. Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL)
  8. Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL)
  9. New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils)
  10. Los Angeles Kings (@LAKings)

The Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) were also widely discussed on Twitter, especially this past spring during their deep run in the #StanleyCup Playoffs. Only the eventual finalists (@Capitals and @GoldenKnights) had more postseason mentions than the @NHLJets. 

The @NHLJets have also enjoyed huge growth in their Twitter following. Between September 15, 2017 and September 15, 2018, the @NHLJets increased their follower count on Twitter by almost 25%.

Top Canadian Moments

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The past 12 months have seen a number of events that have trended across Canada and had hockey fans buzzing about our country’s seven @NHL teams. These were the dates/events that drove the most Twitter conversation amongst fans of Canada’s @NHL teams over the past 12 months.

  1. July 1, 2018 - NHL free agent season begins with John Tavares signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent plus Tomas Pleskanec re-signing with the Montreal Canadiens, Paul Stastny leaving the Winnipeg Jets for the Vegas Golden Knights and James van Riemsdyk leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs for the Philadelphia Flyers
  2. May 10, 2018 - The Winnipeg Jets defeat the Nashville Predators to advance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (Game 7 - NHL Western Conference Semi-Final)
  3. April 8, 2018 - Daniel and Henrik Sedin each play their final NHL games in Edmonton with the Edmonton Oilers defeating the Vancouver Canucks in a shootout victory
  4. June 22, 2018 - Opening round of the 2018 NHL draft with the Montreal Canadiens (3rd), Ottawa Senators (4th), Vancouver Canucks (7th) and the Edmonton Oilers (10th) all selecting in the Top 10
  5. October 4, 2017 - The 2017/2018 NHL season begins, including a 3-0 Edmonton Oilers victory over the Calgary Flames and a 7-2 Toronto Maple Leafs victory over the Winnipeg Jets

The Players

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Superstars on the move, award winners and top goal scorers dominated of the @NHL conversation on Twitter from a player perspective. Here is a list of the 10 most mentioned pros on Twitter over the past 12 months.

  1. John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs (@91Tavares)
  2. Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (@ovi8)
  3. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (@AM34)
  4. Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks (@ErikKarlsson65)
  5. P.K. Subban, Nashville Predators (@PKSubban1)
  6. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
  7. Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins (@BMarch63)
  8. Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils (@Hallsy09)
  9. Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas Golden Knights
  10. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (@cmcdavid97)

Not only did John Tavares lead Top 10 most mentioned @NHL players over the past year, he also had more mentions than any pro switching teams during this past offseason. Here are the most mentioned players who moved teams this year.

  1. John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs (@91Tavares)
  2. Erik Karlsson, San Jose Sharks (@ErikKarlsson65)
  3. James Neal, Calgary Flames (@jneal_18)
  4. Max Domi, Montreal Canadiens (@max_domi)
  5. Alex Galchenyuk, Arizona Coyotes (@AGally94)‏
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For more game highlights, player content and fan reactions, keep Twitter close during the 2018/2019 campaign and be part of the conversation all season long.

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