Who Leads the NHL in Penalty Minutes This Year?

Not all NHL players are created equal. Some players finesse their way onto rosters, and some play a shutdown brand of hockey, neutralizing opposition. In contrast, others must play with truculence to assure themselves of a spot. Wherever players land on the spectrum, penalties are an unavoidable part of the game. Inevitably, certain players accumulate more penalty minutes just by the nature of their role, but they all feel the same amount of shame, no matter who ends up in the box.

We’re tracking which players have the most PIMs across the NHL.

Player Team  Penalty Minutes
Arber Xhekaj Montreal Canadiens 92
Nicolas Deslauriers Philadelphia Flyers 82
Matthew Tkachuk Florida Panthers 72
Brandon Montour Florida Panthers 71
Brady Tkachuk Ottawa Senators 66
Tanner Jeannot Nashville Predators 64
Pat Maroon Tampa Bay Lightning 63
Mathieu Olivier Columbus Blue Jackets 61
Rasmus Dahlin Buffalo Sabres 60
Mason Marchment Dallas Stars 60
Luke Schenn Vancouver Canucks 60
Max Comtois Anaheim Ducks 60
Travis Konecny Philadelphia Flyers 59
A.J. Greer Boston Bruins 59
Chris Wideman Montreal Canadiens 59
Brenden Dillon Winnipeg Jets 57
Ryan Lomberg Florida Panthers 55
Michael Bunting Toronto Maple Leafs 54
Matt Dumba Minnesota Wild 54
Jacob Middleton Minnesota Wild 54
Andrei Svechnikov Carolina Hurricanes 53
Mason Shaw Minnesota Wild 53
Radko Gudas Florida Panthers 53
Brendan Lemieux Los Angeles Kings 53
Tyler Myers Vancouver Canucks 51

What an ornery week it was. The NHL’s top penalty minute-getters added a substantive amount of time to their yearly totals, with several newcomers also making big jumps up the leaderboard.

Montreal Canadiens defenseman, Arber Xhekaj, started the week as the most penalized player, adding 20 minutes over the past few games. Xhekaj and Givani Smith were assessed ten-minute misconducts at the end of the second period on the Florida Panthers 6-2 win against the Habs. That wasn’t enough time to diffuse the situation, as Xhekaj and Smith promptly threw down after exiting the box. That was the second fight in two nights for Xhekaj, who had a go with Adam Lowry the night before. 

Nicolas Deslauriers did his best to keep pace with Xhekaj atop the list but tallied a less impressive 14 minutes over five games this week. Most of those minutes came in a 6-0 loss to the Boston Bruins, in which Deslauriers accumulated 12 PIMs. 

Likewise, Matthew and Brady Tkachuk were up to their usual antics, with both players getting comfortable in the penalty box this week. Matthew remains the third-most penalized player, thanks partly to the seven minutes he added this week. Matthew tussled with Mike Matheson on Thursday night, one of three third-period fights in the contest. Not to be outdone, Brady collected 12 penalty minutes against the Winnipeg Jets, with five more coming after he threw fists with Pittsburgh Penguins rearguard Mark Friedman.

Brandon Montour rounds out the top five, although he only added 12 minutes to his total, with the bulk of those coming via a misconduct penalty.

Another big mover this week was Pat Maroon. Maroon visited his old stomping grounds as the Tampa Bay Lightning took on the Edmonton Oilers. Big Rig had something to prove that night, scrapping with Edmonton’s Klim Kostin and collecting two more minor penalties. It was an impressive showing, with Maroon’s nine minutes in the box surpassing the 8:06 of ice time he had that night. 

Andrei Svechnikov and A.J. Greer triumphantly announced their arrival on the list. The Carolina Hurricanes winger came out of nowhere to land 21st on the list. Svechnikov got the penalty hat trick, collecting a major, minor, and misconduct for a total of 19 PIMs over his past two games. Greer nearly matched the feat, coming up a five-minute penalty short. Still, with the 14 minutes he added this week, Greer is only two minutes shy of cracking the top ten.