The Summer of Ovi has come to the end and the NHL is officially back in our lives.

Throughout the offseason, several of hockey’s top players took to social to further establish their brands beyond the ice. The biggest winners were Caps players, specifically Ovechkin and TJ Oshie, who captured the momentum of their Stanley Cup win and shared the experience with their audience.

As a whole, the NHL’s stars are outpaced by their peers in major sports including the PGA TOUR and NFL in terms of audience size, activity, total engagements, and growth. However, NHL players have one of the most actively engaged audiences in sports. Hockey fans love to interact with their favorite players, but that content can be few too few and far between.

That may be about to change in a big way. Last season, the New Jersey Devils adopted an athlete-driven strategy that produced league-leading success for the team and its players. As more teams follow suit, and players like Ovechkin, Oshie, and Taylor Hall show a commitment to giving their fans more access, look for hockey to climb the ladder for athlete-driven performance on social.

The NHL’s athlete-driven MVPs

Below is the performance analysis for the NHL’s 25 most-followed players on social. We break down the data by audience, activity, engagement, and growth on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram from June 8, 2018, to October 2, 2018.

These are the NHL’s strongest brands on social.

Audience

  • Alex Ovechkin —  4.1 milion followers
  • Evgeni Malkin — 2.3 million followers
  • PK Subban — 2.1 million followers
  • Henrik Lundqvist — 1.6 million followers
  • Connor McDavid — 1.1 million followers

Twitter

  • Alex Ovechkin — 2.7 million followers
  • Evgeni Malkin — 1.6 million followers
  • PK Subban — 1.1 million followers

Facebook

  • Carey Price — 526 thousand followers
  • Henrik Lundqvist — 317 thousand followers
  • TJ Oshie — 175 thousand followers

Instagram

  • Alex Ovechkin — 1.4 million followers
  • PK Subban — 800 thousand followers
  • Connor McDavid — 660 thousand followers

Activity

  • PK Subban — 225 posts
  • Evgeni Malkin — 79 posts
  • TJ Oshie — 67 posts
  • Andrew Shaw — 56 posts
  • Carey Price — 42 posts

Twitter

  • PK Subban — 70 posts
  • TJ Oshie — 34 posts
  • Andrew Shaw — 25 posts

Facebook

  • Carey Price — 30 posts
  • PK Subban — 29 posts
  • Tomas Tatar — 16 posts

Instagram

  • PK Subban — 126 posts
  • Evgeni Malkin — 59 posts
  • Andrew Shaw — 31 posts

Engagement

  • Alex Ovechkin — 2.6 million engagements
  • PK Subban — 2.5 million engagements
  • Evgeni Malkin — 2.2 million engagements
  • TJ Oshie — 1.1 million engagements
  • Tyler Seguin — 780 thousand engagements

Twitter

  • TJ Oshie — 110 thousand engagements
  • Roberto Luongo — 103 thousand engagements
  • PK Subban — 102 thousand engagements

Facebook

  • Carey Price — 50 thousand engagements
  • PK Subban — 40 thousand engagements
  • Tomas Tatar — 9 thousand engagements

Instagram

  • Alex Ovechkin — 2.6 million engagements
  • PK Subban — 2.3 million engagements
  • Evgeni Malkin — 2.2 million engagements
Engagement rate *min 16 posts (1/week)
  • Claude Giroux — 10.57%
  • TJ Oshie — 10.54%
  • Erik Karlsson — 7.44%
  • Kris Letang — 6.29%
  • Alex Ovechkin — 5.97%

Twitter *min 5 posts

  • Auston Matthews — 6.91%
  • Mitch Marner — 3.27%
  • Erik Karlsson — 1.15%

Facebook *min 5 posts

  • Brendan Gallagher  — 0.90%
  • PK Subban — 0.80%
  • Carey Price — 0.32%

Instagram *min 5 posts

  • TJ Oshie — 22.56%
  • Claude Giroux — 21.30%
  • Taylor Hall — 14.25%

Growth

  • Alex Ovechkin  — 191 thousand followers
  • TJ Oshie — 86 thousand followers
  • PK Subban — 54 thousand followers
  • Erik Karlsson — 26 thousand followers
  • Mitch Marner — 15 thousand followers

Twitter

  • Auston Matthews — 10 thousand followers
  • Mitch Marner — 8 thousand followers
  • Erik Karlsson — 6 thousand followers

Facebook

  • TJ Oshie — 2 thousand fans
  • PK Subban — 712 fans
  • Connor McDavid — 341 fans

Instagram

  • Alex Ovechkin  — 191 thousand followers
  • TJ Oshie — 82 thousand followers
  • PK Subban — 54 thousand followers

Growth rate

  • TJ Oshie — 12.84%
  • Mitch Marner — 5.81%
  • Erik Karlsson — 4.05%
  • Alex Ovechkin — 4.04%
  • Auston Matthews — 2.71%

Twitter

  • Auston Matthews — 7.16%
  • Mitch Marner — 6.4%
  • Erik Karlsson — 2.34%

Facebook

  • Tyler Seguin — 1.2%
  • TJ Oshie — 1.2%
  • Connor McDavid — 0.6%

Instagram

  • TJ Oshie — 88.2%
  • Alex Ovechkin — 16.3%
  • Carey Price — 10.4%