HomeBasketballRating the NHL's prime 10 wingers: Panthers' Matthew Tkachuk surges to prime...

Rating the NHL’s prime 10 wingers: Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk surges to prime after profession 12 months



The winger place doesn’t get probably the most love within the NHL, however it’s dwelling to a number of the league’s most entertaining gamers. From sharpshooting snipers to elite playmakers, a wide range of gamers can slot in on the wing.

Even when the protection is not all the time there, that does not actually matter when a participant can discover the again of the online with a B.B. of a snapshot or discover a teammate broad open on the backdoor. Moreover, Six of the NHL’s top-10 goal-scorers from final season are wingers, however solely two of these gamers made the lower for this rating.

Right now, wingers are going to get the eye and respect they deserve. Listed here are the highest 10 wingers within the NHL because the 2022-23 season approaches:

10. Jason Robertson | LW | Dallas Stars

Robertson has a a lot smaller pattern measurement than a number of the different gamers on this checklist, and a number of the different gamers vying for the No. 10 spot, however he has earned his spot. A revelation for the Stars in 2020-21, Robertson took his recreation to a different degree final 12 months. He scored 41 objectives and added 38 assists. When it comes to possession numbers, when Robertson was on the ice at five-on-five Dallas managed 58.23% of the anticipated objectives, based on Pure Stat Trick. I do not suppose it might be an enormous attain to check Robertson to Matthew Tkachuk.

9. Nikita Kucherov | RW | Tampa Bay Lightning

Accidents are the one factor stopping Kucherov from being a lot greater on this checklist. He missed the complete 2020-21 common season with an harm, and he solely performed in 47 video games final season. Regardless of all that missed time, there isn’t any denying what Kucherov brings to the desk when wholesome. For starters, his deadly shot alone makes him a priceless participant for the Lightning, each on the facility play and at five-on-five. He led the NHL in assists in 2018-19, and the final time he tallied fewer than 36 assists was his rookie 12 months in 2013-14. What Kucherov has lacked in common season availability over the previous couple seasons, he has made up for with playoff heroics. In every of the Lightning’s back-to-back Stanley Cup championships, Kucherov led the league in factors. Within the 2022 postseason, his 27 factors ranked fourth.

8. Jonathan Huberdeau | LW | Calgary Flames

There are some truthful criticisms about how a lot Huberdeau offers up within the defensive zone. That mentioned, his offensive firepower can greater than make up for his defensive deficiencies. In 2021-22, Huberdeau was tied for second within the NHL with 115 factors, and his 85 assists led the league. Huberdeau is a superb playmaker, and he is likely one of the greatest at discovering his teammates in harmful scoring areas. After ending top-five in Hart Trophy voting final season, Huberdeau will now lead the new-look Calgary Flames after their main offseason makeover.

7. David Pastrnak | RW | Boston Bruins

One among two Bruins on this checklist, Pastrnak is the first finisher on the group’s prime line. Excluding the shortened season in 2020-21, Pastrnak has scored no less than 34 objectives each season since 2016-17. Final 12 months, Pastrnak tallied 40 objectives in 72 video games performed, and his taking pictures proportion was nonetheless 1.2 factors decrease than his profession common of 14.0%. On prime of that, his 15.64 anticipated objectives led the complete Bruins group, based on Pure Stat Trick. After all, Pastrnak is not merely a superb shooter. He has totaled greater than 40 assists 3 times in his profession, and he completed the 2021-22 season with 37. At simply 26, Pastrnak nonetheless has loads of opposing goaltenders to torment all through his profession.

6. Brad Marchand | LW | Boston Bruins

Yearly, we surprise when Brad Marchand will take a step backward, and yearly he is likely one of the greatest gamers within the NHL. Like clockwork, Marchand eclipses or approaches the 30-goal mark whereas including 40 to 60 assists. To prime all of it off, Marchand will not be shy about getting bodily and beneath his opponent’s pores and skin, regardless of his comparatively quick stature at 5-foot-9. His elite mixture of ability and sandpaper make him a novel participant, and he makes up one-third of what’s usually the very best line in hockey. With Patrice Bergeron again for one more 12 months alongside Marchand, the Bruins will probably make one other main push for a Stanley Cup.

5. Johnny Gaudreau | LW | Columbus Blue Jackets

Contract years do not get a lot better than the one Johnny Gaudreau simply had with the Calgary Flames. Final season, Gaudreau set profession highs in objectives (40), assists (75) and factors (115). Now a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Gaudreau’s offensive impacts are off the charts. With Gaudreau on the ice at five-on-five final 12 months, the Flames scored a whopping 96 objectives and allowed simply 38 objectives. Even when Gaudreau could not have the largest influence within the defensive finish, it is powerful for the opponent to attain when the puck is on his stick for a whole shift.

4. Kirill Kaprizov | LW | Minnesota Wild

Earlier than Kaprizov arrived in Minnesota in 2020, the Wild have been a stable group, however they weren’t precisely appointment viewing each different night time. Nearly instantly upon his arrival, Kaprizov made Minnesota a extra enjoyable and extra harmful group. Kaprizov adopted up a Calder Trophy rookie season with 47 objectives, 61 assists and 108 factors in 2021-22. What is likely to be most spectacular about Kaprizov’s early success on the NHL degree is that he has finished all this with a heavy dose of Victor Rask and Ryan Hartman as his facilities. Rask and Hartman are each nice gamers, however Kaprizov has been dominant with out a true No. 1 heart beside him.

3. Mikko Rantanen | RW | Colorado Avalanche

There are plenty of large names on that Avalanche roster, beginning with Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar, however Rantanen performs a serious function for the defending Stanley Cup champions. That features main the group in scoring with 36 objectives final season. When Colorado took a stunning leap ahead within the 2016-17 season, Rantanen emerged as a key contributor. Since then, he has scored 30-plus objectives 3 times, and he has scored 29 objectives as soon as. Rantanen has deadly ending capability, as exhibited by his profession taking pictures proportion of 15.7%, and that’s onerous to search out.

2. Mitch Marner | RW | Toronto Maple Leafs

Enjoying on a line with Auston Matthews definitely has its perks, however Marner is not simply being dragged across the ice by his MVP teammate. To ensure that Matthews to attain 60 objectives, somebody has to feed him the puck. That is the place Marner is available in, and there are few higher playmakers within the league than the Maple Leafs winger. Marner tallied 62 assists in 2021-22, however he did not cease there. He additionally blew away his profession excessive in objectives with 35. Regardless of what some may say about his protection, Marner has established himself as a really elite winger on the NHL degree.

1. Matthew Tkachuk | LW | Florida Panthers

Name it recency bias, however I do suppose there’s proof to counsel that Tkachuk simply had the very best 2021-22 season out of any winger within the league. With 42 objectives and 62 assists, Tkachuk (who is simply 24) proved that he may be an elite scorer, and he can be in his prime for the foreseeable future. Moreover, Tkachuk performed nicely within the defensive zone, even in opposition to some powerful competitors. That resulted in an anticipated objectives share of 60.46% at five-on-five, based on Pure Stat Trick. Issue within the quantity of tenacity that Tkachuk brings to his recreation, and it’s onerous to discover a higher participant on the place than him. The Panthers simply gave up Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar to get Tkachuk, and they’re nonetheless very a lot a Stanley Cup contender.




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