Who's the Best Right Winger in Hockey?

Oh those were the days seeing Kurri bury passes from 99, or Bossy flying down the wing blowing shots pass goalies, or seeing Guy Lafleur flying hair and all gliding around the ice effortlessly. Those were some of the greatest Right Wingers in the game. But today there is some good ones in their own right. Here is the top 10.

1. Jarome Iginla – Perhaps the best player in the NHL never mind just RW. He does it all for the Flames. He is their spiritual and emotional leader. He leads through reason or by example. He is perhaps the league’s best goal scorer and he does it without the aid of world class talent around him. He can carry the offence and a team on the back of his shoulders and will the Flames to victory. He plays even better when the games matter more. He can play physical, has great hands, a terrific shot and is dangerous on offence every shift. He has the size and speed that is ideal for a power winger. He IS the Flames.

2. Jaromir Jagr – When Jagr is feeling good, there may not be a more dominant hockey player in the world today. When Jagr is on his game he is near impossible to knock off the puck. His vision and creativity are matched by few, he can score at will or find teammates out of nowhere. He can make something out of nothing. His size and long reach are huge assets. He has deceptive speed and unbelievable hockey sense. When he wants to he can carry a team for months. He is probably the most dangerous guy on the powerplay. The thing is, it is unknown if he will show up for games or if he will even play as he is hurt often. But that doesnt overshadow his skills. They are first class.

3. Marian Hossa – talent wise, one of the best in the league regardless of position. The numbers dont lie. The man is productive. He can beat you with his great speed and quickness. He can overpower you with his great strength as he is difficult to contain and knock off the puck. He has such a well rounded game that it often goes unnoticed if he isnt making a highlight reel play. He is a sniper with a great pair of hands. But he can read plays well and make things happen. Many may argue he is more productive now than Jagr and as productive and Iginla but he has yet to prove he can carry a team on his shoulders and deliver when it counts most. His disappearing act in the playoffs is rather surprising for a guy this talented.

4. Martin St Louis – St Louis was not just handed the MVP for nothing. He earned it the hard way. He is underrated due to him playing with players who were stars in their teens. His biggest asset is his speed. One of the fastest players in the NHL, he is shifty, quick and near impossible to catch. He is great at both ends of the ice and is one of the best in transition. The new rules were made for players like him. His other big asset is his heart. He is a terrific leader, leading by example never giving up on any play.

5. Todd Bertuzzi – He will forever be remembered for the Steve Moore incident. But people forget he is a great hockey player. The man can dominate games. When the Bertuzzi train is rolling, there is no stopping it. He will go to the net and park himself there and be impossible to move. He can be devastating physically making opponents sorry they challenged him. But he not only has the size he has great speed for a big man, terrific hands that help him around the net and is swift like no other big man around. he is a threat every time he is on the ice. He simply needs to stay out of the penalty box to maximize his ice time and his effectiveness.

6. Dany Heatley – The adversity that Heatley has faced overshadows his career so far. Hopefully this will make him a stronger and better person in the end. But there is no denying his talents. If he can get back to focusing on playing hockey, Heatley will be one of the best. He is always dangerous on the ice. He sees the play in another dimension and is a terrific passer. But he is a goal scorer too who can light it up. He has good size, deceptive speed and really is one of hte more creative players around. How well he does depends on himself and whether he can regain his form. But there is no denying it. He is a top end talent.

7. Milan Hedjuk – Perhaps the most overlooked man in hockey. It’s a product of playing with Sakic, Forsberg, Bourque, Roy, Blake, Foote. Simply put, Hedjuk is a goal scorer. The man can score at will and perhaps may be the best goal scorer in the NHL. one of the last to notch 50 goals, he has the talents to do it again. He has terrific hands. His release is so quick that it catches goalies off guard. While eyes are often on the Avs other stars, Hedjuk can quietly find the open space and get himself into dangerous offensive position. you cant teach these kind of smarts. he has great speed and is a danger whenever he is on the ice.

8. Daniel Alfredsson – He is often made fun of for his crusty the clown hairstyle (which he has now gotten rid of). He sometimes speaks his mind too much making off the wall predictions of Cup wins but underneath all that is a terrific hockey player. He plays with sandpaper which is courageous for a player that small. His work ethic is second to none. He owns one of the best wrist shots from the point and is usually dangerous every shift. He will either create things using his blazing speed or his puck skills. What is often overlooked is his defensive play. that is first rate. He is an underrated penalty killer and checker. He is a leader. Yes his performances in playoffs are nothing great, but is the undisputed leader of the Sens. One of these days he must deliver on some of his promises.

9. Alex Kovalev – perhaps the best pair of hands in hockey. there is no player I find more mesmorizing than Kovalev. His moves borderline on the unreal. He is the best stickhandler in the league. He can blow by you with great speed, or power by you with his strength. He has one of the best shots and can be a devastating sniper. But he can also create something out of nothing with his terrific moves and wonderful vision. Perhaps a bit complacent, perhaps too fancy, perhaps too soft, but perhaps one of hte most exciting players to watch in the league. Often leaves everyone wondering how he did that?

10. Bill Guerin – Bloated contract or not, Geurin is one of the primier power forwards in the game. He is strong, big and very willing to mix it up physically. He has great wheels that really help him on the forecheck. The man is a great sniper who can annually pot 30-40 goals a year. He has a terrific shot. His days as a Devil turned him into a very good two way player. But he is a bull with a mean streak, going to the net willingly and making things happen with his speed and strength.

There are many quality right wingers that simply didnt crack the top 10. Players like Marian Gaborik, Zigmund Palffy, Shane Doan, Pavol Demitra, Brett Hull, Mark Recchi, Glen Murray, Miro Satan are all deserving of some consideration but simply do not cut it against the guys listed above.

The future is bright in the NHL as there are several young stars who are ready to carry the torch and be the next group of top RWers in the game.

1. Tuomo Ruutu – strong, gritty and skilled, the perfect player to turn Chicago back to the old blackhawks of their glory days in the Stadium. Could be an even more skilled version of Esa Tikkanen.

2. Nikolai Zherdev – Has all the tools to be the next exciting player to enter the league. great speed, terrific hands, great puck skills, offensive smarts he has all the offensive tools to be a dangerous player for years.

3. Patrice Bergeron – has a nose for the net, terrific offensive skills and good speed. Will be one of those guys who gets overshadowed by bigger name players but who in the end you will see on the scoresheet almost every game.

4. Michael Ryder – showed off great speed and skills in very productive rookie year. has great size to be a power winger without the physical player. reminds me of another maritimer Glen Murray.

5. Jonathan Cheechoo – this kid is a highlight reel. can score some amazing goals. has the size you like, the willingness to mix it up to make the play and speed that reminds me of a young Glen Anderson.

The star winger will get all the press time but many teams rely on certain players in all situations especially defensively. it’s these players that go a long way to determining a team’s success. Their impact may not be on the score sheet but their contributions are invaluable.

1. Steve Yzerman – turned from being one of the most dangerous players in the 80s and 90s on offence to a defensive stalwart. Perhaps the best leader in hockey. He is an inspiration to all players. unfortunately injuries are far too often for him to be effective long term.

2. Jere Lehtinen – one of the best two way players in the game, can win a selke but pot 30 goals. speed and smarts are why he is so strong on defence.

3. Scott Walker – Brings defensive smarts, grit and leadership to the table every night. Can give you 25 goals but also yoemen work in the trenches. is the face of the Preds, speed, grit, determination.

4. Martin Lapointe – Player that opponents and fans love to hate. The guy is an agitator. He scores big goals, throws big hits and can check a top player into the ice.

5. Jamie Langenbrunner – can fill in any role asked of him. He has good size, speed and skills but leaves many asking for more. comes up huge in big games.

Well there you have it. The best the NHL has to offer in terms of Right Wingers. There will be plenty of arguments here as I have made controversial picks in Daniel Alfredsson and Bill Guerin in the top 10. There may be guys excluded who have better skills than Alfie but I love what this guy brings to the table every game. Bottom line is that if he isnt scoring, he is doing many other little things that impact the team. And Guerin is a proven winner, and a guy who is one of the league’s better scorers. Power forwards are at a premium but he has shown to be one of the best. The guy hits, fights and score. Gotta love that in a hockey player even if he is a total you know what. you may love to hate these players as I do (i wrote a hateful article about Guerin once and as a Leafs fan I dispise Alfie) but as hockey players they are two of the better ones in my mind.


113 Responses to Who's the Best Right Winger in Hockey?

  1. pens_fan says:

    no love for recchi?

  2. Lint07 says:

    if were talking skills, Alex Kovalev is the best winger in the NHL.

    However if we’re talking about the ‘whole package’ I gotta agree with you and say that Iginla is the one that brings the most to the table.

  3. propiro98 says:

    very true recchi should be there! as his age goes up so does his points

  4. distance7 says:

    Honorable mention to Steve Sullivan, just for being one of my favorite players…and extremely fun to watch.

  5. TheHead says:

    Jagr #2? I Don’t think so! The guy has stunk ever since he left Pittsburgh! He shouldn’t even be on the list!

  6. 19AVSFANFoLIFE19 says:

    umm shows how smart you are he still gets 70-90 points yearly since he left pittsburgh. so i guess iginla stinks aswell right.

  7. tmleafs says:

    what about Marcus Naslund?

  8. pens_fan says:

    isnt naslund C/LW?

  9. H_E_DBL_HCKY_STCKS says:

    Me, I need a contract.

  10. tmleafs says:

    How come Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash didnt even get mentioned

  11. pens_fan says:

    still rookies they arent proven to be the best RW in the game

  12. WeedIan says:

    Yeah he put up great points playing for horrible teams. That’s why Nash should be mentioned also.

  13. pens_fan says:

    maybe toronto will give you a contract they seem to be signing lots of people with head injuries lately

  14. pens_fan says:

    Nash is horrible in assists though he has a nice shot and can score but thats about all he can do with the puck Jagr can score and pass he is a complete package

  15. gur28 says:

    that’s because they play lw

  16. FLAMESOWNU says:

    without a doubt, IGINLA!

  17. Deke says:

    Great article….easy read and well written.

    I agree with almost all of your claims but I have to admit that you REALLY should have Recchi in the fold. So much of what you wrote about the top wingers IS Recchi.

    The man is silently top 10 EVERY YEAR.

    Great discussions though…..

  18. Hollywood666 says:

    Iginla, followed by St. Louis.

  19. bernie1parent says:

    are you stupid, we are talking RW’s, not LW

  20. TheHead says:

    Hey retard Nash is a LW!

  21. crazzzy says:

    I’d put Palffy over Kovy or Hossa.

  22. TheHead says:

    Rick Nash plays LW

  23. dcz28 says:

    Based on skills i would take Hossa before Kovalev

  24. Resmo112 says:

    I would agree with you about iginla, but i think jagr could be bumped down a step or two. Spectular player, just not as good as some on that list.

  25. NYRules says:

    they are both proven, and if they played RW they would be in the list

  26. pens_fan says:

    im just saying you moron

  27. NYRules says:

    1. Iginla

    2. Jagr

    3. Hossa

    4. Palffy

    5. Kovalev

    6. Heatley

    7. Hejduk

    8. Satan

    9. St. Louis

    10. Demitra

  28. NYRules says:

    actually switch Heatley and Satan. Satan is a very underrated player and i am not looking forward to playing him on the isles this year. Heatley also hasnt played much still at the NHL level so its hard to tell what hes still got.

  29. FLAMESOWNU says:

    without a doubt, IGINLA!!

  30. habs79 says:

    I thought Ruutu and Bergeron were centers…….and am i the only guy that noticed he put Yzerman as a right wing?

  31. habs79 says:

    All I’ll ever remember Palffy for is hitting Rob Blake from behind and running off like a scared little puppy. Talent yes…….heart no……….guts no……wouldn’t ever want him on my team.

  32. habs79 says:

    You are calling him stupid? The guy who wrote this article put Yzerman as a right wing and nobody noticed!

  33. wingsfan13 says:

    Give me a break, Iginla #1!! sometimes you people overrate players way to much. Nobody would’ve even mentioned this guy a year before the Stanley Cup finals. He thinks he is the best, not because he says it, but in the arrogance of his play and respect. The guy needs to be put back in his place with a check from Jiri Fischer or the like. One top year doesn’t constitute a thing. The truly best right wing is consistent every year, has humble character, is a leader, and unselfish in EVERY situation possible. The one who best displays this is hands down is St. Louis. Period.

  34. nordiques100 says:

    stevie Y has played the wing the last 3 or 4 years. in that time they had datsyuk, larionov, draper, fedorov, lang at centre so he shifted to the wing. just going with what i’ve seen.

    bergeron has played mostly wing though is a natural centre. with nylander and thronton last year and now zhamnov in this year with scatchard and joe there isnt room up the middle and most places have him listed as a RW

    the same goes for Ruutu. right now he is starting at right wing with arnason at centre and daze on the left side. and they played that way the last time there was nhl hockey (whenever daze was healthy)

  35. habs79 says:

    You made some very good points about what constitutes the best right wing, untill that last one. Exactly how is St Louis consistant he had all of what one good year? How is Iginla arrogant? I’ve never heard him say anything that sounded the least bit arrogant nor anyone except you talk bad about him.

  36. CaptainInsano says:

    He hasn’t had one top year, because he led the NHL in goals, points, and was voted MVP just two years before his run to the finals.

    “He thinks he is the best, not because he says it, but in the arrogance of his play and respect.”

    What does “arrogance of his play” even mean? So the guy would rather shoot the puck then pass to a defenseman like Steve Montador, and that makes him selfish? Your main argument for Iginla not being the best is that he is arrogant and selfish, you could at least give us some examples to prove that point.

  37. habswinthecup-again says:

    You can take Hossa, we will stick with Kovalev- based on skills. By skills alone Kovalev is arguably the best player in the NHL, once again proving that skill does not get it done alone.

  38. CaptainInsano says:

    I think you are just bitter that the Flames K.O.’d the Wings in the playoffs … just admit it and it’s all cool

  39. habswinthecup-again says:

    You’re name says it all.

  40. habs79 says:

    Still I’ve always seen Yzerman at center and will go down as one of the best centers to play the game…..even if he had to move to right wing for depth reasons I still can’t consider him a right wing…..hence i still have to disagree but i respect the logic behind your decision

  41. nordiques100 says:

    Iginla has had 6 consecutive seasons of 28 or more goals. He has had 4 consecutive years of 30 or more including a 52 goal season. He has won 2 rocket richard trophies. He has been an all star and has won olympic gold including being the MVP in the finals. he won the lester pearson award which is the MVP awarded by the players themselves so he has the full admiration of his peers. that is doing it every year.

    he’s been a memorial cup champion, a world junior champion and in the first of many playoffs he scored 13 goals and 22 points in 26 games helping the big underdog flames get to the 7th game of the final including trouncing the red wings in 6 games.

    iginla is captain of the flames and is not only their vocal leader but leader by example. he will stand up for his teammates, he hits, he scores, he creates plays every shift, he is strong defensively and can log tons of ice time. he is also one of hte most humble players in the league. few players will drive 10 hours over night just to be a walk on at an orientation camp like he did in 02 to help team canada. he has never said harsh words about refs, the game, his team, other players and teams. he is totally a class act.

    i dont know what kind of fan you are but you obviously know very little about hockey

  42. nordiques100 says:

    very true. one of the best centres ever. i am just talking about the here and now and now he is a winger.

  43. wingerxxx says:

    Iginla is every bit as good as St. Louis, if not better. He is a physical presence, has a great scoring touch, and is a leader. The arrogance of his play? That is an incredibly short-sighted thing to write. You need to take a look at the players that he plays with. The Flames would much rather have Iggy fire the puck, than have him pass it to Rhett Warrener.

    You also need to remember that St. Louis has a great supporting cast around him. Richards, Lecavalier, Kubina, Modin, Fedotenko, etc. Iginla was pretty much ALL that Calgary had up front and still took Tampa to 7 games in the finals. I don’t think I’m alone in taking Iginla over St. Louis. And judging by the responses to your post, I’m definitely not. Also, St. Louis has had one good year. Iginla has been carrying the Flames for a while now. So think before you write.

  44. habs79 says:

    Official site of the red wings……..Yzerman is listed as a center

  45. JannettyTheRocker says:

    hahaha….good one.

  46. JannettyTheRocker says:

    Big friggin surprise……..a Flames fan picking Iginla. I am sure that was an objective choice.

    Flames Blow…….GO OILERS GO!!!!

  47. habs79 says:

    As a side note so are Bergeron and Ruutu listed as centers. Koivu played some wing with Turgeon and I believe Recchi when he first started, did that make him a winger? I don’t mean to be rude or anything but how can you consider them to be great future right wingers if they only play wing for depth reasons. Like Koivu I’m pretty sure they will be back at center.

  48. nordiques100 says:

    thornton and zhamnov and scatchard are locked in for at least 3 years. bergeron isnt going to take their jobs at centre so he will be playing the wing for the near and possibly distant future. eventually he MAY work his way back to being a centre but for the next few seasons he is a winger and quite likely he may stay there for his career…as is the chance of him movign to centre.

    same with chicago. arnason, daze, ruutu. they are a strong line and will likely play together very often if not all the time. so right now he is on the right side.

    and same with yzerman. lang, datsyuk, draper are centres and best suited there. yzerman is so great he can play any position. he has the last several seasons played mostly wing but with his talents can shift to centre at any time. career wise, he has been a centre for the most part. but just as you argue about koivu starting at the wing….and then ending up at centre…..cannot yzerman start at centre and then eventually shift to wing? so many forwards can play multiple positions that it is ultra hard to determine who fits where. it depends on the team.

    take matt stajan for example. a centre by trade in his days in junior he played his first year with the leafs at both centre or wing. but last year on the farm he played wing on a line with wellwood at centre. i really have no position for him cept forward. now this year he is slated to be the 4th centre on the team….but could easily shift to the wing. there are so many forwards like that in the NHL that it makes it difficult to set just one position on them. i am looking at recent past and current lineups to factor in who is slated where. it is set in stone? definitely not. heck the leafs could shift ken klee to forward if they wanted to cause he did that for 8 years in washington shifting back and forth from defence. it depends on the team, the depth, the coaching staff and what they want, team chemistry.

    i’ve seen stevie the last several years line up beside feds, play with draps and maltby, and even at the olympics he played wing to lemieux. and with feds, larionov, datsyuk, lang, draper up the middle the team was so stacked for the best of the team they used yzerman on wing and he has been there for a while now. even zetterberg in sweden played lots of centre, did so a bit in detroit but is usually a winger. hard to say where i would peg him as but for now he is a winger. heck if dats doenst return though the team may want zetts back up the middle…or yzerman. or even move draper to the wing has he has done in the past while.

    bottom line. very hard to say who plays where. just going with what i see, and how the lineups look.

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