The Top 10 Right Wingers in the NHL

Posted: March 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

ImageThe halfway point of the lockout-shortened 2013 season is upon us. With the Flyers struggling to cement their place in the Eastern Conference’s final eight, it remains possible that Philadelphia hockey fans will not have postseason hockey to cheer on for just the second time in twenty years. Alas, the games must go on. Below is a list of the top ten right wingers to keep an eye on as the season evolves into its second half:

Hororable Mention

Teddy Purcell, Tampa Bay Lightning (4 G – 17 A – 21 P)
Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres (9 G – 10 A – 19 P)
Wayne Simmonds, Philadelphia Flyers (10 G – 9 A – 19 P)
PA Parenteau, Colorado Avalanche (9 G – 10 A – 19 P)
Jordan Eberle, Edmonton Oilers (6 G – 11 A – 17 P)

10. Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks

ryanNew Jersey product Bobby Ryan, a member of the silver medal US Olympic team in 2010, has dealt with more trade rumors than a player of his ability probably should. The hot-stove burned with gossip about whether or not Ryan would be heading back east last summer, notably to the Flyers for a package centered around C Sean Couturier. Instead, the 25-year old remained in Anaheim and is enjoying another fine season with the Ducks. Ryan has 6 G – 11 A – 17 P in 21 G for the surprisingly stellar Anaheim hockey club. When on, he is one of the finest power forwards in the league with a 30+ goal skillset.

9. Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames

iginlaDespite no supporting cast and age creeping up on the 35-year old former Hart Trophy winner, Jarome Iginla remains entrenched in the top-ten list for right wingers. A classic goal scorer, Iginla has not scored fewer than 30 goals since 1999-2000 (29). He is a future hall-of-famer mired on a team with little talent. His 6 G – 10 A – 16 P are impressive. Iginla still shoots the puck as much as anyone in the league. However, he will need to improve his touch, as he is shooting just 8.2%, the lowest number of his career.

8. Alexander Semin, Carolina Hurricanes

seminRussian players usually take a good deal of sniping from the North American media. They are perceived as lackadaisical and unwitting on the ice. Semin has been one of the worst offenders over the course of his ten-year career. A sniper in the truest sense, Semin has scored 40+ goals only once, but has turned his game around with a change of scenery. In his first season outside the shadow of fellow countryman Alexander Ovechkin, Semin is averaging a PPG for just the second time in his career. Getting away from “The Great Eight” may have just been the remedy needed for Semin, who has 6 G – 17 A – 23 P in 22 games this year.

7. Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers

voracekThe Jeff Carter deal from Summer 2011 looks to be one of the best in recent Flyers history. Voracek, a top ten pick in the 2007 draft, has emerged as a spirited playmaker and goal scoring threat on a Philadelphia team that has been mired in inconsistency over the first half of the season. After beginning to show his worth in the 2012 postseason, Jake has broken out, with 10 G – 17 A – 27 P in 24 G, good for third among right wingers in the entire league. Playing with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell has certainly helped, as Voracek has been on a tear ever since “Sideshow Scott” has returned from injury.

6. Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers

gabby2013 has been a bit of a disappointment so far for the three-time 40 goal scorer. Coming off two such campaigns in three years in New York, Gaborik has just 7 G – 8 A – 15 P in 21 G. Injuries and the general inconsistency of the entire Rangers’ offense has not helped, and Gaborik showed last postseason that he is as clutch as they come. Besides, how can you not like someone who makes this type of play look so graceful:

5. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks

hossaMarian Hossa has been a mainstay in top ten lists for over a decade. The former Ottawa Senator bounced around for a few years, advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals three consecutive years with three different teams (Pittsburgh in ’08, Detroit in ’09, Chicago in ’10) before finally winning it with the Blackhawks. His scoring numbers are down since inking his long-term mega-deal with Chicago. But, Hossa has converted his play from that of a sniper to a playmaker, with a 48 A year in 2011-12. Chicago has yet to lose in regulation this season, and players like Hossa are the reason why.

4. Ilya Kovalchuk, New Jersey Devils

kovySigned to a cap obfuscating mega-deal in 2010, Ilya Kovalchuk was everything the Devils hoped he would be in leading them to the Stanley Cup Finals last season. The 29-year old Russian sniper has dangles-for-days, often whipping together the most eye dazzling moves on the ice. His 83 points in 77 games last season were his highest totals since 2008-09. Kovalchuk has 7 G and 12 A this year. But, like Iginla, he is struggling with his shot, shooting at just an 8.5% mark in 23 games this year.

3. Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks

perryThe second Duck on this list is also the 2011 Hart Trophy winner. That season, Perry put it all together, leading the Ducks to the playoffs behind a 50 G – 48 A – 98 P monster campaign. His 17.2 shooting percentage was unsustainable. But, Perry followed that up a 37 goal season in 2012, and is in the top-five in scoring among right wingers with a 6 G – 14 A – 20 P line in 21 G. He, Ryan, and Ryan Getzlaf give the Ducks a formidable trio of scoring prowess. No wonder they are among the trees, sitting near the top of the Western Conference standings.

2. Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

st louisStill getting it done at his heightened age, 37-year old Martin St. Louis has not recorded fewer than 74 points in a season since 2005-06. A former Flames castoff, the diminutive winger burst onto the scene with a Hart Trophy winning 2003-04 campaign that saw him score 38 G and 56 A. After back-to-back 90+ point seasons in 2009-10 and 2010-11, St. Louis saw his total slump down to 74 in last season’s demoralizing finish for Tampa. Well, things seem to be back on track as the veteran’s 30 points (24 assists), certainly affirms. Playing with Steven Stamkos, the finest goal scorer in the world, certainly helps. Although, one could make the equally valid argument that playing with the long-time superstar, St. Louis, helps Stamkos to rip the twine just as much.

1. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

kanerThe #1 pick in the 2007 draft, Patrick Kane would have likely been a Flyer if the draft lottery did not exist. That year, the Blackhawks were not even in the bottom-three of the league when they captured the lottery victory and landed their superstar American winger. Kane has had some bad PR debacles. But, nothing trumps his overtime goal in game six of the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals to defeat Philadelphia, the team he could have been a member of. This year, Kane, along with team captain Jonathan Toews, are headlining Chicago’s (so-far) undefeated run through the shortened season. His 12 G – 15 A – 27 P in 23 G is second among right wingers and tied for seventh in the entire league. His true skill is on the breakaway or in shootouts, where Kane dazzles fans and opposing goalies alike with his array of mesmerizing dekes and dangles. The Blackhawks look poised to burn right past the rest of the NHL with Patrick Kane in the driver’s seat.

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