Bruins

2021-22 NHL Position Rankings: Top 10 right wingers

Bruins

The NHL is absolutely loaded with elite talent at right wing.

Many of the league's top goal scorers and Stanley Cup Playoff performers put on a show each night playing this position.

Here's a look at the top 10 right wingers in the league entering the 2021-22 season.

Our previous 2021-22 positional rankings: Top 10 centers, Top 10 left wingers

10) Sam Reinhart, Panthers

2020-21 Stats: 25 G, 15 A in 40 GP

The Panthers acquired Reinhart from the Sabres in July, and he'll likely slot in at right wing alongside Aleksander Barkov on Florida's top line. Reinhart scored 25 goals in 54 games last season, which was a career-best 0.46 goals per game average. He's also reached the 20-goal mark in each of the last four years. He's an excellent upgrade for a Panthers team hungry to win a playoff round in 2022.

9) Patrik Laine, Blue Jackets

2020-21 Stats: 12 G, 12 A in 56 GP

After scoring 44 goals in the 2017-18 season -- his second in the NHL -- Laine's output has decreased in each of the last three seasons. He tallied just 12 goals in 56 games between the Blue Jackets and Jets during the 2020-21 campaign. The upcoming season is a huge one for Laine. Not just because he needs to get his game back on track, he's also entering the final year of his contract. Motivation shouldn't be a problem for Laine this season.

8) Brock Boeser, Canucks

2020-21 Stats: 23 G, 26 A in 56 GP

 

Boeser has proven to be an excellent late first round pick (23rd overall) by the Canucks in 2015. He's scored 20-plus goals in four of his five full seasons at the NHL level. He would've reached that mark in 2019-20 had a full schedule been played. Boeser is an excellent young player and should be part of Vancouver's core for a longtime. He's also entering the final year of his contract and will be an RFA next summer.

7) Steven Stamkos, Lightning

2020-21 Stats: 17 G, 17 A in 38 GP

After nearly a decade as an elite center, Stamkos has made the transition to the wing as Brayden Point and Anthony Cirelli emerged as the top-six centers for the two-time defending champion Lightning. Stamkos has battled injuries over the last couple seasons but he's still a very effective offensive player when healthy.

6) Mitchell Marner, Leafs

2020-21 Stats: 20 G, 47 A in 55 GP

You won't find many more consistent offensive wingers than Marner. He's scored above a point-per-game pace in each of the last three years, including a breakout 2018-19 campaign during which he tallied 94 points in 82 games. The concern with Marner is his lack of playoff production. He's failed to score a single goal in each of the last two Leafs postseason runs (12 games). Toronto needs a lot more than that from a top-tier player with a salary cap hit just under $11 million.

5) Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche

2020-21 Stats: 30 G, 36 A in 52 GP

It didn't take long for the No. 10 pick in the 2015 draft to become an elite player. Rantanen broke out in 2017-18 with 84 points in 81 games. He has scored at, or above a point-per-game rate ever since. Whether he's playing 5-on-5 or on the power play, few wingers are more consistent offensively than Rantanen. He's not as valuable to the Avalanche as Nathan MacKinnon, but he's pretty darn close.

4) Mark Stone, Golden Knights

2020-21 Stats: 21 G, 40 A in 55 GP

Stone is one of the best two-way wingers in the league and was a Selke Trophy finalist for the second time in his career last season. He extended his streak of consecutive seasons scoring 20-plus goals to seven in 2020-21, while also leading the league in takeaways and blocking 33 shots. Acquiring Stone before the trade deadline in 2019 is one of the best moves Vegas has made in its brief history.

3) Patrick Kane, Blackhawks

2020-21 Stats: 15 G, 51 A in 56 GP

Kane has been one of the league's best players for a long time and he is without a doubt a first-ballot Hall of Famer. The three-time Stanley Cup champion remains an elite player at 32 years old. Kane's 260 points over the last three seasons are the most by any right winger in the league. 

2) David Pastrnak, Bruins

2020-21 Stats: 20 G, 20 A in 48 GP

Few players have more raw offensive talent than Pastrnak. His 106 goals over the last three seasons are 14 more than the next-highest right winger during that span. Pastrnak tied for the league lead with 48 goals in 2019-20 and almost certainly would've hit 50 if a full season had been played. If he stays healthy this season, Pastrnak will have an excellent chance to become Boston's first 50-goal scorer since Cam Neely in 1993-94.

 

1) Nikita Kucherov, Lightning

2020-21 Stats: Didn't play in regular season

Kucherov missed the entire 2020-21 regular season due to injury but returned for the Stanley Cup Playoffs and looked like his old self, tallying 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) in 23 games as the Lightning won back-to-back titles. In fact, Kucherov's 127 postseason points is the most of any player over the last 10 years. He's also averaged 35.2 goals over his last six regular seasons played. Not bad at all.