NHL Top 10: Who are the league's best right wings right now?
Arguably the most explosive talent in the NHL resides at the right wing position where the top two players (David Pastrnak and Patrick Kane) are on pace to easily cross 40 goals and 100 points this season, and the third player is last year’s Hart Trophy winner.
There’s also the amazing young talent at the NHL’s right wing spot with players under 25 years old that include Pastrnak, Brock Boeser, Andrei Svechnikov, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and Travis Konecny.
In other words, this is a stacked list that doesn’t even include Patrick Laine. These are the top-10 right wings in the NHL right now.
10. Travis Konecny
Another member of the 2015 NHL Draft first round club, Konecny is a fiery little winger for the Philadelphia Flyers that’s developed into an effective performer with 15 goals and 40 points in 44 games.
Konecny provides plenty of fire and compete in his 5-foot-10, 184-pound body and is on pace for 27 goals and 72 points while serving as the de facto young leader for the Flyers club.
Konecny is a minus-4 and is another player that could probably stand to shoot the puck a little bit more, but he’s turned into one of the best young players on a young Flyers club at 22 years old.
9. Blake Wheeler
The 33-year-old Wheeler has turned into an All-Star level player in Winnipeg after initially being traded from the Bruins way back when, but he’s also perhaps beginning to slow down just a little as he’s passed the 900-game mark in his career.
Wheeler is still on pace for 26 goals and 72 points in 82 games while serving as the captain for the Jets, but he’s not shooting the puck as much as he could while also clocking in as a minus player this season.
Wheeler could be better, but I suppose one could say that about the entire Winnipeg team to this point in the season.
8. William Nylander
The 23-year-old Nylander is on pace for 35 goals and 72 points this season for Toronto and has bounced back in a big way after all the ugliness with his contract dispute last year.
He’s also a zero plus/minus rating and is showing some of the signs his game is still maturing with three goals, six points and a minus-5 rating in the month of January for the Maple Leafs.
Certainly the Maple Leafs have a very good player in Nylander, but don’t you bet they wish they’d taken a different right winger from the Swedish Leagues that went 17 picks later to Boston?
7. Andrei Svechnikov
The 19-year-old Svechnikov is something special for the Hurricanes as their most dominant forward and has 18 goals and 42 points in 46 games along with a plus-13 rating this season.
His outstanding play perhaps goes a little underrated because he’s doing it down in Carolina, but we should be hearing a lot more about a Russian teenager that’s on pace for 32 goals and 75 points this season after really exploding on the scene last year as a rookie just getting his feet wet.
The 6-foot-2, 188-pounder is just going to keep getting better and better for Carolina.
6. Mark Stone
Stone has a solid 16 goals and 43 points in 49 games along with a plus-3 rating and is doing his usual strong job of getting involved in every situation with his outstanding two-way play.
Still, the 27 goals and 72-point pace that he’s on isn’t going to set the world on fire and he’s posted just three assists in the month of January while the team has played badly enough to get head coach Gerard Gallant to be fired.
So, things could be better for Stone along with everybody else in Vegas.
5. Mitch Marner
The 22-year-old Marner has missed some time with injury this season, but he’s come back strong with 13 goals and 46 points in 36 games for the Maple Leafs.
Like everybody else he’s been a bit freer offensively since the firing of Mike Babcock and is on pace for 26 goals and 91 points despite missing 11 games.
Like most of the players on Toronto’s roster, however, Marner is biding his time until the Stanley Cup playoffs to help the Leafs advance for the first time this spring. Until then everything else is just a preamble.
4. Brock Boeser
Boy wouldn’t Boeser look good in a Bruins uniform as a 2015 first round pick that went after the B’s selected three players in a row?
As it is, the Vancouver right winger has 16 goals and 43 points this season while on pace for 28 goals and 75 points this year. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder had a slow start to the season for the Canucks, but exploded for two goals and eight shots on net in a win over Buffalo last weekend that showed how he can take over games all by himself.
The fact he’s not even having a great shooting season with an 11 percent shooting percentage is all the more impressive.
3. Nikita Kucherov
The reigning Hart Trophy winner ranks just third right now after a slow start to the season and has ONLY 18 goals and 50 points this season while on pace for JUST 32 goals and 90 points.
By his standards it’s a little low, but still an outstanding season without Kucherov even really catching fire as of yet while the Lightning have at least pushed their way into a playoff spot.
One would expect that Kucherov is going to be a monster in the second half of the year. But the 26-year-old is going to be hard-pressed to pass either Pastrnak or Kane in the positional rankings barring something crazy.
2. Patrick Kane
The 31-year-old Kane is tracking to have one of his best seasons while perhaps helping to push a Blackhawks team back into the playoffs.
Kane is on a pace for 41 goals and 103 points while being a plus player and averages over 20 minutes of ice time per game as an offensive force for Chicago even as age has chipped into Jonathan Toews just a little bit.
Perhaps most impressive is that just 18 of his points have come on the power play while he’s been a juggernaut during even strength play.
1. David Pastrnak
Tops in the NHL with 36 goals and 16 power play goals and fifth in the league with 66 points, Pastrnak is still tracking to be the third player to top 60 goals in recent times along with Alex Ovechkin and Steve Stamkos.
Even as his Perfection Line has slowed down and the Bruins power play hasn’t been as dominant as it was in the first couple of months, Pastrnak has caught fire again in January with seven goals in seven games and the month just halfway over.
He is the most dominant, game-breaking right wing on the planet and it looks like he will be for a time to come at just 23 years old.