Welcome back to the second of five midseason NHL positional rankings. We have already ranked the centre depth, and have our defence, goaltending, and consolidated rankings to follow. Today we will be taking a look at the winger depth around the league, and where teams rank, and where that ranking has changed from our winger ranking before the season began.
With that said, let’s jump into the best winger depth in the league, which hasn’t changed since our preseason rankings, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
#1: Tampa Bay Lightning (-)
LW depth: Steven Stamkos, Vlad Namestnikov, Ross Colton, Pat Maroon
RW depth: Nikita Kucherov, Brandon Hagel, Alex Killorn, Corey Perry
Tampa remains in our number one winger spot. Why? Well, they have star power in both Kucherov and Stamkos. Kucherov is third in the league in terms of points with 61 in 40 games, while Stamkos has 47 points in 40 games. Just crazy. Alongside those two are great support players in Hagel, Killorn, Namestnikov, Colton, and Perry and Maroon just to spice things up.
#2: Carolina Hurricanes (+4)
LW depth: Andrei Svechnikov, Teuvo Teravainen, Max Pacioretty, Jordan Martinook
RW depth: Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas, Jesper Fast, Stefan Noesen, Ondrej Kase (injured)
The Hurricanes jump up four spots, in large part due to the season Necas is having. Currently, he has 39 points in 42 games. Add that to Svechnikov, Pacioretty, Teravainen, Jarvis, and the rest of this winger list, and you have a nice mix of young players, and veteran depth. Still can’t believe Carolina got Pacioretty for free. He has three goals in three games since returning from injury. How can one team have so many good winger options?
#3: Ottawa Senators (+1)
LW depth: Brady Tkachuk, Alex DeBrincat, Tyler Motte (injured), Parker Kelly, Derick Brassard
RW depth: Drake Batherson, Claude Giroux, Mathieu Joseph (injured), Austin Watson, Jake Lucchini
The Senators’ best position by far is their winger rankings. Tkachuk has looked like the fourth overall pick he was drafted as, and Batherson, DeBrincat, and Giroux are scoring near a point per game. Pretty rare to have four point-per-game wingers, and three of them are young and can get very better. Beyond that, a few solid depth guys in Motte and Joseph.
#4: St Louis Blues (-2)
LW depth: Pavel Buchnevich, Brandon Saad, Jake Neighbours, Logan Brown, Nathan Walker
RW depth: Vladimir Tarasenko (injured), Jordan Kyrou, Ivan Barbashev, Josh Leivo, Tyler Pitlick
The Blues do drop a few spots, but are still number four in our rankings. Buchnevich and Kyrou are still very promising players for the Blues, both scoringng above a point per game. Tarasenko has also been very solid this season, with 29 points in 34 games. After that, a solid amount of depth players and the promising Neighbours.
#5: Colorado Avalanche (-2)
LW depth: Gabriel Landeskog (injured), Artturi Lehkonen, Evan Rodrigues, Andrew Cogliano, Denis Malgin
RW depth: Mikko Rantanen, Valeri Nichushkin (injured), Logan O’Connor, Darren Helm, Martin Kaut
This group has dealt with its fair share of injuries this season. But it is an incredible group if everyone is healthy. Rantanen has been awesome with an increased amount of ice time and responsibility, with 51 points in 40 games. A lot of solid pieces beyond the big players, especially Rodrigues.
#6: Minnesota Wild (+8)
LW depth: Kirill Kaprisov, Matt Boldy, Marcus Foligno, Brandon Duhaime
RW depth: Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Hartman, Jordan Greenway, Ryan Reaves
The Wild jump up massively in our rankings, for a variety of seasons. First, Hartman has spent his time on the wing this season, so he’s included here. Second, both Kaprisov and Zuccarello have been fantastic. Kaprisov has 51 points in 41 games, while Zuccarello has 43 points in 39 games. Beyond their top guys, the Wild have a very promising player in Boldy, and a bunch of great bottom-six players in Foligno and Greenway.
#7: Boston Bruins (+8)
LW depth: Brad Marchand, Taylor Hall, Pavel Zacha, Nick Foligno
RW depth: David Pastrnak, Jake DeBrusk, Craig Smith, Trent Frederic
Another blunder by myself—ranking the Bruins wingers so low before the season started. Pastrnak is having himself a fantastic year, with 58 points in 41 games. Marchand came back from injury and is the same dominant player he was before, with 37 points in 33 games. DeBrusk has taken a step this year, Hall is still effective, and there’s some solid depth beyond that.
#8: Seattle Kraken (+1)
LW depth: Jared McCann, Jaden Schwartz, Ryan Donato, Brandon Tanev, Eeli Tolvanen
RW depth: Oliver Bjorkstrand, Jordan Eberle, Andre Burakovsky, Joonas Donskoi, Daniel Sprong
The Kraken jump up a few spots, due to the success and depth of this winger group. There are so many players here that have had solid seasons. Sprong and Tolvanen stand out as underrated guys that are contributing via points. Burakovsky and Eberle have been the best performers, while Bjorkstrand probably isn’t where he wants to be. I haven’t even mentioned Schwartz, Donato, McCann, Tanev, or Donskoi. Crazy amount of depth here.
#9: Vancouver Canucks (+9)
LW depth: Andrei Kuzmenko, J.T. Miller, Ilya Mikheyev, Nils Hoglander
RW depth: Conor Garland, Brock Boeser, Tanner Pearson (injured), Curtis Lazar
The Canucks jump up the rankings, as J.T. Miller jumps from the centre rankings to our winger rankings. Miller doesn’t play much defence, but he does have 37 points in 41 games. Andrei Kuzmenko has played extremely well next to Elias Pettersson, with 36 points in 40 games. Beyond that, there’s a ton of quality depth.
#10: Washington Capitals (-3)
LW depth: Alex Ovechkin, Dylan Strome, Marcus Johansson, Conor Sheary
RW depth: Anthony Mantha, Connor Brown (injured), Sonny Milano, T.J. Oshie, Garnet Hathaway
The Capitals have very solid winger depth, headlined by Ovechkin and his goal record chase. Ovi has 29 goals and 48 points in 44 games. Will he ever slow down? Crazy stuff. Beyond Ovechkin, there are a ton of depth options that are performing well, especially Sheary and Strome. Hathaway is the absolute best and I wish the Flames could bring him back.
#11: Toronto Maple Leafs (+2)
LW depth: Michael Bunting, Calle Jarnkrok, Alex Kerfoot, Zach Aston-Reese, Dryden Hunt
RW depth: Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Pierre Engvall, Wayne Simmonds
The Maple Leafs rise in the rankings, as Marner and Nylander have been just fantastic. Marner has 50 points in 43 games, while Nylander has 47 points in the same number of games. Crazy stuff. Bunting remains a decent fit next to Matthews on the top line, while Jarnkrok has turned out to be a solid top-six stop gap as no one else has filled that role yet.
#12: Pittsburgh Penguins (-7)
LW depth: Jake Guentzel, Jason Zucker, Danton Heinen, Brock McGinn, Drew O’Connor
RW depth: Bryan Rust, Rickard Rakell, Kasperi Kapanen, Josh Archibald
The Penguins fall in our rankings, due to a lot of underachieving guys. Guentzel remains at a point-per-game pace and is extremely solid. Beyond that though, Rust, Rakell, and Kapanen have taken massive steps back. Zucker is the second highest point scorer among wingers, which shouldn’t happen when looking at the other names on this depth chart. This group isn’t bad, but it is underachieving.
#13: New York Rangers (-5)
LW depth: Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, Alexis Lafreniere, Barclay Goodrow
RW depth: Kappo Kakko, Vitali Kravstov, Jimmy Vesey, Sammy Blais, Julien Gauthier
Panarin is still a dominant player, with 46 points in 43 games. Kreider has predictably taken a step back from his career season last year, which is a factor in their drop here. The young players, namely Kakko and Lafreniere, haven’t taken that major step yet.
#14: Edmonton Oilers (-3)
LW depth: Evander Kane (injured), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Dylan Holloway, Warren Foegele
RW depth: Zach Hyman, Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Devin Shore
Nugent-Hopkins and Hyman are having career seasons, which is certainly helped by playing on a power play with McDavid and Draisaitl. Kane has been injured for most of the year but was scoring near a point per game before his injury. The depth here is very weak, as players like Yamamoto and Puljujarvi aren’t performing to what they should be. Holloway is still figuring things out.
#15: Dallas Stars (+9)
LW depth: Jason Robertson, Jamie Benn, Denis Gurianov, Joel Kiviranta
RW depth: Joe Pavelski, Mason Marchment, Ty Dellandrea, Luke Glendening, Marian Studenic
The Stars shoot up our rankings (see what I did there?). Robertson is a Hart candidate with 29 goals and 58 points in 43 games. Pavelski is also near a point per game at 40 points in 43 games. Both are parts of one of the best lines in the NHL over the last couple years. Jamie Benn has returned to form, with 37 points in 43 games. The Stars have a lot of key weapons up front, but the depth could certainly be improved a bit.
#16: Los Angeles Kings (+1)
LW depth: Adrian Kempe, Trevor Moore, Alex Iafallo, Brendan Lemieux
RW depth: Kevin Fiala, Viktor Arvidsson, Arthur Kaliyev, Carl Grundstrom, Gabe Vilardi
This Los Angeles Kings winger depth has a good mixture of pieces. Fiala has fit in well with his new team, tallying 46 points in 45 games. After that, there’s a ton of top-six options in Kempe, Arvidsson, and Moore, one of the most underrated players in the league. Prospects like Kaliyev and Vilardi have gotten some good experience this season. This group might be lacking another star, but is very solid overall.
#17: New Jersey Devils (-7)
LW depth: Ondrej Palat, Tomas Tatar, Miles Wood, Andreas Johnsson
RW depth: Jesper Bratt, Yegor Sharangovich, Dawson Mercer, Nathan Bastian
The Devils have a very solid and young winger group, that will likely get better as the years progress. They do drop in our rankings, as I overvalued them like crazy in the preseason. Jesper Bratt has stayed at the form he was at last year, nearing a point per game. Mercer and Tatar have been super solid, but Sharangovich has taken a step back. Palat has been injured for most of the year, so hopefully he can stay healthy and pick up some points next to Hischier or Hughes.
#18: Winnipeg Jets (+7)
LW depth: Kyle Connor, Nik Ehlers (injured), Morgan Barron, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, David Gustafsson
RW depth: Blake Wheeler, Cole Perfetti, Mason Appleton (injured), Sam Gagner, Karson Kuhlman
The Jets jump up in our rankings, as a lot of players have bounced back. They have battled their fair share of injuries, but Wheeler is back to form, and Connor continues to be a stud. Connor has 52 points in 42 games. Perfetti has fit in quite well, and will continue to develop. A little bit more depth would be appreciated.
#19: Nashville Predators (-7)
LW depth: Filip Forsberg, Nino Niederreiter, Yakov Trenin, Zach Sanford, Mark Jankowski
RW depth: Matt Duchene, Mikael Granlund, Tanner Jeannot, Colton Sissons
The Predators fall in the rankings, due to a bunch of players falling back from their career years. Forsberg has still been solid, with 38 points in 41 games, while Duchene has contributed with 32 points in 40 games. Niederreiter and Granlund are solid, but Jeannot has taken a massive step back offensively.
#20: Florida Panthers (+3)
LW depth: Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe, Nick Cousins, Ryan Lomberg
RW depth: Sam Reinhart, Colin White, Rudolfs Balcers, Patric Hornqvist
The Panthers jump up the rankings, as Matthew Tkachuk has been a force of nature. Currently, he has 52 points in 40 games. We miss him dearly in Calgary. Beyond him, things don’t look as great though. Reinhart and Verhaeghe have taken a step back, and the depth players aren’t exactly drumming up the points, either.
#21: New York Islanders (-2)
LW depth: Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Zach Parise, Matt Martin, Simon Holmstrom
RW depth: Anthony Beauvillier, Oliver Wahlstrom, Kyle Palmieri (injured), Cal Clutterbuck, Hudson Fasching
This is just the most New York Islanders group ever. Nothing too exciting and the star talent isn’t there, but an overall solid group of wingers. You can never have too many middle-six wingers, right? When Zach Parise is your second highest scoring winger, there might be an issue there.
#22: Vegas Golden Knights (-)
LW depth: Jonathan Marchessault, Reilly Smith, Will Carrier, Paul Cotter
RW depth: Mark Stone, Phil Kessel, Keegan Kolesar, Mike Amadio
Stone is a very nice piece, with 38 points in 43 games. Along with Stone, Marchessault and Smith are also great parts of winger depth. Beyond that, the winger depth certainly could use some work. Kessel isn’t the same player he used to be, although Carrier has put together a nice little season.
#23: Buffalo Sabres (+4)
LW depth: Jeff Skinner, Victor Olofsson, Zemgus Girgensons, Rasmus Asplund, Casey Mittlestadt
RW depth: Alex Tuch, Kyle Okposo, Vinnie Hinostroza, Jack Quinn
The Sabres probably deserve to move up even higher on this list, due to the seasons that Skinner and Tuch are having. Skinner has 41 points in 37 games, while Tuch has 45 points in 40 games. This is a group that will continue to go even higher as young players like Quinn cement themselves into the lineup.
#24: Calgary Flames (-3)
LW depth: Jonathan Huberdeau, Dillon Dube, Andrew Mangiapane, Adam Ruzicka, Milan Lucic
RW depth: Tyler Toffoli, Blake Coleman, Trevor Lewis, Brett Ritchie
The Flames drop a few spots in our rankings, which probably isn’t a surprise to anyone. Huberdeau and Mangiapane have taken massive steps back. Ruzicka has been a positive surprise, as has been the consistency from Toffoli. But, when your major players take a step back, you are going to drop in the rankings.
#25: Montreal Canadiens (-9)
LW depth: Cole Caufield, Evgenii Dadonov, Jonathan Drouin, Juraj Slafkovsky, Michael Pezzetta
RW depth: Kirby Dach, Brendan Gallagher (injured), Josh Anderson, Mike Hoffman, Joel Armia
Probably my biggest blunder in the preseason rankings, putting the Habs at 16th on the wingers list. Caufield has been good, and Dach has had a few flashes at points this season. The rest of this winger group is a bunch of underachieving veterans, and Slafkovsky, who should probably be seeing some AHL time.
#26: Columbus Blue Jackets (-6)
LW depth: Johnny Gaudreau, Gustav Nyquist, Liam Foudy, Eric Robinson, Carson Meyer
RW depth: Patrik Laine, Jakub Voracek (injured), Kirill Marchenko, Mathieu Olivier, Emil Bemstrom
The Blue Jackets are fallers, due to some underperforming and injuries. Gaudreau is still in form, with 39 points in 41 games, while Laine has struggled, with 19 points in 26 games. Beyond their two stars, there’s a bunch of young players or depth pieces.
#27: Detroit Red Wings (-1)
LW depth: Tyler Bertuzzi, Robby Fabbri, Dominik Kubalik, Pius Suter, Adam Erne, Jonatan Berggren
RW depth: Lucas Raymond, David Perron, Oskar Sundqvist, Austin Czarnik
The Red Wings drop a spot, because their young players haven’t taken a step forward. Both Zadina and Vrana are in the AHL, leaving Detroit with some plug and play guys like Czarnik. Perron was a very nice signing in the summer, with 27 points in 40 games. Bertuzzi has missed most of the year with injury. Kubalik was filling his spot quite well for most of the year, but has fallen back to earth since.
#28: Arizona Coyotes (+1)
LW depth: Clayton Keller, Lawson Crouse, Mathias Maccelli, Nick Ritchie, Liam O’Brien
RW depth: Nick Schmaltz, Dylan Guenther, Christian Fischer, Zack Kassian, Michael Carcone
The Coyotes jump the Flyers, due to Keller and Schmaltz staying in form, coupled with Guenther and Maccelli jumping in and being effective. Keller has 37 points in 41 games, while Schmaltz has 20 points in 25 games. Crouse has also had an underrated 23 points in 40 games this season.
#29: Philadelphia Flyers (-1)
LW depth: Joel Farabee, James Van Riemsdyk, Scott Laughton, Nic Deslauriers
RW depth: Travis Konecny, Cam Atkinson (injured) Owen Tippett, Wade Allison, Zack MacEwen
The Flyers have some decent pieces, but they haven’t performed to expectations, with the exception of Konecny. Konecny is having a very nice season, with 46 points in 36 games.
#30: San Jose Sharks (+1)
LW depth: Timo Meier, Oskar Lindblom, Jonah Gadjovich, Noah Gregor, Evgeny Svechnikov
RW depth: Kevin Labanc, Alex Barabanov, Luke Kunin (injured), Matt Nieto
The Sharks jump the Ducks, due to Meier continuing to be a stud with 24 goals and 43 points in 43 games. Labanc has returned to form a bit, while Barabanov has had an underrated 27 points in his 38 games.
#31: Anaheim Ducks (-1)
LW depth: Adam Henrique, Maxime Comtois, Max Jones, Derek Grant (injured), Pavol Regenda, Jayson Megna
RW depth: Troy Terry, Frank Vatrano, Jakob Silfverberg, Brett Leason
Terry has continued to be a positive part of this Ducks team. Henrique has been decent on a line with Zegras and Terry. Other than that, the wingers are a bunch of young players who haven’t hit their potential, and a few veterans.
#32: Chicago Blackhawks (-)
LW depth: Andreas Athanasiou, Tyler Johnson, Philipp Kurashev, Boris Katchouk
RW depth: Patrick Kane (injured), Lukas Reichel, Taylor Raddysh, Colin Blackwell, Brett Seney
This winger depth just sucks. Patrick Kane wasn’t very effective before his injury. Reichel has showed some promise since being called up, including a three-point game against the Flames recently.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire