The National Hockey League’s Northwest Division has some highly talented forwards.
That includes the right wing spot, which has some of the league’s best.
Here are my rankings of the five right wings in the Northwest Division.
No. 5 – Mikael Samuelsson, Vancouver Canucks. He is the best forward on the Canucks listed as a right wing, but is nothing more than a secondary scoring option and third line forward. He has a good shot, size and is a good two-way forward. Despite having good size, he is soft and does not play with any physicality. One big question mark on him is how much of his success has been solely because of his linemates. He had little to no success (season-high of 22 points) with the San Jose Sharks, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Florida Panthers between the 2000-01 and the 2003-04 season. Then after the lockout he signed with the Detroit Red Wings and played there and with the Canucks for the last six seasons without posting less than 34 points in a season.
No. 4 – Devin Setoguchi, Minnesota Wild. He is an emerging star, who now has the opportunity to prove he can be a go-to goal scorer. He is a goal scorer who can light the lamp with his shot or on a deke. He is a strong skater, who loves to shoot. He is strong on skates and can handle himself in the corners and around the net. He is still really young and needs be more consistent.
No. 3 – Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers. He is one of the better setup men in the game. He is a strong skater with good instincts, puck skills and playmaking skills. He is a playmaker, but not a goal scorer. He will pass up good shooting opportunities to make a pass. He is a small forward that lacks the strength to play below the circles.
No. 2 – Milan Hejduk, Colorado Avalanche. He is an elite goal scorer heading toward the end of his career. He has excellent hands, instincts and the knack for scoring big goals. He has the ability to find open ice and get to scoring areas. He is not a big guy, so he will wear down when defenders are physical with him. He is aging and is not the scorer he once was at one time.
No. 1 – Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames. He has just about everything you want in an elite, first line forward. He has speed, strength, an unbelievable shot and soft hands. He is not afraid to play physical or with finesse. He is a natural goal scorer. Despite all of his talent, he needs playmakers to set him up. He will be physical, but as a go-to goal scorer the Flames do not want him playing that way too often.
*Players are listed at the position listed on each team’s official website.