Alexander Ovechkin is arguably the best hockey player in the world, and he’s certainly head and shoulders above the rest of the wingers in the NHL. But determining the second best wingman proves to be more of a tedious task. Let’s run through the potential candidates.
Through 76 GP: 32G-53A-85P, -2
Often hailed as the best Captain in the NHL, Iginla is the complete package. The Calgary Flames’ leader is starting to get up there in years, but can still be relied upon for dazzling dekes, jarring bodychecks, and his signature one-timer.
Through 73 GP: 40G-47A-87P, -12
One of the purest snipers in the game, Ilya Kovalchuk is a defenseman’s worst nightmare. He is gifted offensively with incredible speed and soft hands to match. Unfortunately, he hasn’t garnered the attention players like Iginla and Zetterberg receive, having been stuck on poor teams in Atlanta over his 7 season career.
Through 73 GP: 36G-38A-74P, +12
A former Rocket Richard Trophy winner, the Columbus Blue Jackets Captain is another winger who fits into the sniper’s role, often scoring his goals in spectacular fashion. Don’t believe me? Check out the video clip below which was largely considered the goal of the ’07-08 campaign.
Through 76 GP: 42G-47A-89P, +30
He’s elevated his game this year and has even garnered Hart Trophy talk. He scores from every possible angle and his plus 30 rating indicates that he has bought into the New Jersey Devils’ mindset: to work hard at both ends of the rink.
Through 71 GP: 30G-38A-68P, +13
Last year’s Conn Smythe winner and the only Stanley Cup winner of the bunch is known for his highlight reel goals. Zetterberg is a great all around player, and definitely someone coach Mike Babcock wants on the ice in game-determining situations.
So who did you chose as the second best winger in today’s game? If I had to pick one player with all-around ability, I’d go with Parise. He fits a similar mold to a Zetterberg, but younger and with better finishing ability. Iginla at his current skill level would also be an obvious choice, but with the all-out brand of hockey he plays, his skills could very well start deteriorating over the next couple seasons. You could even argue he hasn’t looked quite as dominant this year as in seasons past. I would probably follow Parise with Kovalchuk, Iginla, Zetterberg, and then Nash. How did you rank these five stars?