EA has revealed the top 10 right wingers in NHL 17.
As with other types of forwards, there are six rating categories that determine a right winger’s overall rating: puck skills, senses, shooting, defense, skating, and physicality.
10. James Neal – Nashville Predators: 88 Overall
James Neal has a 90 rating for wrist shot strength and a 90 rating for wrist shot accuracy. He is a gifted scorer who also uses his body to break up the play and get his stick on the puck.
Neal’s hard and accurate shot makes him a threat every time he hits the ice, and anyone who gets in James Neal’s way usually ends up regretting it. He does have some weaknesses in his game, most notably his proclivity for dirty hits. Neal’s lack of discipline lands him in hot water quite often, but when he is playing clean and playing with intensity, he is one of the best. 88 overall may be a bit high for Neal, but he is still an impressive talent.
9. Nikita Kucherov – Tampa Bay Lightning: 88 Overall
Nikita Kucherov has a 91 rated wrist shot and 90 rated speed.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are a team bursting with young talent, but Kucherov has emerged as the best of the bunch. A fixture on the vaunted “Triplets” line with Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, Kucherov is just as comfortable feeding the puck to his talented teammates as he is putting it in the back of the net himself. Kucherov has the speed and skill to become one of the best snipers in the league, and it won’t be long before he reaches the stratosphere inhabited by the league’s elite. Tampa Bay may have re-signed their franchise center Steven Stamkos, but in a few years, Kucherov is going to be the brightest star in central Florida. 88 overall fair for Kucherov.
8. Marian Hossa – Chicago Blackhawks: 88 Overall
Marian Hossa has a 5-star defense rating, as he is one of the best two-way players around.
Hossa has been a prominent fixture on some of the best teams of the past decade in Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Chicago. He was a key contributor on three Stanley Cup winning teams in Chicago, and he has always played an unselfish, team-first game. Hossa may not have the same speed he did when he was a younger man, but he still has elite skill. He can contribute offensively and shut down some of the game’s best players. 88 overall is too high for Hossa, because of his diminished offensive output in recent seasons, but he is still a key cog in Chicago.
7. Blake Wheeler – Winnipeg Jets: 89 Overall
Blake Wheeler is one of the league’s most dominant power forwards. He possesses 90 rated strength, balance, and puck control.
Wheeler is a one man wrecking crew. On a Jets team that is known for big bodies and heavy hitters, he is one of the nastiest of the bunch. His physicality earns him a lot of space on the ice, and Wheeler uses it to his advantage. Wheeler can score in bunches, but he’s also a gifted passer, making his teammates look just as good as he does. 2015-2016 was by far his best season, as the rugged winger put up a whopping 78 points. Similar results will be expected of Wheeler in 2016-2017, but the 29-year-old has the talent, the physical gifts, and the work ethic to deliver. Wheeler has earned his 89 overall rating.
6. Phil Kessel – Pittsburgh Penguins: 89 Overall
Phil Kessel is a sniper with one of best shots in the league and deadly speed. He has 93 rated speed, along with 90 rated wrist shot power and accuracy.
Kessel was much maligned when he was the franchise star of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Fans and media in Toronto criticized Kessel for his lack of heart and work ethic, while ignoring the insane offensive production he provided while he wore the blue and white. However, salvation came for Kessel in the form of a trade from Toronto to Pittsburgh in 2015. Instead of carrying a struggling Leafs squad, Kessel was now playing alongside the likes of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. There were growing pains for Kessel in Pittsburgh, but like the rest of the Penguins, he kicked it into gear in the second half of the season. Kessel was integral to the Penguins’ Stanley Cup run, and many pundits thought he was the most valuable player in the playoffs, deserving of the Conn Smythe. Well, he is certainly worthy of an elite rating in NHL 17. 89 overall is too low, as Kessel possesses a scoring touch that many NHLers could only dream of.
5. Jakub Voracek – Philadelphia Flyers: 90 Overall
Jakup Voracek is a phenomenal playmaker, and he possesses 91 rated passing and 91 rated puck control.
Voracek struggled in 2015-2016 after having a career season just a year before. However, like Kessel, Voracek woke up in the last few months of the season and was a vital contributor as the Flyers soared into the playoffs. In addition to being a talented passer, Voracek is a high volume shooter who can score highlight reel goals and produce scoring chances for his teammates by generating rebounds. When Voracek plays with center Claude Giroux, he is usually at his best. 2015-2016 was a tough slog for Voracek, but given his past production, he should be back among the league’s elite scorers this season. 90 overall is right where Voracek should be.
4. Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks: 91 Overall
Corey Perry has 5-star puck skills, shooting, senses, and physicality. He is a power forward with rare offensive talent.
Perry isn’t the same player he was when he won the Hart trophy and scored 50 goals in 2011. At 31, he is slowly being eclipsed by some of the league’s younger stars. However, Perry still has a lot of gas left in the tank. He generates scoring chances with his size and skill, and he doesn’t need a lot of room to light the lamp. Perry’s speciality has always been getting close and personal with goaltenders, much to the annoyance of the league’s netminders. Perry sometimes crosses the line with his physical play, but his gritty style makes him one of the hardest skaters to play against in the league. Perry is 91 overall, which is too high given his recent offensive decline.
3. Joe Pavelski – San Jose Sharks: 91 Overall
Joe Pavelski has a fantastic shot and 92 rated hand-eye coordination. He is also an incredibly skilled two player.
Pavelski is arguably the most underrated player in the league. Only Alex Ovechkin has scored more goals than the diminutive winger in the last three years, yet he doesn’t receive nearly enough fan-fare. Maybe the lack of recognition is because Pavelski plays on the west coast while a lot of North America has gone to sleep, or maybe it’s because he doesn’t have a flashy personality like other superstars. Whatever the case may be, the way Pavelski is continually underappreciated is criminal. The San Jose Sharks’ captain is one of the best goal scorers in the league, but he can also set up his teammates beautifully and play a steady, responsible defensive game. Pavelski’s heroics helped propel San Jose to the Stanley Cup Final this spring, and at 32 the gifted American doesn’t look like he’s slowing down. Pavelski is deserving of a 91 overall rating.
2. Vladimir Tarasenko – St. Louis Blues: 93 Overall
Vladimir Tarasenko has 92 rated speed, 87 rated strength, and 94 rated wrist shot accuracy. He uses these tools to score at will.
Tarasenko broke out in 2014-2015 when he scored 73 points. He followed that up with a 40 goal campaign last year, and the 24-year-old looks like he’s only getting better. The young Russian has earned himself the nickname “TarasenkShow” for the highlight reel goals he scores regularly. Tarasenko is special because you never know what he’s going to do when he has the puck, and watching him play is an absolute treat. There are very few players who possess the same raw talent as Tarasenko, and he has the potential to be one of the best goal scorers in league history. 93 overall is fitting for this young man, but don’t be surprised if he climbs higher in coming years.
1. Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks: 94 Overall
Patrick Kane’s shooting attributes are the best in NHL 17: 95 rated slap shot and wrist shot accuracy. Kane also possesses 95 rated acceleration and agility, and 96 rated deking, hand-eye, passing, and puck control.
Kane may go down in history as the greatest American born player of all time. In today’s NHL he has few equals. As both a shooter and a playmaker, Kane makes generating offense look effortless. He may lack the hardnosed two-way game of other elite players like Jamie Benn and Sidney Crosby, and he doesn’t possess the physicality of Alex Ovechkin, but Kane can take over a game with his speed and stick skills. Kane scored 106 points in 2015-2016. This is in an era where some of the best scorers in the league struggle to crack 80. As a pure offensive threat, he may be the best there is. 94 overall is fitting for this mercurial talent. Only Crosby and Benn should be rated above Kane.
These are the best right wingers NHL 17 has to offer. SGO has you covered for all your NHL news and updates.