EA Sports has released the list of the top 10 left wingers in NHL 17.
There are six rating categories that determine a player’s overall rating: puck skills, senses, shooting, defense, skating, and physicality
Let’s get into it.
10. Alex Steen – St. Louis Blues 88 Overall
The veteran winger plays a fantastic two way game and he’s capable of eating up first line minutes.
Alex Steen has always been a reliable offensive contributor on a Blues team that can score in bunches, but he’s not the most flashy scorer. Steen’s best offensive season in 2013-2014 saw him pot 33 goals, but his strongest assets are his playmaking ability and his strong play without the puck. Steen may not have sizzle, but there is a lot of substance to his game. He is one of the most underrated forwards in the league. 88 overall may be a little high, but Steen would be a welcome addition to any team.
9. Gabriel Landeskog – Colorado Avalanche: 88 Overall
Gabriel Landeskog is one of the league’s top power forwards, and the brutish Swede can usually be relied upon for 50-60 points a year—not bad in an NHL where scoring is at an all-time low.
Landeskog made an indelible impression on the league in his rookie season, winning the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year. Then in 2012, he became the youngest team captain in league history. Landeskog is a natural born leader with the heart of a lion, and the way he throws his body around leaves some of the league’s toughest denizens black and blue. 88 overall is right where the Av’s fearless leader should be.
8. Filip Forsberg – Nashville Predators: 88 Overall
Filip Forsberg has played two full seasons in the NHL, and he is quickly becoming one of the most dynamic scoring threats in the league.
Forsberg was drafted by the Washington Capitals before he was traded to Nashville, and I’m sure a lot of people in the Caps front office are kicking themselves now. If the brass in DC knew what they had in Forsberg, they would have held on to him for dear life. The 22-year-old can score from anywhere, possesses blinding speed, and he plays with a nasty physical edge. Forsberg should probably be a bit higher than 88 overall, but his rating will only climb in future EA titles over the coming years.
7. Daniel Sedin – Vancouver Canucks: 88 Overall
The Canucks winger uses his hockey sense and playmaking abilities to generate offense. He’s not the fastest skater, and he doesn’t have a hard shot, but he is frighteningly accurate with the puck on his stick.
At 35, Daniel and his brother Henrik are among the league’s elder statesmen, but they are still both dangerous offensive threats. While Henrik is more of a pass first player, Daniel has a penchant for putting the puck in the net—evidenced by his 28 goals last season. Daniel’s days of 100+ point seasons may be in the rear view mirror, but he is still a threat to score every time he steps onto the ice. 88 overall is a little too high, though, simply because the players rated the same as Daniel are just that much better.
6. Zach Parise – Minnesota Wild: 89 Overall
The heart and soul of the Minnesota Wild has 5-star puck skills, skating, and senses, along with an 88 rated defensive awareness.
Zach Parise has been dubbed the hardest working superstar in the league, and there is a reason for that. Parise’s workmanlike attitude earns him a lot of respect throughout the league. He can do dazzling things with the puck when he gets it, but when he loses it, he works his tail off to get it back. Parise’s career high in goals came back in 2008-2009 when he netted 45, but at age 32 he is still a threat to score 30 every season. Add to that an incredibly reliable defensive game and you have one of the most well rounded players in the league. 89 overall suits Parise just fine.
5. Max Pacioretty – Montreal Canadiens: 89 Overall
The Montreal Canadien’s captain has a fantastic shot with 90 rated slap shot power, wrist shot power, and wrist shot accuracy.
Max Pacioretty has four seasons with at least 30 goals under his belt, but he is also one of the strongest two-way forwards in the league. The Habs have many issues with their roster, but Pacioretty is certainly not one of them. Pacioretty uses his big frame and his stick skills to control the play on the ice, and when he gets the puck on his stick, magical things can happen. 89 overall is right where Pacioretty should be.
4. Johnny Gaudreau – Calgary Flames: 90 Overall
Johnny Gaudreau has 94 rated agility and 5-star puck skills.
Johnny Hockey stands at only 5’9” and he doesn’t possess the size or physicality of other players. However, the diminutive winger is one of the most dominant players in the league, using his speed and skill to keep the puck and himself away from other skaters. Gaudreau lost out on the Calder to defenseman Aaron Ekblad in his rookie season, but he blew the roof off the league in his sophomore season, scoring 78 points. There will be some Art Ross and Hart trophies in this young winger’s future; that is for sure. 90 overall is perfect for Gaudreau.
3. Taylor Hall – New Jersey Devils: 90 Overall
Taylor Hall is one of the best skaters in the league, and he has 95 rated speed. His durability rating is only 83 though, as the explosive winger has struggled with injuries in the past.
The Edmonton Oilers shocked the hockey world this summer when they shipped Hall off to New Jersey in exchange for defenseman Adam Larsson. It remains to be seen how this trade will play out of the Oilers, but the Devils acquired a powerful offensive weapon. Hall was drafted first overall in the 2010 entry draft, and while he hasn’t enjoyed the same success as other players in his draft class, he still put up impressive numbers on the Oilers. Now Hall joins a rebuilding Devils team, and the sky is the limit. However, 90 overall is slightly high for Hall, simply because he doesn’t have the same offensive pedigree as the other players ranked around him.
2. Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals: 94 Overall
Alex Ovechkin has a 94 rated slap shot and 94 rated accuracy, allowing him to score from anywhere.
The Great Eight is one of the greatest scorers in the history of the game. Putting up 50 goal seasons in an era where scoring is at an all-time low is a feat that is hard to wrap one’s head around. Imagine if he had played in the 80s. The Russian sniper may not have a laundry list of playoff accomplishments like other elite players in the league, but hockey is a team game, and Ovechkin pours everything he has into his team every season. Not only can Ovechkin make goalies look foolish night after night, he can skate circles around some of the league’s best, and he hits like a freight train. It’s no surprise that Ovechkin is rated 94 overall.
1. Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars: 94 Overall
The Stars captain is the only player in the game that has a 5-star rating in all categories: puck skills, shooting, skating, senses, and physical ability.
Jamie Benn is really good at hockey. The winger has produced back-to-back 80+ point seasons and earned an Art Ross Trophy in the last two years. This spring he lost the league’s MVP title to Chicago’s Patrick Kane, but he shouldn’t have. Kane may have led the league in points, but Benn finished second in league scoring while playing tough defensive minutes in Dallas—a role reserved for Jonathan Toews in Chicago. Benn succeeds at being both one of the league’s top offensive producers and one of the best defensive forwards in the game. He is the most complete player in the NHL, and 94 overall is too low. Benn should be the highest rated player in the game.
So that’s it. These are the top rated left wingers in NHL 17. Stay connected to SGO for more NHL 17 updates.