Another day, and another list from the NHL Network that’s provocative and will get the people going.
This time it’s Jamison Coyle and noted Flyers killer Mike Rupp ranking the top 20 wings (or wingers if you’re old school) in the NHL right now. The end of that sentence is the key point, as we’re talking present not past or future, perhaps offering into just why some players are where in such list. They placed heavy emphasis on the 2018-19 season in their criteria, which likely explains a couple interesting choices on the outset.
Anyways, like the now-infamous center rankings, we have a Flyer making the list and it’s none other than captain Claude Giroux coming in at 12th. The soon-to-be Claudefather is sandwiched between Jets captain Blake Wheeler at 11th and Golden Knights’ Mark Stone at 13th. The list is topped by Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, the NHL’s reigning Hart Trophy winner, and followed by Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, the Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin, Boston’s Brad Marchand, and Toronto’s still unsigned Mitchell Marner rounding out the top five. The full list is as follows, and is also revealed in a neat little video as well, if you’re a pivot-to-video kind of guy/gal.
NHL Network’s Top 20 Wings Right Now, 1-20:
- Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
- Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
- Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins
- Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers
- Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames
- Artemi Panarin, New York Rangers
- Mikko Rantanen, Colorado Avalanche
- David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
- Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets
- Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
- Mark Stone, Vegas Golden Knights
- Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues
- Taylor Hall, New Jersey Devils
- Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers
- Matthew Tkachuk, Calgary Flames
- Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche
- Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets
- Phil Kessel, Arizona Coyotes
As for the actual list, it’s not too bad given how many stupid good wingers there are around the league right now —and not nearly as egregious as leaving Sean Couturier off a top 20 centers list— but we do have some grievances to air here still.
For starters, Tarasenko feels a bit low on here considering his game-breaking ability and Matthew Tkachuk seems insane to be on the list given his one season of high-end production this past year. You can easily drag and drop about 18-19 guys here based on personal preference after Kucherov, but all are for the most part very belonging. It shows to how much elite depth there is on the wing that a guy like Patrik Laine could barely crack the list.
Speaking of lists, the NHL Network isn’t done stirring the pot, and will have plenty more reveals up through September.
Sunday, August 18
Top 20 Defensemen Right Now
Sunday, August 25
Top 10 Goalies Right Now
Sunday, September 1
Top 50 Players Right Now: 50-41
Sunday, September 8
Top 50 Players Right Now: 40-31
Sunday, September 15
Top 50 Players Right Now: 30-21
Sunday, September 22
Top 50 Players Right Now: 20-11
Sunday, September 29
Top 50 Players Right Now: 10-1
So what say you, Flyers fans: is Claude Giroux really the NHL’s 12th best winger in the league right now? Was his ranking too low, too high, or just right?