Extra Forward

An "Extra Forward" in ice hockey typically refers to a forward player who is not part of the team's regular starting lineup but is available on the bench to provide additional offensive depth or to substitute for other forwards when needed. While the specific responsibilities of an Extra Forward can vary depending on team strategy and coaching preferences, here are some general responsibilities associated with the role.

Key Responsibilities for a Extra Forward

Offensive Contribution

The Extra Forward should be prepared to contribute offensively by creating scoring opportunities, making plays, and potentially scoring goals. They must have good offensive skills, such as stickhandling, shooting, passing, and hockey sense.

Readiness on the Bench

The Extra Forward must be mentally and physically prepared to enter the game at any time. They need to stay engaged in the game, studying the flow and tactics, so they can seamlessly transition onto the ice when called upon.

Effective Line Chemistry

When the Extra Forward is inserted into the lineup, they need to quickly adapt to the style and tendencies of their linemates. Building chemistry and maintaining effective communication with linemates is crucial to ensure cohesive offensive play.

Defensive Responsibility

While the primary focus of an Extra Forward is often on offense, they must also be responsible defensively. They need to understand their defensive assignments, backcheck diligently, apply pressure on opposing players, and help out in their own end to prevent scoring chances against.

Special Teams Contribution

Extra Forwards may be utilized on special teams, such as power plays or penalty kills, based on their skills and the team's needs. They may be required to execute specific strategies, provide net-front presence, create screens, or apply additional offensive pressure.

Energy and Intensity

When the Extra Forward is inserted into the game, they are often expected to bring a burst of energy and intensity to the team. They should play with high effort, compete for loose pucks, deliver hits if necessary, and provide a spark to ignite momentum shifts.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Extra Forwards should be adaptable and able to play different roles or positions within the forward lines, depending on the situation. This versatility allows coaches to optimize the team's lineup and adjust for injuries, penalties, or strategic changes during a game.

Best NHL Extra Forwards of All Time

  • Pavel Datsyuk: Known for his incredible stickhandling skills and defensive prowess, Pavel Datsyuk was one of the best extra forwards in NHL history. He played for the Detroit Red Wings from 2001 to 2016 and was a key contributor to their success, winning two Stanley Cups with the team. Datsyuk was a three-time Selke Trophy winner, awarded to the best defensive forward in the league.
  • Guy Carbonneau: Carbonneau was a skilled two-way forward who played primarily for the Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars during his NHL career from 1980 to 2000. He was known for his defensive abilities, strong faceoff skills, and leadership qualities. Carbonneau won three Stanley Cups, including two with the Canadiens in 1986 and 1993.
  • John Madden: Madden was an excellent penalty killer and defensive forward during his time in the NHL. He played for the New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks, and Minnesota Wild from 1999 to 2012. Madden won three Stanley Cups with the Devils in 2000, 2003, and 2007 and was renowned for his speed, intelligence, and ability to shut down opposing teams' top players.
  • Bob Gainey: Bob Gainey is widely regarded as one of the best defensive forwards in NHL history. He played his entire career with the Montreal Canadiens from 1973 to 1989 and won five Stanley Cups with the team. Gainey was known for his exceptional skating, defensive instincts, and leadership qualities. He was a four-time winner of the Selke Trophy.
  • Jere Lehtinen: Lehtinen spent his entire NHL career with the Dallas Stars from 1995 to 2010. He was a superb two-way forward, known for his defensive abilities and consistency. Lehtinen won the Frank J. Selke Trophy three times, establishing himself as one of the premier defensive forwards in the league. He played a vital role in the Stars' Stanley Cup victory in 1999.