Similar to the left wing, the right wing plays on the right side of the ice. They contribute to offensive plays, look for scoring opportunities, and assist the defense when needed. Right wings also work closely with the center to generate offensive pressure, but have various other responsibilities throughout the game.
Key Responsibilities for a Right Wing
The primary role of the right wing is to contribute to the team's offense by scoring goals. This includes taking shots, making accurate passes, and positioning oneself for scoring opportunities.
Offensive Zone Presence
The right wing needs to establish a strong presence in the offensive zone, providing support to the center and left wing. They should create scoring chances by driving towards the net, maintaining good positioning, and utilizing their shooting skills.
The right wing is responsible for initiating the forecheck, which involves pressuring the opposing team's defensemen when they have possession of the puck in their own zone. This can disrupt the opposing team's breakout and create turnovers.
The right wing should be involved in cycling plays, where the forwards maintain possession of the puck along the boards in the offensive zone. This involves making quick passes, protecting the puck, and creating scoring opportunities.
When the opposing team has possession of the puck and is transitioning into the offensive zone, the right wing needs to backcheck. This involves skating back quickly, picking up the opposing players, and disrupting their offensive rush.
Defensive Zone Coverage
In the defensive zone, the right wing must assist the defensemen in covering the opposing players and preventing them from creating scoring chances. This includes blocking passing lanes, pressuring opponents, and clearing the puck out of the zone.
Neutral Zone Responsibility
The right wing should be responsible for clogging passing lanes and preventing opposing players from gaining speed through the neutral zone. This helps slow down the opposing team's transition game and disrupt their offensive flow.
On the power play, the right wing might be positioned in the "off-wing" position, allowing them to have better shooting angles. They need to contribute to puck movement, create scoring opportunities, and position themselves for one-timers or rebounds.
When shorthanded, the right wing might be involved in pressuring the opposing team's power play unit, blocking shots, and disrupting passing lanes to minimize scoring chances.
Best NHL Right Wings of All Time
- Maurice Richard: Known as "The Rocket," Maurice Richard was one of the most dominant players of his era. He played his entire career with the Montreal Canadiens from 1942 to 1960, winning eight Stanley Cups. Richard was a prolific scorer and the first player to score 50 goals in a season. He was known for his powerful shot and physical style of play.
- Gordie Howe: Often referred to as "Mr. Hockey," Gordie Howe is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in NHL history. He played 26 seasons in the NHL, primarily for the Detroit Red Wings, and was known for his exceptional skill, durability, and versatility. Howe won four Stanley Cups and held numerous scoring records at the time of his retirement.
- Jaromir Jagr: Jagr is a Czech hockey legend and one of the most productive players in NHL history. He played for multiple teams during his 24-year NHL career, including the Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, New York Rangers, and Philadelphia Flyers. Jagr's combination of size, skill, and longevity allowed him to compile impressive career statistics, including 766 goals and 1,921 points, ranking him second in all-time points.
- Mike Bossy: Mike Bossy was a key member of the New York Islanders dynasty of the early 1980s, winning the Stanley Cup four times in a row from 1980 to 1983. He was a pure goal scorer with incredible accuracy, tallying nine consecutive 50-goal seasons, a record that still stands. Bossy's career was unfortunately cut short due to a back injury, but his impact on the game cannot be understated.
- Brett Hull: Brett Hull was a lethal goal scorer who played for several NHL teams, most notably the St. Louis Blues and the Dallas Stars. Known for his incredible accuracy and powerful shot, Hull reached the 50-goal mark five times in his career. He won two Stanley Cups, one with the Stars and another with the Detroit Red Wings. Hull finished his career with 741 goals, which currently ranks fourth on the all-time list.