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Updated 2022-23 NHL Fantasy Hockey Rankings: Top 10 Right Wings

Nikita Kucherov is still a fantasy hockey darling, but is he the top right winger in your league? Here's a look at 10 of the best RWs, with a few honorable mentions.

Even with tons of missed time over the past couple of seasons, there’s zero debate at the top with Nikita Kucherov. His point-per-game production is unmatched among right wingers and a reminder that he won’t even turn 30 until next June.

The three names following Kucherov will be a topic of fierce debate. Still, in most circumstances, there’s no wrong answer, and the player to pick will be determined by your league settings and each fantasy manager’s own bias. If Kucherov is in his own tier, there are a few names in the second tier but a very big group in the third. There’s a good mix, too, from up-and-coming stars to cagey veterans who continue to defy normal aging curves.

Take a look at the top 10 right wingers, and don't forget to pick up The Hockey News' 2022-23 Fantasy Poolbook issue

Nikita Kucherov, Lightning

There’s some room for debate, but Kucherov’s 1.47 P/GP last season and 1.38 P/GP over the past five seasons trails only Connor McDavid. Health is the biggest concern, but he enters the 2022-23 season with a clean bill and remains the biggest challenger to McDavid for the Art Ross.

Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs

If we’re going purely on points, Marner has the narrow edge for No. 2, but re-order the following four after Kucherov any way you like depending on your league settings. Since entering the league, only Kucherov (467) and Patrick Kane (517) have scored more points than Marner (455) among right wingers. With the recent trend of the “power kill” – going for scoring chances even on the PK – Marner also has a distinct advantage because Rantanen, Tkachuk and Pastrnak don’t kill penalties.

Mikko Rantanen (C/RW), Avalanche

There’s plenty to debate between Rantanen and Marner, but the fact is both players reached another level last season. Rantanen can jump to No. 2 if he takes more faceoffs for added value in banger leagues, such as faceoff wins from the RW slot, but that would also mean he is playing on a different line than Nathan MacKinnon.

David Pastrnak, Bruins

Pastrnak scored 40 goals despite playing much of the season with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula, which is a) pretty darn impressive and b) also means he’s not totally reliant on Patrice Bergeron or the injured Brad Marchand. Pastrnak’s proven he can score on any line and was just one of six players to register over 300 shots on goal. Over the past three seasons, only three other players have managed to score at least 40 goals twice: Ovechkin, Matthews and Draisaitl – that’s good company.

Matthew Tkachuk, Panthers

Like brother Brady among left wingers, Tkachuk is a unicorn because he’s an asset as both a scorer and a banger and he made a huge leap forward last season. There is some uncertainty and it’s reasonable to expect Tkachuk’s production to slip because the Lindholm-Gaudreau-Tkachuk line in Calgary rated as the league’s best last season, and the Panthers may take some time to forge their identity and establish some familiarity with so many new faces and a new coach.

Kevin Fiala (LW/RW), Kings

Is this a hot take? Fiala emerged as a bona fide first-line scorer last season without playing with Kirill Kaprizov, he moves to a team with two very good centers and many quality wingers to pair with. Among left wingers, Fiala would definitely rank lower and very likely outside the top 10, but RW is thin and note there was no anomalous spike in shooting percentage last season and he’s always been a very good possession player, which fits the Kings’ style.

Patrick Kane, Blackhawks

The best-case scenario for Kane’s fantasy value is to continue his career elsewhere, otherwise he’s stuck on a roster that has lost their top goal scorer (Alex DeBrincat), their top scoring center (Dylan Strome), their two best young forwards (Kirby Dach, Brandon Hagel) and their top goalie (Marc-Andre Fleury). Still, RW is a thin position and Kane is as good a bet as any to pile up the points – just don’t expect anything else.

Timo Meier (LW/RW), Sharks

I’m cheating a little here because Meier played some left wing last season but retains dual-winger eligibility (he’s also listed as RW on NHL.com), and in most cases should be played as a RW on fantasy teams since LW has more quality names. Last season, only 40 forwards scored at least 30 goals and registered at least 200 shots, but only 11 of them have RW eligibility. Meier cracks the top-10 list on extreme volume shooting, finishing with 326 shots, third-best in the league. His conversion rate isn’t particularly good, but what he lacks in quality he more than makes up for in quantity, making him a low-ceiling, high-floor option as long as he can continue to score on the power play and play with Tomas Hertl at even strength.

Patrik Laine (LW/RW), Blue Jackets

Another hot take? Listen, 40-goal scorers don’t grow on trees, and judging by what Laine was able to accomplish in limited action last season, if he plays at least 70 games he has a chance to justify this ranking. He’s a bargain pick based on most default rankings with his tremendous upside, especially now with Johnny Gaudreau feeding him pucks, who finished second in the league with 51 first assists last season.

William Nylander, Maple Leafs

Maybe slightly controversial, but fantasy hockey has no negative points for poor backchecking, which means Nylander is an easy early-round choice as a point-per-game player. His possession metrics have always been very good, and high-volume shooting and a role on the top PP unit also helped boost his stats. He’s not ranked very high in most leagues, but strictly based on point production, he is a safe choice.

Honorable Mention:

Joe Pavelski (C/RW), Stars

Every year, we keep discounting Pavelski because he’s too old, but every year, he just seems to prove us wrong. Father Time is undefeated so the naysayers will be right sooner than later, but can we discount a player who just had his best season at 37 years old? The Stars have some fresh talent – it’s not Seguin and Benn’s team anymore – and that promise and Pavelski’s age-defying achievements deserve a mention. In leagues that count faceoffs, Pavelski gets a huge boost.

Mark Stone, Golden Knights

The Knights captain has scored at a 75-point pace with the Knights and should hover around that mark again based on his talent alone, though who his linemates will be is TBD. Max Pacioretty was shipped to Carolina and Jack Eichel wasn’t paired with him very often last season. There’s more uncertainty than ever with the Knights’ constant roster turnover beyond their “Misfit Line.”

Matt Duchene, Predators

That we’re entertaining Duchene on this top-10 list again just shows how thin RW can be, but credit is due when it’s due, and he is coming off a fantastic 43-goal season after moving from center to right wing. Perhaps the switch will be key to unlocking Duchene’s long-term offensive potential, and there’s still some room to grow entering his age-32 season. However, there’s still considerable risk with his history of underachievement and inconsistency.

Sam Reinhart (C/RW), Panthers

If we’re no longer hunting for points but extra value, especially in roto or banger leagues, Reinhart also has an edge for his C eligibility. He doesn’t take a lot of faceoffs but some is better than none, and Reinhart’s been a steady point producer who reached a career-high 82 points in his first season with a club that doesn’t expect him to be a franchise-level player. He’s a very efficient shooter who should be able to maintain his pace if he plays a first-line role with lots of power-play minutes.

Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues

He played with a massive chip on his shoulder and disregarding the two injury-plagued seasons, Tarasenko has now scored at least 30 goals in six straight seasons. His role on the Blues has diminished a little bit, but during his three-year peak from 2014-17, he ranked fifth in points (222) and second in goals (116). Betting on the continued renaissance carries risk because it’s also a bet that he’ll get significantly more than the 16:55 TOI/GP he received last season and that age won’t be a factor.

Jordan Kyrou, Blues

This may be the last season Kyrou is a bargain pick. He scored at a point-per-game pace last season but did so quietly on a team with eight other 20-goal scorers and wasn’t particularly valuable in leagues that had banger categories. There’s tons of upside as a 24-year-old with only two full seasons under his belt, but he’ll need to score at least 90 points in today’s offense-happy game to be considered in the top 10. 

(Positions are based on Yahoo’s pre-season settings and rankings are based on default scoring. Players with dual-position eligibility are noted in brackets.)

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