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In this edition of the hotstove, we rank the top-5 wingers in the Eastern Conference.
1. Nikita Kucherov - He leads the league in scoring efficiency at 5v5 – and across all situations – over the last two years. The numbers he puts up are remarkably good, and he’s also a very good play driver.
2. Artemi Panarin - Panarin led the league in 5v5 points this season and ranked top-3 in both goals and primary assists in that gamestate. His scoring numbers were very strong, and his on-ice numbers were mind numbingly good. The Rangers, who finished 7th in their division, out-scored opponents 75-38 with Panarin on the ice at full-strength. Their share of the goals was nearly 25% higher with Panarin, which is just absurd. I think a case can be made for No. 1 winger in the East, and I recently ranked him atop the Metro
3. David Pastrnak - Ranks 3rd in goals over the last two seasons, has more primary points than Alex Ovechkin in that time, and is a big-time penalty drawer. He’s one of the most dangerous players in the league.
4. Brad Marchand - Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Marchand is a heck of a player. He is dominant at 5v5, good on the PK, draws penalties, scores goals, creates for teammates, and antagonizes opponents.
5. Andrei Svechnikov - Last season his impact on even-strength offense was 2nd among all Metro wingers, according to Evolving-Hockey.com. He was nearly a point per game player as a 19-year-old and he brought so much to the table physically. I think he’s going to take over the league and would rather be a tad early with this ranking than late.
1.) Alex Ovechkin - At 35 years old Ovi is still one of the most dominant forwards in the game. Despite a shortened 68 game season, Ovechkin still potted 48 goals and very likely could have reached the 60 goal plateau, something that hasn't been done since Stamkos back in 2011. One of the biggest downers of cutting last season (and likely this season) will be reducing the chances Ovi gets to break Gretzky's record.
2.) Nikita Kucherov - 71 even strength goals over the past three seasons with the Lightning ranking him 4th in the league over that period. Put up a whopping 128 points in the 18/19 season.
3.) Artemi Panarin - One of the best even strength producers in hockey over the past few years, despite playing on some less than brilliant teams. A career high 32 goals last season in a shortened campaign.
4.) David Pastrnak - Will not be surprised to see this player win a few Rocket Trophy's in his career. Has produced 30+ goals a year over the past four seasons (48 this year) and is only 24 years old.
5.) Brendan Gallagher - Probably going to take some heat for placing him here but Gallagher remains a massively underappreciated player. Over the last three seasons, only Ovechkin, Matthews, McDavid, and Kucherov have produced more 5 on 5 goals than the 66 Brendan Gallagher has potted. Playing for fewer minutes than any of the elite players around him, Gallagher has still been a force at even strength.
Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com
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