Blackhawks News

NHL Power Rankings: Top 50 Forwards, Nos. 50-25

By Colin Likas
Jan 21, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates as he scores a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 21, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates as he scores a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the second period at Amalie Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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nhl power rankings
Jun 24, 2016; Buffalo, NY, USA; Auston Matthews puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number one overall draft pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft at the First Niagra Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports /

Right wing. . Patrik Laine. 50. team. 30. These two both project to have an immediate impact for teams that struggled last season after being drafted first and second, respectively. Some have even said, though Matthews was the first overall pick, that Laine may have more long-term NHL potential. They’ll be asked to contribute meaningful minutes right out of the gate.

team. 105. Getzlaf doesn’t scored a whole lot, but that just isn’t his style. He’s an assists machine, posting an even 50 last season. Does have a tendency to disappear offensively in clutch situations, but generally a pretty good team leader and a big, bruising body.. Center. . Ryan Getzlaf. 49

23. Kucherov has a ton of potential in this league. The speedy young forward netted 66 points last season, split pretty evenly between goals (30) and assists (36). Also had 25 powerplay points. Durability still a question early in his career.. Right wing. . Nikita Kucherov. 48. team

148. Ranked second among Calder Trophy picks in 2012 and posted 50-plus points in three of his first four seasons. Struggled with injuries last season, but still posted 34 points in 55 games. Able to play big minutes at age 23, but still needs to work on his faceoff prowess.. Center. . Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. 46. team

Center. . Mark Scheifele. 45. team. 30. Had a breakout year last season to the tune of 61 points. Not the fastest player, but a true power forward who can absolutely bull his way to the net to both set up his teammates and score goals. Like Nugent-Hopkins, really needs to improve at the dot.

. Zach Parise. 44. team. 98. Parise has long been known as a talented, crafty scorer who can be the catalyst of an offensive unit. But he may be on the downside of his career at age 32 (tomorrow, actually), having posted 53 points last season after hitting 62 the year before and seeing his ice time slowly diminish in recent seasons.. Left wing

67. A big forward with a precise shot, Carter has posted 60-plus points in five of 11 NHL seasons, including the last two. Struggled with faceoffs last season, but has generally been pretty good for his career. Also nearing the end of his peak at age 31.. Center. . Jeff Carter. 43. team

105. Obviously good at faceoffs and playing the defensive center role, but has always been expected to contribute more offensively and generally can’t meet that goal. Occasionally seems more concerned with bugging his opponents than actually scoring.. Center. . Ryan Kesler. 42. team

87. Calder Trophy winner in 2013 is just 23 and has found great offensive balance. Has a sweet shot that he converts more often than not (11.5 percent shooting last season), but also has great ice vision (39 assists last season). Steadily beginning to play more minutes as well.. Left wing. . Jonathan Huberdeau. 41. team

40. team. 120. Big-bodied forward really broke out in the 2015 postseason, putting up 30 points in 24 games. Extremely difficult to stop no matter where he is on the ice and can win a faceoff or two. Struggled with injuries recently, but is just 27.. Center. . Logan Couture

Bobby Ryan. 39. team. 87. His commitment has been questioned, but his talent is undeniable. At 29, he’s entering his prime years. His 56 points last season were his most in the last four seasons, but his temper can occasionally get the best of him.. Left wing.

team. 12. Was one of the most sought-after forwards this offseason after he powered his way to 64 points, his second-best point total. He’s entering his prime years at age 28 and is learning more and more to use his shot.. Right wing. . Kyle Okposo. 38

Next: Nos. 37-25

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