Source: Getty Images
The Centres for the all-decade team is now finished. Now the spotlight is on the NHL's best wingers of the decade. Of course we all know Ovechkin will make the list, but who else will join him?
There's no doubt that the Russian Sniper would make this list, he’s arguably the greatest goal scorer in the history of the game. The former Maurice Rocket Richard trophy winner is third in points and easily number one in goals, in fact, Ovechkin has scored 78 goals more than second place Steven Stamkos. Five times this decade Ovechkin has notched the 50-goal mark, and has won the Rocket Richard six times, including a four year stretch where he on the award.
Ovie has also notched a Hart Trophy and won a Conn Smythe during the 2017-18 season. The Russian winger has scored a 164 goals on the powerplay and nobody has been more clutch with 67 game-winning goals. Ovechkin has been one of the most accomplished goal scorers in this decade and is closing in on Gretzky’s goal mark. He isn't letting age slow him down, this season Ovechkin is third in goals.
Even though Ovechkin has stolen the show for the decade Kane has totaled 748 points (the most of any player) and is one of 7 players this decade averaging a point a game. Entering this decade Kane already was a recipient of the Calder Trophy and had compiled good stats for the early part of the decade.
Capturing 3 Stanley Cups and a Conn Smythe, it was the 2015-16 year where the flashy American snapped and went on an incredible run. He scored career highs in goals and hit the 100 point plateau for the first time, and for his efforts Kane garnered the Hart trophy, Art Ross and Ted Lindsey awards. Kane made history becoming the first American born player to win MVP and still continues to put up stellar stats. Kane has been one of the most consistent players of the decade.
The Flyers captain has been the heart and soul of the team for the past decade. Giroux has been one of only 4 players this decade to score 700 points, and amongst those guys on that list Giroux has scored the most shorthanded goals. He has been a prominent fixture on the power play and the penalty kill. A great passer as well, he leads all players in assists for the decade and is one of the most hard working players in the league.
Four seasons this decade Giroux has hit over 80 points and was also second in scoring during 2017-18 behind only Connor McDavid. He's also led the Flyers in scoring for 7 seasons this decade and has been an All-Star for the majority of the decade, with 6 appearances.
Kessel has been one of the most polarizing players over the past decade, to say the least, the former Penguin and Leaf has had his run-ins with the media but has also had his run-ins with the back of the net. Kessel, is ranked in the top ten in goals. He started this decade in Toronto, and put up multiple 80+ point seasons all while helping the Leafs end their long playoff drought in 2013.
After an ugly fall out Phil was shipped out to Pittsburgh where he was vital in both of the Penguins Stanley Cup runs, where he led the team in playoff scoring in 2016. Kessel's last two seasons in Pittsburgh combined for 174 points, the best two year stretch in his career. Kessel has also been a three-time All-Star and has only missed one game over the nine seasons, making him an iron man.
The Dallas forward might be one of the most underappreciated stars in the NHL, he doesn't have the name value as Patrick Kane or Ovi, but Benn is a player that deserves more attention around the league. Benn was a 5th round pick in 2007. He started the decade with the big club in Dallas, posting a solid 41 points in 82 games, Benn continued to improve his play and started to become a top line player with the Stars.
With the acquisition of Tyler Seguin during the summer of 2013 Benn and Seguin proved to have great chemistry. With Seguin, Benn averaged over 80 points a season through 14’-16’, and in 2015 Benn took home the Art Ross Trophy in 2015, leading the league with 85 points. The next season Benn was third in MVP voting, losing out to Sidney Crosby. Continually putting up solid numbers, Benn has been one of the bigger surprises this decade, not too shabby for a 5th round pick.
Another former first-round pick making the list is Taylor Hall. Hall started this decade with the Oilers and had a few decent seasons early on. In the lockout shortened season, Hall was able to average a point a game, with 50 points in 45 games. Hall though never really reached the lofty expectations placed upon him in Edmonton, and while the Connor McDavid emerged as a great player, Hall's scoring was going down.
After being traded to New Jersey, Hall revamped his career. In his second season in Jersey Hall scored 93 points and put up 39 goals, both career highs and were good enough to win MVP. Hall missed 49 games last year, but still managed to accumulated 37 points in 33 games. This decade Hall has averaged close to a point a game, and five times he has led his team in scoring. Hall might not be at the top of most of the offensive categories, but he is still able to produce with less talent around him. Hall is also a five time All-Star.
A 3rd round pick in 2006, Marchand has proven to be quite the pest but also quite the player. In Marchand’s first full season with Boston he captured his lone Stanley Cup. During the playoffs Marchand shined with 19 points in 25 games. It wasn’t until the 2016 season where Marchand started to become the premier sniper we know him to be today. Putting up 37 goals that year, Marchand has put up 30 plus goals for four straights seasons, playing on one of the most lethal lines in the league.
The last three seasons Marchand has averaged more than a point a game and has scored the second most game-winning goals this decade. Also, when his team is short handed, nobody has stepped up like Marchand, ripping 26 shorty's, the most than anybody of the decade. For the decade, Marchand ranks fifthteenth in scoring fifth in goals.
The Tampa Bay Lightning stand out makes the list, and while he hasn't played as many games as the other guys on the list Kucherov has made quite the impact. The Russian All-Star has been on a tear the last few seasons, he's averaging well over a point a game and has become one of the most feared players in the league.
Kucherov has already been to the All-Star game three times and just last year he won the Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay and an Art Ross with a decade-high 128 points. Since being in the league, Kucherov has produced the third most points and is off to another fantastic season this year.
Pavelski, who was a 7th round pick, has eight 60+ point seasons this decade and has led the Sharks in goals on six different occasions. On the powerplay Pavelski is one of the most dangerous players for opposing teams notching 100 pp goals, he is just one of three players to hit that mark this decade. The other two? Ovechkin and Stamkos.
Among active American born players, Pavelski ranks third in points and fourth in goals, becoming one of the best American players of his generation. Pavelski made the All-Star team three times this decade and ranks inside the top ten in goals.
A Rocket and Hart trophy winner in the same season, Perry became the first Duck to in both of those awards in the same year. Not surprisingly, that was also the peak of his career. He had some solids seasons afterwards, hitting the 40 goal mark one more time and added three more seasons of 30 goals, but Perry has had some lackluster years this decade.
Now on the downside of his career, Perry is twenty-sixth in scoring and just outside the top 10 in goals. Perry has had five seasons where he was in the top 10 in goals and twice in scoring. While Perry has tailed off in his career in recent seasons, his strong first half of the decade gets him a reserve spot on the All-Decade team for wingers. In his prime he was one the most productive goal scorers in the league.
Logan Couture, Henrik Zetterberg and Max Paccioritty were amongst the wingers for whom I was seriously considering for this team, yet Daniel Sedin's 2010-2011 Art Ross and Ted Lindsay winning season got him passed those players for the final spot. For the early part of the decade Sedin averaged over a point a game, and had five seasons of 20+ goals.
He's averaged more than the two players I mentioned besides Zetterberg and has made three All-Star appearances this decade. Sedin was an integral part of the Canucks team, through thick and thin. Just like Perry, Sedin’s first half of the decade was his peak but was mostly consistent throughout the decade regardless.