Skip to main content

Fantasy right wing rankings for 2016-17 season

Patrick Kane, Joe Pavelski most valuable; rookie Patrik Laine among wild cards

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / Fantasy Insider

Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks is the top-ranked fantasy right wing after winning the NHL scoring title last season, finishing second in goals (46), third in assists (60), first in power-play points (37) and fifth in shots on goal (287). He is expected to have left wing Artemi Panarin on his line again and the Blackhawks are a perennial Stanley Cup contender, so fantasy owners can sleep well after taking him with the No. 1 pick.

Right behind Kane is versatile San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski, the only dual-eligible player in's top 40. During the past three seasons, his 116 goals are second to the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (154). He has an elite linemate in Joe Thornton and is part of one of the most dangerous first power-play units in the game. Pavelski needs to be your priority if available in the latter half of the first round.


Right wing also is renowned for its category coverage assets. Corey Perry (Anaheim Ducks), Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg Jets) and James Neal (Nashville Predators) each cover at least five standard categories and will be available outside of the second round in many formats. Phil Kessel (Pittsburgh Penguins) is recovering from hand surgery, but his chemistry with Nick Bonino and Carl Hagelin at even strength and on the first power-play unit with Sidney Crosby made him a lethal scorer during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and makes him more valuable the further he slips in fantasy drafts.

There also are plenty of wild cards at right wing. Rookie Patrik Laine, the No. 2 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft by the Jets, is a lock for a top-six role and severely undervalued based on Yahoo rank (145). Montreal Canadiens forward Alexander Radulov, who returns to the NHL after spending most of the past eight seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, is more mature at this stage of his career and has a chance to play on the Canadiens' first power-play unit. And 44-year-old Jaromir Jagr, No. 116 in Yahoo, is a threat for 60 or more points again on a line with breakout candidate Aleksander Barkov. Each could be available outside the top 100 and easily finish within that realm.

Video: CHI@STL, Gm5: Kane sends Hawks to win in double OT

Here's a complete right wing outlook and fantasy draft guide to help you prepare for this season. 

BARGAIN HUNTING - Well-known RWs in position to outperform their current Yahoo rank

Jordan Eberle, RW, Edmonton Oilers

If Connor McDavid is going to contend for the NHL scoring title, at least one forward will be along for the ride. Eberle, who played mostly on McDavid's line when the forwards were healthy at the same time last season, had 25 points with 96 shots on goal in their 32 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Eberle had 76 points in 78 games in 2011-12, and has a chance to return to form if healthy for a full season. The Oilers also could be better defensively after acquiring defenseman Adam Larsson in a trade with the New Jersey Devils, so Eberle's stretch of four straight seasons with a negative plus/minus could end. He's ranked eight spots higher by (85) than Yahoo (93) and is a high-reward pick in the seventh or eighth round of a 12-team draft.

Patric Hornqvist, RW, Pittsburgh Penguins

Lost in the middle rounds among right wings is the fact that Hornqvist plays on the Penguins' top line with Crosby, and the first power-play unit with Crosby, Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang. Hornqvist is extremely undervalued considering his Yahoo rank (124) compared to (87). He bounced around the lineup last season but was with Crosby on a full-time basis during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when he had nine goals and 13 points in 24 games. He could have 30 goals and 60 points if he sticks with Crosby for 82 games. His first two seasons with the Penguins show his consistency; he had 51 points and 15 power-play points in his past two seasons, and at least a plus-10 rating and 220 shots on goal in each season.

Video: TBL@PIT, Gm5: Hornqvist finishes Hagelin's deflection

David Backes, RW, Boston Bruins

Backes may no longer be a top-100 fantasy asset, but he's almost guaranteed to remain fantasy relevant. The power forward signed with the Bruins on July 1 and has a chance to center the third line or play right wing on the top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. His category coverage, even in a down season when he played mostly on the St. Louis Blues' third line, was in rare form; he was one of three forwards (others: Simmonds, Shane Doan) with at least 40 points, 10 power-play points, 80 penalty minutes and 160 shots on goal. When you see Backes available outside the top 150 overall players, think more about his stability than his current role with the Bruins. He'll find a way to return value based on his Yahoo rank (208).

POTENTIAL STEALSHigh-upside RWs who should be available outside top 100 overall

Brendan Gallagher, RW, Montreal Canadiens

Gallagher, prior to his injury last November, was a top-50 fantasy asset with nine goals, 10 assists, five power-play points, a plus-7 and 70 shots on goal in his first 22 games. He played mostly on the Canadiens' top line with Max Pacioretty and was a big reason the Canadiens were the class of the League standings two months into the season. After an offseason of change following a playoff miss, Gallagher has to compete with Radulov for a top-line spot but should be productive in terms of category coverage whether centered by Alex Galchenyuk or Tomas Plekanec. He can have at least 55 points with 50 or more penalty minutes, 250 shots on goal and an efficient plus/minus (career plus-45) if he stays healthy.

Anthony Duclair, LW/RW, Arizona Coyotes

Beyond the convenience of Duclair having multi-position eligibility in Yahoo, he is a breakout candidate who could be a part of a young, high-upside group of forwards with Max Domi and rookie Dylan Strome. Duclair, 21, had 20 goals, 24 assists, a plus-12 rating and 12 power-play points as a rookie last season, and the added presence of a strong playmaker in Strome could help him generate many more shots on goal than the 105 he had in 81 games last season. He's ranked more than 30 spots higher by (142) compared to Yahoo (174), and is well worth a pick in the 13th round or later. He has to be considered a top-100 asset in a keeper format.

Video: ARI@STL: Duclair capitalizes off turnover for goal

Jiri Hudler, C/RW, Dallas Stars

Hudler was a sneaky signing by the Stars, and general manager Jim Nill indicated Hudler is cut out for a top-six, power-play role. If that's the case, he could play on the top line with Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin or on the second line with Jason Spezza and Patrick Sharp, in addition to being on the second power-play unit. Two seasons ago Hudler was a fantasy steal and finished among the top 10 in League scoring. This season could be déjà vu all over again. Fantasy owners should look beyond Hudler's disappointing 2015-16 season and more at his potential upon joining the NHL's top-ranked offense.

ROOKIE WATCH - Underrated first-year RWs who can find fantasy relevance

Mikko Rantanen, RW, Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche will get a fresh start under coach Jared Bednar and hopefully put more of an emphasis on possession with their speedy core of forwards. Rantanen, 19, has nine games of NHL experience and could find himself on the opening-night roster in a top-six role alongside either Nathan MacKinnon or Matt Duchene, a spot that could yield fantasy results and dark-horse Calder Trophy candidacy. He played most of last season with San Antonio of the American Hockey League, where he had 60 points, a plus-20 rating and 140 shots on goal in 52 regular-season games. Rantanen has been sidelined by an ankle injury this preseason, but should get a chance to make the NHL jump upon his return.

Timo Meier, RW, San Jose Sharks

Mikkel Boedker and Joonas Donskoi are the front-runners to join the Sharks' top-six forward group, but lurking is their top forward prospect. Meier, described as "like a man-child" by general manager Doug Wilson, is ready to crack the roster and could potentially slot into a spot next to Thornton and Pavelski on the top line if Tomas Hertl shifts to third-line center. The fantasy results of such a development would be obvious, so Meier should be drafted in keeper leagues and monitored by those in standard formats considering he could go from unknown to fantasy-relevant faster than a trademark Thornton saucer pass.

Sebastian Aho, RW, Carolina Hurricanes

The expected offensive impact from Teuvo Teravainen and Aho could be enough to lift the Hurricanes into the playoffs. Aho, who signed an entry-level contract June 13, is expected to make the roster this season and was on coach Bill Peters' radar when Canada, which Peters coached, played Aho and Finland at the 2016 IIHF World Championship. Aho was productive in that tournament against NHL talent and a point-per-game player last season for Karpat of Liiga, Finland's top professional league. Aho is a deep fantasy sleeper with immediate upside if he plays right wing on a line with Jeff Skinner and Victor Rask, or Elias Lindholm and Jordan Staal. Teravainen and Aho could round out those even-strength units and play together on the Hurricanes' first power-play unit.


The players below have right wing eligibility in Yahoo leagues and are ranked among's top 200 overall. RW is the primary position of any dual-eligible forwards on this list. ... Standard Yahoo categories include goals, assists, plus/minus, penalty minutes, PPP and SOG for skaters. NOTE: These rankings have been updated Oct. 10.

1. Patrick Kane, RW, CHI
2. Joe Pavelski, C/RW, SJS
3. Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, STL
4. Nikita Kucherov, RW, TBL
5. Corey Perry, RW, ANA
6. Blake Wheeler, RW, WPG
7. Wayne Simmonds, RW, PHI
8. James Neal, RW, NSH
9. Phil Kessel, RW, PIT
10. Tyler Toffoli, C/RW, LAK
11. Patrick Sharp, LW/RW, DAL
12. Jordan Eberle, RW, EDM
13. Kyle Okposo, RW, BUF
14. Jakub Voracek, LW/RW, PHI
15. Patric Hornqvist, RW, PIT
16. Jaromir Jagr, RW, FLA
17. Patrik Laine, RW, WPG
18. T.J. Oshie, RW, WSH
19. Kyle Palmieri, RW, NJD
20. Alexander Radulov, RW, MTL
21. Mark Stone, RW, OTT - INJ.
22. Brendan Gallagher, RW, MTL
23. Anthony Duclair, LW/RW, ARI
24. Mats Zuccarello, RW, NYR
25. Marian Hossa, RW, CHI
26. Sam Reinhart, C/RW, BUF
27. Bobby Ryan, RW, OTT
28. David Backes, RW, BOS
29. Justin Williams, RW, WSH
30. Joonas Donskoi, RW, SJS
31. William Nylander, C/RW, TOR
32. Jiri Hudler, C/RW, DAL
33. Reilly Smith, RW, FLA
34. David Pastrnak, RW, BOS
35. Jesse Puljujarvi, RW, EDM
36. Gustav Nyquist, LW/RW, DET
37. Leo Komarov, C/RW, TOR
38. Cam Atkinson, RW, CBJ
39. Shane Doan, RW, ARI
40. Troy Brouwer, RW, CGY
41. Jarome Iginla, RW, COL

Just missed: Jakob Silfverberg (RW, ANA), Sebastian Aho (RW, CAR), Justin Abdelkader (LW/RW, DET), David Perron (LW/RW, STL), Charlie Coyle (C/RW, MIN), Elias Lindholm (C/RW, CAR), Nail Yakupov (RW, STL), Nino Niederreiter (RW, MIN), Ryan Strome (RW, NYI), Mikko Rantanen (RW, COL - INJ.)

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.