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Top 10 Best Left Wingers in NHL History

Ranking the best NHL Left Wings of All Time as Alex Ovechkin leads the way. Also where Michel Goulet, Dave Andreychuk, and more rank


By admin | July 23, 2022

Wings in the NHL are able to play both sides of the ice today, but players definitely have a preferred side. For me it was always right so I would not have to take passes on my backhand. Wings are important to any NHL team for their passing and scoring ability. Joel Farabee of the Flyers was recently told by Claude Giroux, he expects him to break all of his records. Here are the best left wings in NHL history. 

Honorable Mention

Ilya Kovalchuk

Team(s): Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils, Los Angeles Kings, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals

The $100 million dollar man was drafted first overall in 2001 by the Atlanta Thrashers and has one interesting NHL career. He played for the Thrashers until 2010, then signing the aforementioned $100 million dollar contract.

Three years into said contract, he left the Devils for the KHL. He won the Gagarin Cup in 2015 with SKA Saint Petersburg, then again in 2017. Also winning in 2021 with Avangard Omsk.

He also played for the Kings, Canadians, and Capitals. In 926 NHL games he scored 443 goals and 433 assists for 876 points. He is now a free agent.

NHL All-Rookie Team (2002)
NHL First All-Star Team (2012)
NHL Second All-Star Team (2004)
NHL YoungStars MVP (2002)
NHL All-Star Game (2004, 2008, 2009)
Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy  (Most Goals) – (41*) (tied with 2 others) (2004)
Kharlamov Trophy (2004)
NHL Leader in Shootout Goals (11) (2012)
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs – Goal Scoring Leader (8) (tied) (2012)
Prince of Wales Trophy (2012)
6x NHL All-Star (2004, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Top 10 NHL Left Wings

10. Brian Bellows

Team(s): Minnesota North Stars, Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Washington Capitals

Bellows entered the NHL after being drafted by the North Stars in 1982 second overall. He played for them until 1992 when he was traded to Montreal.

He then played for the Lightning, Ducks, and finished his career with the Washington Capitals. In 1,188 games he scored 485 goals and 537 assists for 1,022 points. He won the Stanley Cup in 1993.

Stanley Cup Champion (1993)
3× NHL All-Star (1984, 1988, 1992)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1990)

9. Frank Mahovlich

Team(s): Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Toros, Birmingham Bulls

Not only did Mahovlich win six Stanley Cups, but he also served the Canadian government as a Senator, retiring from civil service in 2013

 He played for the Maple Leafs from 1956 to 1968 and then spent multiple seasons in both Detroit and Montreal.

He played four seasons in the WHA for Birmingham and Toronto. In 1,181 games he scored 533 goals and 570 assists for 1,103 points.

Calder Memorial Trophy (1958)
6x Stanley Cup Champion (1962, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1971, 1973)
15x NHL All-Star (1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974)
3x NHL First All-Star Team (1961, 1963, 1973)
6x NHL Second All-Star Team (1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1969, 1970)
Hockey Hall of Fame (1981).
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame (1990)
Ranked number 26 on The Hockey News’ list of the 100 Greatest Hockey Players (1997)
Inaugural inductee into the World Hockey Association Hall of Fame as a “Legends of the Game” (2010)
Number (27) Retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs (shared with Darryl Sittler)
‘100 Greatest NHL Players’ in history (2017)

8. Keith Tkachuk

Team(s): Winnipeg Jets, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers

One of the best American born players in NHL history, Tkachuk joined the NHL in 1990 after being drafted by the Jets. He played five seasons in Winni before going to Arizona.

It was not until 2000 he would find his home in St. Louis. Besides 22 games in 2007 with the Thrashers, he played the majority of 10 years with the Blues. In 1,201 NHL games he scored 538 goals and 527 assists for 1,065 points before retiring in 2010.

Second All-Star Team (1995, 1998)
All-Star Game (1997, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009)
Hall of Fame (2012)

7. Michel Goulet

Team(s): Birmingham Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks

Goulet entered the league in 1979 with the newly acquired Quebec Nordiques when he was drafted 20th overall. He played for the Nordiques for a better part of a decade before joining the Blackhawks in 1990, retiring in 1994.

He played 1,089 games in the NHL scoring 548 goals and 605 assists for 1,153 points. He never won a Stanley Cup as a player but won two as a front office employee in Colorado.

NHL Second All-Star Team (1983, 1988)
NHL First All-Star Team (1984, 1986, 1987)
NHL All-Star (1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988)

6. Johnny Bucyk

Team(s): Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins

Bucyk played in the NHL from 1955 to 1978 and only played for the Bruins and Red Wings. His jersey was even retired by the Bruins in 1980.

He only played two seasons in Detroit and is known as one of the best Bruins of all time. In 1,540 NHL games, he scored 556 goals and 813 assists for 1,369 points. He won the Stanley Cup in 1970 and 1972.

NHL All-Star Game (1955, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1970, 1971)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1968)
2x Stanley Cup Champion (1970, 1972)
2x Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (1971, 1974)
NHL First All-Star Team (1971)
Hockey Hall of Fame (1981)
100 Greatest Hockey Players (1998)
‘100 Greatest NHL Players’ in history (2017)

5. Bobby Hull

Team(s): Chicago Black Hawks, Winnipeg Jets

Bobby Hull started his NHL career in 1957 with the Chicago Black Hawks. He would play for them until 1972 when he joined the Jets in the WHA, he played for them until they joined the NHL in 1979 and retired the same season with Whalers.

In 1,063 games he scored 610 goals and 560 assists for 1,170 points. He won the Stanley Cup in 1961.

3x Art Ross Trophy winner (1960, 1962, 1966)
10x NHL First All-Star Team (1960, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972)
Stanley Cup Champion (1961)
NHL Second All-Star Team (1963, 1971)
Hart Memorial Trophy winner (1965 and 1966)
Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner (1965)
Lester Patrick Trophy winner (1969)
2x NHL All-Star Game MVP (1970, 1971)
Hockey Hall of Fame (1983)
100 Greatest Hockey Players (1998)
World Hockey Association Hall of Fame

4. Dave Andreychuk

Team(s): Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Tampa Bay Lightning

It is rare that a player plays his entire career in one city, and Andreychuk was not an exception playing for six NHL teams.

He was drafted by the Bruins in 1982 and played in the NHL until 2006. After almost a decade in Buffalo, he played seasons with Toronto, New Jersey, Boston, Colorado, and Tampa.

In 1,639 NHL games he scored 640 goals and 698 assists for 1,338 points. He won the Cup in 2004 with Tampa.

2x NHL All-Star (1990, 1994)
Stanley Cup Champion (2004)
Hockey Hall of Fame (2017)

3. Brendan Shanahan

Team(s): New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers

Shanahan was drafted in 1987 second overall by the New Jersey Devils. He is best known for his time in Detroit where he and the Red Wings won three Stanley Cups.

Besides the Red Wings and Devils, he played for the Blues, Rangers and played a few games in the DEL in Germany. In 1,524 games he scored 656 goals and 698 assists for 1,354 assists.

3x Stanley Cup Champion (1997, 1998, 2002)
8x NHL All-Star Game (1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007)
2x NHL First All-Star Team (1994, 2000)
NHL Second All-Star Team (2002)
King Clancy Memorial Trophy (2003)
Hockey Hall of Fame

2. Luc Robitaille

Team(s): Los Angeles Kings, Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings

If it wasn’t for Ovechkin’s inhuman ability to score on the best goalies on the planet, Robitaille would be the best winger on the planet.

Drafted 171st by the Los Angeles Kings, he played for them until 1994 when he was traded to the Penguins. He also played for the Red Wings and the Rangers.

He had three separate stints with the Kings before retiring in 2006. He won the Stanley Cup in 2002 with the Red Wings. In 1,431 games he scored 668 goals and 726 assists for 1.394 points.

Calder Memorial Trophy (1987)
NHL All-Rookie Team (1987)
8x NHL All-Star (1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1999, 2001)
Stanley Cup Champion (2002)
Hockey Hall of Fame (2009)

1. Alex Ovechkin

Team(s): Washington Capitals

Ovechkin was drafted by the Capitals first overall in 2004. Since then, he has become the most dominant goal scorer in NHL history.

Even going after Wayne Gretzky’s record. He even won a Super League Championship and Gagarin Cup championship during NHL lockouts.

He finally won the Stanley Cup in 2018. So far, in 1,274 games he has scored 780 goals and 630 assists for 1,410 points.

Calder Memorial Trophy (2006)
NHL All-Rookie Team (2006)
8x NHL First All-Star Team (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2019)
12x NHL All-Star (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022)
3x NHL All-Star Game SuperSkills Competition Breakaway Challenge Winner (2008, 2009, 2011)
Art Ross Trophy (2008)
9x Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy (2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020)
3x Hart Memorial Trophy (2008, 2009, 2013)
3x Lester B. Pearson Award/Ted Lindsay Award (2008, 2009, 2010)
NHL Second All-Star Team (2011, 2013, 2014, 2016)
NHL All-Star Game SuperSkills Competition Hardest Shot Winner (2018)
Stanley Cup Champion (2018)
Conn Smythe Trophy (2018)

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Players Count 10
  1. Frank Mahovlich

    Left Wing History
  2. Brian Bellows

    Left Wing History
  3. Ilya Kovalchuk

    Left Wing History
  4. Johnny Bucyk

    Left Wing History
  5. Michel Goulet

    Left Wing History
  6. Keith Tkachuk

    Left Wing History
  7. Brendan Shanahan

    Left Wing History
  8. Dave Andreychuk

    Left Wing History
  9. Bobby Hull

    Left Wing History
  10. Alex Ovechkin

    Left Wing History
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