Reasonable Scoring Expectations: Right Wings


Photo: Amy Irvin (38Photography)

After having covered centers and left wings over the past few weeks, the time has come to finish the reasonable scoring expectations of forwards by checking right wings. Like before, this is to update scoring expectations to account for the increase in save percentage leading to a decrease in scoring league wide over the past five years.

Once again, my methodology is based on calling Line 1, the average of 4-5-6 for an elite RW, 14-15-16 for an average top liner and 24-25-26 for a low end top wing in goals, assists and points, and add 30 to each for the second line and another 30 for the third line. This means that injuries are accounted for in the scoring results.

First the old findings:

Right Wing
1st Line 2nd Line 3rd Line
Good Average Poor Good Average Poor Good Average Poor
Points 74 58 50 45 37 31 23 19 16
Goals 32 27 23 19 17 13 11 8 6

And my findings:

Average G Average A Average P
Elite 1 RW 31.9 42.9 73.9
Avg 1 RW 26.1 33.1 58.8
Low 1 RW 21.9 27.2 49.2
Elite 2 RW 18.4 23.3 42.1
Avg 2 RW 15.8 19.6 35.7
Low 2 RW 12.4 16.0 28.7
Elite 3RW 9.4 13.0 22.6
Avg 3RW 7.0 9.8 17.2
Low 3 RW 5.6 7.6 13.5


So, like centers, there’s a drop off in scoring, mostly in second and third line players, and unlike left wings who are mostly unchanged over the last five years. This fits with the scoring trends in the NHL in general. Oddly enough, any right wing who cracks double digit goals is at least a third line wing. That’s a huge change in perspective when thinking about right wings. In fact, Vinny Lecavalier, as a right wing, was a slightly above average third line wing in terms of scoring. Granted, compared to the 20 goals and 37 points from his first season year, where he scored like a solid second line forward, he’s dropped considerably. More importantly, this graph illustrates just how stacked at right wing the Flyers are right now.

Jake Voracek is an elite RW, and Wayne Simmonds is an above average goal scorer while both scored at solid first line paces, despite playing right wing on the top lines. Despite having a down year in terms of goal scoring, Matt Read’s assist and point totals put him in solid 2nd line position while Ryan White’s injury plauged season and Chris VandeVelde both scored and third line rates just like Lecavalier and Umberger. The real Umberger/Lecavalier problem is that they combine for over 9 million in cap tie ups while VandeVelde and White both played this past season on deals worth less than 900,000. Toss in the fact that Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Petr Straka are coming through the system and the Flyers right wing depth is slightly more impressive than their depth at center right now.

Accounting for Read being healthy next season and Simmonds/Voracek staying the pace, it’s possible the Flyers could 4 top line caliber wings with Michael Raffl thrown in on the left side. This is a good problem to have, especially because when the young defense the develops and dead weight bad contracts begin to expire.

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