What Does A Right Wing Do In Hockey?

Ice Hockey Right Wing

The right wing in hockey is an offensive position in which players primarily stay to the right of the center forward player in the offensive and defensive zones. 

Roles and Responsibilities

The right wing is a forward, so this position focuses on helping score the puck into the net. The right wingers, just like the left wingers, are the primary players to score goals, so right wing players must train their shooting skills often to achieve accurate aim. While most right wings are right-handed, some will play the side of their off-hand for a better shooting angle.

Right wings are also responsible for helping the defensemen and getting the puck out of their defensive zone and away from their net. Right wingers in the defensive zone will usually stay between the hash marks and the top of the circle to be close enough to a defender to retrieve the puck from them and far away enough to control the puck and advance it up the ice.

Hockey players in the right wing position must be flexible in their strategies as they can change from offensive to defensive in a matter of seconds.

Notable NHL Right Wings

  • Gordie Howe
  • Jaromir Jagr
  • Maurice Richard
  • Mike Bossy
  • Brett Hull
  • Guy Lafleur


What is the job of a right wing in hockey?

The primary job of the right wing position is to create offensive scoring chances and score goals. If an open shot is not available for the right winger, the right winger will pass to another player so their teammates can create scoring chances. Another job of the right winger is to be aggressive in the offensive zone corners and take back possession of the puck if it is possessed by the opponent.

What wing should I play in hockey?

Most often, wings will play on the side of their dominant hand. This means right-handed players will usually play left wing, and left-handed players will play left wing. This is because it will make it easier to break the puck out of the defensive zone and carry it up the boards. However, it is not uncommon to see a wing playing on the side of their off-hand. Playing the position of the player’s off-hand will help the offensive player have a better shooting angle.

Who is the best NHL right winger?

The best NHL player to ever play the right wing position is Gordie Howe. Howe amassed 801 goals and 1,850 points in his 32-year career. He played for the New England Whalers (later the Hartford Whalers), the Houston Aeros, and the Detroit Red Wings. Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.