Hockey Winger

ice hockey winger

In hockey, there are two wingers, the left and right wings. Along with the center, they are primarily responsible for scoring and passing to create shots on goal. Keep reading to learn more about the role of the winger in hockey.

What Is a Winger in Hockey?

Wingers, also known as wings, are forwards who typically play on the sides of the rink. Wingers are typically the main scorers and lead the team in shots on goal. Wingers practice shooting more than any other position in hockey. There are typically eight wingers on the team roster.

Roles and Responsibilities

Wings in hockey are responsible for covering the point and high slot in the defensive zone and creating scoring opportunities in the offensive zone. The left wing is responsible for covering the opposing right defender on the point, and the right wing is responsible for the left defender on the other side. They focus on cutting off passing and shooting lanes in the defensive zone, as well as finding ways to break the puck out. Wings will cycle the puck, forecheck aggressively, and work to create open space in the offensive zone.

Types of Wingers

There are two wingers on a line in hockey. They are named for the side of the ice they play on: right wing and left wing. They share similar roles and responsibilities on both ends of the ice but have a few differences when it comes to handedness and strategy.

Left Wing (LW)

Ice Hockey Left Wing

Left wingers typically play along the left side of the rink. It also helps for a left wing to shoot left-handed, as it makes it easier to play the puck on the boards and distribute it to the middle of the ice. However, right-handed players also sometimes play left wing, as it is easier to take one-timers and create better shooting angles in the offensive zone.

Right Wing (RW)

Ice Hockey Right Wing

Right wingers have much of the same responsibilities as the left wingers, except they play primarily on the right side of the rink. As opposed to left wingers, it helps to have a right-handed shot when playing right wing on breakouts and when skating the puck up ice against defensemen. However, some left-handed players play right wing because it is easier to take one-timers and create better shooting angles in the offensive zone.

Winger Skills

There are a number of skills that wingers require in order to perform their jobs well in hockey. Firstly, wingers need to be on top of the constant changes in possession throughout a hockey game, as they must be ready to open themselves up as a passing option for their teammates once the puck is regained. Wingers also need to be able to move and change direction swiftly in order to back up their center and the far winger in the event of a coordinated offense on one side. Finally, wingers need to know when it is time to advance or retreat from the net in order to open up the best possible shots.

Top NHL Wingers of All Time

The following lists some of the top wingers in the history of the National Hockey League:


What does a winger do in hockey?

Wingers are responsible for making shots on goal in the offensive zone and covering the point and high slot in the defensive zone. A winger is a forward position in hockey who plays near the boards on the left or right-hand sides of the ice.

How do you break out as a winger?

As a winger, you should break out on whatever side you are playing on. A winger will typically try to keep their feet moving up ice and open up for a breakout pass from their teammate. The wings should be supported by the center in case passing lanes are cut off up the boards. Making sure to keep the puck out of the middle of the ice will ensure that a breakout doesn’t result in a turnover.

How do you play wing in hockey?

To play the winger position in hockey, players should have excellent skating skills and offensive awareness. The left and right wings are positioned on their respective sides. On offense, wingers on the wing should focus on creating offensive opportunities by setting up their teammates and taking quick shots on goal. On defense, wingers will typically be covering the opposing defensemen in the defensive zone.