Winger (ice hockey)

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Jaromir Jagr is the highest-scoring winger in NHL history and is second only to Wayne Gretzky in NHL points. Jagr Panthers.jpg
Jaromír Jágr is the highest-scoring winger in NHL history and is second only to Wayne Gretzky in NHL points.

Winger, in the game of ice hockey, is a forward position of a player whose primary zone of play on the ice is along the outer playing area. They typically work by flanking the centre forward. Originally the name was given to forward players who went up and down the sides of the rink. Nowadays, there are different types of wingers in the game — out-and-out goal scorers, checkers who disrupt the opponents, and forwards who work along the boards and in the corners. They tend to be bigger than centreman and smaller than defenseman.

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This position is commonly referred to by the side of the rink that the winger normally takes, i.e. "left wing" or "right wing."

Offensive zone play

The wingers' responsibilities in the offensive zone include the following:

Defensive zone play

Typical winger positioning in the defensive zone. Defensive Winger (Ice hockey).PNG
Typical winger positioning in the defensive zone.

Wingers should be playing high in the zone, and should always be vigilant for a breakout pass or a chance to chip the puck past the blue line. When wingers receive a pass along the boards, they can exercise a number of options:

Wingers should typically not:

Backchecking

Wingers are usually the last players to backcheck out of the offensive zone. On the backcheck, it is essential that they cover the last free opposing player rushing in. Once the puck is controlled by the opposing team in the defensive zone, however, wingers are responsible for covering the defenceman on their side of the ice.

Face-offs

Prior to the puck being dropped for a face-off, players other than those taking the face-off must not make any physical contact with players on the opposite team, nor enter the face-off circle (where marked). After the puck is dropped, it is essential for wingers to engage the opposing players to prevent them from obtaining possession of the puck.

Once a team has established control of the puck, wingers can set themselves up into an appropriate position.

Some wingers are also employed to handle faceoffs. [1]

See also

Positions on the hockey rink
Forwards: Hockey Rink.svg Left wing | Centre | Right wing
Defencemen: Left defenceman | Right defenceman
Goaltender: Goaltender
Power forward | Enforcer | Grinder | Pest | Two-way forward | Stay-at-home defenceman | Rover | Captain | Head coach | Referees and linesmen

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