by PuckStopsHere on 02/11/14 at 11:13 PM ET
For several years the answer to that question had been Alexander Ovechkin. Ovechkin moved to right wing last season. Actually it's not quite that simple. He often lined upon the power play at left wing and at even strength on right wing. He made all star teams at both last year. However since he isn't a dedicated left winger anymore, he is a poor choice as best left winger in the NHL.
If we look at the top scorers in the NHL, we see Patrick Sharp leads left wingers with 59 points. Taylor Hall is next with 56 points. Last year's first team all star left winger, Chris Kunitz has 55 points. The other man worthy of mention is Henrik Zetterberg with 48 points, but in only 45 games played. Those are the candidates to be top left winger in the NHL. It isn't the same quality of players you would get if you ranked the top few players in any other position. This is a problem that has existed throughout history. The top left wingers of all time pale in comparison to the top players at any other position.
If I had to pick a top left winger in the NHL, I would go with Taylor Hall. He has succeeded despite little help from his teammates. He is the bigger gamebreaker of this bunch of left wingers and his game appears to be improving as he gains NHL experience. I think Hall is the most hidden talent in the NHL. He has been the MVP of the old Northwest Division so far this year and that hasn't been good enough to get him a spot on the Canadian Olympic Team.
It is hard to pick a top left winger in the NHL now that Alexander Ovechkin no longer plays there. There is no clear standout. I think Taylor Hall is the best left winger in the NHL. He leads a field without any front runners. At only 22 years old, his best is yet to come.
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