Winger (ice hockey)

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.

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

Defensive zone play

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

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

  • getting open for a pass from their teammates
  • intercepting a pass to the opposing defenceman
  • attacking the opposing defencemen when they have the puck

Wingers should typically not:

  • play deep in their defensive zone
  • help out their teammates along the boards

Offensive zone play

Wingers should be playing high in the zone, and 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:

  • Bank the puck off the boards or glass to get it out of the zone
  • Redirect or softly pass the puck to a rushing forward
  • Shoot the puck out to the centre line to another forward who can either set up an attack, or dump the puck into the offensive zone to summon a line change
  • Carry the puck themselves into the offensive zone to attempt a breakaway or an odd man rush


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.


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


  1. ^ Heika: Faceoff skills learned playing center paying dividends for Stars' Jamie Benn in new position
Patrick Davis (ice hockey)

Patrick Davis (born December 28, 1986) is an American professional ice hockey player. He plays Winger (ice hockey) for KalPa of the SM-liiga (SM-l). Davis was drafted 99th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.

During the 2008–09 season, Davis made his NHL debut with the New Jersey Devils. On January 23, 2010, he scored his first career NHL goal in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. During the 2010–11 season, he was traded to the San Jose Sharks along with Mike Swift in exchange for Steven Zalewski and Jay Leach.During the 2011–12 season he played for EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams a professional ice hockey club of the German professional Deutsche Eishockey Liga. In August 2012, he left Wolfsburg to sign as a free agent with CSKA Moscow of the Russian Kontinental Hockey League.

For a third consecutive season, Davis moved within Europe, to sign a one-year contract with Finnish club, SaiPa of the SM-liiga on July 5, 2013.

Wayne King (ice hockey)

Wayne Gordon King (born September 4, 1951) is a retired professional Winger (ice hockey) of Ojibwe descent who played in the National Hockey League for the California Golden Seals. During the 1973-74 season, King piled up 34 goals and 34 assists, skating for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles of the Western Hockey League, the Seals' top farm team. A left-shot operating from the opposite wing, his performance earned him WHL Second Team All-Star Right Wing honours at season's end.


Winger can refer to:

Winger (sports), a position on the extreme left and right sides in many sports

Winger (association football)

Winger (ice hockey)

Winger (rugby league)

Winger (rugby union)

Winger, Minnesota, a city in the United States

Winger Township, Polk County, Minnesota

Winger (band), an American hard rock band

Winger (album), the band's self-titled debut album

Winger (webcomic)

Tata Winger, a van produced by Tata Motors

Winger (surname), a list of people so named

Winger, a recurring character in the Garrett P.I. fantasy book series

Winger (novel), a book by Andrew Smith

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