The true power forwards are among the most precious commodities in the NHL. Guys who can bang around the offensive zone, score some goals and drop their gloves are scarce.
Here are the 10 best:
Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks: He has been good for an average of 25 goals, 50 points, 75 penalty minutes and 200 shots on goal since 2007-08. Projected over 82 games, his 2012-13 numbers would have been solid: 28 goals, 67 points, 134 PIMs and 239 SOG. His 50-goal season was a bit of a fluke – achieved with a 17.2 shooting percentage – but he is a solid 30-goal, 100-PIM threat.
James Neal, Pittsburgh Penguins: He will mix it up some, as he proved while earning 87 PIMs two seasons back. But his deal is scoring lots and lots of goals. He scored 61 goals in 120 games the last two seasons while mostly flanking Evgeni Malkin.
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars: After acquiring Tyler Seguin to handle the No. 1 center role, the Stars moved him back on the wing to put his robust game to work. He produced 193 points in his last four seasons, 54th most in the NHL. He also earned 40 PIMs in 41 games last season while playing nearly 20 minutes a game. He should reverse his regression from plus-15 to minus-12.
Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets: Only Alex Ovechkin and Rick Nash have more shots on goal than Kane’s 477 the last two seasons. Kane also had 47 goals and 133 PIMs during that span. Better linemates and a better shooting percentage (just 9.5 percent in career) could help him post bigger numbers.
Scott Hartnell, Philadelphia Flyers: He may never score 37 goals again, but he may never struggle as badly as he did last season either. He scored just eight goals in 32 games, including only four on the power play. The year before he scored 16 times with the man advantage. He has been far more consistent on the PIM side with 1,349 in 875 NHL games.
Wayne Simmonds, Flyers: He peaked offensively last season by averaging 0.71 points in 45 games last season (15 goals, 17 assists, 16 power-play points), stepping up as Hartnell struggled. Simmonds earned 196 penalty minutes in 127 games the last two seasons.
Milan Lucic, Boston Bruins: He struggled terribly on offense last season, scoring just seven goals in 46 games. But he scored 56 goals the previous two seasons. He scored just 27 points after back-to-back 60-plus point, 120-plus PIM seasons. Last spring he produced seven goals and 12 assists in 22 playoff games. Lucic averaged just 1:58 per game on the power play last season and he may have a similar role this season.
Alexandre Burrows, Vancouver Canucks: Since 2008-2009, he's one of four players with at least 100 goals and 400 penalty minutes. He peaked with 35 goals and 121 PIMs in 2009-10. He only produced 24 points in 47 games last season, but with a plus-15 rating, 54 PIMs and nearly three shots per game. Will he play with the Sedin Twins or will he settle for a second-line role?
Chris Stewart, St. Louis Blues: He delivered two 28-goal seasons earlier in his career and he scored at a similar pace (18 goals in 48 games) last season. He produced more points (36) in 48 games last year than he did the year before (30) in 79 games. He was more physical earlier in his career, posting season PIM totals of 64 and 53.
David Clarkson, Toronto Maple Leafs: He hopes to follow the example of the great Wendel Clark in Toronto. In the last two seasons he and Hartnell were the players to score at least 40 goals while earning at least 200 penalty minutes.