Power Ranking the 20 Best Current NHL Fighters

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IFebruary 13, 2013

Power Ranking the 20 Best Current NHL Fighters

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    The NHL is a sport in which fighting is an important part of the game, and there are many fighters like Shawn Thornton and George Parros who are known for their toughness and skill in hand-to-hand combat.

    Enforcers are usually fourth-line forwards who play less than 10 minutes per game, but these fighters serve an important role for their teams.

    These fighters are some of the best in the league, and here are some of their memorable fights.

    Statistics via hockeyfights.com.

No. 20: Arron Asham

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    Arron Asham is a veteran player whose best days as a fighter are gone, but he can still hold his own against some of the league's best fighters.

    Asham is an intense player who uses a lot of emotion on the ice, and he has been known to make a statement or two with his fights.

No. 19: Cody McLeod

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    Cody McLeod is a left-winger who is a very competent fighter for the Colorado Avalanche. He has had a solid fight card in 2013 thus far, and this fight against Kyle Chipchura of the Phoenix Coyotes shows why he is a tough player to go toe-to-toe with.

    McLeod certainly adds a lot of toughness to the Avs, and that is something that really will help the team be successful moving forward.

No. 18: Chris Neil

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    Chris Neil is a player for the Ottawa Senators who plays the game hard, and sometimes he has to drop the gloves after laying out a brutal body check.

    Neil was a very successful fighter last season, when he won the majority of his fights. His overall tenacity and passion make him a feared fighter, and one of the league's best.

No. 17: Tom Sestito

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    Tom Sestito quickly found his niche in the NHL as an agitator and fighter for the Broad St. Bullies, and he is a player who plays an aggressive game.

    Sestito hits, checks and disrupts opponents, and he will even drop the gloves in an attempt to change the momentum in the building.

No. 16: Krys Barch

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    Krys Barch is an enforcer for the New Jersey Devils who brings a lot of energy to the lineup each and every night.

    Barch made headlines during the lockout because of a rant he wrote on Twitter, but he should be making headlines for his abilities as a fighter.

    Barch splits a lot of his fights, but this is one of his more decisive victories from his NHL career.

No. 15: Matt Carkner

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    Matt Carkner is a tough fighter who isn't fighting as much as he used too. After 24 fights during the 2009-10 season, Carkner fought only 12 times in 2010-11 and three times in 2011-12.

    Carkner is still a skilled pugilist and one who can deliver a powerful punch.

No. 14: Mike Brown

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs have a few tough guys on their roster who can successfully contend once they have dropped the gloves, and Mike Brown is one of those players.

    Brown is a scrappy player who likes to throw quick jabs to wear down an opponent, and he is often very successful with this strategy.

No. 13: Zac Rinaldo

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    Zac Rinaldo is a fighter who is really starting to emerge as one of the NHL's most notorious pests, and his fight against B.J. Crombeen really put the league on notice.

    Rinaldo has a lot of heart, and he doesn't like to give up, even when he is outweighed in a fight.

    This knockout of Crombeen was an impressive fight, and one of the best of 2013.

No. 12: Deryk Engelland

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    Deryk Engelland is the Pittsburgh Penguins' top fighter, and he was one of the league's most successful fighters in 2011-12.

    Engelland won five of his eight fights last season, and he really is pretty effective despite his size of 6'2" and just under 200 pounds.

    With star forwards like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and James Neal on the roster, having a guy like Engelland provides extra security and peace of mind.

No. 11: Milan Lucic

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    Milan Lucic is one of the NHL's top power forwards, and he is a physical player who likes dropping the gloves. At 6'4", Lucic is a mean forward who uses his size to his advantage.

    Lucic has scored some nice decisions throughout his career, and the above fight against Mike Komisarek is one of his most memorable.

No. 10: John Scott

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    "Big" John Scott is one of the most feared fighters in the NHL. He is a hired goon with a perfect record in his NHL fights.

    He is a towering individual who throws massive bombs with his fists, and he can dish out a nasty hip check from time to time.

    The Buffalo Sabres added him to their roster this offseason to add some muscle and intimidation to their lineup.

No. 9: Jared Boll

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    Jared Boll is a big man and one of the league's most frequent fighters. Boll's name is usually one of the most-listed on the fight card section of hockeyfights.com, and he wins many of the fights he appears in.

    His incredible reach and pure strength make him a tough opponent to go toe-to-toe with on the ice, and his fast hands can dish out a lot of punishment.

No. 8: George Parros

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    George Parros is not a typical enforcer goon. As a graduate from Princeton University, he happens to be one of the smartest players in the league.

    Parros is a physical player with an amazing mustache that really gives him the bare-knuckle-brawler appearance. He will score a goal from time to time, but he remains one of the league's top fighters and enforcers.

No. 7: Derek Dorsett

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    Derek Dorsett is the Columbus Blue Jackets' enforcer, and he is a player who adds a ton of toughness to their lineup.

    With the team lacking legitimate top-six talent, the Jackets need to play a physical game. With Dorsett in the lineup, the team can get as physical as it wants because he will answer the bell to fight if someone takes exception to the Jackets' style of play.

No. 6: Ryan Reaves

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    Ryan Reaves is a very tough fighter who has had many memorable fights over the years. Reaves is a very important member of the St.Louis Blues, and he is always willing to stand up for his teammates.

    Reaves wins a lot of his fights, and he is a fighter who knows how to put a hurting on opponents.

No. 5: Brandon Prust

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    Brandon Prust was signed by the Montreal Canadiens for his toughness, his ability to kill penalties and his ability to fight.

    Thus far, Prust has proven to be a good fit for the Habs, and he is still one of the toughest fighters in the NHL.

    Prust is not the biggest fighter in the league, but he still is able to take down some of the league's top heavyweights.

No. 4: Brian McGrattan

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    Brian McGrattan is a hulking enforcer who is a player opponents don't want to mess with. He can go toe-to-toe with the league's best fighters, and he is known to throw tons of bombs during fights.

    When McGrattan is on the ice, opponents take notice. They don't want to do something that will draw his attention, because there's no telling when he will decide to drop the gloves.

No. 3: Colton Orr

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    Colton Orr is one of the scrappiest enforcers in the NHL, and he is a player who loves to drop the gloves.

    Orr is a sizable fighter at 6'3" and 220 pounds, and this fight against John Scott was one of the most memorable among recent bouts.

No. 2: Shawn Thornton

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    Shawn Thornton is a feared fighter who epitomizes the toughness and snarl of the Boston Bruins.

    Thornton is not just a tough fighter, though; he plays the game hard, and he is more than just the average hockey goon. 

No. 1: Steve MacIntyre

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    Steve MacIntyre is one of the toughest fighters in the NHL, and he is pound-for-pound one of the hardest punchers in the league.

    MacIntyre is a very impressive physical specimen and a player who has racked up tons of wins in fights over the past few years. The fight above is one of his best scraps in recent memory.