In the heat of hockey action, there are few moments more stimulating for one party and more tense for the other than when an elite puck-carrier puts himself between the opposing defenders and opposing goaltender.
Generally speaking, the purpose of defense is to minimize the quality of a scoring chance and shot attempt by keeping oneself between the attacker and one’s cage.
The forwards with the most exceptional skill sets and senses are those who are most inclined to disrupt that endeavor. When they do, they elevate the likelihood of setting up a scoring play, polishing one off or drawing a desperate penalty on the adversary.
When they do not outright circumvent the defending skaters, top strikers can still come through with quick entry to the slot and a swift, spot-on release while sparing no one a moment to prepare. Some may also combine their gifts with grit and simply overpower defensemen or centers to pick up and bury a rebound.
The top NHL players with one or more of these productive propensities are as follows.