NHL teams trust two-way forwards in the most important game states. These players often play the most difficult minutes. They are prominent in later portions of the game, when coaches shorten the bench.
The job is a difficult one: Reduce the opposition's opportunities while also uncovering offense, often from turnovers caused by these very players. In a league where one goal usually makes the difference, a forward who gives up little and delivers more is an impact player of the first order.
Here are the top two-way forwards in the NHL this season. Players are ranked based on their possession numbers at even strength and their ability to help the team offensively while playing tough opponents.