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08-30-2009, 02:10 PM
Join Date: Nov 2007
Originally Posted by
I hear a lot of talk about "Natural centers" and "Natural wingers".
Just wanted to get people's takes on what exactly you think are the traits that make someone one or the other?
Gunner Stahl pretty much covered it... so I guess I'll go into traits.
Centres need to be as good with the puck as they are without it, and strong backcheckers. They also need to be good on the faceoff and adept passers.
Wingers need to be stronger along the boards, and will generally need to be better shooters.
Some players translate well from position to position, while others don't.
Rick Nash, for example, didn't prove very effective in a short stint at centre in Columbus because of his less-than-stellar play without the puck and his inability to set up plays.
Mats Sundin entered the league as a left-winger, but his size, two-way play, and faceoff abilities made him a perfect fit as a centre. He didn't score as much as he could have as a winger, but he still had a strong career.
Eric Staal translates into a solid winger because of his "shoot first" mentality and his incredible athleticism.
Evgeni Malkin can play centre or wing, but he's much better at centre since he gets to play to his strength, which is skating around with the puck and making others look foolish.
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