Top 5 NHL Players Who Can Switch Positions And Be Good At It
We have seen hockey players switch their playing positions before but it only happens once in a blue moon. I have put together a list of the top five NHL players that can switch their playing position and will play good if not better than before.
This list comprises of only realistic possibilities and there are no superstar NHL players on the list. The highest caliber of player ability in the list is at an elite level and there is a big difference between that and superstar status. There are no switches between goaltenders and players as it is improbable it might ever happen.
Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks.
Height: 6' 5'' Weight: 230 lbs Handedness: Right.
Transition: Defense to right-wing.
Brent Burns has great offensive ability and he knows how to use it on an odd man rush. He likes to skate in deep in the offensive zone if there is an opening and he will likely shoot if he has a good chance to score. He is a good defenseman but i think he is a better power forward on the right-wing than he is at defence because of his speed and drive to the net. He has great size and he is physical which is good for screening the opposing goalie in front of the net. He has a long reach as well which means he can protect the puck down low in the offensive zone. He is likely to score 25 to 30 goals if he plays in the right situation on the wing side. He has a very long reach and he has the right set of skills to play as a power forward.
Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks.
Height: 6' 2'' Weight: 195 lbs Handedness: Right
Transition: Center to defense.
Ryan Kesler is one of the best two-way forwards in the game today. He kills penalties, disrupts breakouts, finishes his checks and he does it all in great speed. Speaking of speed, he can carry the puck end to end like no other player and he will create a scoring chance almost every time. He is often used as a point man in the power play especially favouring the left side which on his part is most effective for one-timers since he's right-handed. Since he is so effective at his defensive game, why not have him play defense full-time. Defenseman are the players who rush the puck up ice most often, why not have him carry the puck as a defenseman and if he breaks through the defence, he has a scoring chance. Since Kesler is so good at one-timers from the point, why not have him take one-timers where one-timers mostly happen, which is the point and the point is occupied by the defenseman.
He is very physical and he has good positioning and that makes him fit to cover the defensive zone. He has won many one on one battles as a forward facing large defenseman. So if he can win one on one battles along the boards in the offensive zone, it would make more sense to have him play defense so he can win more one on one battles in the defensive zone against smaller players instead of fighting tougher brutes at the other end. Ryan Kesler would make a great defenseman if he gets the opportunity.
Paul Gaustad of the Nashville Predators.
Height: 6' 5'' Weight: 225 lbs Handedness: Left
Transition: Center to defense.
Paul Gaustad is a two-way center just like Ryan Kesler without the great speed and offensive ability. Gaustad has great size and a mean streak that can be effective if you're a defenseman. I see Gaustad as a sound defensive specialist who can shut down opposing forwards effectively. He has always been a checking line center who can score 20 to 30 points a season and he has been consistent with his stats year after year. He needs a change very soon in his career if we wants a chance at a lucrative contract and switching to defense is most likely the answer.
Dennis Wideman of the Calgary Flames.
Height: 6' 0'' Weight: 200 lbs Handedness: Right
Transition: Defense to wing.
Dennis Wideman is a very underrated player. He consistently produces points almost every season and he doesn't get noticed enough for his achievements on the ice. Wideman can very well adapt himself to play as a winger because he can skate, pass and score and he is not lanky like most other defenseman. He is one of the few defenseman who actually take part often in the shootout and he delivers when he gets an opportunuity. He see's the ice very well and can execute his strategy with success. I think he can play either wing due to his versatility but I don't think he would make a good center. His speed is more valuable at the wing and he can make plays so he will most likely be effective down low in the offensive zone or the half boards. If he plays forward, he will most likely get 55 to 65 points and still be effective in the defensive zone.
Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Height: 6' 1'' Weight: 210 lbs Handedness: Left
Transition: Right wing to center.
Marian Hossa stands out like a sports car on a highway and he impresses viewers with his dazzling puck handling abilities and dualing against players and goalies with his fancy stick work. He doesn't have the hardest shot but he is very precise and can usually pick his spots easily. He is agile, quick and plays a good two-way game and those are the main reasons why he can play center. I see him being just like Pavel Datsyuk in the way he takes away pucks and makes defenseman look foolish with his dangling ability. If Hossa ever plays center, I can see him do what he does best except he will do it more often which is intercept a pass and take it up the ice to create a scoring chance. Hossa will be more prominent in the defensive end as a center because he has a better chance of recovering the puck than he is at the right wing. The main skill he would need to work on is face-offs and with his quick hands, he should not have a big problem doing that.
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