Say It With Me Now...Ales Hemsky Is A Premier First-Line Forward In The NHL

It's the off-season again which means it's time for a certain unhappy portion of the Oilers' fanbase to take five years of frustration out on the man they believe to be the true problem in Edmonton -- Ales Hemsky.  For some reason, it's a summer rite of passage in Edmonton and each year he must be defended as if he's performed like Gilbert Brule or J.F. Jacques during his time with the Oilers. 

There's the obvious and bothersome few fans who don't like him because of his national origin, and there remains a significant contingent who believe he's not tough and that he's a perimeter player.  There's also the bunch that think he's only a playmaker and can't make a difference.  They're all wrong. 

The table below contains the right wings who've totaled more than .75 points per game since 2005-06.  I've posted these numbers before, but it's worth looking at them again:


Player P/G
1 Jaromir Jagr 1.18
2 Daniel Alfredsson 1.07
3 Dany Heatley 1.06
4 Martin St. Louis 1.06
5 Marian Gaborik 1.05
6 Jarome Iginla 1.05
7 Marian Hossa 1.02
8 Teemu Selanne 1.02
9 Alexander Semin 0.98
10 Patrick Kane 0.96
11 Ales Hemsky 0.92
12 Ray Whitney 0.87
13 Martin Havlat 0.86
14 Pavol Demitra 0.85
15 Shane Doan 0.82
16 Corey Perry 0.82
17 Bobby Ryan 0.81
18 Steve Sullivan 0.8
19 Milan Hejduk 0.78
20 Jason Pominville 0.78
21 Jeff Skinner 0.77
22 Maxim Afinogenov 0.76
23 Alex Kovalev 0.76
24 Brian Gionta 0.75

 

Hemsky ranks 11th in the league at right wing in points per game, in amongst bonafide NHL superstars.

Adding in the left wings does little to diminish Hemsky's standing among all wings:


Player P/G

Player P/G
1 Alex Ovechkin 1.29
31 Brendan Shanahan 0.79
2 Jaromir Jagr 1.18
32 Jason Pominville 0.78
3 Daniel Alfredsson 1.07
33 Milan Hejduk 0.78
4 Martin St. Louis 1.06
34 Kristian Huselius 0.78
5 Dany Heatley 1.06
35 Ryan Smyth 0.77
6 Daniel Sedin 1.06
36 Vyacheslav Kozlov 0.77
7 Jarome Iginla 1.05
37 Cory Stillman 0.77
8 Ilya Kovalchuk 1.05
38 Jeff Skinner 0.77
9 Marian Gaborik 1.05
39 Alex Kovalev 0.76
10 Marian Hossa 1.02
40 Brenden Morrow 0.76
11 Teemu Selanne 1.02
41 Maxim Afinogenov 0.76
12 Alexander Semin 0.98
42 Brian Gionta 0.75
13 Patrick Kane 0.96
43 Alex Frolov 0.75
14 Ales Hemsky 0.92



15 Rick Nash 0.89



16 Ray Whitney 0.87



17 Simon Gagne 0.86



18 Martin Havlat 0.86



19 Paul Kariya 0.86



20 Pavol Demitra 0.85



21 Alex Tanguay 0.83



22 Michael Cammalleri 0.83



23 Martin Straka 0.83



24 Shane Doan 0.82



25 Thomas Vanek 0.82



26 Corey Perry 0.82



27 Zach Parise 0.81



28 Bobby Ryan 0.81



29 Ladislav Nagy 0.81



30 Steve Sullivan 0.8



 

Hemsky ranks 14th among all wings in the league since the lockout, ahead of guys like Zach Parise, coveted by Oilers' fans for a couple of years now.

What happens when centres are added to the equation?


Player P/G

Player P/G

Player P/G
1 Sidney Crosby 1.39
31 Steven Stamkos 0.95
61 Scott Gomez 0.79
2 Alex Ovechkin 1.29
32 Ales Hemsky 0.92
62 Brendan Shanahan 0.79
3 Evgeni Malkin 1.19
33 Patrick Marleau 0.92
63 Jason Arnott 0.78
4 Joe Thornton 1.19
34 Paul Stastny 0.92
64 Milan Hejduk 0.78
5 Jaromir Jagr 1.18
35 Anze Kopitar 0.91
65 Kristian Huselius 0.78
6 Peter Forsberg 1.13
36 Patrik Elias 0.89
66 Jason Pominville 0.78
7 Pavel Datsyuk 1.10
37 Rick Nash 0.89
67 Patrice Bergeron 0.77
8 Jason Spezza 1.10
38 Jonathan Toews 0.88
68 Saku Koivu 0.77
9 Daniel Alfredsson 1.07
39 Derek Roy 0.87
69 Vyacheslav Kozlov 0.77
10 Joe Sakic 1.07
40 Ray Whitney 0.87
70 Vinny Prospal 0.77
11 Dany Heatley 1.06
41 Simon Gagne 0.86
71 Mike Richards 0.77
12 Daniel Sedin 1.06
42 Martin Havlat 0.86
72 Jeff Skinner 0.77
13 Henrik Sedin 1.06
43 Paul Kariya 0.86
73 Ryan Smyth 0.77
14 Martin St. Louis 1.06
44 Pavol Demitra 0.85
74 Cory Stillman 0.77
15 Marian Gaborik 1.05
45 Olli Jokinen 0.85
75 Maxim Afinogenov 0.76
16 Jarome Iginla 1.05
46 Andy McDonald 0.85
76 Matt Duchene 0.76
17 Ilya Kovalchuk 1.05
47 Michael Nylander 0.85
77 Alex Kovalev 0.76
18 Henrik Zetterberg 1.05
48 Mike Ribeiro 0.85
78 Brenden Morrow 0.76
19 Marc Savard 1.04
49 Michael Cammalleri 0.83
79 Alex Frolov 0.75
20 Marian Hossa 1.02
50 Tim Connolly 0.83
80 Brian Gionta 0.75
21 Teemu Selanne 1.02
51 Martin Straka 0.83
81 John Tavares 0.75
22 Nicklas Backstrom 1.00
52 Alex Tanguay 0.83



23 Vincent Lecavalier 1.00
53 Alexei Yashin 0.83



24 Mats Sundin 1.00
54 Shane Doan 0.82



25 Eric Staal 0.99
55 Corey Perry 0.82



26 Brad Richards 0.98
56 Thomas Vanek 0.82



27 Alexander Semin 0.98
57 Ladislav Nagy 0.81



28 Ryan Getzlaf 0.97
58 Zach Parise 0.81



29 Patrick Kane 0.96
59 Bobby Ryan 0.81



30 Danny Briere 0.95
60 Steve Sullivan 0.8



 

So there you have it.  No advanced stats, no underlying numbers, just plain old points show that Ales Hemsky is one of the best forwards in the league.  32nd overall in points per game since the lockout puts him in the highest echelon in the NHL.  Imagine what he could do with some talent around him to take some of the load off.  Oh yeah, no need to imagine.

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