Cam Neely scored 395 goals and 694 points in 726 career NHL games. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
While players from years gone by – from Gordie Howe and Bobby Hull to Terry O’Reilly and Clark Gillies – have displayed the hard-nosed style that typifies the power forward position, this list is reserved for the men who skated during or after the label entered hockey’s vernacular:
And the definition of a power forward was born with Boston Bruins brawler-sniper Cam Neely. In the late 1980s and early ‘90s, the right winger ruled the NHL as a physical force who was a devastating bodychecker, feared fighter and skilled scorer. One of only nine NHLers to score 50 goals in 50 games – needing only 44 injury-plagued games in 1993-94 – Neely was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
But what of ‘The Moose’? Mark Messier was a better overall player than Neely, but his days as a true power forward, while dominant, were limited to early in his career. Messier played some left wing on a line with Wayne Gretzky with the Oilers in the early ‘80s – power forwards have traditionally been defined as wingers, as opposed to centers, because wingers usually have more opportunity to bodycheck and be physical – but spent most of his career as a center.
Hard to believe this four-time 50-goal man went undrafted.
‘Legion of Doom’ member had back-to-back-to-back 50-goal campaigns.
Two-time NHL all-star and U.S. Olympian also won two Cups.
Known as much for his fisticuffs, Stanley Cup winner had 440 career goals.
First American to lead NHL in goals (52 in ’96-97).
Unstoppable force before concussions.
Should be celebrated for play and attempts to better game.
Surname means ‘Big Tree’ in his father’s native African language.
Six-time Cup winner second in all-time points.
Bruins fans still curse Ulf Samuelsson’s name.
This Top 10 originally appeared in THN's Ultimate Book of Hockey Lists.
The THN.com Top 10 appears Mondays only on TheHockeyNews.com.
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