Power forward (ice hockey)

Jarome Iginla, one of the players described as a "power forward".

In ice hockey, power forward (PWF) is a loosely applied characterization of a forward who is big and strong, equally capable of playing physically or scoring goals and would most likely have high totals in both points and penalties.[1] It is usually used in reference to a forward who is physically large, with the toughness to dig the puck out of the corners, possesses offensive instincts, has mobility, puck-handling skills,[2][3] may be difficult to knock off the puck or to push away from the front of the goal[4] and willingly engage in fights when he feels it is required.[5] Possessing both physical size and offensive ability, power forwards are also often referred to as the 'complete' hockey player.[6][7]

Historically, power forward was not originally a hockey term, finding comparatively recent origins from basketball.[8][9] Harry Sinden, former president of the Boston Bruins, claims power forward first became part of hockey terminology because of the style of play of Cam Neely, an NHL player from 1983 to 1996, who could play ruggedly and also score goals.[7][10]

Players who have been described as power forwards include Wendel Clark,[11][12] Ryan Getzlaf,[13] Clark Gillies,[14] Jarome Iginla,[5][10] Tim Kerr,[10] John LeClair,[10] Eric Lindros,[10][15] Milan Lucic,[16] Mark Messier,[10][17] Alex Ovechkin,[18][19] Keith Primeau,[20] Brendan Shanahan,[10][21][22] Ryan Smyth,[23] Kevin Stevens,[10][24] Keith Tkachuk,[10] and Rick Tocchet.[10]


  1. ^ Diamond, Dan. Total Hockey: the Official Encyclopedia of the National Hockey League. Andrews McMeel Publisher. p. 619. ISBN 0-8362-7114-9.
  2. ^ "Hockey Terms". Southern Professional Hockey League. Retrieved Jan 23, 2010.
  3. ^ Dolezar, Jon A. (June 14, 2003). "Looks can be deceiving: Steve Bernier". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved Jan 23, 2010.
  4. ^ Nichols, Chris (Sep 9, 2009). "Discounted Price". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved Jan 23, 2010.
  5. ^ a b LaPointe, Joe (April 27, 2004). "Hockey; Calgary's Captain Courageous". New York Times. Retrieved Jan 23, 2010.
  6. ^ Greene, Colleen (Dec 26, 2006). "Blackhawks AHL prospects update: Troy Brouwer". Hockeysfuture.com. Retrieved Jan 23, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Allen, Kevin (June 9, 2005). "Hall of Fame-bound Bruin star Neely defined 'power forward'". USA Today. p. C6.
  8. ^ "definition of power forward". Random House. Retrieved Jan 23, 2010.
  9. ^ Montgomery, Ted (Dec 3, 2008). "Some hockey lingo deserves a spot in the penalty box". USA Today. Retrieved Jan 24, 2010.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "All-time power forwards". The Hockey News. November 1, 2010. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2015.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  11. ^ http://www.torontosun.com/2013/12/12/wendel-clark-the-code-a-blurred-line-in-hockey
  12. ^ http://www.nhl.com/ice/blogpost.htm?id=3268
  13. ^ Wigge, Larry (May 3, 2009). "Getzlaf gifted at finding second gear". NHL.com. Retrieved Jan 23, 2010.
  14. ^ LaPointe, Joe (June 20, 2002). "Hockey;Gillies Heads the List Into the Hall of Fame". New York Times. Retrieved Jan 23, 2010.
  15. ^ Dryden, Steve (November 13, 2014). "The cases for Eric Lindros and Don Baizley in the Hall of Fame". TSN.ca. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  16. ^ Ken Campbell. "One-on-One with Boston Bruins' Power Forward Milan Lucic". Hockey News. Archived from the original on 2012-07-17. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  17. ^ Journal Wire Services (May 15, 1990). "Bruins Hoping for Revenge against Oilers". The Milwaukee Journal. p. c3.
  18. ^ http://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/673118
  19. ^ http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/nhl/florida-panthers/article5417898.html
  20. ^ Yannis, Alex (October 10, 1996). "Whalers Finally Trade Shanahan for Coffey". The New York Times. Retrieved March 16, 2017.
  21. ^ http://www.mlive.com/redwings/index.ssf/2012/06/former_red_wing_brendan_shanah_1.html
  22. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=4664533
  23. ^ "Los Angeles Kings acquire power forward Ryan Smyth from Avalanche". Canadian Press. NHL.com. July 4, 2009. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  24. ^ McMillan, Tom (Dec 25, 1991). "Money in the Bank". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. D1.
Positions on the hockey rink
Forwards:   Left wing | Centre | Right wing
Defencemen: Left defenceman | Right defenceman
Goaltender: Goaltender
Power forward | Enforcer | Grinder | Pest | Two-way forward | Stay-at-home defenceman | Rover | Captain | Head coach | Referees and linesmen