If you’ve started a Franchise Mode and are looking to fill a space on your left wing with a player who could become your star, NHL 19 has many top-class options for you. This list only contains players of three-and-a-half star potential or above. From there, the players are ranked by their current overall rating.
Mikko Rantanen (87 OVR, Elite med POT)
Age: 21Nationality: FinnishRole: SniperDrafted: Colorado Avalanche, 2015 (10)Height: 193cmWeight: 96kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Slap Shot Power 91, Offensive Awareness 91, All Puck Skills 91
At the start of 2017, Colorado Avalanche general manager Joe Sakic declared that he'd listen to trade offers for any players bar Nathan MacKinnon, Tyson Jost, and Mikko Rantanen. At the time, the Avs were in a terrible way, and Rantanen wasn’t enjoying the most fruitful rookie season. Then, last season, he exploded for 29 goals and 84 points to gratify the faith placed in him. Now, he’s the best young left wing in the league and will likely be one of the highest scoring in the position this year too.
Sebastian Aho (85 OVR, Top 6 med POT)
Age: 21Nationality: FinnishRole: Two-Way ForwardDrafted: Carolina Hurricanes, 2015 (35)Height: 180cmWeight: 7kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Passing 89, Puck Control 89, Offensive Awareness 89
Sebastian Aho has everything to a high level: speed, puck skills, defensive ability, shooting, and physicality. Given his current rating on NHL 19 and his displays in real life, you’d be forgiven for thinking Aho is the finished product, but he’s got even more to give over the next couple of seasons.
Clayton Keller (84 OVR, Elite med POT)
Age: 20Nationality: AmericanRole: PlaymakerDrafted: Arizona Coyotes, 2016 (7)Height: 178cmWeight: 76kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Deking 94, Speed 90, Puck Control 90
Clayton Keller burst onto the NHL scene last season, becoming Arizona’s top point scorer with 65 in his rookie season. His speed and puck skills in NHL 19 make him a strong asset to have as a top-six left wing on any team, and his potential means that he’s still on the up.
Kyle Connor (83 OV, Elite med POT)
Age: 21Nationality: AmericanRole: Two-Way ForwardDrafted: Winnipeg Jets, 2015 (17)Height: 185cmWeight: 82kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Speed 87, All Shooting 87, All Puck Skills 87
The Winnipeg Jets are teeming with young talents that are combining to take on the NHL, one of which is Kyle Connor. Undergoing a breakout season last year, Connor put up a whopping 31 goals and 57 points en route to finishing as the team’s fifth-highest scorer. The very well-rounded player is strong at both ends of the ice and has discovered a knack for scoring.
Matthew Tkachuk (83 OVR, Elite med POT)
Age: 20Nationality: AmericanRole: Power ForwardDrafted: Calgary Flames, 2016 (6)Height: 188cmWeight: 92kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Aggressiveness 90, Body Checking 89, Balance 88
If you enjoy the physical side of the game and are happy to lay out some big hits, Matthew Tkachuk just might become your star winger. With lofty stats in puck skills and shooting, it’s his physical play that makes the American such an enjoyable player to have on your left wing. Tkachuk even managed to finish third in scoring for the Calgary Flames last season while landing 80 hits.
Jake DeBrusk (82 OVR, Top 6 med POT)
Age: 21Nationality: CanadianRole: SniperDrafted: Boston Bruins, 2015 (14)Height: 183cmWeight: 85kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Slap Shot Power 88, Offensive Awareness 87, Wrist Shot Power 87
Just as the Boston Bruins looked to be entering an era of rebuilding, they sprung a bunch of youngsters onto the ice who have defied expectations to make the Bruins an even stronger team. Jake DeBrusk’s speedy play and eye for a pass earned him just one point less than Bruins veteran David Krejci last season. With 16 goals and 27 points in his rookie season, DeBrusk will be eyeing up an even better campaign this time around.
Jesper Bratt (81 OVR, Top 6 low POT)
Age: 20Nationality: SwedishRole: PlaymakerDrafted: New Jersey Devils, 2016 (162)Height: 178cmWeight: 79kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Discipline 90, Offensive Awareness 87, Speed 87
Drafted so late just a year before, it was incredible to see Jesper Bratt burst into the New Jersey Devils lines to play 74 games and scored 35 points as a teenager. Unfortunately for Franchise Mode managers, his ceiling doesn’t look to be too much higher – ratings wise – but he’ll likely develop into a top-nine forward with some very user-friendly attributes. Then again, with the right manager on NHL 19, he could reach his top-six potential.
Pavel Zacha (80 OVR, Top 6 low POT)
Age: 21Nationality: CzechRole: Power ForwardDrafted: New Jersey Devils, 2015 (6)Height: 191cmWeight: 95kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Balance 88, Strength 88, Stick Checking 87
While Pavel Zacha has spent time on the left wing, his primary home has been at center for the New Jersey Devils. The big Czech enforces his 6’3’’, 210lbs frame all over the ice, and while he hasn’t really picked up a taste for scoring just yet, people see it as only a matter of time.
Lawson Crouse (78 OVR, Top 9 high POT)
Age: 21Nationality: CanadianRole: Power ForwardDrafted: Florida Panthers, 2015 (11)Height: 193cmWeight: 100kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Balance 88, Strength 88, Body Checking 87
Lawson Crouse may never become the point-scoring winger that he once looked to be in the minors, but he can certainly contribute with his massive frame, immense strength, and powerful shot. Most likely destined for a top-nine role, he’s looking to get another full season of NHL play in 2018/19 after being sent to the AHL for much of last season.
Eeli Tolvanen (77 OVR, Elite med POT)
Age: 19Nationality: FinnishRole: SniperDrafted: Nashville Predators, 2017 (30)Height: 178cmWeight: 82kgShoots: LeftBest Stats: Shot Power 88, Agility 87, Deking 87
The Nashville Predators have been enjoying a fine recent history of developing top-class European wings. First came Filip Forsberg, then came Viktor Arvidsson, followed by Kevin Fiala, and next will be Eeli Tolvanen. We got a small sample of the sharpshooting Finn last season, and we’ll probably see more of him in 2018/19, but for now, he stands as a great pickup in NHL 19’s Franchise Mode.