NHL 22: Fastest Players (Forwards and Defensemen)

Inject some speed into your NHL 22 lines to get an edge against all of your opponents.

Speed, as they say, kills. It is also something that cannot be taught. Some are fast, others are not.

In modern hockey, it is imperative to have speed on your lines, or your team is doomed to failure. Now, speed is not the only necessary skill a team needs, but it certainly helps bridge any gap – or widen it for successful teams.

Here, you will find the fastest forwards and defensemen to add to your team.

At the bottom of the page, you will find a list of the fastest players in NHL 22.

Finding the fastest players in NHL 22

To determine the fastest skaters in NHL 22, we calculated Outsider Gaming’s “Speed Score” by averaging the total of a player’s speed, acceleration, and agility ratings.

For forwards, the search parameters were having a minimum of 91 in speed and acceleration with an 87 in agility. For defensemen, the parameters were dropped to 90 and 85.

Connor McDavid (Speed Score: 96)

Age: 24
Rating: 95
Position: Center
Type: Playmaker
Team: Edmonton Oilers
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 98 Offensive Awareness, 97 Hand-Eye, 97 Puck Control

Arguably the best player in hockey, Connor McDavid has lived up to the hype since being drafted first overall by Edmonton in 2015.

McDavid rates as the fastest player in the game with a 96 speed score, having a 96 in all three speed categories. Few players can keep up with the superstar Canadian.

Beyond his speed, the two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner as MVP boasts incredible puck skills with a 97 in deking, hand-eye, and puck control with a 96 in passing. His offensive awareness is a staggering 98, but he also has a 92 in defensive awareness. He is a ridiculously talented player.

McDavid ended the 2020-21 season with 72 assists and 33 goals in 56 games for 105 points, his fourth season of 100+ points. Of those 33 goals, 11 were game-winners, while two were netted in overtime. Where he does lack – as evidenced by the sub-80 rating – is in faceoffs, where he has a career 44.8 win percentage, though he won a career-high 49.53 in 2020-21.

Nathan MacKinnon (Speed Score: 94.33)

Age: 26
Rating: 93
Position: Center/Right Wing
Type: Playmaker
Team: Colorado Avalanche
Shoots: Right
Best Attributes: 95 Acceleration, 94 Hand-Eye, 94 Offensive Awareness

Nathan MacKinnon makes the list with the second fastest speed score, and is the only player aside from McDavid with a score above 94. Like his counterpart from Edmonton, MacKinnon excels in every aspect of the game.

His best skills – outside of his speed – are with the puck as he has a 94 in hand-eye and a 93 in deking, passing, and puck control. His shot power for both is a 92 with his wrist shot accuracy edging his slap shot accuracy 93 to 90. He has good senses with a 94 in offensive awareness, 91 in defensive awareness, and 90 in poise. However, even with that poise, his faceoffs are only a 77.

The 2013 first overall draft pick and Calder Memorial Trophy winner had 45 assists and 20 goals in 48 games during the 2020-21 season. Eight of his goals and 17 of his assists were on the power play.

Cale Makar (Speed Score: 93.33)

Age: 22
Rating: 88
Position: Right Defense
Type: Offensive Defenseman
Team: Colorado Avalanche
Shoots: Right
Best Attributes: 94 Agility, 93 Deking, 93 Passing

Cale Makar zooms onto the list with his 94 in agility and 93 in acceleration and speed, making him the fastest defenseman by speed score.

The fourth overall pick from the 2017 draft, Makar has great puck skills. He has a 93 in deking, passing, and puck control, though his hand-eye is lacking a bit (but still good) at 86. He has good awareness with offense at 93 and defense at 90, and he is good at stick checking with a 92.

The 2019-20 Rookie of the Year is entering his third season, but has already made an impact in his first two. Over 44 games during the 2020-21 season, Makar had 36 assists and eight goals with only 12 penalty minutes. He had three game-winning goals and four power play goals.

Johnny Gaudreau (Speed Score: 93)

Age: 28
Rating: 87
Position: Left Wing
Type: Playmaker
Team: Calgary Flames
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 95 Deking, 95 Discipline, 93 Speed

Johnny Gaudreau is fast with a 93 in acceleration, agility, and speed, but he is more than just a blur. He is also one of five players with a speed score of 93, so the order of these five are interchangeable.

His highest ratings come in deking and discipline, both of which sit at 95. He combines those with his 92 in passing, puck control, and offensive awareness, making him a fulcrum of any offensive attack – hence why he is a playmaker.

He can improve on defense, though his speed can help make up for some of his lower ratings. He has a 77 in shot blocking, which is decent, and better ratings with 85 in awareness and 87 in stick checking.

Gaudreau had 30 assists and 19 goals across 56 games for Calgary during the 2020-21 season. He had five game-winning goals and two in overtime. He is also someone who rarely spends time in the penalty box, having spent just six minutes there during the 2020-21 season and amassing a total of 106 minutes over eight seasons.

David Pastrnak (Speed Score: 93)

Age: 25
Rating: 91
Position: Right Wing
Type: Sniper
Team: Boston Bruins
Shoots: Right
Best Attributes: 95 Passing, 95 Off. Awareness, 95 Wrist Shot Accuracy

David Pastrnak, like Gaudreau, has a 93 rating in acceleration, agility, and speed. Also like Gaudreau, he excels in other areas.

He has a 95 in deking, passing, puck control, offensive awareness, and wrist shot accuracy. His hand-eye and slap shot accuracy are both 94. As a sniper, if he has the puck, he will most likely accomplish his task, whether that be a pass or a shot.

His physical skills could improve a little. His aggressiveness and body checking are both 80, and his durability an 82. His endurance, at least, is 87, so he can stay on the ice longer. His strength is a solid 86.

During the 2020-21 season, Pastrnak had 28 assists and 20 goals over 48 games with six of those goals and 14 assists coming on the power play. He scored 48 goals during the 2019-2020 season (with 47 assists) over 70 games, winning the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy as top goal scorer. However, concerning was his drop in shot percentage from 17.2 during his award-winning season to 11.4 during the 2020-2021 season.

Evgeny Kuznetsov (Speed Score: 93)

Age: 29
Rating: 86
Position: Center
Type: Playmaker
Team: Washington Capitals
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 93 Acceleration, 93 Agility, 93 Speed

Eight-year veteran Evegeny Kuznetsov still exhibits his fast legs even at 29 years of age, with a 93 in acceleration, agility, and speed.

He has good puck and shooting skills. He has a 90 in deking and passing, a deadly combination when paired with his speed ratings. He also has an 89 in hand-eye, puck control, and slap shot power with the other three shooting ratings at 88. On offense, Kuznetsov is a dangerous foe.

His one area of focused improvement – aside from faceoffs and fighting skill – is his shot blocking, rated a 75. He does have good defensive ratings otherwise with an 87 in stick checking and 85 in awareness, which may help mitigate his lower rating in shot blocking.

The former Stanley Cup champion had 20 assists and nine goals across 41 games during the 2020-2021 season. Four were game-winning though none were in overtime. During the 2019-20 season, he had 33 assists and 19 goals over 63 games. He did see a steep drop off in shots, 51 less of them in 2020-21, but he also played in 22 less games than the year prior.

Nikita Kucherov (Speed Score: 93)

Age: 28
Rating: 92
Position: Right Wing
Type: Sniper
Team: Tampa Bay Lightning
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 96 Deking, 96 Puck Control, 96 Offensive Awareness

Nikita Kucherov is the only player with a speed score of 93 that does not have a 93 in all three speed ratings. Instead, his speed is lower at 92 while his agility is higher at 94, with acceleration at 93. He trades a slight bit of speed for a little more agility.

Kucherov is a menace on offense. His deking, puck control, and awareness are at 96 while his hand-eye, passing, poise, and wrist shot accuracy are at 95. His slap shot accuracy is a 94 with both power ratings at 90.

Kucherov’s biggest area of improvement in-game should be the physical side. He has an 80 in aggressiveness, body checking, and durability, though he does have an 87 in endurance and 86 in strength. Shore up his physical ratings and he could be the best player in NHL 22 for your team.

The former MVP and two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion had 52 assists and 33 goals over 68 games during the 2019-20 first championship season, adding 27 assists and seven goals over 25 playoff games. After missing all of the 2020-21 regular season recovering from surgery, Kucherov joined Tampa Bay for the playoffs and had 24 assists and eight goals over 23 games in another championship season.

Quinn Hughes (Speed Score: 93)

Age: 21
Rating: 86
Position: Left Defense
Type: Offensive Defenseman
Team: Vancouver Canucks
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 93 Puck Control, 93 Offensive Awareness, 93 Speed

The youngest player on this list by one year, Quinn Hughes is also only the second defenseman who scored at least a 93 in speed score.

The seventh overall pick from 2018 has more than just speed. His top rating of 93 is also present in deking, passing, puck control, and offensive awareness, while he has a solid shot with both power ratings at 88 and both accuracies at 86.

He is also a good defenseman – as his position would suggest – with a 91 in stick checking, 87 in awareness, and 85 in shot blocking. His aggressiveness is only an 81 and body checking is only an 80, but he does have good endurance (87), durability (85), and strength (84), helping to account for the lower ratings.

Entering his fourth year, Hughes helped Vancouver with 38 assists and three goals over 56 games during the 2020-21 season. While he had no power play goals, he did have 19 assists on the power play. His two-career game-winning goals came during the 2019-20 season when he had eight goals and 45 assists over 68 games, pitching in 14 assists and two goals over 17 playoff games in his only postseason experience.

All the fastest players in NHL 22

Check out all the fastest players in NHL 22 in the table below.

Name Speed Score Overall Position Type Age Team Best Attributes
Connor McDavid 96 95 Center Playmaker 24 Edmonton Oilers 97 Deking, 97 Hand-Eye, 97 Puck Control
Nathan MacKinnon 94.33 93 Center/Right Wing Playmaker 26 Colorado Avalanche 95 Acceleration, 94 Hand-Eye, 94 Off. Awareness
Cale Makar 93.33 88 Right Defense Offensive Defenseman 22 Colorado Avalanche 94 Agility, 93 Deking, 93 Passing
Johnny Gaudreau 93 87 Left Wing Playmaker 28 Calgary Flames 95 Deking, 95 Discipline, 93 Speed
David Pastrnak 93 91 Right Wing Sniper 25 Boston Bruins 95 Passing, 95 Off. Awareness, 95 Wrist Shot Accuracy
Evgeny Kuznetsov 93 86 Center Playmaker 29 Washington Capitals 93 Acceleration, 93 Agility, 93 Speed
Nikita Kucherov 93 92 Right Wing Sniper 28 Tampa Bay Lightning 96 Deking, 96 Puck Control, 96 Off. Awareness
Quinn Hughes 93 86 Left Defense Offensive Defenseman 21 Vancouver Canucks 93 Puck Control, 93 Off. Awareness, 93 Speed
Mathew Barzal 92.33 89 Center Playmaker 24 New York Islanders 94 Deking, 94 Speed, 93 Passing
Artemi Panarin 92.33 91 Left Wing Playmaker 29 New York Rangers 96 Deking, 95 Off. Awareness, 94 Puck Control
Kasperi Kapanen 92 83 Left Wing/Right Wing Two-Way Forward 25 Pittsburgh Penguins 93 Acceleration, 93 Speed, 90 Discipline
Dylan Larkin 92 87 Center/Left Wing Playmaker 25 Detroit Red Wings 93 Acceleration, 93 Speed, 91 Endurance
Nikolaj Ehlers 92 86 Right Wing/Left Wing Playmaker 25 Winnipeg Jets 93 Deking, 92 Hand-Eye, 92 Agility
Alex Debrincat 92 88 Right Wing/Left Wing Sniper 23 Chicago Blackhawks 95 Discipline, 93 Puck Control, 93 Wrist Shot Accuracy
Samuel Girard 92 85 Left Defense Offensive Defenseman 23 Colorado Avalanche 95 Discipline, 92 Agility, 92 Speed
Taylor Hall 91.67 87 Left Wing Sniper 29 Boston Bruins 93 Speed, 92 Acceleration, 91 Wrist Shot Power
Matt Duchene 91.33 83 Center/Left Wing Playmaker 30 Nashville Predators 92 Speed, 91 Acceleration, 91 Agility
Michael Grabner 90.67 80 Right Wing/Left Wing Sniper 33 UFA 95 Discipline, 92 Speed, 91 Acceleration
Keith Yandle 90.67 85 Left Defense Offensive Defenseman 35 Philadelphia Flyers 92 Passing, 92 Puck Control, 92 Off. Awareness
Morgan Rielly 90 87 Left Defense Two-Way Defender 27 Toronto Maple Leafs 91 Passing, 91 Puck Control, 91 Stick Checking

Fastest starting line to play in NHL 22

With a few well-placed trades, you could build yourself the fastest line in NHL 22, zipping by even the speediest of teams.

The fastest line to play in NHL 22 is as follows, with each player selected on their speed score and preferred position:

Johnny Gaudreau (93) – Connor McDavid (96) – Nikita Kucherov (93) – Quinn Hughes (93) – Cale Makar (93.33)

Kucherov is in rather that Pastrnak as Kucherov has a higher overall rating, but both are fine as they have the same speed score.

If you wanted the fastest line incorporating a player’s secondary position, then your line would look like this:

Johnny Gaudreau (93) – Connor McDavid (96) – Nathan MacKinnon (93) – Quinn Hughes (93) – Cole Makar (93.33)

If you want to inject more speed and quickness to your team for more goal scoring opportunities, acquire some of these players for your franchise in NHL 22.

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