In every team sport, beating your opponent comes down to scoring more points, runs, or goals. In hockey, the players that are mainly tasked with scoring goals are the forwards, and one specific player archetype in NHL 23 reigns supreme as the best for the puck finding the back of the net: Snipers.
Below, you will find the best Snipers in NHL 23 based on their overall rating. Attribute ratings are current as of October 18 and the October 4 live roster. Any states referenced are current through October 17 as the NHL season recently began. Each featured player is at least 91 OVR. An interesting note is that every player featured on this list has made at least one other “Best” list.
Note: for the forward positions, the only archetype that will not receive a list is Enforcers. As of October 18, there is only one Enforcer archetype in NHL 23 in Ross Johnston (75 OVR) of the New York Islanders.
1. Auston Matthews (94 OVR)
Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
Salary: $11.375M (2 Years)
Best Attributes: 97 Off. Awareness, 97 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 96 Slap Shot Accuracy
Auston Matthews is tied with two others players at 94 OVR, just behind Edmonton’s Connor McDavid’s 95 OVR for the best player in the game. However, he is the best Sniper and the only one at 94 OVR. The NHL 22 cover athlete truly embodies the Sniper archetype with 97 Wrist Shot Accuracy and 96 Slap Shot Accuracy to pair with 94 Wrist Shot Power and 92 Slap Shot Power. This means he’s accurate and can fire the puck with enough strength to bypass a goalie’s defense.
He is also adept with the puck with 95 Hand-Eye and Puck Control, 93 Passing, and 92 Deking. Another positive is his ability on defense with 94 Def. Awareness and Stick Checking, though his 80 Faceoffs could be better as a center.
Matthews has a Zone Ability in addition to his five Superstar Abilities. His Zone Ability is Shock and Awe. This gives Matthews exceptional power and accuracy shooting out of or shortly after a toe drag.
Entering his seventh year in Toronto, Matthews is seeking to break the Canadian Stanley Cup drought before players like McDavid have the chance to beat him to the goal. Matthews is having a solid start to his 2022-2023 season. In his first four games, he has one goal and one assist (two points) while adding two blocks and a nice 14 hits.
2. Leon Draisaitl (93 OVR)
Position: Center, Left Wing
Team: Edmonton Oilers
Salary: $7.990M (3 Years)
Best Attributes: 97 Off. Awareness, 95 Puck Control, 95 Wrist Shot Accuracy
Behind McDavid, Leon Draisaitl is the second Edmonton Oiler in the top ten in NHL 23 by overall rating, and tied for the second-best Sniper with Patrick Kane. Draisaitl has similar attributes to Matthews with 95 Wrist Shot Accuracy and 94 Slap Shot Accuracy to pair with 92 Slap Shot and Wrist Shot Power.
He can also handle the puck well with 95 Puck Control, 94 Hand-Eye and Passing, and 93 Deking. Draisaitl is also good on defense with 93 Stick Checking, 91 Def. Awareness, and a good 85 Faceoffs.
Draisaitl’s Zone Ability is Tape to Tape. This gives Draisaitl exceptional power and accuracy on all passes within his vision, which will also auto saucer when necessary. It’s a bit odd that a Sniper archetype has a Zone Ability that is more of a fit with a Playmaker, but this just shows how skillful Draisaitl is.
The former Hart Memorial Trophy and Art Ross Trophy winner from 2019-2020 has had a blistering start to the 2022-2023 season. He’s only scored one goal, but already has four assists (five points) in only two games. He made his one goal count as it was on the power play.
3. Patrick Kane (93 OVR)
Position: Right Wing
Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Salary: $10.500M (1 Year)
Best Attributes: 97 Off. Awareness, 97 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 96 Puck Skills
Kane is now entering his sixteenth year in the NHL, with Chicago, and he’s still tied with Draisaitl as the second-best Sniper in the game and one of the top ten players overall. Kane carries the Sniper mainstays of 97 Wrist Shot Accuracy and 96 Slap Shot Accuracy with 89 Slap Shot and Wrist Shot Power, so his shots don’t have as much zip on them as others though they are highly accurate.
Kane may have the best Puck Skills overall with a 96 in all four categories: Deking, Hand-Eye, Passing, and Puck Control. The right winger also carries 91 Def. Awareness and Stick Checking.
Kane’s Zone Ability is Puck on a String. This gives Kane exceptional toe drag and stick handling speed, which is only increased by his 96 Puck Skills.
Kane has had a quiet start to his 2022-2023 season with one assist (one point) in three games, adding one block and one hit as well.
4. Alex Ovechkin (92 OVR)
Position: Left Wing
Team: Washington Capitals
Salary: $8.950M (4 Years)
Best Attributes: 97 Off. Awareness, 96 Slap Shot Power, 95 Slap Shot Accuracy
The longtime Washington Capital captain, who was the main reason the franchise won its first Stanley Cup Finals in 2018, is still going strong in what is now his eighteenth season. Out of the players listed, Ovechkin may have the best Shooting attributes overall with 96 Slap Shot Power, 95 Slap Shot Accuracy, and 94 Wrist Shot Accuracy and Power.
With 93 Hand-Eye, 92 Puck Control, 89 Passing, and 88 Deking, Ovechkin is still a good puck handler, and his defense isn’t bad either, with 92 Stick Checking, 88 Def. Awareness, and 83 Shot Blocking. But his most impressive attributes are his 97 Off. Awareness and 96 Poise, which keep him calm in almost any situation.
The Russian’s Zone Ability is One Tee. This gives the prolific goal scorer exceptional power and accuracy on one timers, and also greatly increases his ability to one time bad passes. Ovechkin’s one timer is truly his signature, so this Zone Ability reflects that fact.
Ovechkin has had a typical start to his 2022-2023 season with two goals and three assists (five points) in four games. Both his goal and assist were on the power play. He’s added two blocks, but a high 18 hits for a little more than four hits per game early in the season.
5. Nikita Kucherov (92 OVR)
Position: Right Wing
Team: Tampa Bay Lightning
Salary: $9.500M (5 Years)
Best Attributes: 96 Deking, 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Hand-Eye
Two-time Stanley Cup champion and three-time defending Eastern Conference Champion Nikita Kucherov represent the Tampa Bay mini-dynasty as one of two Snipers at 92 OVR (with Ovechkin).
Kucherov has 95 Wrist Shot Accuracy and 94 Slap Shot Accuracy with 92 Wrist Shot Power and 91 Slap Shot Power. He’s just behind Kane in Puck Skills with 96 Deking and 95 Hand-Eye, Passing, and Puck Control. Kucherov is also a speedy skater with 94 Agility, 93 Acceleration, and 92 Speed.
Kucherov’s Zone Ability is Make it Snappy. This provides Kucherov with exceptional power and accuracy when taking slap shots while skating.
Kucherov’s start to the 2022-2023 season has been more of a Playmaker role than a Sniper. The former Hart Memorial Trophy winner has zero goals and three assists (three points) in three games, with two of those assists coming on the power play.
6. Kirill Kaprizov (91 OVR)
Position: Left Wing, Right Wing
Team: Minnesota Wild
Salary: $9.000M (4 Years)
Best Attributes: 96 Off. Awareness, 94 Puck Skills, 93 Slap Shot Accuracy
Kirill Kaprizov may be tied for the youngest player on this list, but he is by far the least experienced of the ones listed as he is just entering his third season. The Minnesota Wild winger has 94 across all four Puck Skills attributes, putting him just behind Kucherov and then Kane in this department.
He also carries the accuracy of a Sniper with 93 Slap Shot and 92 Wrist Shot Accuracy, packing a little punch with 90 Slap Shot and Wrist Shot Power. He has great Senses as well with 96 Off. Awareness, 90 Poise, and 85 Discipline.
Kaprizov’s Zone Ability is Wheels. This gives Kaprizov exceptional agility, speed, and acceleration when skating with the puck. It is always active.
Kaprizov has had a blistering start to his 2022-2023 season. He’s already netted three goals and two assists (five points) in three games.
7. David Pastrnak (91 OVR)
Position: Right Wing
Team: Boston Bruins
Salary: $6.575M (1 Year)
Best Attributes: 96 Puck Control, 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Hand-Eye
David Pastrnak is another great Sniper with exceptional Puck Skills. He’s basically tied with Kucherov for best Puck Skills after Kane with 96 Puck Control and 95 Deking, Hand-Eye, and Passing. Pastrnak is accurate like all Snipers with 95 Wrist Shot Accuracy and 94 Slap Shot Accuracy, with 89 Slap Shot and Wrist Shot Power.
He’s a skater with a quick start having 92 Acceleration and Speed, but his 85 Agility is a bit lower and means he’s less nimble than some others on the list.
Pastrnak’s Zone Ability is Shnipe. This gives Pastrnak phenomenal skill to settle pucks with an exceptional wrist shot accuracy and power off settled pucks. Basically, if he can set the puck like Klay Thompson setting his feet coming off of a screen for a three-pointer, then Pastrnak is, like Thompson, money.
Pastrnak’s 2022-2023 has started off well. He has two goals and three assists (five points) in three games with one assist on the power play.
8. Miko Rantanen (91 OVR)
Position: Right Wing
Team: Colorado Avalanche
Salary: $9.250M (3 Years)
Best Attributes: 95 Off. Awareness, 93 Passing, 93 Puck Control
The best Sniper from the reigning, defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche, Miko Rantanen rounds out the list as the last Sniper with at least a 91 OVR rating. Rantanen has balanced Puck Skills and Shooting attributes. He carries 93 Passing and Puck Control with 92 Deking and Hand-Eye.
Rantanen has a tight pack of Shooting features with 93 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 92 Slap Shot Accuracy and Power, and 90 Wrist Shot Power. He has good Senses with 95 Off. Awareness, 90 Poise, and 83 Discipline.
Rantanen’s Zone Ability is Tape to Tape. This gives Rantanen exceptional power and accuracy on all passes in his vision that will also auto saucer when necessary. This is the same Zone Ability as Draisaitl.
Rantanen has become more of a Playmaker early in the 2022-2023 season. He has one goal and five assists (six points) through three games. He hopes he and Colorado can provide the NHL with a second consecutive repeat champion after Tampa Bay won the 2020 and 2021 Stanley Cup Finals.
All of the best Snipers in NHL 23
Below are all of the best Sniper archetypes in NHL 23 based on their overall rating. Each player listed below as at least an 88 OVR rating.
|Auston Matthews||94||25||Center||Sniper||Left||Toronto Maple Leafs||$11.375M (2 Years)||97 Off. Awareness, 97 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 96 Slap Shot Accuracy|
|Leon Draisaitl||93||26||Center, Left Wing||Sniper||Left||Edmonton Oilers||$7.990M (3 Years)||97 Off. Awareness, 95 Puck Control, 95 Wrist Shot Accuracy|
|Patrick Kane||93||33||Right Wing||Sniper||Left||Chicago Blackhawks||$10.500M (1 Year)||97 Off. Awareness, 97 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 96 Puck Skills|
|Alex Ovechkin||92||37||Left Wing||Sniper||Right||Washington Capitals||$8.950M (4 Years)||97 Off. Awareness, 96 Slap Shot Power, 95 Slap Shot Accuracy|
|Nikita Kucherov||92||29||Right Wing||Sniper||Left||Tampa Bay Lightning||$9.500M (5 Years)||96 Deking, 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Hand-Eye|
|Miko Rantanen||91||25||Right Wing||Sniper||Left||Colorado Avalanche||$9.250M (3 Years)||95 Off. Awareness, 93 Passing, 93 Puck Control|
|David Pastrnak||91||26||Right Wing||Sniper||Right||Boston Burins||$6.575M (1 Year)||96 Puck Control, 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Hand-Eye|
|Kirill Kaprizov||91||25||Left Wing, Right Wing||Sniper||Left||Minnesota Wild||$9.000M (4 Years)||96 Off. Awareness, 94 Puck Skills, 93 Slap Shot Accuracy|
|Kyle Connor||90||25||Left Wing||Sniper||Left||Winnipeg Jets||$7.145M (4 Years)||95 Off. Awareness, 93 Hand-Eye, 93 Wrist Shot Accuracy|
|Alex DeBrincat||89||24||Right Wing, Left Wing||Sniper||Right||Ottawa Senators||$6.400M (1 Year)||95 Discipline, 95 Off. Awareness, 94 Wrist Shot Accuracy|
|Jason Robertson||88||23||Left Wing||Sniper||Left||Dallas Stars||$0.795M (0 Years, RFA)||93 Hand-Eye, 93 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 92 Deking|
|Andrei Svechnikov||88||22||Right Wing, Left Wing||Sniper||Left||Carolina Hurricanes||$7.500M (7 Years)||93 Slap Shot Power, 92 Puck Control, 92 Slap Wrist Shot Power|
|Mika Zibanejad||88||29||Center||Sniper||Right||Bew York Rangers||$8.500M (8 Years)||91 Passing, 91 Stick Checking, 91 Off. Awareness|
|Jake Guentzel||88||27||Left Wing, Right Wing||Sniper||Left||Pittsburgh Penguins||$5.875M (2 Years)||91 Hand-Eye, 91 Passing, 91 Puck Control|
|Vladimir Tarasenko||88||30||Right Wing||Sniper||Left||St. Louis Blues||$7.500M (1 Year)||92 Off. Awareness, 92 Slap Shot Power, 91 Deking|
Now you know all of the best Snipers in NHL 23 by their overall rating. Which goal scorer will you add to your squad?
Have a look at our guide on how to deke in NHL 23.