NHL 22 Player Ratings: Best Enforcers

Want to dish out the punishment? These are the best enforcers to help your team set the physical tone.

NHL 22 Player Ratings: Best Enforcers

Fighting has been a staple of the NHL since its inception. Sometimes, you just need to set the tone or respond for a dirty check with an enforcer.

Not everyone is suited for fighting, though, as you probably do not want to send out a Playmaker or Sniper to throw hands. Generally, the rugged defenseman is the ideal choice, though not always the case.

So, considering that, here are the best players for fighting in the NHL 22.

Choosing the best enforcers in NHL 22

In order to find the best enforcers/fighters in the game, we narrowed the list to forwards and defensemen with attribute ratings of at least 85 in fighting skill, 80 in strength, and 80 in balance – the average of the three resulting in Outsider Gaming’s enforcer score. 

The best attributes will be other than the three highlighted to calculate the enforcer score.

On this page, you can see each of the seven featured enforcers featured, as well as a larger list at the bottom of the page. 

Ryan Reaves (Enforcer Score: 92.67)

NHL 22 player enforcer Ryan Reaves

Age: 34
Overall Rating: 78
Fighting Skill/Strength/Balance: 94/92/92
Player Type: Grinder
Team: New York Rangers
Shoots: Right
Best Attributes: 93 Aggressiveness, 92 Body Checking, 90 Durability

Veteran Ryan Reaves takes the top spot on the list with our enforcer score. He tied with the seemingly ageless Zdeno Chara, but based on having a higher fighting skill score, Reaves gets the nod. 

Reaves’ aggressiveness and durability make him ideal to be your main enforcer. His balance score means it will be difficult to floor him as he will most likely retain his upright position. 

On the defensive end, his high rating for body checking and stick checking (88) means he can instill some punishment without a fight if necessary. He also has good endurance (82), so he can be on the ice for longer. 

Zdeno Chara (Enforcer Score: 92.67)

NHL 22 player enforcer Zdeno Chara

Overall Rating: 82
Fighting Skill/Strength/Balance: 90/94/94
Player Type: Defensive Defenseman
Team: UFA
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 92 Body Checking, 90 Slap Shot Power, 88 Shot Blocking

The ageless one, Chara ranks highly again after appearing on this list for last year’s edition of the game. Like last year, he is also a free agent in NHL 22.

The 6’9” Chara is an imposing figure even before you factor in his enforcer score. His fighting skill is slightly lower than Reaves’, but Chara has very high strength and balance. He is a brick wall on skates.

His body checking and stick checking (90) ratings make him formidable on defence. On offence, he packs a 90 in slap shot power, making him a powerful option. 

The best part about Chara? As a free agent, he is easier to acquire in Franchise than signed players.

Milan Lucic (Enforcer Score: 92.33)

NHL 22 player enforcer Milan Lucic

Age: 33
Overall Rating: 80
Fighting Skill/Strength/Balance: 90/93/94
Player Type: Power Forward
Team: Calgary Flames
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 95 Body Checking, 90 Aggressiveness, 88 Slap & Wrist Shot Power

Milan Lucic is the only other player to score 92 in our metric. He falls just short of the previous two with his lower rating in fighting skill. 

However, Lucic still packs a punch (literally). His balance is tied for the best on this list, and a strength score of 93 makes him almost as immovable as Chara. 

Lucic may be the best body checker in the game with a score of 95, and coupled with a stick checking score of 85, he is not to be trifled with. He also has high ratings in slap and wrist shot power (88), so he is a good option for one-timers.

Jamie Oleksiak (Enforcer Score: 91)

NHL 22 player enforcer Jamie Oleksiak

Age: 28
Overall Rating: 82
Fighting Skill/Strength/Balance: 85/94/94
Player Type: Power Forward
Team: Seattle Kraken
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 90 Stick Checking, 90 Body Checking, 90 Shot Blocking

With Seattle beginning their inaugural season, they were smart to find a fighter of Oleksiak’s calibre. While his fighting skill is the minimum for our metric, his strength and balance are both 94.

With good durability (85) and endurance (87), Oleksiak can take and deliver punishment without missing much ice time. He also has a strong shot, with a 90 in both slap and wrist shot power.

On defence, Oleksiak rates 90 in body checking, stick checking and shot blocking, making him a key linchpin on his line.

Zack Kassian (Enforcer Score: 90.33)

NHL 22 player enforcer Zack Kassian

Age: 30
Overall Rating: 80
Fighting Skill/Strength/Balance: 88/92/91
Player Type: Power Forward 
Team: Edmonton Oilers
Shoots: Right
Best Attributes: 91 Aggressiveness, 90 Body Checking, 89 Slap Shot Power

Zack Kassian edges out Brian Boyle because of his better fighting skill score. The veteran Oiler has fairly balanced ratings for fighting skill, strength, and balance, his 92 in strength his forte.

An aggressive skater (91), he can body check (91) with the best. His endurance (86) and durability (89) make him suited for longer stints on the ice, not to mention waylaying opponents. 

He also has good speed (85) and acceleration (85), and with a good slap shot (89) and wrist shot (88), he could also make an impact on the offensive end.

Brian Boyle (Enforcer Score: 90.33)

NHL 22 player enforcer Brian Boyle

Age: 36
Overall Rating: 79
Fighting Skill/Strength/Balance: 85/93/93
Player Type: Power Forward
Team: UFA
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 90 Stick Checking, 88 Body Checking, 88 Slap & Wrist Shot Power

Boyle just makes the cut with his fighting ability at 85, but shines with 93 in both strength and balance. Pair those with his 6’6” frame, and he becomes more formidable.

Boyle can also play a key role on defence. His aggressiveness (88) goes well with his body checking (88) and stick checking (90). He is also a good shot blocker (88), giving up his big body to stop the puck.

He also has good slap and wrist shot power (88), though the accuracies could be better. He also has good durability (86) and can easily be signed as he’s a free agent.

Nicolas Deslauriers (Enforcer Score: 90)

NHL 22 player enforcer Nicolas Deslauriers

Age: 30
Overall Rating: 78
Fighting Skill/Strength/Balance: 92/90/88
Player Type: Grinder
Team: Anaheim Ducks
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 91 Aggressiveness, 90 Body Checking, 88 Stick Checking

One of three players to have a 90 enforcer score, Deslauriers makes the list because of his better fighting skill rating. He has a balanced distribution with 90 in strength and 80 in balance. 

He is an aggressive player (91) with very good body checking (90) and stick checking (88). He is a good shot blocker (86) with high enough durability (87) so injuries should not be a concern.

While he has good power in the slap and wrist shots (86), his accuracies make him better suited to focus on defence.

All the best enforcers in NHL 22

Name Enforcer Score Overall Age Player Type Position Team
Ryan Reaves 92.67 78 34 Grinder Forward New York Rangers
Zdeno Chara 92.67 82 44 Defensive Defenseman Defense UFA
Milan Lucic 92.33 80 33 Power Forward Forward Calgary Flames
Jamie Oleksiak 91 82 28 Defensive Defenseman Defense Seattle Kraken
Zack Kassian 90.33 80 30 Power Forward Forward Edmonton Oilers
Brian Boyle 90.33 79 36 Power Forward Forward UFA
Nicolas Deslauriers 90 78 30 Grinder Forward Anaheim Ducks
Tom Wilson 90 84 27 Power Forward Forward Washington Capitals
Rich Clune 90 69 34 Grinder Forward UFA
Kyle Clifford 89.33 78 30 Grinder Forward St. Louis Blues
Dylan McIlrath 89.33 75 29 Defensive Defenseman Defense Washington Capitals
Jarred Tinordi 89 76 29 Defensive Defenseman Defense New York Rangers
Ross Johnston 88.67 75 27 Enforcer Forward New York Islanders
Nikita Zadorov 88.67 80 26 Defensive Defenseman Defense Calgary Flames
Jordan Nolan 88.33 77 32 Grinder Forward UFA

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