A simple change in the depth chart can do wonders for the performances of many young - or not so young - wingers. Moving from a bottom-six role into the top six and being paired with the right center can lead to a career year.
Here are some wingers who could have career years in 2016-17:
Coyle is about to enter his fifth year in the NHL, and he's expected to shift to right wing in a permanent role. He has played all 82 games in each of the past two seasons. He scored a career-high 21 goals last year, chipping in 21 assists for a career-high 42 points.
He went without a point in the final seven regular-season games, and he scored just one goal with a single assist in six playoff games. His best stretch of the season was from Jan. 21 to March 24, where recorded 11 goals and 20 points over 29 games. He averaged 19:36 in ice time over the stretch, up from his season average of 17:18.
He's likely to play on the top line with LW Zach Parise and newly signed C Eric Staal. Coyle has never tallied more than six power-play points in a season, but he should receive significantly more opportunity this year.
Boedker totaled 51 points in 80 games with the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche last season, matching his career high in points set with the Coyotes in 2013-14. Boedker ranked second in the league in power-play time last season, behind only Washington Capitals W Alex Ovechkin.
Unfortunately for him, Arizona and Colorado ranked 20th and 19th, respectively, in power-play percentage. San Jose ranked third last year and see nearly their entire Stanley Cup final roster return for 2016-17. This should be the best team Boedker has ever played for. He'll serve a top-six role, with either C Joe Thornton or Logan Couture helping to set him up.
Ritchie played 33 games with the Ducks last season, but he scored just two goals with two assists. His four points were the fewest of any Ducks forward to play at least 30 games. He'll compete for the third spot on the top line beside C Ryan Getzlaf and RW Corey Perry. C Rickard Rakell held the role for much of last season, and he totaled a career-high 43 points in 72 games.
While much of the credit should be given to C Connor McDavid, the Oilers' trio of McDavid, Yakupov and W Benoit Pouliot was the team's fifth-best line combination in Corsi For Percentage. They were the third-ranked combo excluding any line which featured LW Taylor Hall.
McDavid is expected to play with LW Milan Lucic and RW Jordan Eberle this season, leaving Yakupov as a candidate to join C Leon Draisaitl on the second line. Yakupov and Draisaitl did not play a significant amount of time together last season, but the struggling Yakupov would do well to pair up with Draisaitl, after the latter scored 51 points in just his sophomore season.