I’ve been a collegiate sports performance coach for 20 years. One thing I always felt was effective was showing guys the heights and weights of players at their position in the pros.
It helped give many players the extra motivation needed to gain weight when they were able to compare themselves to guys at the next level.
So, this is essentially the same research I would share with players, but now I’m sharing it with you. I took the active rosters for the 2022-2023 NHL hockey season, over 800 players total and broke them down by position.
For this guide, I took an average of the heights and weights of the 475 forwards (centers, left wings and right wings) across the league. In addition, just for fun, I listed the tallest, shortest, heaviest and lightest forwards as well. Go ahead and impress someone today with your newfound random hockey knowledge.
Table of Contents
Average Height of an NHL Forward
The average height of an NHL Forward is 72.91 inches (just under 6’1″ tall)
Average Weight of an NHL Forward
The average weight of an NHL Forward is 197.67 pounds.
Who Are The Tallest Forwards in the NHL?
There are six players all listed at 6’6″, the tallest of any forward in the league.
|Tallest Forwards in the NHL|
|Jordan Greenway||6’6″||Left Wing||Minnesota Wild|
|Alexey Toropchenko||6’6″||Right Wing||St Louis Blues|
|Tage Thompson||6’6″||Center||Buffalo Sabres|
|Logan Brown||6’6″||Center||St Louis Blues|
|Michael Rasmussen||6’6″||Center||Detroit Red Wings|
|Nick Bjugstad||6’6″||Center||Arizona Coyotes|
Who are the Shortest Forwards in the NHL?
There are 6 guys listed at 5’8″ or shorter, but only one – Cole Caufield – is listed at 5’7″.
|Shortest Forwards in the NHL|
|Cole Caufield||5’7″||Right Wing||Montreal Canadiens|
|Kailer Yamamoto||5’8″||Right Wing||Edmonton Oilers|
|Cam Atkinson||5’8″||Right Wing||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Alex DeBrincat||5’8″||Right Wing||Ottawa Senators|
|Mats Zuccarello||5’8″||Right Wing||Minnesota Wild|
|Tyler Johnson||5’8″||Center||Chicago Blackhawks|
Who are the Heaviest Forwards in the NHL?
There are 5 forwards in the NHL that weigh 235 pounds or more.
|Heaviest Forwards in the NHL|
|Milan Lucic||240||Left Wing||Calgary Flames|
|Alex Ovechkin||238||Left Wing||Washington Capitals|
|Juraj Slafkovsky||238||Left Wing||Montreal Canadiens|
|Nick Ritchie||236||Left Wing||Arizona Coyotes|
|Anders Lee||235||Left Wing||New York Islanders|
Who are the Lightest Forwards in the NHL?
There are only 5 guys (out of 475) who weigh less than 170 pounds.
|Lightest Forwards in the NHL|
|Kailer Yamamoto||153||Right Wing||Edmonton Oilers|
|Jakob Pelletier||160||Left Wing||Calgary Flames|
|Johnny Gaudreau||165||Left Wing||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|Noah Cates||165||Left Wing||Philadelphia Flyers|
|Conor Garland||165||Right Wing||Vancouver Canucks|
Size of Forwards vs Defensemen
If you’re curious to know how forwards compare to defensemen when it comes to size, you’re in luck, because I researched all 261 active defensemen as well.
On average, there actually isn’t really much of a difference. There is less of an inch difference in average height (72.9 vs 73.76 for defensemen). And, the difference in weight is only about 5 pounds (197.67 vs 202.84 for defensemen).
While there are substantial differences in some individual players, when you take the average of any particular position on the ice (with the exception of goalies who are a little bit taller overall), they come out pretty close.
So, what did I learn?
I’m always fascinated by the range of body types that play the same positions. You find it in sports like football and basketball and you see it here in hockey as well. Guys that are almost a foot different in height (from 6’6″ to 5’7″) and about 90 pounds in weight (153 to 240) are all playing the same position at the very highest level.