The Bruins have had many right wings lace up the skates and don the Spoked-B sweater since the inception of the Original Six team in 1924. It’s arguably the position with the most successful, well-known Boston players.

Picking the all-time greatest right wing is not easy if you consider more than just scoring. However, the list can be extensive, from Hall of Famers to fan favorites that embraced the Big Bad Bruins persona and anyone in between.

There are players with their number living in infamy high above the ice from the rafters at TD Garden, along with wingers that may not have had longevity in Boston, but a historical impact.

Hall of Famers Aubrey “Dit” Clapper, Bobby Bauer and Mark Recchi would certainly be in the top 10. Nathan Horton, Michael Ryder, and enforcer Shawn Thornton helped the Black and Gold win their first Stanley Cup in 39 years in 2011, but they weren’t the best right wings to wear a Bruins uniform.

Story continues below advertisement

Here are the five greatest Bruins right wings of all time.

Terry O’Reilly (1972-1985)
Known for his physical presence, Boston’s all-time penalty minutes leader (2,095), O’Reilly, nicknamed “Taz,” was a warrior on the ice for the Bruins, not only protecting his teammates but being an offensive threat in front of the net as well.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

His 14-year NHL career, all spent in Boston, was highlighted by the 1977-78 season when O’Reilly recorded 90 points (29 goals, 61 assists) while serving 211 penalties in minutes. O’Reilly sits 10th in Bruins history with 402 assists.

Following his playing career, O’Reilly served as head coach for the Bruins from 1986-87 to 1988-89. His No. 24 was raised to the rafters in 2002.

Story continues below advertisement

Ken Hodge (1967-1976)
Hodge was an integral part of the Bruins, winning two Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972. During nine years with Boston, his best offensive output came in 1973-74 when he became a member of the Bruins’ 50-goal club while recording 105 points with 50 goals and 55 assists.

It was the second time Hodge recorded 105 points during his time with the Bruins. The first came in 1970-71 when he tallied 43 goals and 62 assists. That same year, Hodge finished third in scoring behind teammates Phil Esposito (145) and Bobby Orr (122).

Before he was traded to the Rangers for Rick Middleton, Hodge played in 652 games for Boston holding many top-10 spots in Bruins history, such as goals (289), points (674), power-play goals (80), and game-winning goals (47).

David Pastrnak (2015-Present)
In nine years, David Pastrnak has only played two complete 82-game seasons, but the 27-year-old has propelled himself to an elite right wing, not just for the Bruins but in the league. He is the only active player to make the cut for one of the greatest right wings for Boston.

Story continues below advertisement

In the COVID-shortened 2019-2020 season, the Bruins’ sniper was on pace for his first 50-goal season finishing with 48 in 70 games. That same season, Pastrnak had a career-high 47 assists for 95 points. Pastrnak eclipsed those totals in the 2022-23 season when the Czechia native recorded 61 goals and added 52 assists for 113 points joining the elite 50-goal group of Esposito, Middleton, Hodge and Cam Neely.

Pastrnak has 301 goals and 316 assists in 592 regular season games for the Bruins and is a proven powerhouse on the man advantage with 202 points (101 goals, 101 assists). Over the course of seven playoff runs with Boston, Pastrnak has notched 35 goals and 44 helpers for 79 points in 77 games, with 14 of his postseason goals coming via the power play.

The elite goal scorer signed an eight-year, $90 million contract extension on March 2 giving him the opportunity to break many Bruins’ records in the years to come.

Rick Middleton (1976-1988)
You can argue that Middleton is the best right wing in Bruins history, given the numbers he put up during the 12 years he wore the Spoked-B.

Story continues below advertisement

Nicknamed “Nifty,” Middleton sits in third place for all-time goals (402) and fifth in points (898). He scored at least 40 goals in five straight seasons, with his best being 51 in 1981-82. He added two 100-point seasons in 1980-81 (103) and again in 1983-84 (105). The 105-point seasons by Middleton and Hodge were a Bruins record until Pastrnak eclipsed the total by eight points in the 2022-23 season.

His 25 short-handed goals were tops in Bruins history until Brad Marchand passed him with 33 in the 2021-2022 season.

Middleton still holds the NHL record for most points in a single playoff series when he tallied 19 points against the Buffalo Sabres in the 1982-83 postseason.

The Bruins retired his No. 16 in 2018.

Story continues below advertisement

Cam Neely (1986-1996)
Known for not only his ability to score but his willingness to be physical, that versatility made the current Bruins president one of the best power forwards in the NHL from the mid-80s to mid-90s.

Neely became a member of the elite Bruins’ 50-goal club when he potted 50 goals in the first 44 games he played in the 1993-94 season. It was the third time Neely had reached the 50-goal mark in his career with Boston. Previously, he recorded 55 goals in 1989-90 and 51 in 1990-91.

Neely and the fans of Boston were left to wonder what could have been when his career was cut short due to a nagging knee injury following multiple hits to the lower body during the 1991 Prince of Wales Conference Finals.

After multiple attempts to come back and only playing in 49 games in the 1993-94 season, Neely earned the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for Qualities of Perseverance and Sportsmanship.

Story continues below advertisement

The Hall of Famer recorded 344 goals and 246 assists in 525 games for the Bruins over ten years before retiring in 1996.

Neely was the prototypical power forward, the ultimate Bruin to most Boston fans, and because of one play, Ulf Samuelsson became the most hated player by those same fans.

His No. 8 was raised to the rafters in 2004.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images