Oct 17, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler (17) against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Vancouver beats Buffalo 3 to 0. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

A Permanent Move to Right Wing for Vancouver Canucks’ Ryan Kesler?


The move to right wing for Vancouver Canucks forward Ryan Kesler might be permanent.

Canucks head coach John Tortorella tells Jason Botchford of the Province that he sees Kesler as more of a right winger than centre.

“I’ve always thought Kes was going to be a … I just look at Kes like a winger,” Tortorella said. “Even from afar.

“I like to have that big body on the boards. I think it forces him to play in the area he needs to play. I think he gets more shots on the wing.

“I think it takes away some of the one-on-one stuff that really is out of our game.

“Right now, we’ll keep him there and we’ll see where it goes.”

Botchford notes Kesler’s offensive production has “skyrocketed” since moving to right wing.

In six games as a centre, Kesler had one goal, no assists, and a minus-5 rating. In seven games as a right winger, he’s had six goals, three assists, and is plus-three.

The Canucks aren’t particularly strong down the middle with Henrik Sedin, Mike Santorelli, Brad Richardson, and Jeremy Welsh as the team’s four centres.

Santorelli isn’t an established name on the second line, but he has been producing like one. He has nine points in 13 games and is on pace for a 57-point season.

For as long as Santorelli can continue his production, keeping Kesler on right wing is an option.

Tags: Ryan Kesler Vancouver Canucks