One of the most popular position in hockey in terms of star power, the NHL is full of talented Centers. Today I will take a look at the best in the league. While there are starts left and right in the league some of the biggest names in the league today come from this list. As we take a look at this list feel free to tweet at @NoHuddleNHL and let us know what you think and who you would put on this list. Without keeping you waiting any longer here is our list.
#10. Tyler Seguin (DAL)
The only center to have been traded in this list and surely many Bruins fans don’t need to be reminded of that. The former second overall pick played mostly as a winger in his time in Boston and was deemed to be the odd man out. When he first came to Dallas there was no doubt he’d be the top line center. The question was whether he’d succeed in his role. He’s proved many doubters wrong and has racked up his point totals. Since coming to Dallas he’s put up at least 70 points per season and has scored more than 30 goals multiple times. He and Jamie Benn make one of the most dangerous first lines in the entire league.
#9. Mark Schiefle (WPG)
One of the most underrated players on this list Mark Schiefle has quietly been one of the most consistent scorers around the NHL. The beginning of his career wasn’t anything spectacular but in recent years he has slowly become to the player the Jets organization wanted when they drafted him 7th overall in 2011. He plays a strong physical game and provide offensive support. The Jets rely on him to play in many situations and Schiefle has delivered. Now the Jets look poised to make a deep run in this years postseason as they have quietly had a strong year.
#8. Jack Eichel (BUF)
Probably the only bright spot on the Buffalo Sabres this season. The second overall pick in 2015 has played brilliantly on a struggling Sabres team. He has incredible puck control and sets up teammates with amazing accuracy. He isn’t scared to shoot the puck as he’s had a few highlight reel goals early on. His strong play on ice has managed to get Buffalo a few wins but there’s no doubt on the frustration in Buffalo. Once again having a disappointing season Eichel and the Sabres hope for better things the following season.
#7. Auston Matthews (TOR)
All eyes were on Matthews the second the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted him 1st overall in 2016. He lived up to all the hype of being a first overall pick throughout his rookie year. His first game he stunned the entire league by netting four goals against the Ottawa Senators. The rest of the season was no different as Matthews hit the back of the net 40 times. His heavy but accurate shot being the reason for his explosive goal scoring. Auston Matthews is arguably the best American hockey player and looks to build off a terrific beginning to his career.
#6. Nathan Mackinnon (COL)
Since coming into the league in 2013 Nathan Mackinnon has been one of the most important players for the Avalanche if not the most important already. When Mackinnon is healthy he can be one of the most explosive players in the league. He put up solid numbers his rookie year and followed that with a disappointing sophomore slump but the young star has had a monster season. Injury has cut his season short but the talented 1st overall pick in 2013 will look to come back strong. Mackinnon will look to be the face of the Avalanche for years to come as the Avalanche’s rebuild phase seems to be coming to an end.
#5. Nicklas Backstrom (WSH)
Many of you might question me on this pick. If you think of the Washington Capitals most of you probably think of Alex Ovechkin. Backstrom always seems to fly under the radar and never gets enough credit for the numbers he puts up. He is just under a point per game in his career with 203 goals and 570 assists totaling 773 points in 790 games played. His defensive play is exceptional and can play in practically any situation whether it’s setting up players on the man advantage or winning draws on the penalty kill. He is one of the most talented playmakers and sets up players with incredible precision and is a crucial part of the Capitals offense and defense.
#4. Steven Stamkos (TBL)
As we all know Steven Stamkos is one of the premier goal scorers in the league and this season he’s erased any doubts. He has a lethal shot and can be the difference maker on the man advantage. The past two seasons haven’t been easy for the Lightning’s captain. He’s gone through two long term injuries including having to deal with blood clots that threatened his career. He has bounced back in a strong way though and has for the most part been healthy this season and has racked up his point totals. Now he looks to lead Tampa to its first Cup since 2004. He has won 2 Maurice Richard in 2009 and 2012 and looks to bring more awards home this year.
#3. Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
Evgeni Malkin is one of the most decorated players in the NHL, and yet he always seems to fly under the radar. Most recently he got left out of the NHL’s top 100 of all time. Malkin made it pretty clear that he was surprised to have been left out of the list. For most of his time in Pittsburgh he’s always had to deal with playing under the shadow of Sidney Crosby but has excelled his game. He possesses tremendous skill and uses his size and strength to drive opposing defensemen insane. He has helped the Pittsburgh Penguins win 3 Stanley Cups, winning the Conn Smythe once and multiple times he had led the team in playoff scoring. He can quarterback the power play by setting up teammates with precision or uses his powerful shot to beat goalies.
#2. Connor McDavid (EDM)
Even before entering the league in 2015 people everywhere were impressed by his blazing speed and incredible playmaking abilities. Now today we get to see that in the NHL. McDavid’s rookie season was cut short with a long term injury that came against the Flyers but even then was a candidate for the Calder as with the few games he did play he showed why he is considered by many to be the future face of the NHL. In his second season we got to see Connor McDavid and the Oilers make the playoffs for the first time since 2006 when they lost in the finals to the Carolina Hurricanes. The Oilers haven’t been as good but they’ll look to build around McDavid and make another deep run.
#1. Sidney Crosby (PIT)
For more than a decade Sidney Crosby has been shredding defenses around the league. His incredible playmaking ability can set up his wingers with precision. His shot is accurate as anyone’s in the league. His defensive play doesn’t go unnoticed though, winning faceoffs, blocking shots, back checking, and his ability to switch quickly from defense to offense. He’s a great leader who leads by example and has taken his team to 4 Stanley Cup Finals and has won 3 of them and winning the Conn Smythe in 2 occasions. His list of awards and achievements is seemingly endless. Sidney Crosby can do it all for you and is the literal definition of a franchise center.