Fantasy Hockey: Center Rankings

It is safe to say that center is far and away the deepest position with a lot of top end talent as well.  While putting together my rankings, I was constantly amazed at some of the names that were showing up at the bottom of the list.  With the position being so deep, if you are stuck between a center or another position, go with the other position.  Sidney Crosby is still the obvious second pick in drafts, but with so much depth, some deference must be given to other positions.

  1. Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. Evgeni Malkin – Pittsburgh Penguins – Malkin gets the call over the other centers due to his ability to post huge numbers despite subpar wings.  Adding Staal to his line will only help.
  3. Nicklas Backstrom – Washington Capitals
  4. Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks – Getzlaf battled through injuries while finishing with a “disappointing” season.  He plays on arguably the most talented line in hockey, a huge rebound will occur.  80+ PIM doesn’t hurt either.
  5. Joe Thornton – San Jose Sharks
  6. Paul Stastny – Colorado Avalanche – Saw a dip in goal scoring last season.  As Colorado improves, so will Stastny.  He will finally top 80 points and state his claim to elite status.
  7. Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning – I’m not willing to bet he nets 50 again.  But his 1st round price tag requires him to do so, buyer beware.
  8. Vincent Lecavalier – Tampa Bay Lightning – He will rebound in a huge way.  Couple his excellent stats with his current 5th round price tag and he deserves this spot.
  9. Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks – Which number doesn’t fit?  112, 82, 76, 81, 75.  Those are Henrik’s point totals over the last five years.  I expect him to regress closer to the mean.  If he tops 90, consider yourself lucky.
  10. Pavel Datsyuk – Detroit Red Wings
  11. Eric Staal – Carolina Hurricanes
  12. Mike Richards – Philadelphia Flyers
  13. Patrick Elias – New Jersey Devils – He skated with Parise last season and will likely do so again.  However, Kovalchuk isn’t a shabby back up plan either.  The 14th ranking may be a little conservative.
  14. Jeff Carter – Philadelphia Flyers
  15. Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings
  16. Jason Spezza – Ottawa Senators
  17. Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings
  18. Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks – He has never topped 70 points in one season and there isn’t a huge difference in Chicago to suggest he automatically will.  Toews is a much better hockey player than he is a fantasy star.
  19. Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks
  20. Travis Zajac – New Jersey Devils – Zajac has steadily improved over his young career and may flourish with the immense offensive talent surrounding him in New Jersey.  He will profit from Lemaire moving on as much as anyone.
  21. Matt Duchene – Colorado Avalanche – Duchene has a better chance to pull a Stamkosesque sophomore year than Tavares.  Colorado provides better offensive support than the Islanders.
  22. Mikko Koivu – Minnesota Wild
  23. Marc Savard – Boston Bruins – I expect a better year from Savard, but he remains one bad hit away from an extended period on the IR.  Draft with caution.
  24. John Tavares – New York Islanders – Tavares should have no problem continuing to develop.  The Islanders are an improved team as a whole, but don’t expect to see a huge sophomore year, 35 goals and 30 assists is reasonable.
  25. Brad Richards – Dallas Stars
  26. Derek Roy – Buffalo Sabres
  27. Nik Antropov – Atlanta Thrashers – Antropov quietly put together a very solid season in Atlanta, both with and without Kovalchuk.  It’s tough to see him doing much better than last year, but a repeat is likely.
  28. Jason Arnott – New Jersey Devils
  29. Mike Ribeiro – Dallas Stars
  30. Jordan Staal – Pittsburgh Penguins – Staal could be a real boom this year if he spends most of the season on Malkin’s wing.  However, I have trouble believing there won’t be stretches with the third line, limiting his upside.
  31. Mike Fisher – Ottawa Senators
  32. Stephen Weiss – Florida Panthers
  33. Brandon Dubinsky – New York Rangers – Dubinsky is a lot like Jordan Staal.  He hasn’t shown us that he can be a reliable scorer, but, if the linemates are right there is tons of potential.  Possibly playing with Gaborik and Frolov may help him reach that potential.
  34. Antoine Vermette – Columbus Blue Jackets
  35. Peter Mueller – Colorado Avalanche – Huge sleeper potential as Mueller had 9 goals an 11 assists in 15 games with Colorado last year.  He likely won’t match that production, but he should be owned in all leagues.
  36. Tim Connolly – Buffalo Sabres
  37. Scott Gomez – Montreal Canadiens
  38. Tyler Seguin – Boston Bruins – Seguin should become left wing eligible, increasing his value, as he is currently slated to play on the second line wing with Recchi and Bergeron.  He will have more support than 1st pick Hall.