The NHL Network has just recently released their top 20 Centers in the league. This is a list that has good guidelines to the top 20 NHL centers, but the order can definitely be changed.
The top 5 Centers according to the NHL network are:
2. Sidney Crosby
3. Nathan MacKinnon
4. Aleksander Barkov
5. John Tavares
This is a decently accurate list that the NHL Network has put together. With the exception of a couple of moves, it is easy to say that the NHL has done a good job putting this list together.
Both MacKinnon and Barkov are on this high up on the lists for the first time in their careers. They are finally getting the credit they deserve. Mackinnon is easily one of the best players in the entire world, never mind the league. Same for Barkov, who is the most underrated player in the league. Barkov has the ability to win faceoffs in important situations, along with scoring big points and playing defensively.
Two moves that could be made on this list is switching both McDavid and Crosby. It is without question that these two are some of the best the league has ever seen but has McDavid really taken the crown from three-time Stanley Cup Champion? Crosby has consistently been a leader in both Pittsburgh and the hockey community. They have both played on bad teams, but Crosby has had the ability to bring bad teams to the playoffs and win.
Another move would be moving Evgeni Malkin up on the list. Just because Malkin plays behind Crosby he has never been accredited the way he should be. Malkin is also a three-time Stanley Cup champion and has also won the Conn Smythe after ripping up the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 852 NHL games, Malkin has 391 goals, 611 assists, and 1002 points. With pure talent, Malkin will be entering his 13th year in the league when October comes around.
Couture is also another player that found some spotlight in the league. With a Sharks team that struggles during the playoffs, Couture is a solid two-way player that always holds his own. He has proven to be a top Center in the league without having all of the spotlight lit up on him.
Do you agree with this list?
Who are your top 20?