NHL Network certainly knows how to throw the hockey world into a tizzy when it comes to ranking the best players in the league. Last night the network revealed their annual list of the Top-20 Centers in the NHL and once again Connor McDavid found himself edging out Sidney Crosby in the top two spots. Last season’s bronze recipient Evgeni Malkin fell all the way to #13 however, allowing Colorado Avalanche superstar Nathan MacKinnon to jump a couple of spots up the list.
The Pittsburgh Penguins (Crosby, Malkin), Toronto Maple Leafs (John Tavares, Auston Matthews), Tampa Bay Lightning (Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point) and Washington Capitals (Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom) all have a pair of names on the list, giving the group a very Eastern Conference flavor. Despite Jonathan Toews’ resurgence in 2018-19 he was left off the list again along with potential snubs like Sean Couturier, Dylan Larkin and Mathew Barzal among many others.
Like last year, when our community actually crowned Crosby as top dog, we thought we’d do our own tally here at PHR. In the poll below we’ve listed many options and are asking you to vote for your top group by selecting 10 names. Do Stamkos and Tavares stay ahead of their younger teammates? Will Malkin get back into the top 10? Can Elias Pettersson climb even higher? Cast your votes below and make sure to leave a comment explaining your choices.
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Though Leon Draisaitl was included in the 2018 list, his absence suggests that the NHL Network considered him a winger this season. The same can be said about other part-time centers that haven’t been included in the poll above. The list is not exhaustive, and write-in votes are encouraged in the comment section.