Today we will be ranking all 31 top line centers in the NHL. Although you may think it hard to be it was pretty easy. Now a lot of young guys like Barzal and Karlsson who were fantastic last year will be lower on the list because they need to prove that they can be consistent. Now these ranks will probably anger everyone so comment down below your opinions. Now a lot of good players were left off of this list including Evengii Malkin who would’ve secured the #3 ranking but since this is top line only, it goes to his teammate Crosby. Let’s get started.
31- Pierre Luc Dubois (Columbus)
Now like I said earlier, this is a young guy case. Despite Columbus having a lot of talent, they are very weak up the middle. Pierre Luc Dubois does have the potential to be an elite center in this league, however the 2016 3rd overall pick needs to keep on improving. I see a lot of potential for him as he was phenomenal last year with 48 points in his rookie season.
30- Jordan Staal (Carolina)
Now you could argue that Sebastian Aho is the true #1 center in Carolina, but he is a winger and I see Carolina putting Staal back on the top line in between the young Aho and Teravinen. Staal is a veteran and is a decent player, but his best days are behind him. He doesn’t have a good contract either. Carolina has a few options for their top line center as well in others like Victor Rask but both Rask and Staal both of the team’s best centers are second line centers at best and although I see Necas being a little better than both of them, I don’t think Necas in the future will be an elite 1st line center.
29- Jonathan Drouin (Montreal)
Well it’s always something with Marc Bergevin. He says the team needs a top line center. What does he do? He trades said top line center for a winger. Now Jonathan Drouin hasn’t lived up to expectations being a member of the Fantastic First Four who were picked in the 2013 draft. The others Nathan Mackinnon and Sasha Barkov have secured high spots on this list, while Seth Jones is a really solid defenseman. Drouin is still young and he has potential and less competition with Galchenyuk out of the way. However as of the moment Steve Yzerman was the big winner in the Drouin-Sergachev swap
28- Nico Hischier (New Jersey)
New Jersey is an odd team. They have a lot of depth and Hischier is their #1 center and will be for a long time. Hischier though is still young. The 2017 1st overall pick had a solid 52 point rookie season and will only get better. I think Hischier is the next Barkov, a player who is very good but flies under the radar because of the small market. If Hischier gets a full season with Hall, 70+ points isn’t in doubt.
27- Derek Stepan (Arizona)
It was a hard choice between Stepan and Galchenyuk but I picked Stepan as the Yotes top line center. He is a decent player, not a stud but a solid 1st liner. He consistently puts up 50 point seasons. He is a good top line center but he isn’t a standout star. If he were a second line center, he would probably rank #6 behind these guys in ascending to descending order: Malkin, Draitsial, Kuznetsov, Matthews and Trocheck.
Part 2 is coming soon