There’s no reason the NHL offseason should be a dead time for creating a little chatter, so why no resort to some good old-fashioned NHL Power Rankings to get fans talking.
The position of center in ice hockey is loosely defined as follows:
A forward position of a player whose primary zone of play is the middle of the ice, away from the side boards. Centers have more flexibility in their positioning and are expected to cover more ice surface than any other player. Centers are ideally faster skaters who can backcheck quickly from deep in the opposing zone.
This essentially makes the center position the quarterback of the team on the ice, setting up the offensive plays, being the point man in the triangle, and using his speed in both the offensive and defensive zones.
In the NHL, the center can be a thankless position at times, depending on the type of offense utilized by the team, but they can also become key to the success of the entire line.
For Power Rankings at this position, several traits and categories are considered, including speed, goals and assists, defensive ability and team leadership.
There are a few obvious players who it would be impossible to leave off this list, but perhaps a couple may come as a surprise to you as you read through our top 5 NHL centers.