2017-18 Fantasy Hockey Series: Top 50 NHL Centres

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PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 08: Edmonton Oilers Center Connor McDavid (97) handles the puck during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Edmonton Oilers on November 8, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Penguins defeated the Oilers 4-3. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Welcome to Last Word On Hockey’s fantasy hockey top 50 NHL centres. This is the first of five lists we will release over the coming days. Next up will be the top 50 left wings, right wings, and defence men, followed up by a shorter fantasy hockey top 30 NHL goaltenders.

Fantasy Hockey Top 50 NHL Centres

The following list of fantasy hockey top 50 NHL centres is for points only leagues. Goals, assists, power play points and total points are included. Past performance and projections for the 2017-18 season are weighed carefully. Where ever possible, a players last three professional seasons are taken into account.  In addition, injury history, power play time and projected line-mates are considered. Projections are based on 82 games except where otherwise noted.

The Top 5 Elite NHL Centres

1. Connor McDavidEdmonton Oilers

No secret here, the NHL’s newest generational talent led the entire NHL in points last season with a neat and tidy 30 goals and 70 assists for a total of 100 points in his first full NHL season. There is no chance of a one off in this case, McDavid will likely improve on those numbers and be the only NHL player to achieve over 100 points in 2017-18.

Projection for 2017-18: 35G 72A 26PPP 107PTS

2. Sidney CrosbyPittsburgh Penguins

All Sidney Crosby has done in the last 3 NHL seasons is put up 258 points in only 238 games. This leads all centers over that span. His points per game (P/GP) average of 1.112 among centers is second to only Connor McDavid at 1.165 P/GP.

Projection for 2017-18: 39G 52A 24PPP 91PTS

3. Tyler SeguinDallas Stars

Seguin has P/GP average of 0.987 over the last 3 seasons. With Jamie Benn and newly signed Alex Radulov on his flanks, Tyler Seguin should have a big year in 2017-18.

Projection for 2017-18: 34G 46A 25PPP 80PTS

4. Auston MatthewsToronto Maple Leafs

Matthews scored 40 goals on his way to a Calder Trophy in 2016-17. That was good enough to be tied for second in the league in scoring behind Crosby (44 goals). What makes that even more special is that only 8 of those goals came on the man advantage. He also played significantly less minutes per game than every other NHL center in the top 10 in points. Imagine what this kid will do with more power play time.

Projection for 2017-18: 41G 38A 21PPP 79PTS

5. Nicklas BackstromWashington Capitals

Only Sidney Crosby has more points as a center since 2014 than Nicklas Backstrom. Expect Alex Ovechkin’s main setup man to be back doing what he does best in 2017-18.

Projection for 2017-18: 19G 58A 31PPP 77PTS

The Top 6-10 Elite NHL Centres

6. John TavaresNew York Islanders

The New York Islanders captain has recorded 222 points over the last 3 seasons combined. His points per game average of 0.937 over that period is 6th amongst all centers and that’s exactly where he falls in our list. Going into the final year of his contract Tavares should improve significantly on his 66 points from last season.

Projection for 2017-18: 33G 42A 24PPP 75PTS

7. Mark ScheifeleWinnipeg Jets

The future captain of the Winnipeg Jets, Mark Scheifele broke out in a big way in 2016-17. With 82 points in 79 games played the Kitchener, Ontario product finished 4rth in points among NHL centers. After a career high 32 goals on an unsustainable 20% shooting percentage, we predict a bit of a regression for 2017-18.

Projection for 2017-18: 29G 45A 17PPP 74PTS

8. Evgeni Malkin – Pittsburgh Penguins

Malkin sports a points per game average of 1.064 over the last 3 seasons. This places him 3rd amongst centers behind only McDavid and Crosby. Proceed with caution however, as “Gino” has not played a full 82 game regular season since 2008. Over the past 3 seasons he has played only 69, 57 and 62 games respectively. Adjust your expectations accordingly, as we have in our projection below.

Projection for 2017-18: 30G 42A 28PPP 72PTS

9. Jack EichelBuffalo Sabres

Former 2nd overall draft pick Jack Eichel performed at almost a point a game pace in an injury shortened season in 2016-17. After putting up 56 points as a rookie in 81 games in 2015-16, Eichel beat that with 57 in only 61 games in year two. No sophmore slump here.

Projection for 2017-18: 29G 41A 21PPP 70PTS

10. Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning

Back healthy again after knee surgery, Steven Stamkos should have no problem getting back to his usual form. Stamkos has averaged 0.884 points per game in recent years and that’s right about where we have him pencilled in for in 2017-18.

Projection for 2017-18: 36G 34A 24PPP 70PTS

Fantasy Hockey Top 50 NHL Centres (11-20)

11. Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks – 14G 55A 21PPP 69PTS

12. Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers – 20G 48A 27PPP 68PTS

13. Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton Oilers – 23G 42A 19PPP 65PTS

14. Evgeny Kuznetsov – Washington Capitals – 19G 44A 15PPP 63PTS

15. Ryan Johansen – Nashville Predators – 17G 45A 22PPP 62PTS

16. Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings – 18G 44A 21PPP 62PTS

17. Jeff Carter – Los Angeles Kings – 26G 36A 19PPP 62PTS

18. Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks – 26G 36A 18PPP 62PTS

19. Sean Monahan – Calgary Flames – 29G 33A 18PPP 61PTS

20. Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche – 25G 35A 17PPP 60PTS

Fantasy Hockey Top 50 NHL Centres (21-35)

21. Aleksander Barkov – Florida Panthers – 28G 32A 16PPP 60PTS

22. Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins – 24G 36A 16PPP 60PTS

23. Alexander Wennberg – Columbus Blue Jackets – 15G 44A 19PPP 59PTS

24. Ryan O’Reilly – Buffalo Sabres – 22G 36A 19PPP 58PTS

25. Bo Horvat – Vancouver Canucks – 22G 35A 12PPP 57PTS

26. Jason Spezza – Dallas Stars – 21G 35A 19PPP 56PTS

27. Derek Stepan – Arizona Coyotes – 21G 34A 17PPP 55PTS

28. Vincent Trocheck – Florida Panthers – 24G 30A 14PPP 54PTS

29. Eric Staal – Minnesota Wild – 23G 31A 14PPP 54PTS

30. Mikko Koivu – Minnesota Wild – 16G 38A 18PPP 54PTS

31. Joe Thornton – San Jose Sharks – 11G 42A 21PPP 53PTS

32. Tyler Johnson – Tampa Bay Lightning – 21G 32A 17PPP 53PTS

33. David Krejci – Boston Bruins – 21G 32A 15PPP 53PTS

34. Henrik Zetterberg – Detroit Red Wings – 15G 37A 17PPP 52PTS

35. Nazem Kadri – Toronto Maple Leafs – 24G 28A 13PPP 52PTS

Fantasy Hockey Top 50 NHL Centres (36-50)

36. Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks – 14G 38A 17PPP 52PTS

37. Kyle Turris – Ottawa Senators – 24G 27A 15PPP 51PTS

38. Logan Couture – San Jose Sharks – 23G 28A 15PPP 51PTS

39. Matt Duchene – Colorado Avalanche – 22G 29A 11PPP 51PTS

40. Mika Zibanejad – New York Rangers – 20G 30A 14PPP 50PTS

41. Tyler Bozak – Toronto Maple Leafs – 19G 31A 14PPP 50PTS

42. Vadim Shipachyov – Vegas Golden Knights – 19G 30A 13PPP 49PTS

43. Jordan Staal – Carolina Hurricanes – 21G 27A 9PPP 48PTS

44. Mikael Backlund – Calgary Flames – 20G 28A 10PPP 48PTS

45. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers – 20G 28A 11PPP 48PTS

46. Bryan Little – Winnipeg Jets – 20G 27A 12PPP 47PTS

47. Victor Rask – Carolina Hurricanes – 18G 28A 10PPP 46PTS

48. Kevin Hayes – New York Rangers – 18G 28A 8PPP 46PTS

49. Derick Brassard – Ottawa Senators – 16G 28A 10PPP 44PTS

50. Tomas Hertl – San Jose Sharks – 19G 23A 7PPP 42PTS

Others to consider: Sam Bennett, Mathew Barzal, Christian Dvorak, Pavel Zacha, Nick Bonino, Sean Couturier, Adam Henrique, Brock Nelson, Brayden Point, Frans Nielsen, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Paul Stastny, Tomas Plekanec, Sam Gagner, Artem Anisimov, Ryan Spooner

PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 08: Edmonton Oilers Center Connor McDavid (97) handles the puck during the third period in the NHL game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Edmonton Oilers on November 8, 2016, at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Penguins defeated the Oilers 4-3. (Photo by Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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