The NHL Network released their list of the Top 20 Centers in the NHL right now, and Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin made the list. Is he too high, too low, or just right?
Last week, Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn made headlines when he was named the no. 5 winger in the NHL right now. It was the first edition of the NHL Network’s series in which they name the top 20 players at each position.
Today, the NHL Network released the next edition: top 20 centers right now. It’s a difficult list to make, considering the immense amount of talent throughout the league down the middle. Not to mention that a top 20 list means that the first line centers on at least 11 teams don’t even make the cut.
The Dallas Stars have plenty of talent (maybe too much) at center. In fact, it’s debatably their strongest position. But how many of them have an argument to be in the top 20? Not very many.
There is one, however, that is a shoo-in: That’s Tyler Seguin.
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Tyler Seguin is undeniably one of the top 20, top 10, and maybe even top five centers in the NHL at the current moment. He’s only 25, has already won a Stanley Cup, and consistently puts up some of the best numbers in the league.
And in yesterday’s rankings on the NHL Network, he was given a reward: eighth place.
When you think about it, there are an average of 124 centers in the league. That means that Seguin is in the top seven percent among starting centers in the NHL. That sound terrific when you think about it.
But was he lowballed? Or is he maybe above others that he shouldn’t be? Maybe he’s just right? Let’s take a quick look at the list.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 21, 2017
Ahead of Seguin you have Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Auston Matthews, Nicklas Backstrom, John Tavares, and Steven Stamkos. Directly below Seguin and rounding out the top ten are Ryan Getzlaf and Mark Scheifele.
While there really isn’t a case for Seguin to be above Connor McDavid or Sidney Crosby considering it is best centers RIGHT NOW and not over their entire careers, he definitely has a case to be higher than he is.
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Tyler Seguin is a multidimensional center that has slick hands, insane speed, a cannon of a shot, and precise shooting accuracy. He can snipe a shot home or set up one of his wingers for the easy score. His wheels make it hard for defenders to keep up with and help him easily break into the zone. He can play consistently at full strength as well as on the power play.
Seguin has been a 70+ point player since joining the Dallas Stars in 2013. He has 306 points in 305 games with Dallas, making him one of the very few players in the league that are above a point-per-game average. That’s not easy to do.
So where should he be? Matthews just finished his rookie season with the Maple Leafs, and while he performed well (considering he was the 2016 no. 1 pick), he had a juggernaut offense behind him. He put up 69 points in his first season, with 40 of those being goals. He has a case to be in the top ten, but above Seguin?
Backstrom and Tavares are both consistent centers like Seguin, but it’s hard for Backstrom to not be when he has Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie on his sides. Tavares doesn’t have as much offensive help, so his performances are more acceptable, though they are lesser than Seguin’s numbers.
And then you have Steven Stamkos. He’s been hurt for extensive periods of time in two of the past four seasons. When he is healthy, he plays at about the same level as Seguin, though Tyler’s stats beat Stamkos out even in his healthy years. Seguin has a strong case at being above Stamkos.
Whatever you may believe, the bottom line is that there is plenty of talent in the league. Seguin is a monster at center and has yet another chance to prove himself this year. Will he answer the bell?