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Draft Utopia 2015 Fantasy Hockey Rankings

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Draft Utopia 2014 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings

Posted By: Bob Raymond On 10/20/2014

  1. Sidney Crosby: C, Pittsburgh Penguins Crosby dealt with injuries in the past. His 104 points in 2013-2014 were the best in the NHL. Crosby was the only skater to exceed the 100 point mark in 2013-2014. When healthy many consider Crosby to be the top player in the NHL and the face of the league. As of October, 20, 2014, Crosby leads the NHL with 9 points in 4 games.

  2. Steven Stamkos: C, Tampa Bay Lightning Stamkos is easily one of the two best centers in the NHL when he is healthy. In 2012-2013, during the shortened 48 game season, Stamkos finished second in the NHL with 57 points 3 points behind teammate Martin St. Louis. Last season he only played 37 games posting 25 goals, 15 assists, and 40 points. Taking Stamkos may be a risk to an extent, but he is easily the top center in the league outside of Crosby when healthy. Besides Sidney Crosby this is the only guy in the NHL that could realistically post 100 points during an 82 game season in the NHL. Stamkos looks like the old Stamkos with 5 goals so far in 2014-2015.

  3. Tyler Seguin: C, Dallas Stars Tyler Seguin did phenomenal in his first season with the Dallas Stars. The second-overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft finally blossomed on a line 1 unit after being a back 6 guy with the Bruins. Seguin posted 84 points in his first season with the Dallas Stars which was fourth in the NHL behind Crosby, Getzlaf, and Giroux. Tyler Seguin is tied for second and currently listed 4th in the NHL once again with 8 points early in the season.

    Previous Ranking: 10th Overall

  4. John Tavares: C, New York Islanders John Tavares posted 66 points in 59 games during the 2013-2014. He also had a -6 +/- rating. Tavares is the heart of the Islanders and one of the best centers in the NHL when healthy. The Islanders were the last team to lose a game in 2014-2015 by getting off to a 4-0-0 start before losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tavares is tied with Crosby for 9 points in the NHL. Tavares also leads the NHL with 7 assists.

    Previous Ranking: 8th Overall

  5. Ryan Getzlaf: C, Anaheim Ducks Getzlaf finished second in the NHL with 87 points. Getzlaf had 15 fewer penalty minutes than Crosby. Another statistic worth observing is the fact that his 7 game-winning goals bested Crosby’s 5 game-winning goals. Getzlaf is second in the NHL with 6 assists and he is still a top 5 center. With the emergence of John Tavares and Tyler Seguin, Getzlaf drops a few spots.

    Previous Ranking: 3rd Overall

  6. Ryan Johansen: C, Columbus Blue Jackets Ryan Johansen has 7 points in 5 games. There were some questions about him even playing with a controversial contract situation. Columbus looks smart for getting the conflict resolved because now Johansen is performing better in 2014-2015.

    Previous Ranking: 22nd Overall

  7. Nate MacKinnon: C, Colorado Avalanche MacKinnon played all 82 games as a rookie and posted a masterful 63 points during his first full season in the NHL. MacKinnon is more than capable of dethroning Duchene for the line 1 center job. In fact I think he will dethrone MacKinnon this season as the line 1 center. His 3 assists in 6 games is nothing to worry about yet. Colorado will give him the time he needs to blossom.

    Previous Ranking: 12th Overall

  8. Claude Giroux: C, Philadelphia Flyers Giroux played all 82 games for the Flyers in 2013-2014. He finished third in the NHL in points behind Crosby and Getzlaf with 86 points. The most laughable thing about the media is that they ranked Malkin ahead of Giroux because he plays on the Penguins while failing to acknowledge what an underrated asset Giroux really is. Giroux struggled early, but he rebounded with a game-winning goal on Saturday. He is still a top 10 center in Fantasy Leagues. The reason he drops a few spots is due to the emergence of Tavares and Seguin.

    Previous Ranking: 4th Overall

  9. Evgeni Malkin: C, Pittsburgh Penguins Malkin is still a top 5 center in the NHL. One thing I will say is that he is not the top 3 center behind Crosby and Stamkos that the media makes him out to be. With line 1 centers like Backstrom, Toews, Tavares, Kopitar, and Seguin, one could argue that Malkin is overrated considering that Malkin only posted 72 points on the Penguins second line. Granted, he got those 72 points in 60 games with a season that was limited due to injuries. Malkin played the first game as a line 1 right winger. He does better as a line 2 center, as he has posted 7 points in 4 games. Malkin has posted 1 point in all 4 of his games in 2014-2015.

    Previous Ranking: 5th Overall

  10. Anze Kopitar: C, Los Angeles Kings Anze Kopitar may be the most durable center in the entire NHL. He has had 5 seasons where he played all 82 games in the NHL, and he played 47 games in the NHL during the 48 game shortened season in 2012-2013. Kopitar’s 70 points from his 2013-2014 regular season may be mediocre on paper. One thing I will say is that Kopitar is a safe play. Kopitar had two 20 point campaigns in the 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Los Angeles Kings won Lord Stanley. His 2 points in 6 games have to concern you right now. Still, Kopitar is an excellent play come playoff time.

    Previous Ranking: 9th Overall

  11. Matt Duchene: C, Colorado Avalanche Matt Duchene matched Anze Kopitar’s total of 70 points in the 2013-2014 NHL regular season. It only took him 71 games to reach that feat before injuries cut his season short while keeping the line 1 center from competing in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Duchene like MacKinnon has only 3 points in 6 games.

  12. Jonathan Toews: C, Chicago Blackhawks Toews may have posted an underwhelming 68 points during the 2013-2014 regular season. He is captain of a Chicago Blackhawks team that won multiple Stanley Cups making him one of the best players in the NHL. Toews only has 4 points in 4 games which is why he is ranked 12th on the current list.

    Previous Ranking: 7th Overall

  13. Joe Pavelski: C, San Jose Sharks San Jose has three athletic centers that could play left wing, center, or right wing with Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture. Thornton is the line 1 center. Pavelski is a line 1 center with the versatility to play on the wing. Pavelski has 5 points in 6 games.

    Previous Ranking: 15th Overall

  14. Nicklas Backstrom: C, Washington Capitals Backstrom may choke when the Stanley Cup Playoffs arrive, but he is one of the best centers in the regular season. In 2013-2014, he played all 82 games and registered 79 points Bakcstrom is aiming to get 500 points in 500 games.

    Previous Ranking: 6th Overall

  15. Patrice Bergeron: C, Boston Bruins Patrice Bergeron only posted 62 points on line 1 which is mediocre to the 69 his teammate David Krejci did. Bergeron is a 30/30 guy with 30 goals and 32 assists from his 2013-2014 campaign. Bergeron has 4 points in 7 games.

    Previous Ranking: 18th Overall

  16. Logan Couture: C, San Jose Sharks San Jose has three athletic centers that could play left wing, center, or right wing with Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture. Thornton is the line 1 center. Pavelski is a line 1 center with the versatility to play on the wing. Logan Couture is projected to get the most points in Fantasy Hockey among these three players on the Sharks even though he is projected to play on the second line. Couture has 4 points in 6 games.

  17. Henrik Sedin: C, Vancouver Canucks From 2005-2006 to 2011-2012, Sedin posted 6 seasons of 70 points or more. He followed that up with a decent 45 points in the 48 game season. In 2013-2014, we saw the decline of both of the Sedin brothers. Center Henrik Sedin posted 11 goals, 39 assists, and 50 points in 70 games. Sedin turned 34 last friday. He looks a lot better with 6 points in 4 games so far.

    Previous Ranking: 19th Overall

  18. Jeff Carter: C, Los Angeles Kings Jeff Carter posted 50 points just like Henrik Sedin. Sad thing is that Carter gets less minutes than Sedin during the regular season. The other thing to love about Carter is that he delivers in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 6 games, Carter has 3 goals and 3 assists. Carter is one of the most underrated players on the Kings.

    Previous Ranking: 21st Overall

  19. Ryan Kesler: C, Anaheim Ducks Ryan Kesler posted 43 points in 2013-2014. Kesler continues to play like a decent line 2 center. The 30-year-old has 5 points in 6 games in the 2014-2015 NHL Season.

    Previous Ranking: 23rd Overall

  20. Eric Staal: C, Carolina Hurricanes Eric Staal has always been one of the leagues most consistent players. Staal 100 point campaign in 2005-2006 when the Carolina Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup. After winning his first Stanley Cup Staal posted six more consecutive seasons where he posted 70 points or more. In 2013-2014, Staal only posted 61 points. His little brother Jordan Staal will miss the first 4 to 6 weeks of the regular season. The other thing to consider is that Staal turns 30 in October after being the second-overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Staal only has 2 points in 4 games. He is off to the worst start in his career. Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner are still injured while Elias Lindholm lacks experience. Carolina is becoming a player in the Connor McDavid sweepstakes.

    Previous Ranking: 12th Overall

  21. Jason Spezza: C, Dallas Stars Jason Spezza tied John Tavares with 66 points last season. Playing behind Tyler Seguin as he is aging will only make him a bigger asset in the short-term. Whether the 31-year-old succeeds in the long term remains to be seen. His 6 assists are an asset to the Dallas Stars on the second line.

    Previous Ranking: 24th Overall

  22. David Backes: C, St. Louis Blues David Backes was the line 1 center on the St. Louis Blues last season. Backes would be a tremendous asset if you still need a line 2 or line 3 center on your Fantasy Hockey Team.

    Previous Ranking: 25th Overall

  23. David Krejci: C, Boston Bruins David Krejci scored 19 goals, 50 assists, and 69 points last season. Krejci knows how to contribute with the Boston Bruins. At the same time it is hard to see him duplicating 50 assists on a second line. Krejci has 4 points in 4 games. He is capable of rotating games on the top line when Bergeron is fatigued. Having that kind of flexibility on offense makes it harder to game plan against the Bruins.

    Previous Ranking: 26th Overall

  24. Kyle Turris: C, Ottawa Senators Kyle Turris finally blossomed in Ottawa by playing like a line 1 center with the Ottawa Senators after a horrible career in Phoenix. Hard to believe Turris was once considered an NHL draft bust. Sometimes all these guys need is a change of scenery to thrive. Turris has 4 points in 3 games.

    Previous Ranking: 27th Overall

  25. Tyler Bozak: C, Toronto Maple Leafs Tyler Bozak was a line 1 center in Toronto. Injuries limited him in 2013-2014.

    Previous Ranking: 42nd Overall

  26. Derick Brassard: C, New York Rangers Brassard will begin the first month of the NHL on the first line because of Derek Stepan being out 4 to 6 weeks along with the departure of Brad Richards.

    Previous Ranking: 37th Overall

  27. Andrew Shaw: C, Chicago Blackhawks Shaw was the line 2 center on the Blackhawks last season. Richards is the line 2 center this season. Some believe Richards may decline at some point in 2014-2015. Shaw only posted 39 points last season when playing next to Saad and Richards. His experience on the second line should help the line 3 wingers on the Blackhawks. I still believe Shaw is capable of playing line 2 with Richards aging.

    Previous Ranking: 44th Overall

  28. Mikael Granlund: C, Minnesota Wild Granlund posted 41 points in 63 games. He is a decent line 2 center that can hold his own on the second line. He will get a quality line 2 left winger in either Zach Parise, Matt Cooke, or Thomas Vanek. Granlund is a line 2 center that is capable of playing on line 1 instead of Koivu.

    Previous Ranking: 40th Overall

  29. Sean Monahan: C, Calgary Flames Monahan showed a lot of potential as a rookie. Monahan is expected to be the line 1 center after the Flames drafted the former Ottawa 67s skater with the 6th pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Monahan has had some trouble adapting from line 3 to line 1 as he only has 2 assists in 7 games. Maybe Calgary should move him down to line 2.

    Previous Ranking: 48th Overall

  30. Joe Thornton: C, San Jose Sharks San Jose has three athletic centers that could play left wing, center, or right wing with Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture. Thornton is the line 1 center. Pavelski is a line 1 center with the versatility to play on the wing. Logan Couture is projected to get the most points in Fantasy Hockey among these three players on the Sharks even though he is projected to play on the second line. Take your pick between these guys. Pavelski and Couture are my guys. Thornton is aging which is why he rounds out my top 30.

    Previous Ranking: 14th Overall