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Dubinsky, Johansen among NHL Fantasy's Top 50 centers

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets


With the 2014-15 NHL season inching closer by the day, NHL.com has you covered with positional fantasy rankings.

Based on Yahoo position eligibility, projected lineups, past performance, injury history and each insider's opinions, Matt Cubeta (centers), Matt Sitkoff (left wings), Pete Jensen (right wings), Brian Metzer (defensemen) and Justin Goldman (goalies) bring you up to speed by identifying all the players worth targeting at each position in your upcoming drafts.

Depth, depth and more depth. That's the story year after year when breaking down the center position for fantasy hockey. And as always, this year remains the same.

From the first round of your draft to the final round, there's always a good time to draft a center. But that first round is sure to see plenty fly off the board. Among my top-10 overall fantasy players, eight qualify as centers in Yahoo leagues. From Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby at the No. 1 spot to Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews at 10th, there seem to be more elite players at the center position than ever, and this doesn't even include superstars Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars) or Anze Kopitar (Los Angeles Kings).

But the quality doesn't stop there. Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets star Ryan Johansen could end up moving into the top tier at the center position. Another No. 1 draft pick, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, could finally start to pay dividends for the Edmonton Oilers and fantasy owners. Jason Spezza (Stars) and Eric Staal (Carolina Hurricanes) should both bounce back to have big seasons.

As you move through your draft, some potential breakout candidates can also be found. Players like Brayden Schenn (Philadelphia Flyers), Derick Brassard (New York Rangers) and Mark Scheifele (Arizona Coyotes) could all end up exceeding expectations in 2014-15. Then there are the sleepers; guys like Sam Gagner (Arizona Coyotes), Nick Bjugstad (Florida Panthers) and Elias Lindholm (Hurricanes) are all worth selections with one of your final picks come draft day.

Regardless of what you need, whether it's goals, assists, penalty minutes, plus/minus help, power-play production or shots on goal, the center position has you covered, and you'll be able to find what you need at almost any point during your draft.

NOTE: All players listed below are eligible at center in Yahoo leagues. Rankings do not necessarily reflect the order of NHL.com's top 275 overall rankings, which are compiled based on the individual rankings of the three NHL.com insiders whose opinions were taken into account. These are solely Matt Cubeta's center rankings.

TOP 50 FANTASY HOCKEY CENTERS

1Sidney Crosby, CPittsburgh Penguins

2Steven Stamkos, CTampa Bay Lightning

3Evgeni Malkin, C/RWPittsburgh Penguins

4Ryan Getzlaf, CAnaheim Ducks

5John Tavares, CNew York Islanders

6Claude Giroux, C/RWPhiladelphia Flyers

7Jonathan Toews, CChicago Blackhawks

8Anze Kopitar, CLos Angeles Kings

9Tyler Seguin, C/RWDallas Stars

10Logan Couture, C/LWSan Jose Sharks

11Nicklas Backstrom, CWashington Capitals

12Pavel Datsyuk, C/LWDetroit Red Wings

13Joe Pavelski, C/LWSan Jose Sharks

14Matt Duchene, C/LWColorado Avalanche

15Jason Spezza, CDallas Stars

16Eric Staal, CCarolina Hurricanes

17David Backes, C/RWSt. Louis Blues

18Nathan MacKinnon, C/RWColorado Avalanche

19Patrice Bergeron, CBoston Bruins

20Joe Thornton, CSan Jose Sharks

21Henrik Sedin, CVancouver Canucks

22Jeff Carter, C/RW Los Angeles Kings

23Ryan Johansen, C/RWColumbus Blue Jackets

24David Krejci, CBoston Bruins

25Ryan Kesler, C/RWAnaheim Ducks

26Brandon Dubinsky, C/LWColumbus Blue Jackets

27Paul Stastny, CSt. Louis Blues

28Kyle Turris, COttawa Senators

29Bryan Little, C/RWWinnipeg Jets

30Derek Stepan, CNew York Rangers

31Mikko Koivu, CMinnesota Wild

32Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, CEdmonton Oilers

33Nazem Kadri, CToronto Maple Leafs

34Valtteri Filppula, C/LWTampa Bay Lightning

35Cody Hodgson, C/RWBuffalo Sabres

36Evgeny Kuznetsov, CWashington Capitals

37Brayden Schenn, C/LWPhiladelphia Flyers

38Derick Brassard, CNew York Rangers

39Mark Scheifele, C Winnipeg Jets

40Tomas Plekanec, CMontreal Canadiens

41Tyler Johnson, C Tampa Bay Lightning

42Mikael Granlund, CMinnesota Wild

43Mike Ribeiro, CNashville Predators

44Nick Bonino, CVancouver Canucks

45Tyler Bozak, CToronto Maple Leafs

46Martin Hanzal, C Arizona Coyotes

47Brad Richards, C/LWChicago Blackhawks

48Aleksander Barkov, CFlorida Panthers

49Andrew Shaw, CChicago Blackhawks

50Sam Reinhart, CBuffalo Sabres

Just missed: Ryan Strome (Islanders), Sam Gagner (Coyotes), Mike Richards (Kings), Mika Zibanejad (Senators), Nick Bjugstad (Panthers), Leon Draisaitl (Oilers), Elias Lindholm (Hurricanes), Mikhail Grabovski (Islanders), Sean Monahan (Flames), Tyler Ennis (Sabres)

Author: Matt Cubeta | NHL.com Fantasy Insider

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