According to the NHL Network, Jets forward Mark Scheifele is the seventh best center in all of the NHL. That’s up three spots from the 10th place position he held down a year ago at this time.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 6, 2018
Last year at about this time, the NHL Network started coming out with their list of top players at each position which if I am not mistaken was the first time such a dedicated set of lists was done by the now MLBAM owned network as they have graduated from regurgitating old ESPN Classic branded games from the 1980’s and started to come out with original content.
Lists like this, much like the power rankings done by dozens of websites are of course completely subjective to the people that are doing them and as we see in a case like Anze Kopitar – who last year was 13th on the list, a position that many thought was a bit low and a year later checks in at the number six position – very much based in recency bias and likely media coverage as well.
How else do you explain Auston Matthews at number four? John Tavares was ranked in the number six spot last year even with an injury shortened season, this past season he played in all 82 games, was better than a point per game player and still somehow fell four spots to number 10.
Jeremy Roenick who isn’t a part of the NHL Network panel but never at a shortage to chime in with his thoughts, had his own Top 10 which Scheifele cracked as well and if we’re being honest this list may be a little more accurate.
Here is my list for top 10 centers in the @NHL right now. 1.) McDavid 2.) Crosby 3.) Malkin 4.)MacKinnon 5.) Matthews 6.)Kopitar 7.) Scheifele 8.) Tavares 9.)Bergeron 10.) Stamkos
— Jeremy Roenick (@Jeremy_Roenick) August 6, 2018
You certainly can’t argue the top two as McDavid and Crosby are the class of the league at center, but after that the debate certainly opens up does it not?
As for our boy Mark Scheifele, you could argue he should be a couple of spots higher, but you could also argue that he should still be down around the nine or ten spot. He’s likely right about where most would have him though and honestly the ability to be called a “top ten NHL center” is a pretty strong accomplishment.
Sound off below in the comments if you thin the NHL Network got this list right. This is likely the first of many and we’re soon about to find out where he likes of Patrik Laine, Blake Wheeler and Connor Hellebuyck all rank on their respective position lists.