Tag Archives: Center

First Line Centers

How does a team get a top line center? Let’s look at each team’s guy, using the depth charts from CapFriendly.com. Feel free to disagree on who the 1C is on each team, but that’s the data I’m using.

TeamPlayerObtainedDraft PositionDraft YearMain Trade Piece
AnaheimTrevor ZegrasDraft92019
ArizonaBarrett HaytonDraft52018
BostonPatrice BergeronDraft452003
BuffaloTage ThompsonTrade262016Ryan O’Reilly
CalgaryElias LindholmTrade52013Dougie Hamilton
CarolinaSebastian AhoDraft352015
ChicagoJonathan ToewsDraft32006
ColoradoNathan MacKinnonDraft12013
ColumbusJack RoslovicDraft252015
DallasRoope HintzDraft492015
DetroitDylan LarkinDraft152014
EdmontonConnor McDavidDraft12015
FloridaAlexander BarkovDraft22013
LAAnze KopitarDraft112005
MinnesotaRyan HartmanTrade302013Draft picks
MontrealNick SuzukiTrade132017Max Pacioretty
NashvilleMikael GranlundTrade92010Kevin Fiala
New JerseyJack HughesDraft12019
NYIBrock NelsonDraft202010
NYRMika ZibanejadTrade62011Derick Brassard
OttawaJoshua NorrisTrade192017Erik Karlsson
PhiladelphiaSean CouturierDraft82011
PittsburghSidney CrosbyDraft12005
San JoseTomas HertlDraft172012
SeattleMatty BeniersDraft22021
St. LouisRyan O’ReillyTrade332009Package of assets
Tampa BaySteven StamkosDraft12008
TorontoAuston MatthewsDraft12016
VancouverJT MillerTrade152011Draft picks
Las VegasJack EichelTrade22015Tuch, Krebs, picks
WashingtonNicklas BackstromDraft42006
WinnipegMark ScheifeleDraft72011

First, consider that these are just the first line center on each of the teams, then think about whether certain guys would be the 1C or even 2C on your own favorite team. Some might not.

So how do you get your first line center? It looks like for the most part, you draft him. 18 out of the 32 players are Top-10 picks and 22 out of 32 are from the top half of the draft. If you’re drafting in the bottom half, your choices become pretty slim.

10 of the players were obtained by trades, and most of those were for a big name going the other way (Karlsson, O’Reilly, Hamilton, Pacioretty).

Here’s the same table, sorted by the round the players were drafted. This view emphasizes the fact that teams generally get their top center from the first ten picks in the draft.

TeamPlayerObtainedDraft PositionDraft YearMain Trade Piece
ColoradoNathan MacKinnonDraft12013
EdmontonConnor McDavidDraft12015
New JerseyJack HughesDraft12019
PittsburghSidney CrosbyDraft12005
Tampa BaySteven StamkosDraft12008
TorontoAuston MatthewsDraft12016
FloridaAlexander BarkovDraft22013
SeattleMatty BeniersDraft22021
Las VegasJack EichelTrade22015Tuch, Krebs, picks
ChicagoJonathan ToewsDraft32006
WashingtonNicklas BackstromDraft42006
ArizonaBarrett HaytonDraft52018
CalgaryElias LindholmTrade52013Dougie Hamilton
NYRMika ZibanejadTrade62011Derrik Brassard
WinnipegMark ScheifeleDraft72011
PhiladelphiaSean CouturierDraft82011
AnaheimTrevor ZegrasDraft92019
NashvilleMikael GranlundTrade92010Kevin Fiala
LAAnze KopitarDraft112005
MontrealNick SuzukiTrade132017Max Pacioretty
DetroitDylan LarkinDraft152014
VancouverJT MillerTrade152011Draft picks
San JoseTomas HertlDraft172012
OttawaJoshua NorrisTrade192017Erik Karlsson
NYIBrock NelsonDraft202010
ColumbusJack RoslovicDraft252015
BuffaloTage ThompsonTrade262016Ryan O’Reilly
MinnesotaRyan HartmanTrade302013Draft picks
St. LouisRyan O’ReillyTrade332009Package of assets
CarolinaSebastian AhoDraft352015
BostonPatrice BergeronDraft452003
DallasRoope HintzDraft492015

In the end, it looks like the best way to get a top center, is to miss the playoffs, endure a bad season and hope a guy is available at your spot and he develops.

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