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Top 10 NHL Centers 2024 Rankings

Ranking the Top 10 Best NHL Centers such as Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews and more for 2023-2024 NHL season


By admin | April 25, 2024

Top 10 Best NHL Centers of the 2023-2024 Season

As the 2023-24 NHL regular season winds down, it’s time to highlight the standout players who have dominated the ice. Below, we’ll take a look at the Top 10 Best NHL Centers of the season, revealing some surprises compared to preseason expectations.

Honorable Mention

Jack Hughes

Team: New Jersey Devils

Many people questioned the New Jersey Devils when they gave Jack Hughes an 8-year $64 million contract. However, the franchise looks like geniuses as Jack Hughes is having another great year.

He started the season as one of the best centers in the league, however, his play has plateaued through the bulk of the year, Despite this, signing Hughes has been a very smart move for the Devils.

Hughes has 27 goals, 47 assists, 74 points on the season so far. He ranks #12 on shots this season so far with 274.

Top 10 NHL Centers 2024 Rankings

10. Brayden Point

Team: Tampa Bay Lightning

With Nikita Kucherov taking most of the attention for the forwards on the Tampa Bay Lightning, starting center Brayden Point can often be overlooked as one of the best centers in the NHL.

However, Point has scored more goals than Kucherov with 44 on the season. This has him 7th overall in goals in the NHL. And with 42 assists he has 86 points on the season.

Brayden Point is instrumental to the Lightning’s success and seems to always find the net, when paired with Kucherov, Stamkos, and Brandon Hagel.

9. Aleksander Barkov

Team: Florida Panthers

Aleksander Barkov can no longer claim to be one of the league’s most underrated players, as everyone now knows how elite he really is.

Barkov has scored 23 goals this year and 76 points in the Florida Panthers impressive season. But Aleksander Barkov offers just as much in the defensive portion of the game as he does moving forward. His defensive positioning and play will likely keep him in the top-10 centers category for years to come.

8. Elias Pettersson

Team: Vancouver Canucks

After an incredibly hot start to the season. Elias Pettersson slowed down slightly during the bulk of the season. However, he has found his form again, and been one of the leading factors behind a fantastic Vancouver Canucks season.

Pettersson has scored 34 goals and 88 points so far this year. He’s not quite lived up to the bar he set himself last season when he scored over 100 points, but he’s had a very solid year nonetheless and will be pivotal for Canucks in the playoffs.

7. Sidney Crosby

Team: Pittsburgh Penguins

The Pittsburgh Penguins have had a rocky season. However, it would have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for the brilliance of Sidney Crosby.

At 36-years-old Sidney Crosby is still one of the best NHL centers and players in the game and isn’t showing signs of slowing down. His 41 goals this season is the third-highest tally of his career. He has also amassed 89 points for the Penguins so far this season.

Pittsburgh looks like they will make the playoffs. And their only hope of finding a glimmer of success in them is Sidney Crosby.

6. Sebastian Aho

Team: Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes sit second in the Metropolitan Division, largely thanks to Sebastian Aho. He leads the Hurricanes in goals and points with 35 and 88 on a team that doesn’t have many more difference-makers to talk about.

Sebastian Aho had a mediocre 22-23 season which had many fans calling for the team to add a superstar forward to the roster to help their Stanley Cup hopes. Aho seems to have used that as motivation this year and has shown everyone he can be just that.

5. J.T. Miller

Team: Vancouver Canucks

Since joining the Vancouver Canucks ahead of the 2019-20 season, J.T. Miller has gone from a rotational player to a legitimate, elite center in the NHL.

J.T. Miller has stepped up yet again this season as he’s reached career highs in goals with 36, and he has finally surpassed the ton mark in points with 101.

Similar to what we said about Elias Pettersson, J.T. Miller is a huge part of the Vancouver Canucks success this season.

4. Leon Draisaitl

Team: Edmonton Oilers

You can’t talk about NHL centers without mentioning Leon Draisaitl. Since 2018, the German center has put up video game-like numbers. However, in the first half of the season, he did not look like his usual self and was slightly disappointing.

But in true Draisaitl fashion, he found his form and once again showed why he is one of the best centers in Hockey.

Draisaitl has again surpassed the 100-point mark this season, marking the fifth time in doing so, with 104 points. He’s also added 41 goals to his all-time tally. He’s done that despite spending more time in the penalty box this year than his previous two seasons combined.

3. Auston Matthews

Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

There is no question that Auston Matthews is the NHL’s premier goal-scorer. Even last year, in what was considered a slow year for him, he scored 40 goals. But this year he is back to 100% health and once again leading the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy.

Matthews has scored 68 times this year and leads the Toronto Maple Leafs, matching his career-high, with 106 points. These numbers have him in the discussion for the Hart Trophy, as he has yet again shown tha he is one of the best players in the league.

2. Connor McDavid

Team: Edmonton Oilers

Finally, Connor McDavid looked to be human in the first 20 games of the season. McDavid was averaging one point per game throughout the start of the season.

But alas, it was short-lived and the Oilers captain found his groove and has been playing at the elite level we have come to expect from him as he reclaimed his spot as arguably the best player in the league.

His 31 goals and 130 points are even more impressive when you take into account his slow start to the season. He’s on the hunt for his first ever Stanley Cup, and the Oilers will need every bit of him if they are to get there.

McDavid could easily take the top spot on this list if our number-one player wasn’t playing as sensational as he is.

1. Nathan MacKinnon

Team: Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon is the current favourite to win his first Hart Trophy, and rightfully so.

The Colorado Avalanche captain and the #4 NHL Best Centers of 2023 has been the best player in all of Hockey this year. Not only is he the frontrunner for the Hart Trophy, he is also chasing down Nikita Kucherov for the Art Ross trophy, which would also be his first.

MacKinnon has well and truly blown his previous career highs out of the water with 51 goals and 137 points. He has truly stamped his name as one of the best players in the NHL. And at just 28 years old, expect to see him atop these lists for years to come.

How would you rank these NHL Centers after the 2023-2024 season? Rank below to be added in the NHL Power Rankings.

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Players Count 10
  1. Gregory Hofmann

  2. Cole Sillinger

  3. Liam O'Brien

  4. Jake Leschyshyn

  5. Paul Cotter

  6. Benoit-Olivier Groulx

  7. Trevor Zegras

  8. Mason McTavish

  9. Quinton Byfield

  10. Lane Pederson

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