Wednesday Offseason Caterwaul: Florida Panthers Open Forum

Barkov ranked 13th on NHL Network’s Top 20 Centers Right Now

Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov ranked 13th on NHL Network’s countdown show Top 20 Centers Right Now, which had its initial airing on Sunday night, ranking the best centers in the National Hockey League. Barkov, who ranked 17th on last year’s countdown, finished one spot ahead of the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals’ Nicklas Backstrom and one spot behind Backstrom’s teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Tony Luftman, E.J. Hradek and 11-year NHL veteran Mike Johnson counted down the best centers based on player performance over the past several seasons, with an emphasis on the 2017-2018 season. The ranking also weighted players’ projected performance in the 2018-2019 season, taking into account those returning from injury and expectant breakout seasons from young players.

NHL Network’s Top 20 Centers Right Now, 1-20:

1.     Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

2.     Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

3.     Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

4.     Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

5.     Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

6.     Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings

7.     Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets

8.     Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

9.     Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars

10.  John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs

11.  Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

12.  Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals

13.  Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers

14.  Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals

15.  Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres

16.  Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders

17.  William Karlsson, Vegas Golden Knights

18.  Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers

19.  Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks

20.  Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers

How do you feel about the ranking?

Barkov should be higher61
Barkov should be lower0
13th is about right26

The Anaheim Ducks signed left wing Isac Lundestrom to an entry-level contract. Lundestrom was Anaheim’s first round selection (23rd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. (CBS Sports)