Free washing machine | Is Nick Suzuki a number one center?

Is Nick Suzuki a number one center? For many, the Canadian center would be relegated to second position on most teams. Is this really the case?


We’ve tracked the performance of all 32 of the National Hockey League’s number one centers so far. For clarity, we have prorated his production to an 82-game season.

Obviously there will always be line changes during a season. We try to be faithful to long-term trends. The situation is unclear in Arizona, for example, with Nick Schmaltz bounced from center to wing this season. Jack McBain is currently in this position, but we chose Schmaltz over him due to his longevity at this position and his improved offensive performance.

Marco Rossi is ahead of Joel Eriksson-Ek in the pecking order in Minnesota right now, as is Leo Carlsson ahead of Mason MacTavish in Anaheim, but we picked Eriksson-Ek and MacTavish for the same reasons.

  • 1- Nathan MacKinnon, 28 years old, Colorado, 137 points
  • 2- Connor McDavid, 27 years old, Edmonton, 127 points
  • 3- Jack Hughes, 22 years old, New Jersey, 115 points
  • 4- Elias Pettersson, 25 years old, Vancouver, 107 points
  • 5- Auston Matthews, 26 years old, Toronto, 103 points
  • 6- Sebastian Aho, 26 years old, Caroline, 98 points
  • 7- Brayden Point, 27 years old, Tampa Bay, 89 points
  • 7- Aleksander Barkov, 28 years old, Florida, 89 points
  • 7- Sidney Crosby, 36 years old, Pittsburgh, 89 points
  • 10- Robert Thomas, 24 years old, St. Louis, 87 points
  • 11- Dylan Larkin, 27 years old, Detroit, 88 points
  • 12- Jack Eichel, 27 years old, Vegas, 86 points
  • 13- Tim Stützle, 22 years old, Ottawa, 82 points
  • 14- Mark Scheifele, 30 years old, Winnipeg, 80 points
  • 14- Roope Hintz, 27 years old, Dallas, 80 points
  • 16- Mika Zibanejad, 30 points, NY Rangers, 79 points
  • 17- Bo Horvat, 28 years old, NY Islanders, 75 points
  • 18- Nick Suzuki, 24 years old, Montreal, 74 points
  • 19- Charlie Coyle, 31 years old, Boston, 71 points
  • 20- Anze Kopitar, 36 years old, Los Angeles, 70 points
  • 21- Connor Bedard, 18 years old, Chicago, 69 points
  • 21- Nazem Kadri, 33 years old, Calgary, 69 points
  • 23- Ryan O’Reilly, 33 years old, Nashville, 68 points
  • 24- Joel Eriksson-Ek, 27 years old, Minnesota, 65 points
  • 25- Mason McTavish, 21 years old, Anaheim, 59 points
  • 25- Jared McCann, 27 years old, Seattle, 59 points
  • 25- Tage Thompson, 26, Buffalo, 59 points
  • 26- Tomás Hertl, 30 years old, San José, 58 points
  • 27- Dylan Strome, 26 years old, Washington, 56 points
  • 28- Sean Couturier, 31 years old, Philadelphia, 54 points
  • 31- Nick Schmaltz, 27 years old, Arizona, 53 points
  • 32- Boone Jenner, 30 years old, Columbus, 42 points

The results? At this rate, only five will reach the 100-point mark or more: MacKinnon, McDavid, Hughes, Pettersson and Matthews.

The average age of the NHL’s number one centers is 26 years old. Seven of the top eight scorers are between 26 and 28 years old, with the exception of Jack Hughes. There are only six number one centers under the age of 25: Jack Hughes, Robert Thomas, Tim Stützle, Nick Suzuki, Connor Bedard and Mason MacTavish.

Suzuki is on pace for a career-high 74 points after seasons of 61 and 66 points. However, since mid-January he has produced at a higher rate, 13 points in 12 games. This performance gives hope for a 75-point season.

No Canadian center has scored 75 points since Saku Koivu in 2007. No Canadian center has scored more than 75 points since Vincent Damphousse… in 1997.

Obviously, Suzuki is still far from elite centers in terms of offensive production. But he is not among the worst despite his young age. He’s in the middle of the pack, with Mark Scheifele, Roope Hintz, Mika Zibanejad, Bo Horvat, Anze Kopitar and Charlie Coyle all older than him.

This young man obtained from the Vegas Golden Knights for Max Pacioretty is not yet a dominant number one center, will he ever be? –, But it would be a mistake to say that he does not represent a number one centre-back. Kirby Dach’s return next year could help better balance the attack.

Successful baptism of Elias Lindholm

PHOTO JAMES GUILLORY, USA TODAY SPORTS VIA REUTERS WITH

Elias Lindholm

In his first game with the Canucks, Elias Lindholm, acquired from the Calgary Flames last week for Andrei Kuzmenko, a first-round pick and two prospects, scored two goals Tuesday as Vancouver beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2.

Lindholm, a career center, played center for his compatriot Elias Pettersson. JT Miller and Brock Boeser formed the other offensive pairing. “There are too many good players here and that made my job easier,” he told reporters after the game.

Coach Rick Tocchet obviously saw more than just his goals. “Did you notice his blocked shot at the end? When we watch the game on video again tomorrow, we will see all of his smart plays. He played an incredible game. »

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