Final installment of this month's fantasy hockey player rankings...
Complete rankings after the jump.
Centre Rankings -->> Top 30
Note: Centres are ranked for their expected performance from this point to the end of the 2011-2012 season using standard scoring leagues categories: Goals, Assists, Power Play Points, Shots on Goal, Plus/Minus, Penalty Minutes, and Average Time on Ice. Last year's final ranking, based on actual end-of-year performance data, is indicated in parentheses.
Also note that several top centres with dual position eligibility are NOT included on this list (Marleau, Kesler, Pavelski, Dubinsky, etc.) but rather are on the LW or RW Rankings as they tend to be even more valuable at those positions.
1. Steven Stamkos: C, Tampa Bay Lightning (1): #1 overall last year and no reason to knock him off the throne at this time. Young, excellent forward corps and PP unit (where is an absolute beast), oh, and he's still getting better.
2. Evgeni Malkin, C, Pittsburgh Penguins (39): I buy the hype. He has a history of rising to the occasion when Crosby is out of the lineup, and he's very prideful. Wants to be in the conversation for best in the world again.
3. Henrik Sedin, C, Vancouver Canucks (2): He's a points machine in his prime. Stable situation. Other centres may have more flash or even a bit more upside, but I've already got Malkin ahead of him and that's enough.
4. Ryan Getzlaf, C, Anaheim Ducks (10): Freak accidents limited his playing time and he still finished Top 10 last season. Integral part of best line in hockey. Book 90+ points and above average PIMs.
6. Eric Staal, C, Carolina Hurricanes (5): Huge SOG boosts value. Point-per-game player. Excellent PP numbers. Finished 5th last year with below average linemates. Could be even better if Dalpe is as good as Jay says he is.
7. Nicklas Backstrom, C, Washington Capitals (9): Off year and still finished 9th. Could easily finish higher. Caps are slow learners, but appear to have realized they're an offensive team. Bodes well for a Backstrom bounce back.
8. Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins (11): #1 player in the world. If/when he returns to full abilities, he will be #1 in these rankings. For now, just a little too much risk to rank higher the superstars above.
12. Mikko Koivu, C, Minnesota Wild (17): Always liked Koivu. If he played in a bigger market, he'd be a superstar. Made due with Mittens and a molasses slow Brunette. Vastly improved linemates in Heater and Seto. Buy now.
14. Jeff Carter, C, Columbus Blue Jackets (4): Will play with Nash and probably Prospal--a good playmaking winger who has a history of supporting superstars. It is a good situation for Carter if not quite as good as last year.
18. David Krejci, C, Boston Bruins: Really came on strong after a slow start. Then in the playoffs -- WOW! Led the Bruins in scoring. No more Savard, so he's got the 1C spot sewn up. Lucic and Horton as linemates.
21. Mikhail Grabovski, C, Toronto Maple Leafs (14): Down a few notches, but really like Grabovski this season. Should have Kulemin and MacArthur riding shotgun again, and they have proven to be a potent line.
24. Mike Ribeiro, C, Dallas Stars (22): Hot in the pre-season. Seems to relish being the 1C now that Richards is gone, and has a good chance to rekindle the positive chemistry he shared with Ryder when in Montreal.
25. Logan Couture, C, San Jose Sharks (15): Can he repeat his phenomenal breakout rookie season? I wouldn't bet against him. A bit more risk than usual re: his linemates (Havlat - shoulder; Clowe - reckless abandon).
26. Jordan Staal, C, Pittsburgh Penguins (55): Some forget that he only just turned 23 y.o. (a few weeks ago) and most of his career was at 3C. He will start out as 2C and Bylsma says he will get more opportunities to contribute offensively. Disco is predicting a 10 point increase over his career high. I agree. 60+ for Jordan this year.
27. Tomas Plekanec, C, Montreal Canadiens (16): Down some as I'm not sure the Habs have a full complement of Top 6 Forwards (Habs not?). Cole already demoted (not shocking). Gomez is a weak 2C. Cammy and Patches are injury risks. AK is reliably inconsistent. Poor Plek.
29. Patrice Bergeron, C, Boston Bruins (20): Defensive stalwart showed he can be rack up points too with a Top 20 finish last season. Will play with Marchand at LW and either Seguin or Peverley at RW. That's solid.
30. Jason Spezza, C, Ottawa Senators (27): More questions about linemates. It is looking like Filatov and Butler. Meh. And Spezza's workrate is questionable. I don't even know why I included him. Perhaps because he was a point-per-game player over the course of his career until the disappointment a.k.a. last season.