Hockey season is almost here, and with that comes fantasy hockey season! The first focus for a lot of people is the center position. These are the guys who cover most fantasy categories (points, face-offs, blocked shots, hits, and shots) and, in turn, can earn you the most points. The toughest question when you're on the clock, is who do you take? Who is worth the gamble to help lead you to victory over your friends. Well look no further; presenting your top 25 centers for the 2015 fantasy hockey season.
1. Sidney Crosby (PIT)
- Always a safe bet in the top 3 picks. Now with veteran scorer Phil Kessel on his wing, Crosby should return to his usual 40-50 goals this season.
2. Steven Stamkos (TB)
- Once again, Stamkos is at the top of every draft board. Now with a Stanley Cup final behind him, the hungry captain should prove his worth with 40+ goals.
3. John Tavares (NYI)
-Now in his 3rd year of captaincy, the 25 year old should be able to match his 38 goals and 48 assists from a year ago.
4. Jonathan Toews (CHI)
- 3 cups in 6 years all while being at the top of the league in scoring every year. Need I say more?
5. Evgeni Malkin (PIT)
- Pittsburgh is now lined up for one of the toughest power plays in the league. As long as Malkin stays healthy he will produce.
6. Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)
- Always at the top of the league in points at the end of the season, and with a guys like Corey Perry to dish to his assists should be through the roof.
7. Tyler Seguin (DAL)
- Now a couple years past the trade from Boston, Seguin is settling in nicely in Dallas. He took that jump last year to end with 37 goals and 40 assists, and he's only 23!
8. Anze Kopitar (LA)
-The Kings had an off year last year, failing to make the playoffs after winning their second Cup in 3 years. Expect Kopitar to be hungry and score often.
9. Patrice Bergeron (BOS)
- This guy does it all. He's consistently above 60% in faceoff dots while scoring 50+ points.
10. Nicklas Backstrom (WAS)
- A revamped roster in Washington should lead to a high scoring Backstrom. Guys like T.J. Oshie and JustinWilliams should help Backstrom's points.
11. Claude Giroux (PHI)
- Even when the Flyers struggle Giroux, with help from Jakub Voracek still know how to get the puck in the back of the net. He finished last year with 73 points.
12. Joe Pavelski (SJ)
-His stats are impressive, finishing last year with 37 goals and 33 assists. What's more impressive is that he hasn't missed a game in the last two years.
13. Tyler Johnson (TB)
- Johnson's first two full years in the league he scored 50 and 72 points respectively. Now only 25, he's ready to take his game to the next level.
14. Ryan Johansen (CBJ)
- Another young center who has increased his point totals steadily in his first few years. With key additions in Columbus like Brandon Saad, that trend should continue.
15. David Backes (STL)
- St. Louis' captain is one of the most consistent point scorers in the league. You can count on him almost every night to get you some points.
16. Logan Couture (SJ)
- Couture at 26 years old is coming into the prime of his career. He has steadily increased his points total from 37, to 54, to 67 over the last few years.
17. Pavel Datsyuk (DET)
- One of the best two-way forwards to play the game. You can count on him to score points most nights. On the downside, he's spent a lot of time on the IR lately.
18. Eric Staal (CAR)
- Carolina has had a lot of tough years recently, but Staal remains their shining light. With guys like Jeff Skinner staying healthy and James Wisniewski in the back end, Staal should be an every night start.
19. Jeff Carter (LA)
- Big body and great hands. This guy will knock guys over and put pucks in the net.
20. Joe Thornton (SJ)
- Thornton's getting up there in age but his assists are still worth having him on your team. He usually shares his powerplay time with Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau so you know he'll tally points.
21. Jiri Hudler (CGY)
- Hudler had a breakout season last year scoring 76 points on what looked like a revitalized Calgary team. Look for him to have another big year.
22. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM)
-Now in battle for the first line position with Connor McDavid, RNH has a lot to prove. The former first round pick scored 56 points the last two years, but should improve on that with the improvements made in Edmonton.
23. Ryan Kesler (ANA)
- Kesler's first year in Anaheim wasn't as successful as we all had hoped. Look on him to improve his 20 goal year with a new long term contract extension inked.
24. Jason Spezza (DAL)
- Spezza's getting up there in age but still is a guy you want on your team. Dallas added Patrick Sharp to their roster so look for him to help Spezza's totals increase.
25. Derek Stepan (NYR)
- Stepan is so good at putting the puck in the net, his biggest issue is staying healthy. If he can stay on the ice, he's a great late round pick up.
So there it is, 1-25, how many can you get. Everyone on this list is worth having on your team and should help you score well on a weekly basis. Good luck, and happy drafting!