NHL 500: Ranking the Top 120 Centers

October 21st, 2015 by Jonathan Willis Leave a reply »
This is it: The last of our positional breakdowns in our unparalleled NHL 500 project.

For those new to the series, an explanation of what we are looking for here may be helpful. We can explain it with one question: Taking into account the available evidence, what would a reasonable person expect from every player in the league in this coming year?

Our analysis is primarily rooted in major league work, which means we’re omitting rookies, so don’t go looking for Connor McDavid or Sam Bennett. We don’t care about contracts or long-term trade value. We don’t care about what happened last year, except insofar as it predicts what will happen in the coming year.

Our process leans heavily on analytics and involves creating a 100-point scale for every position. A grade of 50 indicates an average player at his position, with a higher total obviously being better.

For the most part, talent tends to cluster around the average, with elite players being relatively rare. So a player with a grade of 80 is actually elite—these numbers don’t function the way marks in school do.

For forwards specific ...

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