MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 18: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on January 18, 2017 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Centers are some of the most important offensive players to an NHL team. They have some of the best hands in the game. Face-offs can be crucial to the outcome of the game. Here are the top Centers in the NHL today.

Top Centers in NHL

10. Anze Kopitar

Kopitar is one of the top defensive forwards in the league. He won the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the most skilled defensive forward in the game last season. He averages 15-25 goals/season and 30-50 assists/season. Kopitar is a big-bodied playmaker who possess some serious stick handling.

9. Claude Giroux

Giroux is one of the most skilled centers in the league. He’s fast, a very skilled face-off man, and has some unreal hands to create plays for himself and teammates. He is a five-time All-Star. He averages 25 goals/season and 40 assists/season.

8. Auston Matthews

The rookie has lived up to all the hype thus far this season. In his first NHL game, he scored four goals. In 49 games this season, he has 23 goals and 16 assists. He is currently tied for 7th with Vladimir Tarasenko, Brad Marchand, and fellow rookie Patrik Laine in goals scored. Matthews has some great speed, soft hands, and is built solidly. He has the ability to make others around him elevate their game to another level. Matthews has some tremendous upside.

7. Patrice Bergeron

Bergeron is more of a defensive forward, and has been named the most skilled defensive forward in the league three times. Bergeron averages 25-30 goals/season with 25-30 assists/season. Bergeron is one of the best face-off men in the game and has some unreal on-ice vision. 

6. Steven Stamkos

Stamkos is one of the most prolific scorers in the NHL. He has led the league in scoring twice, and is a six-time All-Star. Stamos has scored as many as 60 goals in a season, averaging around 30 goals/season. Stamkos has some unreal speed and movement, and his wrist shot is absolutely lethal. 

5. Connor McDavid

McDavid is one of the best young players in the league. The 18-year old captain is having a phenomenal rookie season. Through 45 games, he has 16 goals and 32 assists, and is leading a turnaround of the Oilers franchise. McDavid has some great hockey IQ—he reads and breaks down a defense easily.

4. Jonathan Toews

Toews is the face of the Blackhawks franchise. He is a seven-time All Star and a three-time Stanley Cup champion. He averages 55-65 points/season, scoring around 25 goals and dishing out about 35 assists/season. Toews not only has the ability to create opportunities for himself, but also for his teammates. He has some great vision defensively, which allows him to read plays.

3. John Tavares

Tavares has been the best player on the Islanders for a long time now. He averages 60-75 points/season. He scores around 30 goals/season and dishes out 40-50 assists. Tavares is a three-time All-Star. He has some great vision and anticipates defenders before he makes plays. Tavares is a threat to score anytime he touches the puck.

2. Tyler Seguin

The Boston Bruins trading Seguin still does not make any sense to this day. Since being traded to Dallas he has 125 goals and 158 assists in 274 games. Seguin is one of the best face-off men in the league. He has great speed, is extremely skilled, and at 25 he still has some room to grow.

1. Sidney Crosby

Crosby has been arguably the best player in the league almost every year since he came in as an 18-year-old in 2005. Crosby’s list of accomplishments is incredible: he is a ten-time All-Star, three-time Stanley Cup champion, a two-time Hart Memorial Trophy award winner (MVP), a three-time Ted Lindsay award (MVP, NHLPA) winner, won the Rocket Richard award (top scorer in NHL) once, is a two-time Art Ross award (most points) winner, and added a Conn Smythe award (playoff MVP). He averages 35-40 goals a season and 25-30 assists a season. Crosby will be one of the top players in the league for a long time. 

Main image credit: