“Time for a countdown” – Top 5 NHL Centers in 2022

Among hundreds of NHL centers there are a few who radiate more than the others, let’s find out who those at the Top 5 NHL players are.

Top 5 NHL Centers
Top 5 NHL Centers
FirstSportz News

The National Hockey League (NHL) is stacked with some of the outrageously talented hockey players in the world. Today we will take a look at the Top 5 NHL centers in 2022, and their contract details. 

Centers play a crucial role on the ice, as they rule the lines. Puck possession is one of the important roles the centers play throughout a game. It won’t be a stretch to say that they determine whether others are going to gain possession of the face-off.

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Top 5 NHL Players

Leon Draisaitl and Sidney Crosby
Leon Draisaitl and Sidney Crosby

Teams always try to line up their roster with the best players, and the center’s role makes it a vital choice for the team to drive its fate.  

So without much further ado, let’s jump straight into the Top 5 players list, according to nhl.com, in 2022. Let the countdown begin!

5. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburg Penguins

Sidney Crosby
Sidney Crosby

Sidney Crosby is the captain and the center for the Penguins. Last season he acquired 84 points with 31 goals and 53 assists in 69 games. He’s won the Stanley Cup three times in 2009, 2016, and 2017. He’s also 2nd among the active skaters with 517 goals, 1,409 points, and first with 892 assists.

He signed a massive 12-year deal with the Penguins worth $104,400,000 million with an annual average value of $8,700,000. In 2022-23 he will be earning a base salary of $3,000,000 million. The deal was signed on 28 June 2012.

4. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers

Leon Draisaitl
Leon Draisaitl

Leon is the center and the alternate captain for the Edmonton Oilers. Last season he clinched the 2nd NHL spot with 55 goals, 24 power-play goals, 41 power-play points, fourth with 110 points, and first with 11 game-winning goals. He’s 2nd in NHL with 179 goals and 409 points over the past 4 seasons.

On August 16, 2017, he signed an 8-year contract worth $68,000,000 million with an annual average salary of $11,333,333 million with the Oilers. In 2022-23 he will be earning a base salary of $1 million with a signing bonus of $7 million while carrying a cap hit of $8,500,000 million.

3. Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche

Nathan MacKinnon
Nathan MacKinnon

MacKinnon is an ice hockey center and alternate captain of the Avalanche. Last season, he played a crucial role in leading the Avalanche with 13 goals to win its first Stanley Cup since 2001. He has scored 88 points during the regular season, with 32 goals and 56 assists.

He signed a 7-year deal in the previous year on April 1, worth $44,100,000 million with an annual average salary of $6,300,000 million. In 2022-23 he will be getting a base salary of $6,850,000 million with a cap hit of $6.3 million.

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2. Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs

Auston Matthews
Auston Matthews

Matthews is a prolific center who plays the role of the alternate captain on his team. Last season, he won the Hart Trophy, Ted Lindsay Award, and the Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy, as he was named the 1st player since 2011-12 to score 60 goals. He’s tied in NHL with 106 points, first with 348 shots on goal, tied for third in 16 power-play goals, and fifth with 10 game-winning goals. 

On March 14, 2022, he signed a $58,201,250 million deal for 5-years with signing bonus of $54,500,000 million while carrying an AAV of $11,640,250 million. In 2022-23, he will be earning a base salary of $750,000 with a signing bonus of $7.2 million, and a cap hit of $11,640,250 million.

1. Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Connor McDavid
Connor McDavid

McDavid is the center and the captain for the Edmonton Oilers. Last season he successfully led the NHL in scoring for the 2nd straight season, with 123 points in 44 goals and 79 assists in 80 games. He is also a two-time Hart Trophy winner. He recorded 697 points since appearing in NHL during 2015-16.

On July 5, 2017, he penned an 8-year deal with the Oilers worth $100,000,000 million with an AAV of $12,500,000 million. In 2022-23 he is running with a base salary of $1 million a signing bonus of $11 million and a cap hit of $12,500,000 million.

There are many other prolific players than these Top 5, but for now, our list concludes with Connor McDavid clinching the top center position in the NHL as of 2022.

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