The list is in and once again Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has cracked the NHL’s top-10 center list produced by the NHL Network. The four-time Selke Trophy winner comes in at No. 7 this season just behind wunderkinds Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews on the top-20 NHL centers right now, and just ahead of Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and 2020 Conn Smythe Trophy candidate Brayden Point.
That’s some pretty elite NHL company for a player in Bergeron entering his 17th season with the Boston Bruins.
Here’s what NHL Network analyst Mike Johnson had to say about Bergeron: “There’s two parts to being a great centerman. It’s when you have the puck, when your team has the puck, you make it easier for your linemates, what to do with the puck. When the other team has it, you make it harder for them, and that’s what Patrice Bergeron does so well. He understands everything about how to play hockey for himself and for his teammates, and that’s what makes him such a great linemate, a great player and really a great winner.”
Bergeron will need to be playing at that “great centerman” level right out of the gate this season with linemates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak recovering from offseason surgeries. That’s become more and more of a challenge for a player that’s still carrying a heavy load for the Boston Bruins as he enters this coming season as a 35-year-old No. 1 center required to play big minutes and all situations for the Black and Gold.
But there’s no question how highly rated Bergeron is among both the media and the fans, as Bergeron was also ranked fourth on the NHL Network fan voting list. What a crazy, wacky list that was with Flyers center Kevin Hayes coming in at No. 6 overall ahead of guys like Auston Matthews, Jack Eichel and Leon Draisaitl among others.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) November 15, 2020
Hayes didn’t even crack the NHL Network’s top-20 center list, though his Flyers teammate and reigning Selke Trophy winner Sean Couturier did as the 18-th ranked pivot in the NHL right now.
NHL Network’s top 20 centers Right Now
- Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
- Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
- Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers
- Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
- Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
- Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins
- Brayden Point, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Mika Zibanejad, New York Rangers
- Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers
- Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets
- Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes
- John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs
- Ryan O’Reilly, St. Louis Blues
- Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks
- Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
- Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers
- Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
- Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings