2009-10 NHL Center Rankings

Sidney Crosby finished the season with 109 points, the fourth
time in five years that he has cracked the century mark.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - In the final installment of our 2009-10 hockey awards we evaluate the center position.

He's been a top-three fantasy player since he arrived in Pittsburgh and this year was no different for our 2009-10 TSN Fantasy Center of the Year - Sidney Crosby. Picked No.3 behind winger Alex Ovechkin and Penguins teammate Evgeni Malkin in most drafts, Crosby outplayed Malkin this season. Then in a battle between Crosby and Ovechkin's center, Nicklas Backstrom, Crosby barely edged him for the big prize. Crosby finished the season with 109 points, the fourth time in five years that he has cracked the century mark.

In a piece about the NBA a couple of days ago, I mentioned the phrase "out of sight, out of mind." That's what made Dallas center Brad Richards this year's "Best Bargain Award" winner. He was coming off a 56-game, 48-point season in 2008-09 mainly due to wrist and hand injuries and because of that nobody paid attention to him on Draft Day. That was a mistake. As an 18th-round selection (ADP 210), Richards easily surpassed all expectations and finished the year as the seventh-leading scorer (91 points). Throw in 40 power play points and 284 shots and you have a very valuable commodity.

Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk had posted 97 points in each of his last two seasons and much was expected in 2009-10 as a No.10 overall pick. Unfortunately, he didn't deliver, dropping in all six fantasy categories and "earning" this year's "Most Disappointing Award."

2010 Center Ranking
1)Sidney CrosbyPIT51581571342983
2)Nicklas BackstromWAS336837503722222
3)Henrik SedinVAN298335482716686
4)Steven StamkosTB5144-2384129789
5)Brad RichardsDAL2467-121440284210
6)Patrick MarleauSJ443921222527442
7)Evgeni MalkinPIT2849-6100282682
8)Anze KopitarLA34476163825976
9)Ryan KeslerVAN2550110426214207
10)Joe ThorntonSJ206917542914141
11)Eric StaalCAR29414682327725
12)Henrik ZetterbergDET234712262230912
13)Mike RichardsPHI3131-2793123727
14)Jonathan ToewsCHI254322472220235
15)Jeff CarterPHI3328238223197
16)Mikko KoivuMIN2249-25028246111
17)Vincent LecavalierTB2446-16632529520
18)Paul StastnyCOL205925025199200
19)Tomas PlekanecMON254555024216209
20)Derek RoyBUF26439482521563

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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