NHL 20: The best centers in the game – McDavid, Crosby, MacKinnon & more

Every team needs a someone pulling the strings, these centers are the best in the game.


The NHL season is well underway, and NHL 20 is now fully in the swing of the season with updated rosters.

Centers are the stars of many teams, with the likes of Sidney Crosby, NHL 20 cover star Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid and many others currently occupying the position. That means they also have some of the best players overall in the game.

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Here are all the best centers in NHL 20.

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers (94 OVR)

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. McDavid, at just 22, has established himself as arguably the best player in the NHL, and it is reflected in his game-best 94 overall.

This playmaker will only struggle on the ice if you choose to fight with him. At 65 it is his worst rating but he is excellent at almost everything else. He is phenomenal with the puck, and can make defenseman look ridiculous with his 96 deking and 96 puck control. Five star shooting, five star senses, five star defense and five star skating, this guy is insane.

Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins (93 OVR)

Until McDavid entered the NHL, and for many even now, Crosby is the best player in the NHL. While he may be one less overall than McDavid, he is still the second best player in the game.

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Despite being one less overall, finding differences between McDavid and Crosby is really splitting hairs. The only real difference is McDavid is 10 years younger. So, if you’re picking a team to play with, or you’re looking to somehow trade for one of these guys, their age may be the only way to pick them apart.

Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche (92 OVR)

Following a huge season last year, and a hot start again this year, MacKinnon is right on Crosby’s and McDavid’s heels.

At just 24 years old, MacKinnon is an excellent player to have control over. Not only is he one of the best five players in the game, at 24 he will be around for a long time. His 94 offensive awareness stands out, he’ll get into fantastic spots to create points, and with 93 passing, and between 90 and 92 on all his shooting ratings, he’ll create points however you need them.

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins (90 OVR)

After McDavid, Crosby and MacKinnon, Bergeron is the first center in the ‘rest of the pack’ although it isn’t that much of a step back.

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The career Bruin’s main difference to the guys above him is his shooting. While it is still excellent, 87 accuracy and 88 power isn’t on the level of the three stars above him. However, where the others are ‘Playmaker’ player types, Bergeron is a ‘Two Way Forward’, and his defensive ratings standout. All four are above 91, led by 95 stick checking. Bergeron will do it all.

Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (90 OVR)

Matthews is one of two Maple Leafs centers at 90 overall, but at 21-years-old he is this year’s cover star and has already produced 25 points in 19 games this season.

The young star is all about offense. A ‘Sniper’ player type is earned with his 91 slap shot accuracy and 92 wrist shot accuracy. Combine that with 90 shot power, 95 poise, 92 offensive awareness, and 93 puck control and going forward this guy will be a nightmare for your opponents.

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The question is, do you start him over John Tavares?

John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs (90 OVR)

Also a ‘Sniper’ do you prefer Matthews’ edge in senses and skating? Or are you drawn to Tavares’ better shooting, puck skills and defense?

The call is yours, but with 93 slap shot accuracy, 94 wrist shot accuracy, 92 slap shot power and 91 wrist shot power, along with 94 in every puck skills rating make Tavares such an exciting option. He’s 28, so not quite as young as Matthews, but hardly old or near the end. With these two guys, the Leafs are stacked at center.

Aleksander Barkov, Florida Panthers (90 OVR)

The Panthers’ star man last year cemented himself among the league’s best players, and that is reflected on NHL 20.

The ‘Two Way Center’ is finding his form again this season, but you likely won’t struggle with him. 93 offensive and defensive awareness, 93 puck control, 93 passing, 92 deking, 91 hand-eye, and 93 stick checking make Barkov a great player at both ends of the ice. At just 23 he is a fantastic center to use and will carry your team to great heights.

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NHL 20’s best centers

Player Team Age Overall
Connor McDavid Edmonton Oilers 22 94
Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins 32 93
Nathan MacKinnon Colorado Avalanche 24 92
Patrice Bergeron Boston Bruins 34 90
Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs 22 90
John Tavares Toronto Maple Leafs 28 90
Aleksander Barkov Florida Panthers 23 90
Steven Stamkos Tampa Bay Lightning 29 90
Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins 33 90
Tyler Seguin Dallas Stars 27 89
Leon Draisaitl Edmonton Oilers 23 89
Anze Kopitar LA Kings 32 89
Claude Giroux Philadelphia Flyers 31 89
Ryan O’Reilly St. Louis Blues 28 89
Brayden Point Tampa Bay Lightning 23 89
Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets 26 89
Evgeny Kuznetsov Washington Capitals 27 88
Nicklas Backstrom Washington Capitals 31 88
Jack Eichel Buffalo Sabres 22 88
Sean Monahan Calgary Flames 24 88

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Remy Cabache

I have written with RealSport since 2015, covering a variety of sections on the site as it grew, with a focus on American sports titles like Madden and NBA Live, but I dive into any game I can get my hands on.

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