NHL Ranks Jonathan Toews Outside Top 10 Centers

Over the weekend, the NHL released their “Top 20 Centers” looking ahead to the 2017-18 season.

Here’s how their list came out:

1. Connor McDavid, EDM
2. Sidney Crosby, PIT
3. Evgeni Malkin, PIT
4. Auston Matthews, TOR
5. Nicklas Backstrom, WSH
6. John Tavares, NYI
7. Steven Stamkos, TB
8. Tyler Seguin, DAL
9. Ryan Getzlaf, ANA
10. Mark Scheifele, WPG
11. Patrice Bergeron, BOS
12. Jonathan Toews, CHI
13. Anze Kopitar, LAK
14. Jack Eichel, BUF
15. Leon Draisaitl, EDM
16. Ryan Johansen, NSH
17. Aleksander Barkov, FLA
18. Jeff Carter, LAK
19. Evgeny Kuznetsov, WSH
20. Sean Monahan, CGY

It’s an interesting list. Obviously offense weighed heavily on their rankings as Scheifele – with 82 points and 43.5 faceoff win percentage – rank ahead of Bergeron, Toews and Kopitar. Interestingly, Kopitar is coming off a brutal season (12 goals, 40 assists) and he still ranks ahead of up-and-coming stars in Eichel, Draisaitl and Johansen.

The one player in the top ten that’s the biggest surprise is Stamkos – not because of his ability, but because injuries have impacted him in three of the last four seasons. Stamkos was limited to 17 games last year but provided 20 points in that limited action.

31 thoughts on “NHL Ranks Jonathan Toews Outside Top 10 Centers

  1. I would rank
    Eichel-Draisaitl- Johansen– all over Toews and Stamkos- especially if you factor in ages

    Throwing in their Cap hits- even more so!

    Bowman- made the mistake- paying for what “they did” versus what they will do!!!
    I am not faulting him for 19/88 deals– tough decisions- but that Seabrook deal– Is Just plain Bad!!! too old- too many years- and NMC???

  2. Wall that’s foolish what team ever in any league hadn’t rewarded their players after winning championships? The Patriots is only team I can think of as the NFL doesn’t have guaranteed contracts. Everyone brags about Yzerman as being a genius. What would he have had the pay Hednan, Stamkos, Johnson, Palat etc if they had won ONE CUP and not THREE like the Hawks

  3. Gbladz- Like I wrote- I don’t blame SB for 19/88… tougher decision- to move them versus keep them…

    If anything- I wish- they both would have accepted 5-10% less… (like a lot of Tampa guys- seemed to do)

    BUT- Seabs is BAD- cuz ZERO years of PRIME/PEAK playing skill… at least 19/88 had a few years of prime versus decline skill set

  4. The Penguins are a remarkable story. If you recall a few years before the first of their now 2 Cup run, they were questionable to even make the playoffs. But they completely remade their team. They, like the Hawks had 2 superstars but not enough money or talent to put around them to make them Cup contenders. An aggressive trade for Phil Kessel, key contributions from young guys IN THE PLAYOFFS like Rust, Sheary on the top two lines, and a new coach remaking their system starting with how the defensemen play, and bam, 2 Cups. I might add they put their 3 best players at times on 3 different lines making them harder to check.

    As Hawk fans we would do well to sit up and take notice of what has happened in Pittsburg. The Hawks are like the Pens before these last two Cups….2 superstars, a top D man, and not enough cap room to keep good solid veteran guys that come up for a second contract. The Penguins got aggressive and bold to break out of that cycle. And hit a few home runs with young guys. None of our young guys have scored a point in the playoffs yet.

    But as long as you have guys like Toews, Kane, and Keith, and Crawford, you can be a contender. Because it is harder to get superstar talent like that than to come up with a system or the right role players around them. But that ain’t easy, either. And the Hawks are in a position of needing a major shake up. We will see this year if the moves they made this offseason are enough to put them back on the right path, or if more work needs to be done.

  5. No doubt it’s a critical year for Toews since the last two years have seen a significant dropoff in performance. I think his ranking here may be a little over inflated because of his defensive reputation.

    In his best 6 years 2010-15, Toews’ line routinely put up 300-400 more shots per season than the opposition. As a counterpoint, Crosby averages about 150-250 shots more than the opposition. It’s interesting to me that for all the McDavid MVP hype, his results in 2017 mirrored an average Toews year for any of those 6 years.

    However, in the last 2 years, Toews’ line averaged only a 100 shots more. At average NHL shooting rates that’s 30-40 goals from Toews’ line that the Hawks haven’t gotten. (and remember, that’s against the other team’s best line) Toews’ line has basically been a better than average checking line for the past 2 seasons.

    Whatever reason you choose for his decline, the Hawks chances (beyond any of their other weaknesses) rest on Toews’ line regaining dominance over the opposition. The other 3 lines will more than hold their own.

    IMO, we will know the Hawks chances in the spring by the end of October. Just pay attention to Toews’ line results against Toronto (Matthews), Nashville (Johansen), Pittsburgh (Crosby) and Edmonton (McDavid)

  6. If Saad plays with Toews this year I’d expect to see Toew’s numbers to improve significantly. Saad and Panik should round out his line nicely.

  7. Stupid for NHL to publish such a list, it’s absolutely a losing proposition for them. leave that kind of thing to writers, pundits, and barflys.

  8. Hall61, that’s the thing. Like Kaner said to Marchand, you should have kept your mouth shut.

    This list ranking is more like PGA rankings, what have you done in past 24 mths, stats wise.

    The top centers rankings would have weighted who are the top defensive centers in league into it. The top defensive guys 1, 2 and 3 are at 11/12/13.

    The real rankings where the top 100 players of all time as 2, 19 and 88 were 3 of the 5 current players in league.

  9. Wall none of those Tampa players would have taken those discounts had they had ONE or TWO and definitely not THREE

  10. I can’t wait for the hawks to get back at it. I think Toews is gonna have a very nice season this year. Only thing that worries me is how many defensive zone draws he’s gonna have. As of right now there isn’t another center I trust to win them.

  11. One stat nobody us talking about here is Toews 25 game winning goals in last 3 yrs. 2nd in the league.

  12. Ian- I am guessing- a lot of those GWG’s came in OT (3 on 3)

    Jax- Yes- Pens2.0 with One HUGE difference- Hawks 19/88 will be way past prime by the time Hawks can draft/build around that Gaudy Cap hit from 2 players…

    took Pens several years… if Hawks can do it in 6 years versus Pens 7 years- 19/88 will be past primes! Hawks need to do it within 2-3 years… window is closing

    and Seabrook contract- Is AWFUL!!! in 3-4 years they will be basically paying $7M + for Brent Sopel!!!!

  13. Mo any list is dubious and there was a lot of controversy about the Hawks having three in the top 100-
    How many of the Hawks fall in the current top 50 in the NHL that is what is (somewhat) important for this year–and going forward. it will be interesting to see how D.K. at 34 plays

  14. Red Top – thanks
    One of the points in my earlier post was that Toews had 6 consecutive McDavid type MVP years (and 3 SC’s). In any discussion of top 100 lists, that’s as good a stretch as anyone on the list. The real question is does he rebound like Crosby and regain his swagger (along with the Hawks)

    At 29, the next 3 years will be the best chance to secure his legacy. If the Hawks (and Toews) can do what the Crosby and the Penguins just did, they would go down as one of the greatest teams of all time and Toews as one of the greatest players of all time.

    It’s why I want them to mortgage every bit of the future to go for it the next 2 years (Duchene, etc.) then blow it up. Chances for immortality don’t come along for franchises or players very often.

  15. Hawkfacts you have to think with no big contracts up for awhile alot will happen in next couple of years, probably alot of reason why 72 and 4 were moved to create this scenario. What it appears Sakic may want for Duschene could be more of selling out the future than going all in.
    I feel quite sure Toews will make alot people eat their words as he is a leader and thats what he does.
    I’ m sure Toews got his share if ot goals Wall as did everybody else who got alot of game winners kind of a pointless comment but do we hear echoes of blackhawks 2.0.

  16. Ian, I hope you are right. I just think the next 3 years with Toews/Kane are it for the Hawks’ current core championship window so I will mortgage any future to optimize their chances.

    I went back in the record book to see the last time any star forward of a SC champion was over 31. The last time it happened was 2001 with Joe Sakic who was 32. Defensemen can be older but your forwards max out earlier. Toews and Kane will be productive in their later years but they will not be the difference makers that lead to a Cup. And of course in 3 years, Keith will be 37 and Seabrook 36.

  17. Hawkfacts- maybe you should work-with Stan.. that FACT about SC Camps and star forwards… very telling… and should have been used when computing contracts for 19/88

  18. Like it or not Toews has not played like a top 10 center the last 2 seasons despite being paid like one, but I digress. That being said Matthews doesn’t even have a 2 yr track record, Stammer has missed a bunch of time recently and Getzlaf hasn’t put together a dominant 2 yr stretch either.

    Bottom line the Hawks need Toews to step the F up if they want to be contenders. Season hasnt started and I already heard from a talking head that he expects Sharp to play on the 2nd line in Panarin old spot and I already want to F’ing cry!

    @ Tab thank you for the clean up work from yesterday whoa!!!

  19. Hawkfacts just looking atnd Yzerman was 37 when wings won in 2002, Selanne 36 when Ducks won cup in 2007 and Brindamoor was mid 30s when Carolina won in o6′. That being said your correct it is difficult to do and with both 88 and 19 knocking on that door even rarer.
    I still believe when the season starts and Vegas with a glut of nhl dmen on their roster one could be coming from them and maybe some forward help after a bit of assessing what is there now.
    The next couple of off seasons should provide some real signing room not just temporary ltir space.

  20. At this stage barring injury from a contender, I fully expect Cody Franson will sign a PTO and after day 2 of the season will be offered a contract by the Hawks once Hossa money becomes available.

  21. I don’t think a pto is a guarantee of a contract. Franson does some things good and brings size but is not a speedster at all and his passing erractic at best. Hopefully not alot of ltir money is spent on a 3rd pair dman who will only give you limited minutes and no help in improving the pk.

  22. @ Ian

    No, a PTO is not a contact. What I am trying to say is I believe SB has already struck a deal with Franson, however, the Hawks can not officially sign him until Hossa can be put on LTIR which is either the 1st or 2nd day of the season. So a PTO will be necessary to have him in camp until he is signed.

    Franson isn’t great, but he is 2nd or 3rd pair NHL defenseman which is more than what the Hawks current have on their roster.

  23. I think your argument was that the hawks spent too much money on two players, like the Pen’s did. The Pen’s were bad, with no chance to get better or do anything in the playoffs. I think they were O.K. this year, no?

  24. The 3 on 3 has been in existence for only 2 or 3 seasons now, so hard to imagine that most of his GWG came here.

  25. Toews had Panik on one wing and rookie of the week on the other. No other 1c in the league played with less talent. Have Saad back will be a huge plus and Toews even admitted that his training regime was ill prepared for hockey ( even though he was in great shape). He is going back to his old training and spending more time on the ice working on his offence side of the game. I expect him to have a good bounce back year

  26. Jax/Golden, that’s the thing. we have a better roster then they do and they won by playing and getting lucky. They didn’t have to play MIN/STL/NAS/STL/NAS type teams in first round, they had it easy.

    Tazer hasn’t played as good as he is those two yrs, I donot think that continues. When he prepares/trains right/his normal way/adjustments needed for that and then we see.

    I heard hes working on skating speed, so less talent younger guys donot close the gap in skill level just by being fast/younger. Just like that game 5 in ANA, we dint get it done with those late lucky kind of goals, too little to late. Then game 7 in ANA Tazer responded by setting the pace to a 4 goal lead. This is what I believe we see these 5 coming yrs, as we reload to be deep again.

    With salary cap, it made us not keep certain people, I think it will do that to other top teams when they want to keep everybody as they get better. Look at TAM, I see the same thing for TOR and EDM. While we already paid our dues again a few times and like Rufus transition back to deep roster again by the good young guys getting better/established quality deep.

    We can win the Cup and think we will, question is we will get lucky and win 2 more like PIT did.

  27. When you had Bowman, the coaching staff and the players saying you don’t need to worry about Toews I will go with that until they think otherwise and not speculate otherwise.

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