Hello, and welcome to the 3rd of 5 installments of “Krok’s Top Players NOT in the LGHL PSN”. Today I’ll be sharing with my thoughts on Center, as that won the popularity vote on my last column. To be eligible for this list you needed to be listed as a C and play most of your games in the league at that position. This position is especially fun for me to cover as I am a former NHL/AHL Center with a President’s Trophy and All-Star appearance in Season 4 on my resume where I went 23-5 with 45 goals and a +32. As an introduction to how this column is constructed, I checked through the current rosters (as of February 14th) and created a short list of all the “Best” players from the position being covered (Center). I determined who was “Best” by assessing Meaningful NHL Experience, AHL Dominance, and Past CHL Promise. Players who are Management are NOT included in this list because you chose to be in the AHL. Then, from that short list I narrowed it down to Gold, Silver, & Bronze Players (in honour of the Olympics, and to be different) based on comparison of statistics to the Short List and my opinion. Please keep in mind that this is my opinion combined with the stats that have been recorded in LG across all LG PSN leagues. I did not investigate other league stats, Xbox stats, or any other factors. Keep in mind also the date in which this was composed. Just doing this for fun and seeing if there is a desire for me to continue writing articles such as this. So be nice! *IMPORTANT NOTE: With the addition of full TCs to each AHL roster, sorting through statistics for every single listed position has become…daunting. With this in my please note that I am only looking at players now on Active AHL Rosters. I’m sorry if this causes any inconvenience. If there is a TC that you feel needs to be given props, please share with a comment below. Gold – @Meestah Don – Chicago Wolves Yah boi Meestah. Seasons 5 & 6 GM of the year. 3 straight seasons of almost 20-win seasons (missed by 1 in S5) Point totals have been as high as 84 and as low as 58. Plus Minus is off the chart every single year. Faceoffs are above average. Taking a break from GMing this year but finds himself with his old running mates in Chicago from last year for another run at the Calder Cup. I expect Meestah to fall between the 75-85-point plateau which is less than his competition at Center, but the position is so much more than just Points (that’s what Wingers are for right?). He plays the position about as well as anyone can possibly play it and makes everyone around him better. Money talks with the 7.5 mil contract. Every team he is on is a contender and it’s a matter of time before he hoists the Calder. Silver – @jkap123 – San Antonio Rampage Using real world NHL draft logic, I’ve heard before that as teams approach the draft they target players who are “on the rise” or have outperformed their draft stock. This apparently is an indication of potential. An example of this would be the LA Kings & Tanner Pearson. Jkap is that same type of player for me in this list. He started in S2 with 38 points in 14 games. He progressed until S5, where he had 83 points and 17 wins. Last season? 23 wins and 96 points. The guy is hitting elite levels now and I expect the same to continue in S7. He did play on a high-flying Barracuda team last year, so we will see if Jkap hit his peak or not. Keep these numbers in mind for later in the article: 71% Win Percentage. 2.98 PPG for his career. Bronze – @im just a squid – Binghamton Devils I know what you are thinking. 2x 100-point seasons. 2x 20-win seasons. Good NHL experience. Why isn’t Squid the gold pick? He simply hasn’t played enough Center. I have had the privilege of playing with squid all year last year in the NHL and make no doubts about it, he is worth every penny and is an impact player. He is versatile to a fault however, as he plays a lot of wing. I couldn’t in good faith give him the Gold spot (which is where I had him until the last second) but I couldn’t also snake him with an honourable mention as he is too good. It will be interesting to see how ItsGally utilizes Squid this year, whether it be at Center or wing. There is no question, if he plays center and gets anywhere near 90 points, he’s my Gold pick. Can’t wait to play another full year with him. Honourable Mentions (no order): @Dabbbswilldo – Milwaukee Admirals – After quitting and catching a ban in S5, Dabs is back and ready to return to his old self. I’ll give him a pass on the S5 numbers, as clearly something was up there and instead focus on the great S3 and S4 seasons he had. He doesn’t put up a ton of points but is a heavy + player and keeps his GA/TA ratio down compared to the rest of the players on this list. Dabs will need a big bounce back year after taking a season off. @iTzzGamETimE_ - Milwaukee Admirals – Amazing CHL stats, especially the 33 points in 6 playoff games. Great rookie season in the AHL last year with the Admirals throwing up 63 points in only 13 games. Looks like a true player and another full season could have him in 20 win territory if all breaks right and the Admirals have a solid team around him. @gohawks48 – Ontario Reign – A bit of an enigma here, but the S5 Calder Cup and Playoff record speaks for itself. Puts up 60-70 point season when he plays and has spent some time in the NHL with limited success. After a down year (for him) in S6 interested to see how he does moving into S7. Linemates and dressing room stability is key, which is why he faired so well on Vibez S5 team. @Jimbo1616 – Providence Bruins – Model of consistency. Good for 60 point seasons almost every year. Definitely the type of player you want anchoring a second line on a top team. Might not be as sexy as the other players on this list but wins matter. @StanleysCup – Providence Bruins - S2 Calder Cup winner, after medicore S2 & S3, starting to put up ++ Seasons in the AHL. Good for around 60 points a season and is a + player. Faceoffs need some work (career 46.9%) but should be good for a similar season as S5 on the Bruins team. @ColinEastern – San Antonio Rampage - Sparkling lone CHL season, and a phenomenal rookie season last year. I have had the honour of playing with Colin in a few games during my time with St. Louis last year and there is some talent here. Faceoffs need work and I would like to see another big season before he jumps into the “elites” of AHL centers. Work with the NHL team to become a better player as Agent (NHL GM) is great with development. @Marauding_Moose – San Jose Barracuda – 60 point, 15+ win CHL season followed by a 60 point 15+ win AHL season. Consistency is key in this league, and so far so good for Moose. Peripheral stats are good. A few more Seasons like this and Moose will certainly become a hot commodity in the league. @Gwood_Boys – Springfield Thunderbirds - Made the jump right to the NHL after being drafted by the Panthers and wasn’t terrible. Stayed a full year in the AHL in S6 and proved that this is where he can dominate. 81 point season an +20 wins is worthy for consideration in any league. @GZUS19 – Stockton Heat – CHL stats? Check. AHL stats? Double Check. NHL ECUs? Awesome. Everything checks out here after a huge S6 debut with 20 wins and 81 points. +38 shows defensive awareness but Faceoffs can use some work to become Elite. Another good season and we could be talking Bronze conversation. @deerhunter2911 – Toronto Marlies – 2x 80 plus seasons with +30 plus minuses and you’ve got yourself a top line center. A down year for Deer last year only going .500 with 65 points but expect him to regress back towards the 80 point plateau. Well known member of the AHL and I’ve heard nothing but good things, Faceoff numbers are outstanding (58%). @you_mecca_me_sik – Bakerfield Condors – Definitely the player I’ve played with most on this list. Mecca is my former GM of 2 seasons and a friend/clubmate outside of LG. Mecca has some middling NHL experience from his early career, but what stands out are the dominant Iowa Wild seasons as he QBed us to the best AHL record ever (at that time, not sure if it was broken last year didn’t pay attention). After a down year last year, I expect with the right linemates he can return to his 60-point seasons of old. @Obey_the_Sandman – Colorado Eagles – Good for 60 points and can win games. Faceoff numbers are ugly and need work, but clearly it doesn’t hurt the teams he is on. NHL ECUs are around .500, which is to be expected. @L33t-Ricx0r – San Jose Barracuda – Very solid well known player. Was in my final 5 for Medals. He has had 2 majorly impressive seasons in the AHL recently and was solid before then. Had the pleasure of playing Center behind him in my last year playing forward in my return to Iowa and he led that team very well. Around +45 in each of his last 2 season which shows commitment to defense. Faceoff numbers are +55% over the last 2 seasons as well. @fireeyes2l2 – Texas Stars – I’ve player with Fire in clubs in the past and I know he’s solid. Has shown it at every level he has played in. Points not necessarily be there (good for 50-60 points) but commitment to defence and Faceoff % all check out. Decided to do CHL for some reason last year, but his numbers were solid. Looking to make a return to the AHL this season. Seems to be on Texas every year. Expect a Selke level performance. These next two players are where things got hairy for me. Remember those numbers I provided in Jakps summary? Keep them in mind here. I had a hell of a time picking the Silver winner after I gave Squid the Bronze. It game down to Jkap, Toasty & Bobby. I know I might take some heat for pick Jkap over a fan favourite in Bobby, but here were my thoughts. @xtoastyQcx – Belleville Senators - Well known AHLer. Had a solid NHL part season in S5, but not much success other than that at the NHL level. Put up a career high in points last season with an 80 point season. 56% Win Percentage & 2.56 PPG for his career which is the lower win percentage of the 3 candidates. Defensively sounds player according to plus minus even thought the GA/TA ratio is ugly. Faceoffs are average. Great player and very close to deserving that Bronze. @Bobby_Goggles12 – Manitoba Moose – Another well known AHLer and fan favourite. 61% Win Percentage & 2.52 PPG for the career. 2X all star and former manager of the year. Great NHL experience when he does play, could probably be a full time Average NHLer. Just missed putting up his 4th straight 18 win season last season by 1 win, in what was a down year for him statistically. If last year was his worst season I think most teams take that every single day of the week. Bobby is a fantastic player and It kills me to put him as an honourable mention. When all else was equal, I had to look at the career numbers and “what have you done for me lately”. Right Defense to watch during the upcoming season: *Note: These are players that, when doing my research, I see the potential to be above average to great AHL Players. I would not be surprised if they enter this conversation with more service time in the League/AHL. · @DEMBURGHBOYZ412 – Bridgeport Sound Tigers · @chegg – Grand Rapids Griffins · @Mitch_Marner16 – Hershey Bears · @x_LightTheLamp_x – Hershey Bears · @JRokPile420 – Iowa Wild · @Quickfix79 – Laval Rocket · @shockers2004 – Leigh Valley Phantoms · @DoctorBenchPress – Rockford Ice Hogs · @saucier17 – San Antonio Rampage · @ThomaLong – San Antonio Rampage · @althewall – Springfield Thunderbirds · @Alcapone-514 – Syracuse Crunch · @palfguy – Syracuse Crunch · @PR0D1GY_81 – Toronto Marlies · @SyNSxCrusade – WBS Penguins Anyways, that’s all folks! Please participate in the Poll above and feel free to leave comments of C’s who you think are the best of the best! I’m sure this writeup has the potential to cause some drama.