The New York Islanders are the only team with three top-50 centers on Pete Jensen’s top-50 fantasy hockey rankings.
For those who enjoy fantasy sports, the New York Islanders are the lone team in the entire league who have three top-50 centers. Pete Jensen ranked his top-50 centers, for fantasy purposes, and Mathew Barzal, Brock Nelson, and JG Pageau all found their way on the list.
Barzal is first on the list coming in at number 25. With 60 points (19 goals, 41 assists) in 68 games that seems fair for Barzy. He falls just behind Brayden Schenn who had 25 goals and 58 points in 2019-2020.
The Islanders aren’t exactly known for their offensive output, so it’s not too surprising to see their top center at 25th for fantasy purposes. Brock Nelson is next on the list, seven spots back at 32.
In 68 games last year, Nelson was having a career year with 54 points and 26 goals to his name. At this point, he’s a solid number two center and he seems to be getting better with age as he heads into his age 29 season.
Nelson will never be the same kind of offensive force as Mat Barzal, which is fine the Isles don’t need him to be. I think his ceiling, during a normal 82 game season is around 65 points while someone like Barzal is more likely to have the ceiling of a point per game player.
Even still, Nelson at 32 seems to make sense. The last center to make the list is JG Pageau. Pager comes in at 41 on the list right behind veteran Joe Pavelski. What a 2019-2020 season it was for him as he put up 26 goals and 42 points.
Lou Lamoriello made it well known that he wanted Pageau on this team and he is legitimately one of the best third line centers in the sport, as told by his ranking.
Now, for his career Pageau averages .42 points per game, paced out that’s 35 points a season. If he goes back to his career average I can see him falling out of the top-50 for fantasy purposes.
Regardless, the Isles center depth even with Casey Cizikas on the fourth line is excellent. That’s the clear strength of this forward group. The wings are a completely different story, but down the middle, this team is as good as any.