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1. Nikita Kucherov
Kucherov was full value for his 2018-19 Hart Trophy victory, piling up a remarkable 128 points while also driving possession and drawing penalties in bunches (though he also took his fair share). With 228 points to his credit over the last two seasons for the powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning, it's fair to say Kucherov is the beast of the East.
2. Taylor Hall
Hall is an elite skater, play driver, and he has mustered up 130 points in 109 games over the last two seasons. The only thing stopping him is, at times, injuries.
3. Artemi Panarin
The following players have more 5v5 points than Panarin over the three years: Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov, and Patrick Kane. That's it. That's the list. He's as dynamic as anyone with the puck on his stick and his underlyings are really strong. The Rangers are getting a good one.
4. Brad Marchand
Marchand is one of the best two-way wingers in the league and few, if any, are as good at getting under the skin of opponents.
5. Alex Ovechkin
Ovechkin recorded just 69 points in 2016-17 and it *finally* looked like he was slowing down. He bounced back in 2017-18 by scoring 49 and helping lead the Capitals to a Stanley Cup. Then he put up 50 in 2018-19. He still has his fastball.
Honorable mentions: Mitch Marner, David Pastrnak.
1.) Nikita Kucherov - The most recent Hart, Art Ross, and Ted Lindsay award winner is currently the most dominant winger in the Eastern Conference and I would argue top in the entire NHL. A dominant scorer and producer with two 100+ point seasons in a row.
2.) Alex Ovechkin - Ovi might not be as young as he used to be but he still does the most difficult thing to do in hockey; score goals, at a torrid pace. Last season was the winger's 8th 50+ goal season. Arguably the best natural goal scorer the league has ever seen.
3.) Brad Marchand - Though his antics might be an embarrassment to the game, the natural skill and ability that Marchand brings to the table in undenyable. He is a pest who regularly plays against the opponent's top players and regularly out-produces them whenever he is on the ice.
4.) Artemi Panarin - The Russian forward hasn't had a season with fewer than 74 points since coming from the KHL to the NHL four seasons ago. A skilled volume shooter who will likely continue his scoring ways as a member of the Rangers.
5.) Taylor Hall - Injuries throughout his career may keep Hall out of this category for some, but a healthy Hall is one of the most dominant players in the league and one of the best drivers of possession in the game. Hall is one of the most unique forwards to watch when he is on the ice and though his reckless style of play has hurt his career it also makes him a worthy addition to this list.
Top-5 centers in the Western Conference?
Top-5 centers in the Eastern Conference?
Which team has the worst forward core?
Which team has the best defense core?
Which team has the worst defense core?
Which team has the best goaltending tandem?
Which team has the worst goaltending tandem?