Best forward duo in the Central Division?
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Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog.
I realize Mikko Rantanen took a massive step forward in 2018-19, and has perhaps surpassed Landeskog in quality as a player, but we're talking best duos and MacKinnon/Landeskog have garnered the better results.
From 2017-19, MacKinnon spent well over 1,700 minutes with Landeskog at 5v5. They controlled nearly 53% of the shot attempts and out-scored opponents by a ridiculous 43 goal margin (101 for, 58 against) during that time. MacKinnon is as dynamic of a player as you'll find and Landeskog's mix of skill and brute clearly compliments MacKinnon tremendously.
Honorable mention goes to Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko. I think their strengths (playmaking and two-way play for O'Reilly, speed, power and shooting for Tarasenko) mesh very well and that shows in the numbers. Last season the Blues controlled 56% of the expected goals and posted a +16 goal differential in 700 5v5 minutes with that duo on the ice. I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish together in Year 2.
When considering the best duos in the central it's pretty easy to see the top guys.
Benn and Seguin- boom what more can you do 52% CF but a whopping 64% GF at 5v5 in 736 minutes together
MacKinnon and Rantanen- double boom! 55% CF and GF of 57% in 990 mins maybe the best duo in the league last season.
O'Reilly and Tarasenko- Remember when people thought the Blues should move on from Tarasenko? Yeah, that was a bad idea. 700 mins 53% CF and GF% 62.5%!!!!
Johansen and Forsberg- Nashville was underwhelming this past year but not these two. In 739 mins they racked up 57% CF and a GF of 55%. Quietly deadly.
Going honourable mention here as they put up points but a 5v5 this duo is not what people think Scheifele and Wheeler. 49% CF and 51% GF and the xGF- yeesh 47.5% in 1148 minutes. (more on this later)
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Top-5 wingers 22 & under?
Top-5 centers 22 & under?
Top-5 defenders in the Western Conference?
Top-5 defenders in the Eastern Conference?