The Pittsburgh Penguins may be an aging team, but their veterans are still some of the best in the league.
According to a new NHL Network list, two Penguins legends are among the league’s top 20 centers.
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have been seen as two of the NHL’s best players since each of their rookie seasons and that continues 15+ years later.
The NHL Network recently released who they believe are the league’s top centers and Malkin ranked 18th, while Crosby cracked the top five.
Malkin played in only 41 games in 2021-22 thanks to recovering from a knee surgery, but still managed to score 20 goals and 22 assists for 42 points.
It was the 14th time in his 16-year career that Malkin exceeded a point per game and with a new contract, much of the same is expected.
The Penguins gave Malkin a new four-year contract worth $6.1 million annually, just about guaranteeing he will play with Pittsburgh his whole career.
“I think he’s going to be super motivated this season,” NHL Network analyst, and former Malkin teammate Mike Rupp said. “You might see him even higher on this list next year.”
Crosby has appeared near the top of lists like this since he was drafted in 2005 and he has never not met expectations.
NHL Network looks at the 35-year-old Crosby as the fifth best center in the league.
In 2021-22, Crosby played in 69 games and tied for the team lead in points with 84 (31-53) while scoring more than 30 goals for the 10th time in his career.
Through his whole career, Crosby has never finished a season under a point per game and it’s expected that trend will continue.
“There might not be many better than Sidney Crosby,” Rupp said. “The way he influences offensively, defensively, leadership, all the things.”
Expectations are sky high for the Penguins and their core veterans, regardless of age analysts still look at them as some of the best in the league.
Make sure you bookmark Inside the Penguins for the latest news, exclusive interviews, breakdowns and so much more!