Originally written on Fantasy Sports Locker Room  |  Last updated 9/24/13

Mike Omelan on Patrick Kane at 4 in his 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings You’re the only one with Patty Double 8’s Kane inside the top five for centers. Why should he be the fourth C taken off the board ahead of John Tavares and Claude Giroux? Well, Patrick Kane is a special player. He was the 4th ranked fantasy center last season and finished 3rd in points so why not!? He plays on a great team so the +/- will be up and in my mind he’s only getting better. Last season, he came out and displayed how dominant he can be en route to helping Chicago win the Stanley Cup. He’s about to enter his prime. He’s still crazy young, will be turning 25 come November and I expect the best is still to come for Kaner which is going to be very entertaining to watch. Jason Spezza is a point per game player when healthy. He’s a high risk, high reward fantasy player, but the question is… do you want to take a chance on him? (James Gordon) Esten Mclaren on Jason Spezza at 8 in his 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings You’re the only one to have Jason Spezza inside the top 10 at the center position. Three out of our four experts don’t even have him inside their top 15. Why do you feel like he is a top 10 center? Does it have anything to do with newly acquired sniper Bobby Ryan? In his last full season in 2011-12 Jason Spezza was the sixth highest scorer in the NHL (84 points in 80 games). That season his most common linemates were Milan Michalek and the recently departed Daniel Alfredsson. This season he’ll be playing with Bobby Ryan and Michalek, which is a significant upgrade. Ryan is the best pure goal scorer the Sens have had since Dany Heatley. Chris Meaney on Sam Gagner at 33 in his 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings You were the highest on Sam Gagner ranking his at 33. Do you still think he should be ranked as high with the recent injury that will keep him out til November with a broken jaw? I didn’t believe in Sam Ganger last year, but he impressed me with 38 points in 48 games. A much bigger improvement than his 47 in 75 the year before. This year Gagner will likely be playing with newly acquired David Perron and Nail Yakupov who will be better as he heads into his second season in the show. Gagner of course had a bit of a setback as he’ll miss the first month with a broken jaw, but he should still be able to keep in game shape. 60 points is still reachable and now you could wait him out a bit longer during your draft. Mike Omelan on Mikko Koivu at 40 in his 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings Mikko Koivu has a consensus ranking of 28. How come you have him ranked lower than others at 40? I think Mikko is a very solid player. In fantasy though, goals are harder to come by than assists and are more valuable. Koivu gets mostly assists, and I’d rather go for somebody with a bit more of a balance and or upside. Someone like Jeff Skinner who hasn’t quite lived up to expectations yet, but I expect a solid campaign from him this year. Or even a David Backes who fills a lot of gritty categories for you. Lars Eller was selected 13th overall in the 2007 NHL draft by the St. Louis Blues. Eller is heading into his fourth season in the NHL and has taken strides to becoming a solid fantasy player for years to come. (Igor Burdetskiy) Chris Meaney on Lars Eller at 41 in his 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings You were the only one to rank Lars Eller and you have him ranked as the 41st best fantasy center this season. What makes you think the third line center can make a fantasy impact? Lars Eller is on the rise! He finished with 29 points in 79 games two year’s ago, but last year he broke out with 30 points in 46 games and turned into quite the playmaker adding 22 assists along the way. He was most impressive when paired up with Alex Galchenyuk. The two combined for 25 points over their final 12 games with Eller getting 13 of those points. Last year’s Rookie of the Year runner up Brendan Gallagher will be the third member of the Habs line and although it’s the third line Eller is sound defensively and will be counted on for offense.  It’s only a matter of time before Eller lands himself a top-six role in Montreal. 20 goals and 55-60 points is a reachable goal for a guy nobody will have on their fantasy radar. Esten Mclaren on Mike Ribeiro at 54 in his 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings Mike Ribeiro has a consensus ranking of 36 by our staff yet you have him ranked at 54. Why? Admittedly 54 may be a bit low for Ribeiro. Yet you have to consider he’s joining his second new team in as many years. He has to build chemistry with new linemates once again, which historically gets players (especially centers) off to a slow start. At 33 his best years are probably behind him and he’s also joining a more defensive system in Phoenix. He’ll also have less offensive linemates in Shane Doan and Mikkel Boedker than he had in either Washington or Dallas.     Share your thoughts in the comments below and make sure to check out Our 2013-14 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings The post 2013 Fantasy Hockey Center Rankings Discussion appeared first on Fantasy Sports Locker Room.

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