EA NHL 15 Player Ratings: Sidney Crosby Leads Top 5 Centers, 50 Highest-Rated Players Overall Revealed

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Aug 10, 2014 03:52 PM EDT

As the NHL 15 launch slowly creeps closer, more details are consistently revealed by the developers. We've seen videos detailing new gameplay improvements or features, and EA Sports has now started releasing player ratings.

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EA Sports began with the goalie ratings earlier this week, and will continue to list the top five players in each position as well as list the top 50 overall. The developers have now announced the best-rated centers in NHL 15, a position that can make or break a team with elite talent, or lack thereof, through the spine of the team. Here's my take, along with EA's descriptions:

1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins: 96 Overall

Shocking no one, the league's best is NHL 15's number one center and highest-rated player. The developers describe him well: "This shouldn't come as much of a surprise that last year's Hart Trophy winner comes in as the top rated player in NHL 15. Crosby dominates in almost every aspect on the game, possessing five-star ratings in Puck Skills, Senses, Shooting, Defense, and Skating. Within those categories he retains multiple 90+ ratings including a (93) rating for Wrist Shot Accuracy and Power; as well as (95) Deking, Hand-Eye, Passing, and Puck Control."

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2. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning: 93 Overall

Going head to head with Ovechkin as the best natural scorer in the league, Stamkos was severely hampered by a leg injury that saw him miss most of the season. Still, when healthy, he's a force to be reckoned with. EA says, "If it wasn't for an unfortunate leg injury, Stamkos would have challenged Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the league's lead in points. He utilizes five-star Puck Skills, Senses, Shooting and Skating to be one of the league's top offensive forces."

3. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks: 93 Overall

While Toews may not score as many as Stamkos or Crosby, he's an amazing two-way and all-around player with great vision and skills on the puck. "Although the nickname Captain Serious holds up for Jonathan Toews, Mr. Everything is a better descriptor of what he actually brings to the ice every night. Whether it's (95) rated Faceoffs, (93) Puck Control, or (89) Speed, Acceleration, and Agility--he really does do it all."

4. Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings: 93 Overall

The players are closely ranked up at the top, with another 93-rated player joining the top five. Datsyuk is also one who may not put up as many goals, but is known as the best stick handler and puck possessor in the NHL. He's incredibly effective in his own zone, winning several Selke trophies in his career. EA says, "If Datsyuk focused solely on offense he would have the potential to be in the NHL scoring race every single year. Instead, Pavel is a legendary two-way forward who consistency finishes near the top of the league in takeaways."

5. Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks: 92 Overall

Getzlaf had a fantastic year with the Ducks, leading his team to the league's second best record with 31 goals and 56 assists, in addition to his contributions elsewhere. The developers acknowledge his non-scoring elements by including him in the top five: "Getzlaf finished the 2013-14 NHL season with 87 points and a Hart Trophy nomination--but more importantly finds himself inside the top five centers list in NHL 15! He is an elite playmaker in a power forwards body--coming in with five-stars in Puck Skills, Senses, Shooting, Skating, and Physical ability."

That's it for the top five centers--do you agree with the list? There are arguments for players like John Tavares, and he may have made the list if not for injury, but it's hard to displace any of the players listed. All of the positions have now been covered, and the overall top 50 list has been revealed as well--head over through the link to see who made the cut and keep an eye open for more NHL 15 news as its September 9 release date approaches.

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