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Top 10 Overpaid Centers in the NHL in 2022-23

Jack Eichel Vegas Golden Knights

In the second edition of the series going over the top 10 overpaid players at each position, we now look at centers. Some are obvious because of their cap hit or the point they’ve reached in their careers, but others aren’t so clear. This list will take into account cap hit, contract length, and stats this season.

10. Andrew Copp ($5.625 million AAV)

As a career middle-six player for the Winnipeg Jets, Andrew Copp signed with the Detroit Red Wings in free agency this summer. Seeing as the team has a ton of cap space to work with, it won’t impact them too much. But if Copp was on another team, his cap hit would be a problem. In the last couple of seasons, he’s been elevated to play more often on the second line but has really struggled to score as well as he did in those previous seasons.

Copp is the Red Wings’ second-line center this season, and though he is still good defensively, with a $5.625 million AAV, eight goals on a team that has been fighting for a playoff spot isn’t going to cut it. He is still under contract for four more seasons, so with a reasonable cap hit and assuming he can continue producing fairly well, his contract will only get better over time, which is why he just made the list.

9. Jack Eichel ($10 million AAV)

Jack Eichel was left off this list last season due to the lack of games he played after coming back from a very serious injury, and he needed to get back up to speed. This season, there aren’t any excuses, and he hasn’t been as impactful as the Vegas Golden Knights need him to be. It’s a good thing they have a strong and deep team because their highest-paid player isn’t even averaging a point per game this season, while 42 other NHLers are.

Jack Eichel, Vegas Golden Knights (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Sure, he is a former second-overall pick who was highly touted and is an elite player, but he still makes $10 million AAV and is the 11th highest-paid player in the league. In a season that has featured so many high-scoring players, he isn’t among them. He isn’t even the top scorer on his team, regardless of the number of games. Number-one centers are important, and he hasn’t looked great, failing to record a point in 22 of his 54 games but still has 50 points.

8. Ryan Strome ($5 million AAV)

It’s been an abysmal season for the Anaheim Ducks, and Ryan Strome has been part of that. The 29-year-old’s offense has really dropped off compared to last season when he played on the second line for the New…

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