Now that every other position on the ice has been covered, it’s time for the ten best centers in the history of the Edmonton Oilers. The Oilers have had many different styles of Centers in the 34 years since they joined the NHL and these ten are the very finest.
Before we get to the list, special mention needs to be made of the player that just fell short of the top ten. He was the key piece that Edmonton got in the trade with the Los Angeles Kings, for Wayne Gretzky. Jimmy Carson was just 20 years old when he donned an Oiler jersey for the first time and was an immediate hit. Even though Carson found success right away, he didn’t last long in Edmonton. Carson was traded four games into his second season as an Oiler for a slew of really good players. During his 84 games as an Oiler, Carson scored 50 goals and registered 53 assists. Had his career lasted longer with the Oilers there is no question the Jimmy Carson would be very high on this list.
10. Mike Comrie- Comrie was the 91st overall pick, in the third round of the 1999 entry draft by Edmonton. Comrie spent his first three seasons with the Oilers, with his best season coming in year two. Comrie notched a career high in goals with 33 to go along with 27 assists. Mike returned to the Oilers just before his career ended and was a big piece of the power play, scoring almost half his points in 2009-10 with the man advantage.
9. Todd Marchant- Marchant was traded to the Oilers after playing just one NHL game in his rookie season. Once he got to Edmonton, Marchant found a home, spending the next ten seasons as an Oiler. During his 678 games, Marchant registered 136 goals and 207 assists as well as landing in the top ten in short-handed goals in three different seasons.
8. Sam Gagner- Gagner was the sixth overall pick, in the first round of the 2007 draft by the Oilers and has spent his entire career in Edmonton to this point. In his six seasons as an Oiler, Gagner has scored 91 goals and registered 167 assists in just 414 games.
7. Jordan Eberle- Eberle has been in the NHL for only three seasons but has already shown signs of future stardom, making the all-star game as a 21 year old. During his three years in Edmonton, Eberle has tallied 68 goals to go along with 88 assists in just 195 games.
6. Craig MacTavish- MacTavish found a fresh start in Edmonton and made the most of his opportunity. In eight and a half seasons as an Oiler player, MacTavish won three Stanley Cups as well as registering 155 goals and 176 assists. To go along with MacTavish’s solid offensive numbers, he was a huge part on Edmonton’s special teams. MacTavish finished third in the NHL in short-handed goals in two different seasons. To top it all off, MacTavish was a great team leader, wearing the Captain’s C for the Oilers for two seasons. After retiring from the game, MacTavish returned to Edmonton and was the head coach of the Oilers for eight seasons.
5. Ken Linseman- Linseman spent two seasons as an Oiler in the early 80’s,scoring 51 goals and adding 91 assists in just 144 games. Linseman was a huge part of Edmonton’s first Stanley Cup, scoring four game winning goals in the 1983-84 playoffs. Linseman returned to the Oilers for another season at the end of his career and was still very effective, scoring 36 points in 56 games.
4. Shawn Horcoff- Horcoff has played every game of his 12 year NHL career with the Oilers. During his 796 games in Edmonton, Horcoff has scored 162 goals while adding 285 assists. Horcoff’s best statistical season came in 2005-06, when he scored 22 goals to go along with 51 assists. Horcoff had another great season in 2007-08 when he played in his first all-star game. To go along with his impressive stats, Horcoff has been the Oilers captain for the last two seasons.
3. Jason Arnott- Arnott Played his first four and a half seasons with Edmonton after being selected with the seventh pick in the 1993 entry draft. In his 286 games as an Oiler, Arnott scored 100 goals to go along with 139 assists. During his time in Edmonton, Arnott was a huge part of the power play, scoring 36 goals with the man advantage. Arnott was good enough as an Oiler to play in the 1997 all-star game.
2. Doug Weight- Weight spent eight and a half years as an Oiler and was top ten in the NHL in assists four times, as well as being a three time all-star. During 588 games in Edmonton, Weight tallied 157 goals and 420 assists for 577 points. His best season came in 1995-96 when Weight scored 104 points in 82 games.
1. Wayne Gretzky- What is there to say about the greatest hockey player that the world has ever seen, that hasn’t already been said? I could talk about “The Great One” for 100 pages and still not cover it all. Gretzky won the Hart Memorial Trophy eight straight seasons as the NHL MVP. He is the only player in league history to score 200 points in a single season and he managed to accomplish that feat four times. Gretzky finished his time as an Oiler with 583 goals to go along with 1086 assists for a total of 1669 points in just 696 games. Throw in four Stanley Cups, and you can see why I could go on and on about the most important player in NHL history.