NHL 22: Top Faceoff Centers

Need to get your skaters on the puck more often? Grab one of the best faceoff centers in NHL 22 to bring you more success in the duel.

Faceoffs are an integral part of the sport of ice hockey, with possession-based strategies becoming fundamental to the top teams of the NHL.

In NHL 22, you’re given a diverse set of controls to win each faceoff. However, even if your technique isn’t the best in the circle, having one of the top faceoff centers in the game can help you to win more faceoffs.

Winning the puck regardless of which line you have on the ice is crucial to your success. So, here are all the best faceoff players in NHL 22.

Choosing the best faceoff centers in NHL 22

In order to find the best faceoff centers in NHL 22, we narrowed down the search to forwards with attribute ratings of at least 85 faceoffs and 80 poise – calculating the average of the two to find each player’s Outsider Gaming faceoff score.

On this page, you can see each of the top seven faceoff players featured, as well as a full list of all of the top faceoff players in NHL 22 at the foot of the article.

Patrice Bergeron (Faceoff Score: 95)

Age: 36
Overall Rating: 91
Faceoffs/Poise: 95/95
Player Type: Two-Way Forward
Team: Boston Bruins
Shoots: Right
Best Attributes: 95 Stick Checking, 95 Defensive Awareness, 92 Offensive Awareness

Stalwart Patrice Bergeron maintains his reign as faceoff king in NHL 22, reflecting his real-life statistics. He ended the 2020-2021 season with a faceoff win percentage of 62.25 to go along with 23 goals and 25 assists for 48 points. 

In the playoffs, his percentage dropped to 54.66, but he still added four goals and five assists for nine points in 11 games. 

What separates Bergeron from others in NHL 22 are his high ratings of 95 in both faceoff and poise. However, he is not just a faceoff ace.

His defensive awareness and stick checking are both 95, making the two-way forward a formidable defender. He also boasts a 92 in offensive awareness, deking, passing, and hand-eye, so Bergeron is all-around one of the best in the game. 

Ryan O’Reilly (Faceoff Score: 92)

Age: 30
Overall Rating: 89
Faceoffs/Poise: 94/90
Player Type: Two-Way Forward
Team: St. Louis Blues
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 95 Discipline, 93 Stick Checking, 92 Defensive Awareness

Veteran Stalwart Ryan O’Reilly (not to be confused with the Detroit Red Winger) makes his way to the list with a Faceoff Score of 92. While easily below Bergeron, O’Reilly’s score is still high, ranking as the second-best by how this metric was calculated. 

His faceoff win percentage for the 2020-2021 season was 58.78, in line with his previous four years. His ability to win most faceoffs for his team should prove a boon to you should you add him to your roster.

His other notable attributes include a whopping 95 in discipline – paired well with his poise – and a 93 in stick checking to go along with his 92 in defensive awareness. His discipline helps make him a strong two-way forward. 

If discipline were added into this calculation, O’Reilly might be first.

Sidney Crosby (Faceoff Score: 91.5)

Age: 34
Overall Rating: 93
Faceoffs/Poise: 88/95
Player Type: Playmaker
Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 97 Hand-Eye, 96 Puck Control, 95 Offensive Awareness

Long considered one of the premier players of his generation – when not beset by injuries – Sidney Crosby is an unsurprising name on this list. Though his faceoff score is lower, his high poise makes up for the difference. Crosby is a formidable opponent in faceoffs.

The former two-time MVP and three-time Stanley Cup Champion has one of the lower faceoff win percentages both for last season (53.57) and his career (52.1). This helps account for his faceoff score. He still has won more faceoffs than he has lost, so there is some solace.

What separates Crosby are his offensive skills. His hand-eye is 97 and with a 96 in puck control, Crosby could maintain possession and keep the defence away for as long as needed. He also boasts a 95 in offensive awareness, a reason for him having more assists than goals in every season.

Jonathan Toews (Faceoff Score: 91)

Age: 33
Overall Rating: 86
Faceoffs/Poise: 92/90
Player Type: Two-Way Forward
Team: Chicago Blackhawks
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 93 Stick Checking, 90 Defensive Awareness, 88 Hand-Eye

Former MVP and three-time Stanley Cup champion Jonathan Toews continues his stellar career with an appearance on this list. His Faceoff Score of 91 is the last score in the 90s, rounding out the top half of elite faceoff centers.

While he only scored 18 goals during the 2020-2021 season (a career-low), he added 42 assists to finish with 60 points. He traded goal scoring for more playmaking. He also won 57.3 percent of faceoffs last year, right in line with his career average of 56.9. 

Toews also has good defensive ratings with 93 in stick checking and 92 in awareness. Pairing well with his faceoff and poise attributes, he has a 88 in hand-eye, making it that much easier for him to win the puck.

Anze Kopitar (Faceoff Score: 89.5)

Age: 34
Overall Rating: 90
Faceoffs/Poise: 89/90
Player Type: Two-Way Forward
Team: Los Angeles Kings
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 92 Wrist Shot Power, 92 Slap Shot Power, 92 Stick Checking

Two-time champion Anze Kopitar just missed out on a Faceoff Score of 90 with 89.5, but he is still an intimidating foe in that faceoff circle.

Kopitar won an impressive 57.28 percent of his faceoffs last season, an outlier from his 52.5 percent career average. However, it is right in line with the gradual improvement from the previous three seasons. He should hopefully maintain or improve upon his 57 percent.

Kopitar is also a powerful shooter with 92 in both wrist shot power and slap shot power. Any goalie is going to need to have fast reflexes to stop his shots. He also has a 92 in stick checking, so he can hold his own defensively. 

Aleksander Barkov (Faceoff Score: 88.5)

Age: 26
Overall Rating: 90
Faceoffs/Poise: 87/90
Player Type: Two-Way Forward
Team: Florida Panthers
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 93 Stick Checking, 93 Defensive Awareness, 92 Offensive Awareness

The longtime Florida Panther, Aleksander Barkov boasts a Faceoff Score of 88.5 to place him sixth on this list. After winning less than half of his faceoffs for the first four years of his career, he has been above 50 percent the past four years ranging between 53.51 and 54.87 percent. 

He ended the 2020-2021 season with 26 goals and 32 assists for 58 points, so he can be relied upon to score and assist. Barkov is also the youngest on this list, so if playing Franchise, he could be someone to target for the long-term. 

Barkov is not a pushover on offence or defence. His defensive awareness is 93 and his stick checking a 93. His offensive awareness stat is 92, so plug him in and have little fear of Barkov messing up.

Jordan Staal (Faceoff Score: 88)

Age: 33
Overall Rating: 84
Faceoffs/Poise: 91/85
Player Type: Two-Way Forward
Team: Carolina Hurricanes
Shoots: Left
Best Attributes: 90 Defensive Awareness, 90 Balance, 89 Strength

Stanley Cup Champion Jordan Staal makes this list with a Faceoff Score of 88. The veteran is also – in this context – the inverse of Crosby in that Staal has a high faceoff score of 91 that is balanced by his 85 in poise. 

After struggling to win 50 percent of his faceoffs early in his career, Staal has been at or above 50 the last ten seasons, including an impressive 59.09 in 2016-2017. He won 57.99 percent last season, another impressive mark.

Staal was one of two players with a Faceoff Score of 88, but he made this list based on his high ratings of 90 in defensive awareness and balance, and 89 in strength. His balance and strength attributes should make it difficult for Staal to be checked off-balance, and his awareness should make him a good defender for your team. 

All of the top faceoff centers in NHL 22

In the table below, you can see all of the best faceoff centers in NHL 22, sorted by their faceoff score. Each forward classed as a top faceoff center has attribute ratings of at least 80 poise and 85 faceoffs.

NameFaceoff ScoreOverallAgePlayer TypeTeamShootsBest Attributes
Patrice Bergeron959136Two-Way ForwardBoston BruinsRight95 Stick Checking, 95 Def. Awareness, Faceofff 95
Ryan O’Reilly928930Two-Way ForwardSt. Louis BluesLeft95 Discipline, 94 Faceoffs, 93 Stick Checking
Sidney Crosby91.59334PlaymakerPittsburgh PenguinsLeft97 Hand-Eye, 96 Puck Control, 95 Off. Awareness
Jonathan Towes918633Two-Way ForwardChicago BlackhawksLeft93 Stick Checking, 92 Faceoffs, 90 Def. Awareness
Anze Kopitar89.59034Two-Way ForwardLos Angeles KingsLeft92 Stick Checking, 92 Wrist Shot Power, 92 Slap Shot Power
Aleksander Barkov88.59026Two-Way ForwardFlorida PanthersLeft93 Stick Checking, 93 Def. Awareness, 92 Off. Awareness
Jordan Staal888433Two-Way ForwardCarolina HurricanesLeft91 Faceoffs, 90 Balance, 90 Def. Awareness
Steven Stamkos889031PlaymakerTampa Bay LightningRight94 Slap Shot Power, 93 Deking, 93 Agility
Claude Giroux87.58733PlaymakerPhiladelphia FlyersRight92 Deking, 90 Faceoffs, 90 Hand-Eye
Leon Draisaitl87.59325SniperEdmonton OilersLeft97 Off. Awareness, 95 Passing, 95 Puck Control
Sean Couturier 878928Two-Way ForwardPhiladelphia FlyersLeft93 Stick Checking, 93 Def. Awareness, 91Puck Control
Bo Horvat86.58626Two-Way ForwardVancouver CanucksLeft90 Stick Checking, 89 Endurance, 88 Body Checking
Jonathan Tavares868831SniperToronto Maple LeafsLeft93 Deking, 92 Slap Shot Power, 91 Passing
Luke Glendening858032Two-Way ForwardDallas StarsRight90 Faceoffs, 88 Speed, 88 Acceleration
Elias Lindholm858626PlaymakerCalgary FlamesRight90 Pass, 90 Deking, 90 Puck Control
Ryan Getzlaf858236PlaymakerAnaheim DucksRight92 Balance, 92 Strength, 89 Endurance
Jean-Gabriel Pageau858228Two-Way ForwardNew York IslandersRight88 Speed, 88 Deking, 88 Acceleration
Jason Spezza858038PlaymakerToronto Maple LeafsRight88 Balance, 88 Strength, 87 Stick Checking
Paul Stastny858235PlaymakerWinnipeg JetsLeft90 Discipline, 87 Passing, 87 Wrist Shot Power
Travis Zajac858036Two-Way ForwardFree AgentRight87 Wrist Shot Power, 87 Slap Shot Accuracy, 86 Balance
Nazem Kadri858530Two-Way ForwardColorado AvalancheLeft90 Aggressiveness, 88 Speed, 88 Slap Shot Power
Vincent Trocheck83.58628Two-Way ForwardCarolina HurricanesRight90 Deking, 89 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 89 Slap Shot Accuracy
Jay Beagle837835Two-Way ForwardArizona CoytoesRight90 Discipline, 87 Strength, 87 Balance
Phillip Danault838428Two-Way ForwardLos Angeles KingsLeft89 Stick Checking, 89 Def. Awareness, 88 Endurance
Derek Ryan837934Two-Way ForwardEdmonton OilersRight89 Durability, 88 Deking, 87 Acceleration
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare82.57936Two-Way ForwardTampa Bay LightningLeft88 Stick Checking, 86 Def. Awareness, 86 Shot Blocking
Ryan Johansen82.58329PlaymakerNashville PredatorsRight90 Slap Shot Power, 90 Strength, 89 Balance

If you want to be more dominant in the duel, acquire a couple of the top faceoff centers in NHL 22 to play on your lines.

Want to learn more about playing NHL 22?

NHL 22: Complete Controls Guide (Goalie, Faceoffs, Offense, and Defense) for PS4 and Xbox One

NHL 22: Complete Team Strategies Guide, Line Strategies Guide, Best Team Strategies

NHL 22: All Team Ratings

Bruce Lee

Bruce "Lee" is the Lead Editor for OutsiderGaming. He's a passionate writer, great editor who works tirelessly to develop young writers, and of course a great gamer. Bruce is interested in many games--from MLB the Show to the newest Pokemon releases.
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