Hockey analytics pioneer Rob Vollman is ESPN Insider's armchair GM this season, exploring how modern statistics can inform front-office decisions.
Ahead of this season's March 2 trade deadline, Colorado's Ryan O'Reilly stands out as the best available option down the middle by any conceivable statistical measurement. He's smart and well disciplined, can drive possession against top opponents in both zones, can contribute on both special teams and can score in all manpower situations as well as the shootout.
In fact, his well-rounded play, along with the full remaining year on his current contract, could actually see him dealt to a rebuilding team before next Monday at 3 p.m. ET, rather than a current Stanley Cup contender.
Last week, we used hockey analytics to take an objective look at the best available defensemen at the trade deadline, to sort out the undervalued players from the overrated and to set appropriate price tags and destinations for this year's best bets. This week, we'll follow much the same process for the league's centers to show exactly how far O'Reilly stands out from the rest of the pack and where else teams looking for an upgrade down the middle can look.