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Cody Eakin Is An Excellent 3rd Line Center

Send all Cody Eakin Fan Club membership applications to (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

There’s not many of us out there, but the Cody Eakin apologists are accepting more members after his spectacular two goal night. We’ve heard it all season long, Eakin makes too many mistakes, at times he’s out of position, and he can’t finish offensively. It’s what a lot of bottom line players hear from fans. Being a third-line center is a thankless job. Which is why fans need to realize they have a pretty good one in Eakin.

Eakin leads the Golden Knights with a 52.5% faceoff win percentage (150 faceoff minimum) and 424 faceoff wins. He’s tied for third with 51 takeaways, and is 12th on the team with 24 giveaways. While 23 points might not seem much to fans, Eakin is close to his career average. He’s creating .35 points per game, and his career average is .39 PPG.

When you compare Eakin to other playoff team third-line centers, you realize just how effective he really is. (I used NBC’s to help determine true third-line centers.)

Points for third-line centers

TB- Tyler Johnson 47
ANA- Adam Henrique 41
PIT- Derek Brassard 40
WPG- Bryan Little 37
SJS- Tomas Hertl 35
TOR- Tyler Bozak 33
WAS- Lars Eller 32
PHI- Valtteri Filppula 30
MIN- Charlie Coyle 28
DAL- Radek Faksa 27
VGK- Cody Eakin 23
NAS- Nick Bonino 21
COL- JT Compher 20
CBJ- Mark Letestu 20
NJD- Pavel Zacha 19
BOS- Sean Kuraly 11
LAK- Torrey Mitchell 10

Eakin is right in the juicy middle with 23 points. Johnson, Henrique, and Brassard are on teams with really strong depth down the middle. They’re not third-line centers on any other team, which makes Eakin’s 23 points better than average.

Faceoff win % for third-line centers

WPG- Little 56.7 %
NAS- Bonino 53.8%
TOR- Bozak 53%
VGK- Eakin 52.5%
MIN- Coyle 52.4%

One of Eakin’s best attributes is his work on the faceoff dot. He is one of the leaders in FO% amongst depth centers. If that isn’t impressive enough, Eakin leads all comparable third-line centers with 51 takeaways.

Coaches set their lineups based on more than just the score sheet. All Star head coach Gerard Gallant plays Eakin almost 15 minutes per game expecting the center to perform his role. Winning face offs, killing penalties, pressuring defenses and occasionally scoring is Eakin’s gameday assignment. Which is why he’s a lock to be in the lineup every night. Gallant trusts and believes in his third-line center.

And it paid off in Detroit.






  1. RJ

    I’m not a Cody Eakin hater, I think he is a quality 4th line C due to all the the above arguments. The problem with that is he is the second best 4th line C on the team.

    The 3rd line can be a grind line and a possession line in the regular season, but in the playoffs it must do those things and it must also be a scoring line. If this article was released 24 hours ago Eakin’s 20 points would put him 4th from the bottom in scoring among playoff centers. Bad news if we want playoff success. Even after the best single game of his career (against a non playoff team, by the way) he is at .35 ppg, that accounts for about 2 points in a playoff series. Is that good enough? I hope so…

    Maybe, just maybe we are seeing a new Cody Eakin starting yesterday. Maybe as the rest of the team is losing steam, Cody Eakin is kicking into a new gear, unseen until now. Gallant seems to have unyielding faith in him, and I have faith in Gallant. I’m just saying I’d like to see a few more games like yesterday before I start calling Eakin an excellent anything.

  2. Michael V. Smith

    Staff seems to have faith in Eakin eventually breaking out as a better then average 3rd line center on a day in, day out basis. I’ll stick with the staff for the time being.

  3. Bob

    If your going deep in post season better have a deep 3rd & 4th center. He’s not there, 2 goals In a game like Detroit won’t be a factor when June gets here.

  4. Mark

    Eakin has played well enough as of late, to keep his spot when everyone returns. Before the injuries, Carpenter was hot, and was possibly creeping up on him for playing time. But since the TDL, Carp has cooled and Eakin steadied.

    I do hope we get to see the real lineup soon. With Eakin between Tuch and Tatar so we can truly see what we have on the 3rd line.

  5. Richard Evans

    Cody Eakin does bring a lot of intangibles to the game, but the 3rd line has been the weakest link throughout the season.

    But to me this is minor. What is important is to get healthy and then have a couple of weeks for the lineup to settle in and get back to playing Vegas hockey for 60 minutes going into the playoffs. Gallant will get that sorted out if the injuries sort themselves out.

    • Jeff

      Anyone who says our 3rd line has been the “weakest link” doesn’t understand the role of the third line in my opinion.

  6. Vgk4life

    For what he’s being paid, he is tremendously underwhelming. One decent game doesn’t justify the ridiculous price tag. 3rd line center is hardly a great accolade acknowledged league wide, Eakin sucks.

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