Heading into the NHL’s trade deadline, the market is loaded with top-line wingers like Evander Kane and Rick Nash, along with slightly less likely to be traded players with term like Mike Hoffman and Max Pacioretty. But one area we haven’t heard much about is the centre position.

For the most part, it’s unlikely to see any top two-line centres moved at the deadline in any year, especially since Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris have already been moved for each other.

Two centres whose names have come up a bit are Tomas Plekanec, on an expiring contract, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who has term left at a reasonable cap hit of $3.1 million. Both players occupy the same role on their team: checking centre on the third line. However it’s doubtful that the same team would be interested in both.

The reason for that comes down to age and contract. Pageau would be a player to acquire for a long time, and as such would likely cost much more, while Plekanec is a pure rental. Ignoring contract status though, what is each player worth?

Neither of them will be acquired for their offence, so let’s look specifically at each player’s defensive impact compared to their team’s average.