Many will try to imitate Patrice Bergeron in the faceoff circle, but they will never duplicate the numbers the retired Boston Bruins center posted over the past 19 years.

The Bruins took 4,693 faceoffs in the 2022-23 season, winning 2,557 of them for 54.5%. Bergeron led the way, victorious in 61.1% (1043-of-1706). Will any other center on Boston’s roster come close to those numbers? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean the Bruins will have an issue at center in the upcoming season.

Boston has a handful of centers on its roster heading into training camp in September, but the question remains where each of them will land in the lineup. Based on the stats from last season here’s the NESN projection.

The 31-year-old is entering his sixth season with the Bruins and based on last season when Bergeron was out of the lineup, Coyle is most likely slated to center Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk.

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Coyle appeared in all 82 regular-season games for the Bruins, posting 16 goals and 29 assists for 45 points, his best while wearing the Spoked-B.

The Weymouth, Mass. native won 52.6% of his faceoffs taken — 52.5% even strength, 65.8% on the power play and 48.8% short-handed.

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Those numbers are not catastrophic; in fact, they are rather good for a third-line center. Coyle also forced 59 turnovers while only giving up the puck 42 times in 82 games.

In his first year with the Bruins, Zacha recorded career highs in goals (21), assists (36) and points (57). And while his faceoff percentage of 45.3% dipped from the previous year of 50.1%, the number of faceoffs the 26-year-old took also dropped given he didn’t play the entire season as a center.

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Zacha built some chemistry with David Pastrnak during the season, whether he was centering the superstar when David Krejci was out of the lineup or when he played on the opposite wing on the Czech line. So, it wouldn’t be a shock for the duo to be paired again in October.

Zacha posted a 58.1% faceoff percentage on the power play, an area the Bruins will definitely need to fill in Bergeron’s absence.

Signed in the offseason as a free agent, Geekie will enter his first of a two-year deal with Boston after playing two seasons for the Seattle Kraken.

In 69 games for the Kraken, Geekie tallied a career high in points (28), netting nine goals and adding 19 helpers.

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If the lineup projections pan out, Geekie will most likely center the third line with an average of roughly 16 minutes of ice time. Last season, the 25-year-old recorded a faceoff percentage of 49.2%, with 49.8% coming even strength and 48.2% shorthanded. Those are definitely solid numbers given the smaller sample size compared to Bergeron and company.

Frederic amassed career highs in goals, assists and points last year and added a touch of physicality to the bottom six. He is versatile to where he can center a line or play on the wing.

In 79 games for the Black and Gold in 2022-23, Frederic won 66.7% of shorthanded faceoffs and 31.9% while skating even strength. Since he spent the majority of the season flanked on the wing, the sample size was small, appearing at the dot only 72 times.

Frederic could either center the fourth line for the Bruins in the centennial season or complement Geekie as his left wing.

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The Bruins also added Patrick Brown, Jesper Boqvist and Jayson Megna during the offseason giving head coach Jim Montgomery plenty of options down the middle. Brown has a career average of 56.1% at the dot compared to Boqvist’s 36.2% and Megna’s 49%.

If by chance David Krejci decides to return for one more season, the Bruins will have one of their top power-play centermen, taking some of the pressure off of Coyle and Zacha.

Featured image via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images