Is it really? Namestnikov and Johnson play center, if I remember right, Nishuchkin can play there too, if needed. And Killorn is a possible center as well. And Peca is promising as well. It's obviously not the our best position, but it's our best in the NHL already (in the top6), and the first guy that will leave is our star winger, so I think a new possible star winger would be the better decision.Though, Kucherov could reach that level, but I am not sure if he really will be an elite guy.
Vladdy is still about 2 years out. Johnson is good and ready, but still small. Killorn won't be a center in Tampa, and Peca is small roughly 5 years away.
So in short, we have a couple of center options, but its not as great as you might think.
He seems like a pretty safe bet as at least a #3 center
I'd bet money on it. He needs to bulk up some, but his compete level and "annoying as **** to play against" factor, are very high. He's still a kid really. He'll get stronger and I could definitely see him in the 3C role.