nhl power rankings

nhl power rankings

Is there anything more dreadful than an Avalanche squad that is motivated? After a dismal first-round defeat in the spring, Colorado is determined to disprove the naysayers after tearing through the league on their way to the Cup in 2022. Behind the great trio of Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar, this Avs club has a different feel thanks to a lineup that might include up to six new forwards.

The Golden Knights of 2023–24 will essentially be the same squad as the one that just won the Stanley Cup, with the exception of Reilly Smith. Although none of us have ever held the position of NHL general manager, we all would have acted in the same way. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, thus there was no need to overthink this.

The Hurricanes signed Dmitry Orlov, the most sought-after unrestricted free agent, and Michael Bunting, a dynamic forward with top-line experience, in response to a humiliating playoff sweep. The defending Metropolitan Division champions also signed franchise player Sebastian Aho and welcomed back their seasoned goaltending pair. If something happens to Frederik Andersen or Antti Raanta, Carolina should be a superpower once more, and young goalie Pyotr Kochetkov is still waiting for a sustained opportunity.

The Devils won’t surprise anyone this season, but they appear to be skilled enough to dispel any ideas that last season’s breakout was an anomaly. New Jersey should be competing for home ice in the divisional playoff competition because they are strong up front and have a strong blue line.

The shrewd acquisition of Matt Duchene in the winter gave the Stars’ already formidable forward group even more depth. Dallas will rely on growth from Thomas Harley and Nils Lundkvist as there are issues on the blue line behind Miro Heiskanen and Esa Lindell. However, Jake Oettinger in goal should help mask any defensive flaws.

Dallas Stars

After Mattias Ekholm was added to the Oilers last season, they became a waggon. With the Swede in the lineup during the regular season, Edmonton went 18-2-1 and provided the eventual Cup champion Golden Knights with their hardest playoff challenge. The Oilers will be must-watch television as long as Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are still playing.

To the dismay of some Maple Leafs supporters, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares still make up Toronto’s main forward group. This time, Tyler Bertuzzi, Ryan Reaves, and Max Domi will serve as its primary supporting players. It’s possible that piss and vinegar will be necessary to go past the second round.

With Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, and Mika Zibanejad among others up front, the Rangers still have great players in all three positional groupings, including Igor Shesterkin in net, Adam Fox on defence, and Igor Shesterkin in goal. Youth in New York is also quite hopeful. The Blueshirts were eliminated by the fledgling Devils in seven games last spring, but the New York team still has a tonne of talent and promise.

With a three-headed monster of Anze Kopitar, Pierre-Luc Dubois, and Phillip Danault anchoring their remarkable skill on the wings, the Kings have arguably the strongest centre depth in the league. Los Angeles’ goaltending will once again be the deciding factor this season, but even with league-average goaltending, the playoffs should be a foregone conclusion.

The Panthers want to show that their stunning journey to the Stanley Cup Final wasn’t an aberration. But until December, they’ll struggle without their two best defensemen, Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour. To weather the early-season storm, Matthew Tkachuk, Aleksander Barkov, and company will need to step up their game even more.

Florida Panthers

In a short period of time, Kyle Dubas had a big impact on the Penguins’ squad. This summer, Pittsburgh’s new president and general manager entirely overhauled the team’s bottom six, and Reilly Smith from the Golden Knights completed the top six. But when Dubas signed Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson, it was a clear statement move of the offseason. Does this ageing Penguins core have one last go-around left in them with the addition of fresh faces?

The dominant team that recently broke single-season records for wins (65) and points (135) in 2023–24 won’t be the Boston Bruins. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, Boston’s best two centres, left the team this offseason. Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle will have to step up to fill the void. They undoubtedly hope Linus Ullmark, the current Vezina Trophy winner, doesn’t decline too much.

Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, Brayden Point, and Victor Hedman are still the Lightning’s top skaters, but losing injured goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for the first two months of the season will be a big problem. Only Point, who makes up the nucleus of the Bolts, is under 30 years old. While Tampa Bay should still be a contender, its days as a truly elite team seem to be in the past.

Due to their depth, the Kraken should once again be a player in the Western Conference playoff picture, but they will need to improve their goaltending. Seattle made the playoffs in 2022–23 despite having two starting goalies with save percentages under.900.

In order to end the NHL’s longest active playoff drought of 12 seasons, the Sabres are placing a lot of faith in internal progress. Buffalo had plenty of cap space and trade assets this offseason, but only added Connor Clifton and Erik Johnson. That’s, to put it mildly, disappointing. However, this core is close after missing the playoffs by a point the previous season.

Buffalo Sabres

For the Wild, the summer was peaceful. Pat Maroon was the only noteworthy addition made by GM Bill Guerin. However, with the recent extensions for Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Hartman, and Marcus Foligno, business has increased. Minnesota should easily be able to fight for a postseason position, but to advance farther, it will require internal development from young stars like Marco Rossi and Brock Faber.

17. Ottawa Senators

Will the Senators finally succeed this year? In 2022–2023, Ottawa used an absurd seven goalies. Joonas Korpisalo, who committed to a five-year, $20 million contract in July, is trying to bring some stability this season. The young Senators have the potential to be a fascinating team to watch, but they’ll have their work cut out for them if they want to advance past the Atlantic Division’s fierce competition.

18. Calgary Flames

After a poor 2022–23 season, the Flames should be able to rebound thanks to significant front-office and coaching changes. However, the Pacific Division team also dealt Tyler Toffoli, its top scorer, for a meagre return. In terms of possession and shots on goal last season, Calgary was among the league’s top teams, but they still needed to win more close games. Only by winning those games will this club move up the standings.

19. Winnipeg Jets

By extending Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck, the Jets took a significant step in the right path before a season filled with pressure. Winnipeg already had a promising new look after moving Dubois and buying out Blake Wheeler.

20. New York Islanders

Despite consistently ranking among the least attractive teams in the NHL, the Islanders have qualified for the playoffs four times in the past five years. Bo Horvat’s complete season should be beneficial, but for New York to stand a chance, Ilya Sorokin must once more perform at the top of his game.

New York Islanders

21. Detroit Red Wings

Will the Red Wings ever again be in the running for a playoff spot? Although general manager Steve Yzerman once more splashed the cash in free agency to sign J.T. Compher, Shayne Gostisbe here, and Justin Holl, trades accounted for the majority of Detroit’s offseason transactions. The team’s top six has been greatly improved by the arrival of Alex DeBrincat, and Jeff Petry should relieve some of the pressure off Moritz Seider.

22. Washington Capitals

Last season, the Capitals were completely decimated by injuries, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2013–14. This year, Alex Ovechkin will be extremely driven, which should frighten the 31 other NHL teams. In his first position as a major league head coach, offensively oriented Spencer Carbery will try to turn things around.

23. Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver’s core group mostly remained the same despite the Canucks adding a few depth players over the summer. Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson have become household names, and Andrei Kuzmenkoite, who has scored 39 goals, has sworn off waffles. Although there is potential here, the Canucks are still figuring out how to become a consistently competitive team.

24. Nashville Predators

Nashville is torn between a complete rebuild and a minor retool, but if Juuse Saros continues his strong play from last year, the Predators may move up this list throughout the year. The star goaltender is capable of winning games on his own, and he will probably prevent the Predators from finishing near the bottom of the league standings.

25. St. Louis Blues

After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2017–18, the Blues will try to recover. The only significant offseason acquisition was Kevin Hayes, thus significant internal improvement will be necessary to return to the postseason. Jordan Binnington, who had a terrible season with a.894 save percentage, is where it all begins.

St. Louis Blues

26. Columbus Blue Jackets

The hiring and firing of Mike Babcock take attention away from the Blue Jackets, who ought to be a lot of fun. Young up-and-comers are led by Adam Fantilli, while a new top-four partnership of Damon Severson and Ivan Provorov is made up of Damon Severson. Expectations are still modest, but if Elvis Merz likins improves, Columbus may start to climb the standings again.

27. Arizona Coyotes

This season, fans who occasionally like to indulge in schadenfreude will likely have to look outside of Arizona. No, really—the Coyotes brought in active players. like, to assist them in winning sports. Imaginary, huh? They added players like Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba, but Logan Cooley, a rookie, is the star of the new guard. Start the next phase of the reconstruction now.

28. Montreal Canadiens

This season, the Canadiens won’t be very good or entertaining to watch, but at least they have Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. When Caufield was injured last season, he was on course to score close to 50 goals, while Suzuki made his own progress while wearing the “C.” The Habs’ renovation still has a ways to go, but they do have some promising parts.

29. Chicago Blackhawks

Connor Bedard is the focus of the next campaign in Chicago, and properly so. Hockey fans would be dumb to do anything else than take in as much of the phenom’s first season as they can, since it is one of the top storylines of the campaign.

30. Anaheim Ducks

The good news is that restricted free agents Jamie Drysdale and Trevor Zegras both signed before the season’s debut. Is that terrible news? In 2023–24, this roster still has no chance of winning. That might be advantageous in the long run, though, since another high draught pick would significantly strengthen a farm system that is already very strong.

Anaheim Ducks

31. Philadelphia Flyers

This summer, Flyers GM Daniel Briere began to leave his stamp on the roster by dealing Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorov. Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson’s recovery from injuries is a welcome lift for the supporters, but in Philadelphia, attention will be on who is moved and who is not before the deadline.

32. San Jose Sharks

Even without Erik Karlsson, the Sharks had a terrible season in 2018. The most intriguing aspect of San Jose’s 2023–24 season will be whether general manager Mike Grier decides to sell players like Anthony Duclair, Kevin Labanc, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, and so forth. Watch those draught lottery odds closely.


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