WHERE DO TEAMS STAND IN THE NHL?
Looking for our updated NHL Power Rankings? Here’s version #1. The 2016-2017 NHL Regular Season kicks off this week – 30 teams currently sit tied for first in the Overall Standings! That said there are some teams that look a cut above already and we haven’t even played one game. The 2016-2017 Pre-Season Power Rankings reflects that notion.
Version 1.0 – 2016 NHL Power Rankings
So where does your favorite team sit as we enter what is sure to be a scintillating NHL Regular Season?
Let’s take a look.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins
Until somebody knocks them off their perch the Penguins are #1. They enter the season with the most gifted forward unit in the league – Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and company are as impressive as any team out there.
They return largely the same roster that won it all last year and most of the team will already be in mid-season form thanks to the World Cup of Hockey.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Having Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman locked up is a major coup for GM Steve Yzerman – the Lightning enter the season with all of the contract questions resolved and with one of the most exciting YOUNG rosters in the game.
They have been knocking on the door for sure and with all distractions out of the picture the Lightning look like a force.
3. Chicago Blackhawks
The Hawks are a contender every time they hit the ice – get used to it folks! Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa lead an incredible offense and Duncan Keith and Brian Campbell head a deep and talented D-core.
And then there is Corey Crawford between the pipes. No roster is more impressive top-to-bottom making the Blackhawks and easy top 3 heading into the season.
4. San Jose Sharks
Too high? Maybe, but there is no doubting how this team came on at the end of last season and how they fared in the playoffs. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Brent Burns are a pretty special nucleus and the team suffered minimal losses in the offseason.
Al that was lacking for this team is not knowing how to win – they may have cured that issue last year.
5. Washington Capitals
If there is one thing that we have learned to expect, it is that the Washington Capitals will be a force in the Regular Season.
The defending President’s Trophy winners still have an impressive roster and if Vezina Trophy winning Braden Holtby resembles anything close to what he was last year, the Caps are a contender.
They didn’t do a whole lot in the offseason to improve however – the reason they are #5.
6. Dallas Stars
On paper there is no more complete offensive team in the West – Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp and company are going to be fun to watch again!
The issue with this team is goaltending – Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi will still be relied upon to backstop a defense that added Dan Hamhuis – I’m not sure I trust them later in the season.
But for now Dallas looks like the best of the tier 2 teams.
7. Florida Panthers
Yup – the Panthers are easily a top 10 team! Keith Yandle, Jason Demers and Aaron Ekblad on defense are pretty darn impressive in front of Roberto Luongo.
The young forward group is pretty decent as well. Years of futility have led to an impressive young corp. – the Panthers look a lot like the Penguins of six years ago!
8. St. Louis Blues
The Blues lost goaltender Brian Elliott and forwards David Backes and Troy Brouwer to free agency – three pretty big cogs on the team. Still, Vladimir Tarasenko still exists and this team has a knack of showing up in the Regular Season.
The playoffs are another story however.
9. Nashville Predators
The Preds have been and were a pretty good team last year – they looked to be a piece away from really contending. Maybe PK Subban is that spark. Nashville now has arguably be best top-4 defensive unit in the game.
If center Ryan Johansen can turn the corner and if Pekka Rinne can rediscover his form Nashville becomes a top 5 team before too long!
10. Anaheim Ducks
The Ducks are a team that has enough talent on the roster and has been a serious contender in the past. So why are they #10?
They are largely the same team that almost advanced to the Cup Final in 2015 but they now have Randy Carlyle coaching them – yuk!
11. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings are another team that has been a force but find themselves largely overlooked heading into the 2016-2017 season.
Milan Lucic left via Free Agency and Marion Gaborik will enter the season on IR – reason for concern for a team that traditionally has a tough time scoring goals.
It wouldn’t be a shock to see the Kings rise in the Rankings but then again it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them slide.
12. Montreal Canadiens
The Habs are THE TEAM that should show the biggest improvement this year. The reason? Carey Price who is a difference-maker all by himself.
Andrew Shaw, Shea Weber and Alex Radulov also add a different wrinkle to a team that should be a force in 2016-2017.
- 13. New York Rangers
- 14. New York Islanders
- 15. Philadelphia
- 16. Minnesota
- 17. Boston
- 18. Detroit
- 19. Calgary
- 20. Winnipeg
- 21. Edmonton
- 22. Carolina
- 23. Buffalo
- 24. Colorado
- 25. Ottawa
- 26. New Jersey
- 27. Toronto
- 28. Arizona
- 29. Columbus
- 30. Vancouver
What do you think about our NHL power rankings this week? Leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
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