In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we take a preseason take a look at the leading Stanley Cup competitors for the 2021-22 season.
We put all 32 groups into various tiers based upon what the level of expectation need to be for this season.
Where does your group sit at the start of the season?
To today’s NHL Power Rankings!
The Top Contenders
1. Tampa Bay Lightning. They lost a lot this offseason however they still have the very same core in location. Which core has actually been the very best group in the league for the previous 7 years and has actually won back-to-back Stanley Cups. You can not count them out from winning a 3rd in a row.
2. Colorado Avalanche. Perhaps the most gifted group in the NHL on paper. They need to break through the Second Round, however if they persevere and rely on the skill they will arrive. Skill ultimately wins.
3. Vegas Golden Knights. The huge concern will be center depth and if Robin Lehner dips into a Stanley Cup level all season as the No. 1 goalie. Excellent group with big expectations and a lots of pressure.
4. Carolina Hurricanes. Losing Dougie Hamilton harms and they have some concerns in objective however they need to definitely be among the very best groups in the league. Their time has actually gotten here.
5. New York City Islanders. Here is how this is going to go: They will win 10 video games in a row at some time, most likely as part of a 15- or 16- video game point streak, stumble along for the remainder of the season, everyone will question how excellent they really are, and after that they will shut everyone down in the playoffs and be playing in the Eastern Conference Final. Simply accept it.
It is possible if some things go right
6. Florida Panthers. This may be the very first time this group has actually gotten in the season with genuine expectations. The game-changer here might be Spencer Knight. If he surpasses Sergei Bobrovsky and plays to his capacity, this group will be difficult to beat.
7. Boston Bruins. The goalies are a concern today (possibly Tuukka Rask returns?) and the second-line center area is an issue, however that leading line and Charlie McAvoy will take them far.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs. They must remain in this tier. Whether they do anything to confirm that preseason belief stays to be seen. At some time they need to in fact, you understand, do something.
9. Minnesota Wild. They have some concerns at center, however Marco Rossi might be a game-changer there. They was among the most amazing groups in the league in 2015. That is a sentence that has actually never ever been stated about the Minnesota Wild.
10 St. Louis Blues. A great deal of this depends upon if the excellent variation of Jordan Binnington makes a look and if the defense is a little much better.
11 Washington Capitals. A great deal of this depends upon if Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov recover. Not going to wager versus them or this core making one more run.
12 Pittsburgh Penguins. They require Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin to be healthy come playoff time and for Tristan Jarry to not self destruct. Like the Capitals, am not going to wager versus this core making one more run.
13 Dallas Stars. With a healthy Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov they make the playoffs a year back. They ought to both be healthy this season.
14 Winnipeg Jets. They provided among the very best goalies in the league a little bit more assistance defensively. Integrated with their leading line forwards this might be a fascinating group.
The total wild cards
15 Philadelphia Flyers. If Carter Hart is excellent this group will be extremely hard to beat. If Carter Hart is bad this group will have a hard time once again.
16 New York City Rangers. You will hear a lot about their offseason relocations however the choosing consider this group will be the development and advancement of Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, Vitali Kravtsov, and Igor Shesterin. The pressure is on. The benefit is enormous.
17 Edmonton Oilers. With Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in their primes and as great as they are they must remain in the leading tier. The rest of the group is, rather truthfully, not terrific. That defense and goaltending are issues.
18 Calgary Flames. They are not competitors, they are not a clear lotto group. They simply exist in a continuous state of mediocrity.
The secret groups
19 Seattle Kraken. They must have excellent goaltending and play in a weak department. Those 2 things need to keep them in it.
20 Chicago Blackhawks. They invested a lots of cash this offseason and are getting Jonathan Toews back, however almost every addition brings some threat and the group itself is still not that excellent on paper.
21 Montreal Canadiens. They lost a lot from in 2015’s group, Shea Weber is not going to play, and Carey Price’s circumstance is unidentified. They likewise do not get to play in the North Division.
22 New Jersey Devils. They made all of the ideal relocations this offseason and Jack Hughes is prepared to end up being a super star however they play in the incorrect department to make a huge dive.
23 Vancouver Canucks. They have an excellent young core of skill, however can their protective play be relied on? Or their depth? Seems like a group that must be much better.
24 Los Angeles Kings. Do not count them out as a possible playoff group. Excellent center depth and a weak department might assist them show up a year early.
Likely lotto groups
25 Nashville Predators They will reach Juuse Saros can take them. Losing Ryan Ellis and Viktor Arvidsson from a currently flawed group is not going to assist.
26 Ottawa Senators. The only issue today is getting the Brady Tkachuk agreement circumstance solved. There is skill here, however can you rely on ownership to make the most of it and develop something? Most likely not.
27 Detroit Red Wings. Losing Jakub Vrana for majority of the season is a loss they might not manage.
28 San Jose Sharks. An aging core, some bad agreements, the Evander Kane scenario, and doubtful goaltending is going to produce a long season.
29 Anaheim Ducks. The excellent news is Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale may be genuine long-lasting foundation to provide some genuine expect the future.
30 Columbus Blue Jackets. On paper they appear like the worst group in a difficult Metropolitan Division. Elvis Merzlikins may be able to keep them competitive on many nights, and Patrik Laine might recuperate, however there are a great deal of concerns here.
31 Arizona Coyotes. They are plainly developing for the future and attempting to stock as numerous draft choices and future properties as they can. This will not be an excellent group this season.
32 Buffalo Sabres. These fans are worthy of much better than this poor item being tossed at them every year.
More NHL Power Rankings
NHL Power Rankings: Top stories for 2021-22 NHL Season (Part 3) NHL Power Rankings: Top stories for 2021-22 NHL season (Part 2) NHL Power Rankings: Top stories for 2021-22 season (Part 1)
Adam Gretz is an author for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports Drop him a line at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.
NHL Power Rankings: Stanley Cup competitor tiers as 2021-22 season starts initially appeared on NBCSports.com