NHL Power Rankings: Team Rankings 2022-23

min read
Carolina Hurricanes' Brent Burns (8) celebrates a goal with teammate Martin Necas (88) against the Columbus Blue Jackets during the second period of an NHL pre season hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, Oct. 3, 2022.
(AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Gary Pearson @newagejourno Oct 05, 2022, 7:23 PM
  • The Carolina Hurricanes top the Power Rankings.
  • The Avs are the only Western Conference team in the top five.

The wait is finally over, as the puck drops on the 2022-23 NHL season from Prague on Oct. 7. 

NHL odds have the Colorado Avalanche as prohibitive favorites to repeat as Stanley Cup champions (+425), while the Toronto Maple Leafs (+800), Florida Panthers (+900), and Carolina Hurricanes (+1000) round out the four favorites. 

NHL Power Rankings 2022-23

Hopes for each team are as high as Jon Cooper’s blood pressure during the 2021-22 Stanley Cup final. 

With expectations soaring, which teams will live up to lofty billings, and which ones are destined for the doldrums? 

Here’s each team’s ranking heading into the 2022-23 season, based on the current proceedings and behind-the-scenes ongoings, including injury concerns.

TeamOdds to win Stanley Cup Power Ranking
Carolina Hurricanes+10001
Colorado Avalanche+4252
Tampa Bay Lightning +12003
Toronto Maple Leafs+8004
Florida Panthers +9005
Edmonton Oilers+14006
New York Rangers +18007
Calgary Flames+18008
Pittsburgh Penguins+18009
St. Louis Blues+300010
Minnesota Wild+180011
Los Angeles Kings +350012
Vegas Golden Knights+180013
Nashville Predators+400014
Washington Capitals +400015
Boston Bruins+280016
Vancouver Canucks+500017
New York Islanders+330018
Winnipeg Jets+660019
Dallas Stars+500020
Columbus Blue Jackets+800021
Ottawa Senators+500022
Detroit Red Wings+500023
New Jersey Devils+660024
Anaheim Ducks+1500025
San Jose Sharks+1500026
Chicago Blackhawks+5000027
Philadelphia Flyers+5000028
Buffalo Sabres+1000029
Montreal Canadiens +1500030
Seattle Kraken+1500031
Arizona Coyotes+5000032

32. Arizona Coyotes

There is good news for Coyotes fans, who’ve seen their team miss the playoffs in nine of the last 10  seasons. They have six picks in the first two rounds of the next two drafts, so take solace in knowing things will eventually get better.

Not this season, though. 

The Desert Dogs didn’t do nearly enough during the offseason to improve last season’s third-worst defensive record (3.77 goals against per game) and worst offense (2.51 goals per game).

31. Seattle Kraken 

A few decent signings for the Kraken – Justin Schultz, Andre Burakovsky, Martin Jones – won’t be enough to keep them out of the NHL’s cellar. 

Burakovsky notched 61 points for the Avs last season and is the Kraken’s marquee signing. He should help improve Seattle’s anemic offense, which scored the league’s fifth-fewest goals per game last season (2.60).  

Dave Hakstol’s team wasn’t much better defensively in their expansion year, conceding 3.46 goals per game, the league’s 24th-ranked defense.  

30. Montreal Canadiens 

Losing Carey Price for the 2022-23 season is devastating news for the Montreal Canadiens. A team desperate for his stability and leadership, the Canadiens won’t be able to overcome his loss. 

The Habs will be marginally better than last season but are destined to finish bottom of the Atlantic Division, a far cry from their 2020-21 Stanley Cup final appearance. 

The Canadiens had the league’s worst defensive record (3.87 goals against per game) and sixth-worst offensive output (2.66 goals per game) last season, a trajectory Habs fans might have to get used to.  

29. Philadelphia Flyers 

John Tortorella took on a monstrous task when he agreed to coach the lowly Philadelphia Flyers. Nevertheless, he’ll take it on, knowing he can’t do anything worse than previous regimes. 

It can’t get much more abject in the lead-up to a regular season. Ryan Ellis is out for most of the season, and Sean Couturier is struggling with a niggling back injury. 

In addition, Carter Hart is coming off of his worst season, which saw the Flyers allow the sixth-most goals per game last season (3.59). The Flyers were also woeful offensively, mustering the second-fewest goals per game (2.56). 

28. Buffalo Sabres 

The Sabres hope they secured the franchise’s future when they drafted Owen Power first in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. However, it will take him a few seasons to mature, progress, and develop. 

For now, expect the Sabres to bundle along at a similar pace to last season. Given the offseason moves of rivals Ottawa and Detroit, Buffalo might endure a slightly inferior season, though only just. 

Expect the Sabres to miss the playoffs for a 12th straight season. 

27. Chicago Blackhawks 

The Blackhawks are doing their best to land the 2023 first-overall draft pick. They finished with the sixth most anemic offense with Alex DeBrincat’s prowess, who left for Ottawa in the offseason. 

Even with DeBrincat, the Blackhawks scored the fourth-fewest goals per game last season (2.60). That output won’t improve in DeBrincat’s absence.  

Solely focused on the future, the Blackhawks will endure a tumultuous season replete with frustration at both ends of the ice. 

26. San Jose Sharks 

The Sharks have an aging core and are also as thin as an outdoor rink in May. 

Their goaltending one-two punch of James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen isn’t good enough to help San Jose compete for a playoff spot. At the same time, talented youngster Nikolai Knyzhov endured yet another injury setback in preseason training, tearing his Achilles tendon. 

Erik Karlsson, one of the league’s highest-paid players, hasn’t lived up to his end of the bargain and will need to improve markedly to prevent his team from descending further.  

Expect the Sharks to regress and finish a few spots lower than last season’s 22nd overall finish.  

25. Anaheim Ducks 

The Ducks should finish in a similar position to last season when they secured the 23rd overall spot. Buoyed by a solid youth movement, most notably led by Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale, the Ducks should start to improve gradually. 

John Gibson is capable but isn’t an elite netminder. In addition, Anaheim lacks esteemed veteran leadership after seeing their long-term captain Ryan Getzlaf retire.  

Head coach Dallas Eakins might be in hot water soon if the Ducks don’t show noticeable improvement soon.

24. New Jersey Devils

Last season’s fourth-worst defensive team, the Devils conceded 3.68 goals per game. Unfortunately, New Jersey hasn’t done enough to remedy its porous defense. 

Yes, they acquired Vitek Vanicek to create more stability between the pipes, but the goaltending duo of Mackenzie Blackwood and Vanicek won’t be enough to pull them out of the Metropolitan basement. 

Ondrej Palat represents the Devils’ best signing. The former Lightning is a clutch player who adds guaranteed goals and a winning pedigree. 

He’ll invariably help the Devils improve offensively. The Devils have an excellent crew of youngsters who aren’t yet where they need to be to challenge for a playoff spot.   

23. Detroit Red Wings 

The Red Wings finished the 2021-22 season in 25th place overall. A conservative assessment sees them improving to 23rd in 2022-23. 

Steve Yzerman deserves accolades for a superb offseason, which saw him acquire Ville Husso, Ben Chiarot, Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik, David Perron, and Oli Maata. 

He’s improved the team at every position, giving the Red Wings every chance of being an outsider to snatch a 2022-23 playoff spot. 

22. Ottawa Senators 

Like Detroit, Ottawa won the offseason jackpot. The Sens arguably enjoyed an even more prosperous summer than the Red Wings. Sens’ general manager accomplished the aspirational by landing DeBrincat, Cam Talbot, and Claude Giroux.

Add that medley of veterans, goaltending nous, and scoring prowess to a solid core that includes Brady Tkachuk, Anton Forsberg, Tim Stutzle, and Drake Batherson, and you have a team, like the Red Wings, that is an outsider to snag a playoff berth. 

21. Columbus Blue Jackets

The Columbus Blue Jackets miraculously won the Johnny Gaudreau sweepstakes. The former Flame will markedly improve Columbus and Patrik Laine’s production. However, Gaudreau will do nothing to improve the Blue Jackets’ abject defense. 

Columbus allowed 3.62 goals per game, the fifth most in 2021-22. 

Elvis Merzlikins, a decent No. 1 netminder, isn’t good enough to provide his team with one of the league’s best goals against above expected, which they’ll probably need to secure a playoff berth.  

20. Dallas Stars

The Dallas Stars’ ranking takes a hit until they sign star youngster Jason Robertson to a new deal. 

The Stars’ second-leading scorer last season scored 79 points in 81 games, but hasn’t reported to camp and won’t play until he puts pen to paper on a new deal. It’s a disastrous scenario for a team that can ill-afford the loss of such an influential talent. 

The ageless Joe Pavelski led the team with 81 points and will again be responsible for creating the bulk of Dallas’ offense. Heaping the pressure on a 38-year-old to be the primary scorer is a recipe for failure, even with one of the most promising young goaltenders, Jake Oettinger, between the pipes. 

19. Winnipeg Jets

Winnipeg’s success depends on whether Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele have resurgent seasons and recapture their 2020-21 form. The Jets’ blueline is chock full of talent and should improve last season’s 13th-worst goals against per game (3.09). 

The Jets have 2020 Vezina winner Connor Hellebuyck between the pipes, giving them an immediate and clear advantage over direct competitors. 

However, Hellebuyck had the heaviest workload in the league last season, which cannot happen again if Rick Bowness’ team is to repeat their 2020-21 success.  

18. New York Islanders

The Islanders’ sturdy, stingy defense will ensure they don’t drop too much lower than 20th overall. In addition, one of the NHL’s best netminders, Ilya Sorokin, is an outstanding talent who has an outside shot of capturing his first Vezina. 

The Islanders allowed the seventh-lowest goals per game in 2021-22 (2.82) but were let down by a snake-bitten, aging offensive crew. 

New York scored 2.79 goals per game, the 10th-fewest league-wide. That anemic offense wasn’t refurbished during the offseason, limiting the height to which the Islanders can ascend. 

17. Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks were a team reborn under the guidance of Bruce Boudreau, leading Vancouver to the second-best record by points percentage in the Pacific Division after his appointment. Led by J.T. Miller, Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, and Brock Boeser, the Canucks have a solid mix of youth and experienced talent. 

Thatcher Demko has proven he’s a top-end NHL goaltender. Last season, Demko led the Canucks to the league’s best goals against above-expected (-23.18). If he plays at a consistently elite level, the Canucks could surprise a few people in the Pacific Division. 

16. Boston Bruins 

The Boston Bruins finished 10th overall last season but will most likely regress slightly, at least to start the 2022-23 season. 

Recovering from hip surgery, leading-scorer Brad Marchand is out for at least two months, while captain Patrice Bergeron is 37 years old, starting to lose the unwinnable battle against the sands of time.  

However, Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark represent the league’s best 1A and 1B goaltending duo. In addition, David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy are elite talents who will galvanize the rest of the squad. 

The Bruins had the fifth-best defensive 5-on-5 record, allowing only 2.18 goals per contest. They’ll need to maintain that standard of excellence to sustain their current ranking.  

15. Washington Capitals 

The Caps strengthened their team by acquiring Darcy Kuemper, Connor Brown, and Dylan Strome. However, at least temporarily, those additions have been offset by Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom’s long-term injuries. 

Backstrom might be out for the entire season, while Wilson probably won’t be back until Christmas, potentially later. No team would be able to overcome the loss of such instrumental players without taking a stride backward. 

Hopefully Kuemper is up to the monstrous challenge that lies ahead.  

14. Nashville Predators 

Nashville had middling analytics across most categories last season, which aligns with what hockey fans should expect in 2022-23. Unless Juuse Saros wins the Vezina, the Predators, if they are to grab a playoff spot, should expect a dogfight until the bitter end.

To complement one of the league’s elite netminders, the Preds have former Norris Trophy Roman Josi marshaling the blue line. A lack of depth and an aging core is of paramount concern for the Preds, as four of their top six forwards are at least 30 years old.

13. Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights have a healthy Mark Stone back for the 2022-23 campaign and a version of Jack Eichel that should more closely resemble his pre-injury self. 

However, Vegas lost Max Pacioretty to the Hurricanes for next to nothing and will be without No. 1 netminder Robert Lehner for the duration of the season. Logan Thompson is ready to step up but might need some time before becoming top-end No. 1 material. 

12. Los Angeles Kings 

The Kings could be the surprise team in the Pacific Division and are in a prime position to usurp the Golden Knights as third favorites. 

They are solid at each position throughout the lineup and have a perfect medley of young talent and proven winners. 

Drew Doughty has fully recovered from an injury that kept him out for the lion’s share of last season, including the playoffs, while Jonathan Quick was back to his best against the Oilers in the postseason. 

Now toss Kevin Fiala into the mix and let it stew. Fiala is an elite difference maker who scored 85 points with the Wild. Expect the Kings to begin their shock-and-awe campaign from the off.  

11. Minnesota Wild 

Backed by last season’s fifth-most dynamic offense (3.72 goals per game), the Wild are focused on offering the same formidable threat in the attacking end. They’ll also rely on Marc Andre Fleury to improve last season’s 16th-ranked defense (3.04 goals against per game).

However, as Fiala moved to La La land, the Wild are without last season’s second-leading scorer. It’s a substantial void that will cause a slight regression. 

10. St. Louis Blues 

Craig Berube’s team has every chance of giving the Avs a run for their money in the Central Division. However, that depends heavily on how Jordan Biddington performs. The 2019 Stanley Cup winner lost his No. 1 role to Ville Husso last season after a run of inconsistent outings. 

He recovered magnificently in the playoffs before suffering a series-ending injury against the Avs. 

Complementing Biddington is one of the league’s most balanced attacks. The Blues had nine 20-plus goal scorers last season and the third-most prolific offense (3.77 goals per game). As David Perron jettisoned for Detroit, they’ll have to cope without one of those 20-goal scorers.    

9. Pittsburgh Penguins 

This season could be the Pens’ last kick of the Stanley Cup can, the end of an astonishingly impressive era that has seen three rings for the triumvirate of Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Evgeni Malkin. 

They represent the longest a trio has remained together at the same franchise (17 years) in professional sports. With Tristan Jarry offering perennial reliability in goal, anything is possible in Steel City. 

8. Calgary Flames

After an eventful offseason, the Flames enter the season arguably better off than when they lost to the Oilers in the first round. Nazem Kadri, Jonathan Huberdeau, and MacKenzie Weegar replace Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. 

The Flames, already last season’s third-best overall defense and stingiest at 5-on-5, should be even better with Weegar. Calgary also had the league’s 6th-best offense, which shouldn’t change drastically in the coming season. 

7. New York Rangers 

Igor Sheterkin. Enough said.

While the Vezina winner is the primary reason the Rangers are bonafide cup contenders, they have an offense that can score in bunches thanks primarily to its prolific powerplay.

The Rangers’ 17th-ranked offense (3.05 goals per game) was heavily outshined by their second-ranked defense (2.49 goals against per game). The Blue Shirts also have a Norris Trophy winner, Adam Fox, pulling the springs on the back end. 

6. Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers have two of the world’s best players leading their gun-slinging offense. Threatening every time they touch the puck, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are prepared to take the league by fierce force again. 

Edmonton was one of the best teams in the league during the second half of last season, further enforced by their run to the Western Conference final.

In addition, the Oilers signed Evander Kane and Jack Campbell, both of whom are essential if the Oilers are to live up to the grandiose hype. 

5. Florida Panthers 

The Panthers look to repeat as Atlantic Division champions. Matthew Tkachuk replaces Huberdeau, but the Panthers must cope without top-four defenseman Weegar.

Florida was apt at dominating opponents but just as adept in close encounters, winning 69% of one-goal games, the third-best mark in the league last season. Their 4.11 goals per game were the most in the NHL. 

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs have most pieces to make a deep playoff run, barring the most pivotal. Matt Murray will attempt to dial back the years, stay healthy and backstop a wondrously talented Toronto team. If he can wind back the years, Toronto has a solid Stanley Cup claim. 

The Maple Leafs have three of the league’s top-10 highest-paid players, one of whom is the reigning MVP. Auston Matthews scored 60 goals last season, leading the NHL’s second-most prolific offense (3.80 goals per game). 

They’ll need to make giant strides defensively to achieve their desired outcome. The Maple Leafs had the league’s 14th-ranked defense in 2021-22 (3.07 goals against per game). John Tavares won’t be available for the start of the season after suffering an oblique injury. He’s expected to miss a few weeks. 

3. Tampa Bay Lightning 

Everyone knows about Tampa’s depth, resilience, and abundance of elite talent at every position. Tampa finished third in the division last season in what they’ll consider a subpar result. Like his team, Andrei Vasilevskiy performed well below his otherworldly standards, excluding the playoffs.  He should rebound and be in the running for his second Vezina.  

Look for the Lightning to enjoy a bounce-back regular season and take the division crown, especially with a healthy Nikita Kucherov raring to go.

2. Colorado Avalanche

This might shock some, but the reigning Stanley Cup champions enter the season as bridesmaids. The Avs lost No. 1 netminder Darcy Kuemper to the Caps, Kadri to the Flames, and Burakovsky to the Kraken. 

The Avs have enough talent and depth to overcome those voids, a staggering testament to the team’s unrivaled excellence. 

However, Gabriel Landeskog is injured and won’t feature to start the season. Losing their captain, in conjunction with the other absentees, knocks the Avs down a spot.

1. Carolina Hurricanes 

Carolina is built to win now. 

They will use last season’s devastating loss in Game 7 to the Rangers as added motivation. General manager Don Waddell lost Vincent Trochek to the Rangers but more than made up for it by acquiring Brent Burns and Pacioretty. 

Frederik Andersen, for the time being, is healthy. When fit, Andersen is one of the most consistent goaltenders. If he can avoid the injury bug, the Hurricanes are, at least temporarily, the team to beat.  

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About the Author

Gary Pearson

Read More @newagejourno

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.

Gary Pearson is a freelance sports writer who contributes regularly to BetMGM, specializing in hockey, tennis and soccer coverage.