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NHL Power Rankings – All-Star Break

Three Canadian teams find themselves in the top four in the latest edition of our NHL Power Rankings.

The All-Star Break is already upon us, and we’ve got another edition of our NHL Power Rankings ready as we head into the weekend. This time, we’ve ranked the top ten teams in the league and included their MVP up to this point in the season.

1 – Vancouver Canucks

MVP: Quinn Hughes – Heading into All-Star Break, no team in the NHL has more points or wins than the Vancouver Canucks. Although their five all-stars all have a lot to do with their fantastic start to the season, captain Quinn Hughes still stands out on this roster. Playing in his fifth full season with the team, Hughes has picked up 62 points in 49 games, which leads all defencemen in points. He also leads the NHL with a plus/minus of +34. Hughes was great in the past two seasons with 144 points in 154 games, but this season, it seems he’s taken another step, and the entire league has taken notice of what he’s doing on the west coast.

2 – Boston Bruins

MVP: David Pastrnak – With a record of 31-9-9 at the All-Star Break, the Bruins are the only team in the league with less than ten losses in regulation. Despite losing so many players after last year’s historic regular season, Boston simply continues to win. Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark have both been great in the crease again, but the story of this season is David Pastrnak’s continued offensive success. Pastrnak is third in the NHL in scoring with 72 points in 49 games this year. That puts him an incredible 25 points above the next highest point total on his team (Brad Marchand). If the Bruins had lost Pasta in the offseason, they may still be a playoff team, but it’s tough to imagine they’d be back at the top of the league again, fighting for a second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy. 

3 – Edmonton Oilers

MVP: Connor McDavid – Sixteen straight wins. If it weren’t for Boston and Vancouver combining for just one regulation loss in their last ten games, the Edmonton Oilers may have landed even higher on this list. The team’s turnaround has been incredible this year, and at one point, it seemed the only people who believed it could happen were in the Oilers’ dressing room. Connor McDavid probably won’t put up the numbers he did last year, but he’s still obviously been the MVP of this team. He has 26 points during the team’s historic run, which isn’t crazy by his standards, but very solid, nonetheless. He’s recently talked about chasing more than the scoring titles at this point in his career, and the wins that are coming in now could be a direct result of a more complete game from 97.

4 – Winnipeg Jets

MVP: Connor Hellebuyck – For a team facing so many questions in the offseason, the Jets are having QUITE the year. After a full summer of rumors surrounding Mark Scheifele and Connor Hellebuyck, the team signed both to long term deals. Now, we’re at the All-Star Break with Scheifele leading the team in points and Hellebuyck looking like a Vezina frontrunner. No goalie has been more important to their team’s success this year than Hellebuyck, and without him, it’s tough to imagine where the Jets would be. Among starting goalies this year, his SVP is second only to Jeremy Swayman and his GAA of 2.20 is the best in the league. Winnipeg’s skaters have been great this season as well, but make no mistake about it, Hellebuyck has been the team’s MVP thus far.

5 – Colorado Avalanche

MVP: Nathan Mackinnon – Despite some questionable depth at forward, the Colorado Avalanche are once again near the top of the NHL standings at the All-Star Break. Even more so this year than usual, their success falls on the shoulders of their star players, specifically Cale Makar, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan Mackinnon. While Makar and Rantanen have been their usual, dominant selves, Mackinnon is reaching a whole new level entirely. The star forward is second in the league with 84 points in 49 games and has gone without a point just once in his last 33 contests. Colorado may need him to continue his incredible pace to beat out Winnipeg in the Central this season, but with the way he’s looked this year, there’s no reason to doubt he can keep delivering. 

6 – Dallas Stars

MVP: Matt Duchene – Dallas may not be on a lot of people’s radar right now, but they’re quietly having another very good season. With a record of 30-13-6, the team sits one point ahead of Winnipeg and one behind Colorado in the Central Standings heading into the All-Star Break. No one on the roster has been torching the competition statistically, but offseason addition Matt Duchene stands out as a guy doing everything that was expected of him and more. Despite turning 33 in January, Duchene has added 45 points in 48 games this year and sits third on the team while playing under 17:00 minutes a game. He also leads the Stars in even strength points with 36. Clearly, the move to acquire Duchene has paid off for the Stars, especially when you consider that there are seven forwards on the roster making more money that he is.

7 – Florida Panthers

MVP: Sam Reinhart – Last year, Matthew Tkachuk was almost the MVP of the league, let alone of his own team. This season, however, another guy has taken over in Florida. That other guy would be Sam Reinhart, whose 37 goals in 49 games is second leaguewide only to Auston Matthews. Reinhart has led the Panthers to yet another great season, and if the team can stay healthy, they look poised for another deep run in the playoffs. As of the All-Star Break, Florida has a record 31-14-4 and sits just five points behind Boston for the lead in the Atlantic Division. Although winning the division will be the goal for the rest of the year, we know from last year that this team can beat anyone in the East in the playoffs. If Reinhart keeps doing what he’s doing alongside Tkachuk and Alex Barkov, watch out for the Panthers.

8 – Carolina Hurricanes

MVP: Sebastian Aho – They may not have had the best start to the season, but Carolina seems to be coming on heading into the All-Star Break. In their last 14 games, the Canes are 11-2-1 and have nearly caught up to the slumping Rangers at the top of the Metropolitan Division. With how average most of the division has been this season, I expect a two-horse race for the crown in the second half of the season. Individually, no one has made more of an impact than Sebastian Aho. Despite linemate Andrei Svechnikov missing significant time this year, Aho has still put up 54 points in 45 games. That’s 16 more than the next guy on Carolina. 

9 – Vegas Golden Knights

MVP: Adin Hill – After starting the season as hot as any team in the league, the Vegas Golden Knights sputtered a bit in November and December, and a lot of that had to do with their goaltending. With Adin Hill in the crease, the team is 12-2-2 with a save percentage of .936%. When Hill has been missing in action, Vegas is 17-13-4 with a save percentage of .905%. As we saw last year, this team is built to win in the playoffs with their depth and experience. However, in order to stay consistent in the regular season, it looks like Hill may be a bigger piece to the puzzle than we realized. They’re still the team to beat in the West until someone knocks them off in the postseason but getting Adin Hill back to 100% before that should be one of their biggest priorities during the home stretch.

10 – New York Rangers

MVP: Artemi Panarin – Finally, we’ve got the Rangers. Despite wins in just four of their last twelve games going into the All-Star Break, New York is still the top team in the Metropolitan division with a record of 30-16-3. Igor Shesterkin hasn’t quite been himself yet this year, and if he can find his game at the right time, the Rangers will certainly be a team to watch come playoff time. In front of him, the usual core is leading the way once again, with Artemi Panarin at the head of the pack. His linemate Vincent Trocheck has been great this year as well, but the difference in production between Panarin and anyone else on the team makes him New York’s most valuable player. He’s twenty points clear of any of his teammates, leads the Rangers in goals and assists, and sits tied for sixth in overall league scoring.

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