We’re two weeks into the NHL season, and so much has already happened! Our preseason Power Rankings had a few teams in the right spot, but certainly a few in the wrong spots as well. Things will obviously continue to change, but here’s our take on the top ten teams in the league right now in our most recent NHL Power Rankings!
1 – Vegas Golden Knights
No defending champion had ever won six straight games to begin the next season until Vegas did it on Saturday. This team is built to win in the NHL, and all they’ve done is show exactly that in the 2023 calendar year. They’re deep at every position, they’ve found multiple solid goaltenders, and now, they’re hungry to remain on top of the league. Like last year, they probably won’t get any of their players near the top of the league in scoring, but they won’t need to. With a goal differential of +15 and nothing but wins on the season, of course Vegas finds the top of our NHL Power Rankings.
2 – Colorado Avalanche
Even with a division title last season, it was always clear that the Avs weren’t the same team that won the Cup two years ago. This year, though, they’re back. Alex Georgiev has been fantastic in net, and the addition of Ryan Johansen as second-line centre is playing dividends already as well. Colorado will be a tough team to play against all year, and after an early exit from the postseason last year, they may be hungrier than ever to make another deep run for the Cup.
3 – Boston Bruins
All this Bruins team does is win (in the regular season at least). Even with so many key losses in the offseason, Boston is currently 6-0-0 and right back at the top of the Atlantic Division. They haven’t scored a ton of goals or blown anyone out yet, but Boston simply knows how to get it done. Of course, it helps to have the best goalie tandem in the league, but the defensive play from everyone on the ice has been fantastic, too. Rookie forward Matthew Poitras has been a great surprise for the team so far, and if he can continue to improve, the Bruins may be just fine at centre ice after all.
4 – Dallas Stars
The Stars are the only team to take Vegas past regulation this season, and they easily could have won that game. Like the Golden Knights, Dallas is deep, skilled, and very tough to play against. They also have one of the best goalies in the league in Jake Oettinger. This team may not be the first or even second that gets mentioned in the Western Conference, but make no mistake, Dallas is for real and one of the most well-rounded teams in the NHL.
5 – Detroit Red Wings
No duo in the NHL is hotter than the one in Detroit right now. Newcomer Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin sit at the top of the league in points with 13 and 14 through seven games, and things are looking as good for the Wings as they have for a very long time. Of course, the offence will go through highs and lows, but 34 goals in 7 games has been an alarmingly great start for a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2015. Great enough to land in the Top 5 for our NHL Power Rankings, at least.
6 – New Jersey Devils
With Jack Hughes leading the way, New Jersey is going to be very good for a very long time. Last season was just the introduction, and now, this young team will be looking to establish themselves as contenders each and every year for the foreseeable future. They may still have some question marks in net, but if Akira Schmid can step into the starter role this season like he did in last year’s playoffs, the Devils could certainly overtake the Hurricanes in the Metropolitan division and keep moving up our NHL Power Rankings.
7 – Toronto Maple Leafs
They’ve lost twice in regulation, but the Leafs are still a force to be reckoned with. The scoring certainly slipped in their losses to Chicago and Florida, but with a roster as talented as Toronto’s, don’t expect that to continue for long. The bigger issue for the Leafs is in net, with Ilya Samsonov getting off to a very rocky start. Joseph Woll was terrific in relief of Samsonov against the Lightning, and there is a chance that fans will see more of him in the near future. Whoever does get the crease, though, will need to be better than what they’ve gotten so far.
8 – New York Rangers
After last season’s disappointing first round exit, the Rangers have been going a little under the radar to start this year. Even though they lost Patrick Kane, this roster is still very talented and nearly identical to the one they had for most of 2022/23. Igor Shesterkin has not been on his game to start the year, but the team has still won more games than they’ve lost, which might actually end up being a good thing. If they can tread water without Shesterkin at his best, the Rangers will once again be very tough to beat when he finds his game.
9 – Ottawa Senators
Everyone expected the Sens to be better this season, and they certainly have been through the first five games. Ottawa’s early season schedule has been demanding, but with losses only to Carolina and Detroit, they’ve definitely been up to the challenge. With Josh Norris back in the lineup, Ottawa’s young talent at forward can rival almost any team in the league. The Sens aren’t done progressing yet, but they’re already making steps in the right direction, and they already deserve a spot in our NHL Power Rankings.
10 – Philadelphia Flyers
Love him or hate him, John Tortorella can coach. He may not always be the right guy for the rosters with tons of talent, but when it comes to squeezing wins out of mediocre lineups, it’s hard to think of anyone better. The returns of Sean Couturier and Cam Atkinson have also been extremely important to the team, but the defensive structure and goaltending from Carter Hart are what is winning games for the Flyers right now. Can they keep it up? Probably not, but it’s nice to see the Flyers get off to such a solid start.
Love the NHL? There’s still time to create your own hockey pool now at http://officepools.com!