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NHL Power Rankings: The dust has settled

Jesse Montano Avatar
March 24, 2022

Well here we are, no more wondering, we’ve seen all the moves teams made. Some are vastly improved, some made great decisions for the sake of their franchises, and other stood pat to watch their process play out. Oh, and one traded a player they weren’t allowed to trade.

No matter what, to was a busy week for all 32 teams, here’s how I see things after the trade deadline…

1. Florida Panthers (42-14-6 – 90 pts)

Last week – 2

Talk about all in. The Florida Panthers have been one of the top teams in the league all year, with one of the deepest rosters, and they added impact players all over the lineup, headlined by Claude Giroux. With the way they geared up, they are the team to beat in my opinion.

2. Colorado Avalanche (45-13-5 – 95 pts)

Last week – 1

Well, if you didn’t know by the time you opened this article, you know now that the Florida Panthers landed Giroux, not the Avs. After missing out on the biggest name that was available, the Avs decided to just casually make major upgrades all over the roster. The Avalanche got bigger, meaner, more talented, and much, much deeper. It’s hard to find a weakness on paper.

3. Tampa Bay Lightning (39-17-6 – 84 pts)

Last week – 5

Tampa has shown they aren’t afraid to mortgage the future for immediate returns, and it has paid off 2x over (get it?). That’s exactly what they did ago this year, sending two first round picks to Chicago for Brandon Hagel. The price sounds steep, but when you consider that those are likely going to be LATE round firsts, and the quality of player they got in Hagel, they’ve given themselves a chance to three-peat.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (40-18-5 – 85 pts)

Last week – 11

I honestly really like the acquisition of Mark Giordano for the Leafs, and not just because it was my prop bet of the week. Toronto has lacked a certain maturity and poise from my point of view. They look like they expect things to go wrong. Gio should be a nice calming presence for them. Plus, they’ve needed an upgrade on D for a while, and they got it. This team is for real.

5. Carolina Hurricanes (42-15-6 – 90 pts)

Last week – 4

I really wondered if they were going to stand pat as the rest of an already stacked Eastern Conference loaded up. That was how it looked as the deadline approached, but at the 11th hour they land Max Domi from Columbus. Not necessarily a blockbuster, but a really nice middle-six piece that will go a long way in helping them survive a brutal first two rounds of the playoffs.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins (39-16-9 – 87 pts)

Last week – 7

As long as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin play for the Penguins, they’re going for it. I think Rickard Rakell will be one of those names we look back on and wonder why there was so little buzz around his name until the Pens snatched him up from Anaheim.

7. Calgary Flames (38-17-8 – 84 pts)

Last week – 3

Their big moves came well before the deadline, and they did something similar to what the Avs did. Don’t need the big piece, just need to bolster the depth, and they did a great job of that. I still think this team has overachieved a bit, and they have had all the luck this year relative to injuries, but on paper… that roster is legit.

8. Boston Bruins (39-19-5 – 83 pts)

Last week – 6

They wanted a defenseman, and they got a very good one. I haven’t known what to make of this team all year. You can tell the core is reaching the end of their window, but they’re still good enough to be in the conversation. Does Hampus Lindholm move the needle, given what a bloodbath the East playoffs will be? Not sure.

9. New York Rangers (40-19-5 – 85 pts)

Last week – 9

I was happy to see them be active at the deadline. This team was the one that I thought needed the most upgrades to really be a top team in the league. Justin Braun, Andrew Copp, and Tyler Motte joined Frank Vatrano as the newest Rangers and Those are some big upgrades for a team that severely lacked depth.

10. Minnesota Wild (37-20-4 – 78 pts)

Last week – 17

Maybe the most puzzling move of the deadline came from Minnesota. I did not see them as a suitor for Marc-Andre Fleury leading up to March 21st, but here we are. It’s an interesting move that no doubt gives them a bit more of a dark horse element in the West if Fleury can find his game again.

11. Washington Capitals (35-20-10 – 80 pts)

Last week – 8

They wanted a goalie, and couldn’t land one. I really like this Caps team, I thought they could be a surprise team in the East, had they been able to improve in net at the deadline. Now I’m not so sure.

12. Los Angeles Kings (35-22-8 – 78 pts)

Last week – 12

The Kings (smartly) chose to hold at the deadline. I think they’ve got a good thing growing in LA, no need to mess with it in a year where you probably don’t have much of a realistic shot anyways.

13. St. Louis Blues (35-18-9 – 79 pts)

Last week – 10

The Blues needed to add on the back end, so they went out and got…. Nick Leddy? Not the move I would have made. The goaltending still seems like an issue to me.

14. Nashville Predators (37-23-4 – 78 pts)

Last week – 15

They considered selling, especially once they couldn’t come to an agreement on an extension for Filip Forsberg. But ultimately, they just decided to keep him as their own (potential) rental. They’ve fallen off a bit since the beginning of the year, they need all of their top guys to find it again as they continue to jockey for seeding in the playoffs.

15. Edmonton Oilers (35-24-5 – 75 pts)

Last week – 13

I have nothing else to say other than, I cannot believe they didn’t get a goaltender. Literally can’t believe it.

16. Dallas Stars (35-24-3 – 73 pts)

Last week – 18

Another team that could’ve decided to sell and I don’t think many people would have been that blown away. Instead, they decide to nibble around the edges and I like what they did. Vlad Namestnikov is a really nice depth piece, and Scott Wedgewood is a great third option in net.

17. Vancouver Canucks (31-26-8 – 70 pts)

Last week – 14

They’re not out of it, but the math doesn’t look great for their playoff chances. They decide to hold on to JT Miller, which I think was the right move. He’s got another year on his deal and is a very good player. If things don’t go well next year, you can flip him then.

18. Anaheim Ducks (27-27-11 – 65 pts)

Last week – 24

I said it last week, I wanted to see these guys succeed so bad this year. In a league that needs more fun, this group is bursting at the seams with it. Good on them for looking being realistic on where they’re at, and doing what’s best for the long-term health of the organization by moving on from all big-name pending UFAs.

19. Winnipeg Jets (30-24-10 – 70 pts)

Last week – 16

A decent haul for Andrew Copp. I’m pretty sure the Jets looked at all of their options, but hey… they’re still very much in the playoff race. They need to play at a better clip than they have been, but they can absolutely sneak in. 

20. Columbus Blue Jackets (32-29-3 – 67 pts)

Last week – 23

They moved on from one of the only pieces that really made sense to move, and got a decent prospect for Max Domi.

21. San Jose Sharks (28-27-8 – 64 pts)

Last week – 20

Their one big trade chip re-signed for eight years with less than a week to go until the deadline. Good on the Sharks for finding a way to add a goaltender that has some upside, it’s been a real problem for San Jose for years.

22. New York Islanders (27-25-9 – 63 pts)

Last week – 21

So I just went and looked… did you know the last two trades Lou Lamoriello has made, the Isles haven’t gotten anything in return? Both were for “future considerations”. I guess you give him credit for believing in his team, but it sure feels like a couple of tweaks could have been made using some of that veteran depth to get some assets.

23. Philadelphia Flyers (20-32-11 – 51 pts)

Last week – 27

Man, I know their hands were kind of tied, seeing as Giroux had full control over where he landed, but that return has to feel incredibly disappointing right?

24. Chicago Blackhawks (22-32-9 – 53 pts)

Last week – 25

It sounds like the front office caught somewhat of a wild hair when they got two firsts for Hagel, and for a brief second it looked like they were going to go into full fire-sale mode and trade all of their top guys. Ultimately though, they chose not to, but I think the writing is on the wall for what could be coming this summer.

25. Montreal Canadiens (17-36-10 – 44 pts)

Last week – 32

Maybe the best deadline among sellers. 10 picks in the first four rounds of this year’s draft, two firsts next year, and recouped a 2nd round pick in 2024. They stuck to their prices and got it on almost everyone.

26. Buffalo Sabres (23-33-8 – 54 pts)

Last week – 22

It’s crazy how Florida was able to pull off all these trades for seemingly nothing. Buffalo sent Robert Hagg to the Cats for just a sixth round pick, am I crazy to think that there was probably a better offer out there for him?

27. Vegas Golden Knights (34-28-4 – 72 pts)

Last week – 26

Just a nightmare of a free fall this season, all coming to a head with the debacle that is this Evgenii Dadonov situation. What a mess in Vegas. If that trade gets overturned by the league, they literally don’t have any choice but to keep Stone out for the remainder of the season. (Ed.’s note: The trade was voided. Good luck, Vegas.)

28. Ottawa Senators (22-36-5 – 49 pts)

Last week – 28

Busier than I thought they’d be. They didn’t get a ton of draft capital for what they moved out, but I honestly like the moves that brought in guys like Mathieu Joseph and Travis Hamonic. Those are a couple guys that can give you half-decent minutes on a rebuilding team.

29. Seattle Kraken (20-38-6 – 46 pts)

Last week – 30

Alright, credit where credit is due. Seattle did a great job at selling off and building up assets. You know, what they should’ve done at the expansion draft.

30. New Jersey Devils (23-36-5 – 51 pts)

Last week -29

Hamburglar, come on down! I had a feeling the Devils wouldn’t really be players at the deadline, staying the course.

31. Detroit Red Wings (26-30-7 – 59 pts)

Last week – 31

It’s been a rough couple weeks on the ice for the Wings, but they did a good job selling off the coupe trade chips they had.

32. Arizona Coyotes (20-39-4 – 44 pts)

Last week – 19

Maybe the team I was most surprised by with their inactivity. I know they already have a billion draft picks in the next two years, but I just thought there were so many deals to be made that they just… chose not to.


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