Power rankings are updated every Tuesday throughout the NHL season.

Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Winnipeg Jets Winnipeg Jets 52-20-10
▲ 4
Goaltender Connor Hellebuyck posted a 44-11-9 mark this year, and the Jets will go as far as he can carry them in the Stanley Cup playoffs. This could be Canada’s year to win.
2 Nashville Predators Nashville Predators 53-18-11
▼ 1
It seems criminal that the NHL’s two best teams are in the same division. The playoff format will probably give us G Pekke Rinne (42-13-4) against Hellebuyck in the second round. Fasten your seatbelts!
3 Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay Lightning 54-23-5
If goalies are the key to winning it all, watch G Andrei Vasilevskiy. He helped his team hang on to the division title at the end, and that could be key to advancing to the Cup Finals for the Lightning.
4 Boston Bruins Boston Bruins 50-20-12
▼ 2
Again, a probable second-round matchup between the Lightning and the Bruins is going to be awesome, if not too soon, in the postseason. Left wing Brad Marchand, with 85 points in 68 games, led Boston in scoring this year.
5 Vegas Golden Knights Vegas Golden Knights 51-24-7
▼ 1
Center William Karlsson scored 43 goals and notched 35 assists to lead Vegas skaters, the former being an NHL record for a player on a team in its first year of existence.
6 Toronto Maple Leafs Toronto Maple Leafs 49-26-7
▲ 1
G Frederik Anderson started 66 games for the Leafs, but he will have to improve on his 2.81 goals-against average if Toronto wants to beat Boston in the first round.
7 Los Angeles Kings Los Angeles Kings 45-29-8
▲ 7
A 33-28-3 record is not indicative of how good G Jonathan Quick played this year. The Kings led the NHL in goal prevention, and they’ll need that skill against Vegas in the opening round.
8 Minnesota Wild Minnesota Wild 45-26-11
▲ 1
The Central Division was stacked this season, so it’s impressive that G Devan Dubnyk posted a 35-16-7 record. The Wild will have its hands full with Winnipeg to open the playoffs, though.
9 Colorado Avalanche Colorado Avalanche 43-30-9
▲ 7
C Nathan MacKinnon posted 97 points as a 22-year-old star on a team that leapt from 48 points last year to 95 points and the postseason this year. What an amazing achievement for the Avalanche, but Nashville won’t be impressed.
10 Pittsburgh Penguins Pittsburgh Penguins 47-29-6
▲ 1
Playing in 78 games, his most in almost a decade, C Evgeni Malkin posted 98 points. Scoring isn’t Pittsburgh’s issue. Giving up goals is the problem, and that’s why the Pens will not register a third straight Cup title this spring.
11 San Jose Sharks San Jose Sharks 45-27-10
▼ 3
In San Jose, scoring is the issue, as G Martin Jones remains the best player on this team, just as he was when the Sharks went to the Cup Finals in 2016. He will need to be even greater this time around for a repeat journey.
12 Washington Capitals Washington Capitals 49-26-7
▼ 6
LW Alex Ovechkin just missed a 50-goal season by one score, but we foresee a third straight season of losing in the second round for the Caps. Unless they lose in the first round, of course.
13 Anaheim Ducks Anaheim Ducks 44-25-13
▼ 3
It all comes down to G John Gibson and his health here, as the Ducks somehow snuck into second place in the Pacific. If he’s healthy, great. If he’s not, 37-year-old G Ryan Miller could become the focal point in Anaheim.
14 Dallas Stars Dallas Stars 42-32-8
▲ 5
Defenseman John Klingberg was the best player this year on the best team in the NHL not to make the postseason. He’s just 25 years old, and he posted 67 points in 82 games while average more than 24 minutes on the ice each game.
15 St. Louis Blues St. Louis Blues 44-32-6
The Blues had their chance, but the Avs wanted it more in that regular-season finale for the last playoff slot. Don’t blame D Alex Pietrangelo, who was on the ice for almost 26 minutes a game this year in St. Louis.
16 Columbus Blue Jackets Columbus Blue Jackets 45-30-7
▼ 3
G Sergei Bobrovsky gives the Blue Jackets a chance every night, and sometimes in Lord Stanley’s tournament, that’s all you need. A hot goalie can change everything. Caps, be warned.
17 Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia Flyers 42-26-14
▼ 5
At age 30, C Claude Giroux had a 102-point season, his best ever. His 68 assists led the NHL. Will it be enough to dethrone the Pens in the first round? We doubt it.
18 New Jersey Devils New Jersey Devils 44-29-9
▼ 1
LW Taylor Hall put up 93 points, as the Devils did just enough to make the postseason. It’s hard to see this team upsetting the Lightning in the opening series, however.
19 Florida Panthers Florida Panthers 44-30-8
▼ 1
D Keith Yandle led this team to its 25-8-2 closing stretch to finish the regular season that left it one point short of the playoffs. That’s something to build on for next year.
20 Chicago Blackhawks Chicago Blackhawks 33-39-10
▲ 3
Chicago played the toughest schedule this year. That’s not an excuse for going from the top of the Central to the bottom, however. Right wing Patrick Kane was the team’s MVP, but he had his worst season since 2012.
21 Calgary Flames Calgary Flames 37-35-10
▼ 1
The Flames went cold a while ago, but 35-year-old G Mike Smith wasn’t the reason. He posted his best overall numbers (.916 save percentage, 2.65 GAA) of the last six seasons.
22 Edmonton Oilers Edmonton Oilers 36-40-6
▲ 2
C Connor McDavid posted 108 points to claim his second straight scoring title, but you’re not going to win a lot of games when your goalies give up more than three goals per outing.
23 Carolina Hurricanes Carolina Hurricanes 36-35-11
▼ 2
Is the future bright in Carolina? RW Sebastian Aho led the team in scoring with 65 points in 78 games, and he’s just 20 years old.
24 New York Islanders New York Islanders 35-37-10
▲ 1
Volume isn’t always a good thing. G Jaroslav Halak made 49 starts in net, but he gave up 3.19 goals per 60 minutes of play. It’s hard to win when he’s your best player, statistically speaking.
25 New York Rangers New York Rangers 34-39-9
▼ 3
On the other hand, even when G Henrik Lundqvist is your best player, and he starts 61 games in net, a team can still stink. His 2.98 GAA was the worst of his illustrious career, by far.
26 Vancouver Canucks Vancouver Canucks 31-40-11
▲ 1
G Jacob Markstrom played decently in support of the Sedin twins in their final NHL campaign, but his play (.912 save percentage) wasn’t enough to keep the Canucks afloat.
27 Detroit Red Wings Detroit Red Wings 30-39-13
▼ 1
The Hockeytown fan base probably doesn’t care for G Jimmy Howard, but without his .910 save percentage, the Red Wings would have been a lot worse this season.
28 Arizona Coyotes Arizona Coyotes 29-41-12
▲ 1
G Antti Raanta is the future for Arizona, as his .930 save percentage and 2.24 GAA demonstrated. A full season in net for him will help the Coyotes next year.
29 Montreal Canadiens Montreal Canadiens 29-40-13
▼ 1
RW Brendan Gallagher led the team with 54 points in 82 games, and perhaps that’s all you need to know about why the Les Habs struggled so much this season.
30 Ottawa Senators Ottawa Senators 28-43-11
D Erik Karlsson was the subject of many trade rumors, as he was the best player on a bad team this year. His 62 points in 71 games for this team was quite impressive.
31 Buffalo Sabres Buffalo Sabres 25-45-12
Maybe on a good team, the talents of G Robin Lehner would not be wasted. In Buffalo, however, most nights he’s the best thing the Sabres have going for them.


About The Ranker:

Sam McPherson covered college hockey for USCHO.com in both Colorado and Michigan before later spending a lot of time writing about the San Jose Sharks from 2010 to 2015. He firmly knows the NHL is the purest professional sport left in North America this century. Follow him on Twitter @sxmcp as he covers a lot more than just hockey for various websites.