NHL Power Rankings: greatest addition for each team, ranked..

NHL Power Rankings: greatest addition for each team, ranked 1-32.

We’re another week closer to All-Star Weekend — the spiritual, if not mathematical midway point of the season — but our voters caused no change atop the Power Rankings, with the Winnipeg Jets holding down the No. 1 slot again. Of course, there were plenty of changes elsewhere.

Beyond the updated rankings, we’ve identified the best new addition for all 32 teams — be it a player, a coach, or … a draft pick? Read on for our picks for each club.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors send in a 1-32 poll based on the games through Wednesday, which generates our master list here.

1. Winnipeg Jets

Previous ranking: 1
Points percentage: 72.09%
Next seven days: @ OTT (Jan. 20), @ BOS (Jan. 22), @ TOR (Jan. 24)

Gabriel Vilardi. Winnipeg acquired Vilardi as part of the Pierre-Luc Dubois trade with Los Angeles in June, and the Jets certainly scored a winner (something Vilardi himself has done plenty of this season). Vilardi puts up great numbers, is a net-front menace and adds potency to Winnipeg’s overall attack.

2. Vancouver Canucks

Previous ranking: 2
Points percentage: 71.11%
Next seven days: vs. TOR (Jan. 20), vs. CHI (Jan. 22), vs. STL (Jan. 24)

Teddy Blueger. Vancouver has brought the best out of Blueger. The 29-year-old forward is on pace to smash his previous career highs (nine goals, 28 points) thanks to a fresh start in the Canucks’ dominant offensive scheme. Blueger is the ideal depth signing for a team looking to play long into this coming spring.

3. Boston Bruins

Previous ranking: 3
Points percentage: 71.59%
Next seven days: vs. MTL (Jan. 20), vs. WPG (Jan. 22), vs. CAR (Jan. 24), @ OTT (Jan. 25)

James van Riemsdyk. Boston has gotten more than it could have bargained for out of van Riemsdyk. Brought in on an under-the-radar, one-year deal, the veteran winger is top five in scoring for the Bruins, can play anywhere in the lineup and remains, as ever, a verifiable net-front force on the power play. Overall, van Riemsdyk has been the ultimate depth player Boston needs to be at its best.

4. Colorado Avalanche

Previous ranking: 4
Points percentage: 66.30%
Next seven days: @ PHI (Jan. 20), vs. WSH (Jan. 24)

Jonathan Drouin. Colorado essentially took a flyer on Drouin in free agency, and that one-year, $825,000 contract is aging nicely. The Avalanche’s winning culture, and a reunion with former junior hockey teammate Nathan MacKinnon, has helped Drouin settle into a solid season so far. MacKinnon recently stated his belief that Drouin has just scratched the surface of what he can provide for Colorado into the season’s second half.

Florida Panthers

Previous ranking: 5
Points percentage: 65.91%
Next seven days: vs. MIN (Jan. 19), @ NSH (Jan. 22), vs. ARI (Jan. 24)

Evan Rodrigues. Florida is all sorts of excellent this season, and Rodrigues has played a surprisingly involved role in its success. The veteran signed a four-year deal in the offseason that has translated to top-line minutes alongside Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart. There’s no doubt Rodrigues is benefitting from high-caliber linemates, but his stats are no fluke.

6. New York Rangers

Previous ranking: 6
Points percentage: 65.91%
Next seven days: @ LA (Jan. 20), @ ANA (Jan. 21), @ SJ (Jan. 23)

Peter Laviolette. New York believed it needed a new voice behind the bench to take another step forward. Laviolette got the nod — and, so far, the results. The Rangers have generally responded well to Laviolette’s structure (despite a rocky stretch or two), and the longtime head coach’s experience — in knowing when to tweak, or stand pat — has served New York well in a strong performance this season.

7. Dallas Stars

Previous ranking: 8
Points percentage: 66.28%
Next seven days: @ NJ (Jan. 20), @ NYI (Jan. 21), @ DET (Jan. 23), vs. ANA (Jan. 25)

Sam Steel. Dallas was smart to sign Steel when Minnesota failed to give him a qualifying offer in June. That one-year, $850,000 contract for Steel has translated into a solid depth forward who can add some punch — sometimes literally — and scoring touch while providing the Stars with bottom-six versatility. All in all, it has been a good marriage thus far.

8. Carolina Hurricanes

Previous ranking: 9
Points percentage: 61.63%
Next seven days: vs. DET (Jan. 19), vs. MIN (Jan. 21), @ BOS (Jan. 24), vs. NJ (Jan. 25)

An eight-year extension for Sebastian Aho. Carolina wasn’t about to let its best player hit free agency this coming summer. So, GM Don Waddell took care of business last July and inked Aho to an eight-year, $78 million extension (the largest in franchise history), which already looks like tidy work by the Hurricanes. Aho currently leads the club in goals, assists and points and is exactly the type of dynamic skater to build a franchise around.

9. Vegas Golden Knights

Previous ranking: 10
Points percentage: 63.33%
Next seven days: vs. PIT (Jan. 20), @ NJ (Jan. 22), @ NYI (Jan. 23)

2024 third-round pick. Vegas has basically run it back with its Stanley Cup-winning roster. We’ll see how that strategy ultimately plays out for the Golden Knights (and if they’re busy at trade deadline because of it). For now, it’s an asset acquired via another trade — that of Reilly Smith to Pittsburgh in June — that has added the most to Vegas’ coffers by offering them something to deal.

10. Edmonton Oilers

Previous ranking: 12
Points percentage: 61.25%
Next seven days: @ CGY (Jan. 20), vs. CBJ (Jan. 23), vs. CHI (Jan. 25)

Kris Knoblauch. Edmonton’s numbers speak for themselves: The Oilers were 3-9-1 when Jay Woodcraft was fired; they are 21-6-0 since Kris Knoblauch took over. That’s the league’s third-best record overall since Nov. 12, and no doubt Knoblauch has played a key part in righting Edmonton’s ship before it completely capsized.

11. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous ranking: 7
Points percentage: 60.47%
Next seven days: @ VAN (Jan. 20), @ SEA (Jan. 21), vs. WPG (Jan. 24)

Martin Jones. Toronto was eyeing organizational goaltending depth when signing veteran Jones to a one-year deal in August. What the Leafs got with their low-key move was a massive depth piece to carry them through a rough stretch of injury (to Joseph Woll) and poor play (by Ilya Samsonov). Jones gives Toronto a chance each night he’s in net, and that’s all it can ask of a third-string savior.

12. Philadelphia Flyers

Previous ranking: 13
Points percentage: 61.36%
Next seven days: vs. COL (Jan. 20), vs. OTT (Jan. 21), vs. TB (Jan. 23), @ DET (Jan. 25)

Ryan Poehling. Philadelphia wasn’t going for flash when signing Poehling to a one-year deal in the offseason. What the Flyers got was a forward they could count on, and Poehling has been that throughout the season. He’s a quiet contributor and a valuable depth piece, and most importantly, he loves being in Philadelphia. That’s an energy every team wants for its lineup.

13. Los Angeles Kings

Previous ranking: 11
Points percentage: 59.52%
Next seven days: vs. NYR (Jan. 20), vs. SJ (Jan. 22), vs. BUF (Jan. 24)

Cam Talbot. Los Angeles picked right in tapping Talbot as its latest No. 1 netminder. The 36-year-old is having his best season in years, with consistently strong performances that set the Kings up for a terrific first half. Talbot himself earned an All-Star nod and remains among the league’s top-10 starters in most statistical categories.

14. Detroit Red Wings

Previous ranking: 20
Points percentage: 57.95%
Next seven days: @ CAR (Jan. 19), vs. TB (Jan. 21), vs. DAL (Jan. 23), vs. PHI (Jan. 25)

Alex DeBrincat. Detroit had no doubt that DeBrincat would be a difference-maker when it traded for and signed him last summer. And DeBrincat has not disappointed in the least. He leads the Red Wings in points, is tied for the team lead in goals and helped convince Patrick Kane to join Detroit’s ranks, too. DeBrincat really can do it all for the Red Wings.

15. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous ranking: 17
Points percentage: 57.14%
Next seven days: @ VGK (Jan. 20), @ ARI (Jan. 22)

Alex Nedeljkovic. Pittsburgh made splashier offseason moves — we see you, Erik Karlsson — but the one-year, $1.5 million investment in Nedeljkovic was a sound one. He has produced strong numbers in the NHL and gives the Penguins depth at a precarious position. While Nedeljkovic might not be the No. 1 netminder in Pittsburgh, he’s the ultimate insurance policy.

16. New Jersey Devils

Previous ranking: 15
Points percentage: 55.95%
Next seven days: @ CBJ (Jan. 19), vs. DAL (Jan. 20), vs. VGK (Jan. 22), @ CAR (Jan. 25)

Simon Nemec. New Jersey has a burgeoning rookie sensation in Nemec, the No. 2 pick in the 2022 draft. The 19-year-old blueliner plays with intensity, finesse and no fear of throwing down with league veterans (see: Nemec vs. Brad Marchand). Nemec logs over 20 minutes per game, is smart with the puck and consistently defends well. What more could the Devils want?

17. Washington Capitals

Previous ranking: 16
Points percentage: 58.14%
Next seven days: @ STL (Jan. 20), @ MIN (Jan. 23), @ COL (Jan. 24)

Spencer Carbery. Washington tapped rookie head coach Carbery to remake the club into a playoff contender. Right now, the Capitals are in that mix. Carbery has been patient tinkering with his new team and overcame bouts of adversity with poise to prove he can get the most out of what Washington has to offer on the ice.

18. Nashville Predators

Previous ranking: 18
Points percentage: 56.67%
Next seven days: @ ARI (Jan. 20), vs. FLA (Jan. 22), @ MIN (Jan. 25)

Ryan O’Reilly. Nashville grabbing O’Reilly on a four-year, $18 million deal is looking like a bargain. The 32-year-old center is on pace to hit 30 goals — which would be a career high — and O’Reilly brings a certain physicality and attitude the Predators need to keep the competition at bay. Expected or not, Nashville found a true top-line performer in O’Reilly.

19. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 22
Points percentage: 56.67%
Next seven days: @ BUF (Jan. 20), @ DET (Jan. 21), @ PHI (Jan. 23), vs. ARI (Jan. 25)

Jonas Johansson. Tampa Bay likely didn’t expect to lean on Johansson — signed in July on a two-year contract — to start the season. But when Andrei Vasilevskiy underwent surgery in September, it fell on Johansson to keep the Lightning afloat. And he did. Johansson was 8-4-5 with a .894 SV% in Vasilevskiy’s absence to keep an inconsistent Tampa Bay team on track.

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