NHL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, each team's MVP so far

ByKristen Shilton ESPN logo
Friday, November 18, 2022

The quarter mark of the 2022-23 NHL season is fast approaching, as teams will hit game No. 20 on their schedules within the coming days. To mark the occasion, we've identified the MVP for all 32 teams, presented in conjunction with this week's updated 1-32 power rankings.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors rates teams against one another -- taking into account game results, injuries and upcoming schedule -- and those results are tabulated to produce the list featured here.

Note: Previous ranking for each team refers to the previous edition, published Nov. 11. Points paces are through Thursday's games.

1. Boston Bruins

Previous ranking: 2

Points percentage:88.2%

Next seven days: vs. CHI (Nov. 19), @ TB (Nov. 21), @ FLA (Nov. 23)

Hampus Lindholm is a revelation. He held the fort on Boston's back end until Charlie McAvoy returned, and helped get the Bruins off to a franchise-best start. Yes, David Pastrnak is great too, but Lindholm elevated his game to dynamic new heights while averaging over a point-per-game, earning a plus-18 rating and generally dominating every shift.

2. New Jersey Devils

Previous ranking: 3

Points percentage:82.4%

Next seven days: @ OTT (Nov. 19), vs. EDM (Nov. 21), vs. TOR (Nov. 23)

Nico Hischier is on a mission; the Devils' captain has developed into a two-way force. Hischier's work ethic combined with talent (17 points in 15 games) and leadership acumen make him a true triple threat. As New Jersey coach Lindy Ruff noted, this is the best version of Hischier so far, and he should be in the conversation for the Selke Trophy.

3. Vegas Golden Knights

Previous ranking: 1

Points percentage:77.8%

Next seven days: @EDM (Nov. 19), @ VAN (Nov. 21), vs. OTT (Nov. 23)

Logan Thompson is a fortress in net. It's tough to get a puck by him. The Golden Knights' goaltending was a question mark until Thompson answered the bell with confidence. Vegas reaps the rewards of that stability everywhere else, and the team's standout scoring depth (led by Jack Eichel, Chandler Stephenson, et al) and solid back end provide Thompson with great support to be at his best.

4. Carolina Hurricanes

Previous ranking: 5

Points percentage:64.7%

Next seven days: @ MIN (Nov. 19), @ WPG (Nov. 21), vs. ARI (Nov. 23)

Andrei Svechnikov gives life to Carolina's offense. He's been humming along this season with impressive output right alongside ride-or-die, top-line teammate Sebastian Aho. So, who's the real MVP? Like the NHL in 2004, we'll allow for a tie here. Svechnikov and Aho work seamlessly together and apart. Carolina is lucky to have them both firing.

5. Winnipeg Jets

Previous ranking: 6

Points percentage:70.0%

Next seven days: vs. PIT (Nov. 19), vs. CAR (Nov. 21), @ MIN (Nov. 23)

Connor Hellebuyck is back on top. The goalie appeared fully recovered from last season's downturn with an accomplished start, collecting two shutouts in 11 games and sterling stats, too. Hellebuyck's resurgence has propelled Winnipeg to unexpectedly strong results early on. Good for the Jets, and good for Hellebuyck in a contract year.

6. Dallas Stars

Previous ranking: 4

Points percentage:64.7%

Next seven days: vs. NYI (Nov. 19), vs. COL (Nov. 21), vs. CHI (Nov. 23)

Jason Robertson is worth the investment. He's lived up to the promise of that new contract with eye-popping output and an emerging two-way game that's giving the Stars a real boost. Robertson is fortunate to skate with linemates Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz, too, forming a trio that oozes more chemistry than it does offense. Robertson's talents are right in the thick of it.

7. New York Islanders

Previous ranking: 7

Points percentage:61.1%

Next seven days: @ DAL (Nov. 19), @ TOR (Nov. 21), vs. EDM (Nov. 23)

Ilya Sorokin is among the league's hottest -- and most unheralded, thus far -- goaltenders. He routinely holds the Islanders in games with outstanding saves and has backstopped New York to some stirring come-from-behind wins. That breeds confidence in a team, and the Islanders are latching onto it.

8. Colorado Avalanche

Previous ranking: 9

Points percentage:63.3%

Next seven days: @ WSH (Nov. 19), @ DAL (Nov. 21, vs. VAN (Nov. 23)

Mikko Rantanen does it all for the Avs. While forward injuries have piled up -- including to Gabriel Landeskog and Valeri Nichushkin -- Rantanen has been excellent filling in the gaps with consistent scoring, and a physical two-way game that's generating opportunities for him and whatever teammate is nearby to collect a great pass.

9. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous ranking: 12

Points percentage:61.1%

Next seven days: vs. BUF (Nov. 19), vs. NYI (Nov. 21), @ NJ (Nov. 23)

John Tavares is channeling Steven Stamkos. The Leafs' captain is on pace for a career year at 32 -- much like the one Stamkos put together last season in Tampa Bay. Toronto has needed every bit of Tavares' reliability. He's a top asset on the Leafs' power play and has had terrific chemistry with William Nylander -- also off to a hot start -- that's helped mitigate some of Toronto's other goal-scoring struggles. Now, what more can Tavares do with new linemate Mitchell Marner on his wing?

10. Florida Panthers

Previous ranking: 10

Points percentage:55.9%

Next seven days: vs. CGY (Nov. 19), @ CBJ (No. 20), vs. BOS (Nov. 23)

Brandon Montour has stepped it up. When Aaron Ekblad got hurt it was Montour rising to the occasion to steady their back end. The 28-year-old has been shouldering nearly 26 minutes of ice time per game, and he's on track to beat all personal career-high offensive marks with 16 points in 14 games alone. Ekblad is easing back in post-injury, but the Panthers will keep leaning on Montour's dependability.

11. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 11

Points percentage:61.8%

Next seven days: @ NSH (Nov. 19), vs. BOS (Nov. 21)

Nikita Kucherov is earning plenty of accolades. The veteran wore an "A" this month for the first time in his nine-year career, proof he's more than just the Lightning's top sniper. Kucherov has the latter role down pat. First, there was the 11-game point streak, over which Kucherov netted 20 points. Then there's the confidence Kucherov injects into each game, making the Lightning look dangerous even on their off nights. That's a special skill.

12. Los Angeles Kings

Previous ranking: 14

Points percentage:60.5%

Next seven days: @ VAN (Nov. 18), @ SEA (Nov. 19), vs. NYR (Nov. 22)

Gabriel Vilardi has officially arrived. The forward is making up for lost time after years of injury issues as L.A.'s newest scoring threat. He was the first King to hit double-digit goals, has a monster 21.3% shooting percentage and is shaping up to be a dual threat who can drive play for L.A.

13. New York Rangers

Previous ranking: 15

Points percentage:55.6%

Next seven days: @ SJ (Nov. 19), @ LA (Nov. 22), @ ANA (Nov. 23)

Adam Fox is excelling everywhere. New York's top defenseman has the stamina to carry nearly 25 minutes per game while generating the second most points for his team this season. Fox's ability to body skaters off pucks, manufacture rush chances and be a key playmaker adds up to inspired returns night after night.

14. Seattle Kraken

Previous ranking: 8

Points percentage:61.8%

Next seven days: vs. LA (Nov. 19), vs. SJ (Nov. 23)

Brandon Tanev is putting in work. Seattle's forward has excelled at both 5-on-5 (registering 10 points in 16 games) and been a top-end performer on the Kraken's penalty kill. Tanev can be a menace almost anywhere, whether blocking shots or teeing up teammates in transition. Seattle has to hope Tanev can stay healthy enough to keep the good times rolling.

15. Edmonton Oilers

Previous ranking: 17

Points percentage:52.9%

Next seven days: vs. VGK (Nov. 19), @ NJ (Nov. 21), @ NYI (Nov. 23)

Connor McDavid remains otherworldly. Edmonton's captain led the league with 15 goals and 32 points through 17 tilts and continues to create more highlight-reel-worthy moments per night than he averages points per game. Which is a lot. Rinse, repeat, for the two-time Hart Trophy winner.

16. Detroit Red Wings

Previous ranking: 16

Points percentage:58.8%

Next seven days: @ CBJ (Nov. 19), vs. NSH (Nov. 23)

Ville Husso came as advertised. Detroit needed a No. 1 netminder, and Husso fits the bill with standout performances, key stops and solid numbers. It's rare for Husso to give up a truly bad goal. The more support Detroit can offer Husso -- from the hot sticks of Dylan Larkin and Dominik Kubalik especially -- the faster these Red Wings could climb the standings.

17. Calgary Flames

Previous ranking: 18

Points percentage:50.0%

Next seven days: @ FLA (Nov. 19), @ PHI (Nov. 21), @ PIT (Nov. 23)

Nazem Kadri won't be stopped. The Flames' center wields his unique blend of skill, speed, physicality and grit to pull Calgary into the fight each night. Kadri has been an offensive catalyst through his team's ups and downs so far, remaining notably consistent with his 5-on-5 production and on special teams. Calgary needs more of that from everyone.

18. St. Louis Blues

Previous ranking: 30

Points percentage:50.0%

Next seven days: vs. ANA (Nov. 19), vs. ANA (Nov. 21), @ BUF (Nov. 23)

Jordan Binnington is back to being the Blues' backbone. His recent 4-0-0 run came with a 2.25 goals-against average and .936 save percentage, and included a 45-save performance against the reigning Stanley Cup champions in Colorado. Binnington's helped get St. Louis on stable ground following a rocky stretch of eight consecutive losses.

19. Minnesota Wild

Previous ranking: 20

Points percentage:47.1%

Next seven days: vs. CAR (Nov. 19), vs. WPG (Nov. 23)

Marc-Andre Fleury can still steal a win. His tough start evaporated when Fleury reeled off a 5-2-0 record with .939 SV% into mid-November that sheltered Minnesota's slow-moving offense (28th overall). The Wild couldn't have asked for a better rebound from their goaltender -- making it especially hard to see Fleury suddenly sidelined this week by an injury.

20. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous ranking: 21

Points percentage:50.0%

Next seven days: @ WPG (Nov. 19), @ CHI (Nov. 20), vs. CGY (Nov. 23)

Jason Zuckergoes hard every shift. Zucker is a trusted presence for the Penguins up front. He puts pucks in the net and feeds off his reenergized linemate -- and fellow team MVP candidate -- Evgeni Malkin. Zucker brings an infectious energy when the Penguins lack for it elsewhere.

21. Philadelphia Flyers

Previous ranking: 13

Points percentage:50.0%

Next seven days: @ MTL (Nov. 19), vs. CGY (Nov. 21), @ WSH (Nov. 23)

Carter Hart is back on track, after well-documented struggles in recent campaigns. The young goaltender has held Philadelphia above water despite all manner of inconsistency in front of him. Hart's 6-2-3 record with .929 SV% at the mid-November mark was hard-earned through several terrific individual performances. Hart always gives the Flyers a chance.

22. Nashville Predators

Previous ranking: 25

Points percentage:50.0%

Next seven days: vs. TB (Nov. 19), vs. ARI (Nov. 21), @ DET (Nov. 23)

Filip Forsberg plays well with others. The Predators have had trouble finding the right mix up front, but Nashville's scoring leader elevates just about anyone. That provides the underwhelming Predators with some stability and hope that their offense can keep bouncing back and find its form.

23. Washington Capitals

Previous ranking: 22

Points percentage:44.7%

Next seven days: vs. COL (Nov. 19), vs. PHI (Nov. 23)

Alex Ovechkin is fun to watch. The Great 8's milestone hunt is the most engaging part of this Capitals' campaign (so far, anyway). And along the way there's been dazzling dangles, pretty passes and timely tallies to push Washington towards its full potential.

24. Montreal Canadiens

Previous ranking: 23

Points percentage:50.0%

Next seven days: vs. PHI (Nov. 19), vs. BUF (Nov. 22), @ CBJ (Nov. 23)

Nick Suzuki takes his role seriously. The Canadiens' captain leads with passion and makes the most of offensive opportunities. He and linemate Cole Caufield have enviable chemistry that's produced a landslide of goals to power Montreal through an unexpectedly solid start. All the Canadiens could ask for is more, please.

25. Ottawa Senators

Previous ranking: 29

Points percentage:40.6%

Next seven days: vs. NJ (Nov. 19), @ SJ (Nov. 21), @ VGK (Nov. 23)

Jake Sanderson has turned heads. The 20-year-old is helping anchor Ottawa's blue line through its crush of injuries -- and disappointing start -- with hard-nosed effort and strong defensive skills that reflect how he's maturing before the Senators' eyes. Sanderson gamely took on more minutes as well with Thomas Chabot sidelined. He's a beacon for Ottawa's back end.

26. Buffalo Sabres

Previous ranking: 19

Points percentage:41.2%

Next seven days: @ TOR (Nov. 19), @ MTL (Nov. 22), vs. STL (Nov. 23)

Rasmus Dahlin is growing towards stardom. He's honed reliable defensive details, and is an elusive puck-moving playmaker with high-end vision and a terrific first pass that can quickly put Buffalo on the attack. The early Norris Trophy noise Dahlin generated? Well-deserved.

27. Vancouver Canucks

Previous ranking: 26

Points percentage:38.2%

Next seven days: vs. LA (Nov. 18), vs. VGK (Nov. 21), @ COL (Nov. 23)

Bo Horvat is leading by example. Vancouver's captain can't quiet all the outside noise, but he can keep scoring at an alarming rate (14 goals in 17 games), playing good defense and offering the Canucks a blueprint on how best to battle through their many challenges.

28. Chicago Blackhawks

Previous ranking: 24

Points percentage:46.9%

Next seven days: @ BOS (Nov. 19), vs. PIT (Nov. 20), @ DAL (Nov. 23)

Jonathan Toews is back on track. Chicago's captain hasn't played this well in years, pacing the Blackhawks in goals (seven) through 16 games and boasting an eye-popping 65.4% face-off winning percentage. That elite skill alone can swing momentum in Chicago's favor, and puts Toews' game-changing abilities repeatedly on display.

29. Arizona Coyotes

Previous ranking: 28

Points percentage:40.6%

Next seven days: @ NSH (Nov. 21), @ CAR (Nov. 23)

Clayton Keller is elite. It's one thing to be the stimulant behind Arizona's even-strength offense. But Keller has also shaped the Coyotes' dominant power play into a behemoth that's ranked top five in the NHL (29.6%). Regardless of where Arizona plays, count on Keller to create something worth watching.

30. San Jose Sharks

Previous ranking: 27

Points percentage:39.5%

Next seven days: vs. NYR (Nov. 19), vs. OTT (Nov. 21), @ SEA (Nov. 23)

Erik Karlsson's name is trending -- in early Norris Trophy buzz, and trade rumors -- so he must be doing something right. The revitalized blueliner is San Jose's best asset on both sides of the puck, hitting 10 goals and 24 points in 18 games amid 25-plus minutes of average ice time. The Sharks limit 5-on-5 scoring chances and shots against demonstrably better when Karlsson is on the ice. No surprise he'd be an attractive trade target -- though with full trade protection it'd have to be the right situation.

31. Columbus Blue Jackets

Previous ranking: 31

Points percentage:40.6%

Next seven days: vs. DET (Nov. 19), vs. FLA (Nov. 20), vs. MTL (Nov. 23)

Johnny Gaudreau brings fans out of their seats. That cannon is loud, after all. Columbus' top-line winger produced six goals in his first 15 games as a Blue Jacket -- each one scored at home. While Columbus has weathered mounting injury problems and sub-optimal results, Gaudreau's talents remain on display and give Blue Jackets' faithful something to cheer about.

32. Anaheim Ducks

Previous ranking: 32

Points percentage:32.4%

Next seven days: @ STL (Nov. 19), @ STL (Nov. 21), vs. NYR (Nov. 23)

Trevor Zegras deserved better. Amid a not-so-fun season for the Ducks, Zegras continues to dominate with first-rate talent and skill that produced another Michigan-style lacrosse goal this month -- which was called back upon offside review. Terrible. But that doesn't diminish Zegras' prowess or how it's something to stay hopeful about in Anaheim.