2022-23 Pre-Opening Night Power Rankings

Photo: Canes Country

With the start of the 2022-23 NHL season three days away, NoVa Caps does a second offseason power rankings after more offseason moves and injury news. The first one can be found here. (⬆️Up, ⬇️Down, ➡️No Change represent spaces moved since last power rankings).

32. Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks tore it all down this offseason and it appears only a matter of time until left-wing Patrick Kane and center Jonathan Toews are wearing different jerseys. ➡️

31. Philadelphia Flyers

The rebuild is underway in Philadelphia. ➡️

30. Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres improved toward the end of last season and are stocked with young talent but it’s Buffalo. ⬇️1

29. Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes are rebuilding the right way but patience is the key in Arizona as it will be a while until it’s over. Defenseman Jacob Chychrun is not expected to be the desert much longer. ⬆️1

28. San Jose Sharks

The Sharks made a couple of solid additions over the summer but none will likely change the direction of this franchise, who also waved good-bye to defenseman Brent Burns after 11 seasons in the Bay Area. ➡️

27. Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are expected to be better than last season with left-wing Juraj Slafkovsky, the first overall pick in the draft, in the fold but the loss of goaltender Carey Price for the year hurts. ➡️

26. Anaheim Ducks

The Ducks will hope for more growth out of center Trevor Zegras and right-wing Troy Terry after each had a breakout year. Center Ryan Strome, right-wing Frank Vatrano, and defenseman John Klingberg should also help Anaheim take a step forward. ➡️

25. Winnipeg Jets

The Jets barely did anything over the offseason and the future of their two top-six centers are up in the air. ➡️

24. Seattle Kraken

The additions of left-wing Andre Burakovsky, right-wing Oliver Bjorkstrand, and center Shane Wright in addition center Matty Beniers appearing to be ready for a full-time role should lift the Kraken to a much stronger season as long as their goaltending does not sink them again. ➡️

23. Columbus Blue Jackets

How much better does left-wing Johnny Gaudreau make this team? It puts them back on the map at the very least. ➡️

22. Vegas Golden Knights

The losses of goaltender Robin Lehner, left-wing Max Pacioretty, and right-wing Evgenii Dadonov this offseason set this team back. While right-wing Phil Kessel and a full season of center Jack Eichel will help, the Golden Knights are a bit of a mess right now. ⬇️4

21. New York Islanders

No one had a quieter offseason after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in four seasons. Will the Islanders show that last season was a one-off? ⬆️1

20. New Jersey Devils

Will the Devils’ offseason moves finally pay off? ⬆️1

19. Florida Panthers

Salary cap constraints and the trade for left-wing Matthew Tkachuk really thinned their depth all across their roster this offseason. ⬇️5

18. Boston Bruins

Left-wing Brad Marchand, right-wing Taylor Hall, and defenseman Charlie McAvoy are among those Bruins that could miss time to begin the regular season and this core is getting older. ⬆️1

17. Ottawa Senators

The Senators are one of the most improved teams after acquiring right-wings Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux, goaltender Cam Talbot (who will miss the first 6-8 weeks of the season), and left-wing Tyler Motte but they still have some work to left to improve their defense. ⬆️3

16. Dallas Stars

The Stars have a top-heavy offense and a goaltender looking to build off of his strong postseason in Jake Oettinger. Will they get left-wing Jason Robertson under contract before the season starts? ⬆️1

15. Minnesota Wild

When will this team finally get the No. 1 center they have lacked and how will left-wing Matthew Boldy and center Marco Rossi do in their first NHL seasons? The Wild could really use some help, especially after losing right-wing Kevin Fiala. ⬆️1

14. Detroit Red Wings

With a lot of offseason upgrades, more growth from defenseman Moritz Seider and right-wing Lucas Raymond, and left-wing Jakub Vrana healthy, could the Red Wings make a significant climb in the Eastern Conference standings? ⬇️2

13. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Penguins are on the decline but should still be hanging around with centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in addition to defenseman Kris Letang leading the way. ⬆️2

12. Vancouver Canucks

Center J.T. Miller re-signed and the Canucks have a deep forward group in addition to one of the best goalies in Thatcher Demko. However, that defense needs an upgrade. ⬆️1

11. Los Angeles Kings

Will Fiala give the Kings’ offense the spark that it needs? This team also needs its younger players to take steps forward this season. ⬇️1

10. Nashville Predators

Defenseman Roman Josi and goaltender Juusse Saros make this team a threat as long as centers Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene follow up their renaissance seasons. The additions of right-wing Nino Niederreiter and defenseman Ryan McDonagh will also boost this team. ⬇️1

9. Washington Capitals

How much of a difference will goaltender Darcy Kuemper make and will the team fight off Father Time again? Right-wing Tom Wilson and center Nicklas Backstrom will miss the start of the season. ⬇️3

8. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs have a lot of talent with centers Auston Matthews and John Tavares in addition to right-wings Mitch Marner and William Nylander. Will the goaltending deliver? ➡️

7. Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers finally have the depth around centers Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and a No. 1 goaltender in Jack Campbell. ➡️

6. St. Louis Blues

The Blues have a deep roster but need goaltender Jordan Binnington to build off of his strong postseason. ⬇️1

5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Center Anthony Cirelli (shoulder surgery) is expected to miss the start of the season but the Lightning are still the Lightning with goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy between the pipes. ⬇️1

4. New York Rangers

Will left-wing Alexis Lafreniere and right-wing Kaapo Kakko be able to take the next step and what will goaltender Igor Shesterkin do for an encore? ⬇️1

3. Colorado Avalanche

Can this team fend off of average goaltending? Losing center Nazem Kadri will also hurt as will missing right-wing Gabriel Landeskog for the start of the season. ⬇️1

2. Calgary Flames

The Flames have arguably the deepest defense in the NHL and one of the best starters in Jacob Markstrom. They improved over the offseason, capped off by the addition of Kadri, but how quickly will the roster mesh? ⬆️9

1. Carolina Hurricanes

Burns should help already one of the league’s deepest defenses and they have a young, talented forward group. Although, they could use more certainty at center after losing Vincent Trocheck. Paul Stastny should help there. ➡️

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 2022-23 Pre-Opening Night Power Rankings

  1. novafyre says:

    I think Lightning are ranked too high. Too many changes this year. I think they will struggle during the regular season. If they make it to the playoff, then they will have jelled into a higher ranking team for the postseason. But their success has been a team success and right now, I do not believe that they are that high a team. So I think their difficulty won’t be in the playoffs but making the playoffs.

  2. Jonathan says:

    After the first 9, some of those rankings are surprises. How does the Florida Panthers go from President Cup winners to #19? They had great depth of young stars. Would a trade make them that much weaker?

    • Harrison Brown says:

      It’s not just one trade. They lost a ton of depth and are looking very top heavy on F and D.

Leave a Reply