NHL energy rankings 2021-22: Predictions for each staff’s MVP getting into opening night time
It is October. The leaves are falling. The climate is getting getting chillier and if you flip on the TV there shall be hockey on it.
Sure, the NHL is again and the 2021-22 season is formally right here.
Starting on Oct. 12 with the Lightning elevating their newest Stanley Cup banner to the rafters and the Golden Knights internet hosting the league’s thirty second — and latest — franchise the Kraken, there shall be jam-packed motion between now and the top of June 2022. Who will hoist the Cup is anybody’s guess however we cant’e assist however ponder one query: will the Lightning three-peat?
It is a clear slate for each staff with hopes driving that their stars will carry the day. Our energy rankings getting into opening week focuses on every staff’s most dear participant heading into the 2021-22 season. These are the extraordinary stars that may make or break the fortunes for all 32 groups.
NHL energy rankings 2021-22
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
Offseason energy rating: 1
MVP prediction: Andrei Vasilevskiy. Some issues stay the identical. Some issues have modified. The Lightning are going for a three-peat however there’s been a slight shift in personnel. Gone is the complete third line of Yanni Gourde (picked by Seattle within the growth draft), Barclay Goodrow (traded to the Rangers) and Blake Coleman (signed through free company with the Flames). In are everlasting pest Corey Perry up entrance and Zach Bogosian (2020 Cup winner) on the blue line. Vasilevksiy is a workhorse and whereas the teaching employees has mentioned they wish to keep away from him burning out, he is a crucial element to how this staff works. Within the final two common seasons, he is performed in (and began) 94 video games together with a powerful .920 save proportion and eight shutouts. Solely Connor Hellebuyck (who has the identical save proportion) has performed in additional video games (103).
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2. Colorado Avalanche
Offseason energy rating: 2
MVP prediction: Cale Makar. At simply 22 Makar is already constructing a powerful resume: 2020 Calder Trophy winner; 2021 Norris Trophy finalist. He was restricted to simply 44 video games final season however collected 44 factors whereas averaging 24:19 of ice time. The Calgary child led all defensemen in 2021 (min. 800 minutes), with a Corsi For proportion of 60.88, which principally interprets to, “The Avalanche dominated play when he was on the ice.”
3. New York Islanders
Offseason energy rating: 4
MVP prediction: Mathew Barzal. If you cannot decide Barry Trotz, you may as nicely go together with the subsequent smartest thing. Barzal has led the Islanders in scoring each season together with his Calder Trophy-winning rookie season in 2017-18. A dynamic pressure, he is acquired all-world velocity, quickness and talent.
4. Vegas Golden Knights
Offseason energy rating: 7
MVP prediction: Robin Lehner. In two of the final three seasons, Lehner has joined forces together with his goalie associate to win the William M. Jennings Trophy after permitting the fewest targets. There is no motive to suppose he will not do the identical now with Laurent Brossoit. He is now firmly planted in Nevada because the No. 1 choice between the pipes and may have a giant season with the elevated workload.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
Offseason energy rating: 9
MVP prediction: Auston Matthews. After a Rocket Richard Trophy in 2021 regardless of a nasty wrist — his second straight (third profession) 40-plus aim season — Matthews is poised for one more huge yr. He’ll miss a handful of video games to start out the season however count on him to be relied on closely in 2021-22 by coach Sheldon Keefe.
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6. Edmonton Oilers
Offseason energy rating: 6
MVP prediction: Zach Hyman. Sure, it’s straightforward to go together with Connor McDavid or Leon Draisaitl, however hear me out. The addition of Zach Hyman is just not solely the most important transfer from the offseason however would be the largest enhance to the Oilers’ top-six. The winger not solely is a net-front presence and somebody who will go into the nook, however can serve on particular groups with the perfect of them. His achieve won’t solely be felt in Alberta however his loss shall be felt in Toronto too. Consider Hyman as most dear within the sense of fixing Edmonton’s fortunes, even when McDavid or Draisaitl proceed main the way in which.
7. Boston Bruins
Offseason energy rating: 3
MVP prediction: David Pastrnak. Pastrnak scored a co-Rocket Richard-worthy 48 targets in 2019-20 (shared with Alex Ovechkin). He is acquired a depraved shot and, positive, his numbers dropped final season to 48 factors in 48 video games, however there is not any motive to suppose “Pasta” will not be twirling huge numbers this season.
FREE AGENCY: Group-by-team | High UFAs, RFAs
8. Carolina Hurricanes
Offseason energy rating: 11
MVP prediction: Frederik Andersen. Sure, Andersen struggled final yr however now we all know after watching the Amazon docuseries, “All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs,” there was the knee harm and a lack of confidence by the staff in Andersen and perhaps Andersen in himself. An All-Star goalie in 2020, a change of surroundings ought to assist spark him as he is slotted in because the No. 1 man in Carolina. He is additionally acquired a staff in entrance of him that posted the fifth-fewest targets towards per sport final season due to a stable defensive core led by Woman Byng winner Jaccob Slavin.
9. Winnipeg Jets
Offseason energy rating: 10
MVP prediction: Connor Hellebuyck. As Hellebuyck goes, so go the Jets. An absolute workhouse, between 2018-19 and the 2021 season, Hellebuyck led the NHL in ice time at 9,577:31 minutes, which was virtually 1000 greater than Andrei Vasilevskiy’s 8,852 minutes. He additionally confronted essentially the most photographs in every of these three seasons however had the fifth-best save proportion (.917) and third-best GSAA (39.19).
10. Montreal Canadiens
Offseason energy rating: 5
MVP prediction: Cole Caufield. It’s going to be a Calder Trophy for the teen which can, in flip, be an MVP-team-worthy efficiency. The reigning Hobey Baker winner, he is coming off a 10-game regular-season stint (4 targets, help) and Stanley Cup run that noticed him end third on the Canadiens in factors (12).
11. Washington Capitals
Offseason energy rating: 12
MVP prediction: Alex Ovechkin. May there be anybody else? He could miss a while to start out the season attributable to a lower-body harm however Ovechkin is on a mission to greatest Wayne Gretzky’s profession aim complete and there is not any method he is stopping now.
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12. Florida Panthers
Offseason energy rating: 13
MVP prediction: Aleksander Barkov. Signed go an eight-year, $10 million AAV extension, Barkov is among the greatest two-way facilities within the sport. The 2021 Selke Trophy winner because the league’s greatest defensive ahead, he additionally potted 58 factors in 50 video games.
13. Chicago Blackhawks
Offseason energy rating: 8
MVP prediction: Marc-Andre Fleury. Patrick Kane, Seth Jones, a wholesome Jonathan Toews. All necessary however the Blackhawks lastly have some stability in between the pipes within the 2021 Vezina Trophy winner. If Fleury could be Fleury, the Blackhawks will push for a postseason spot.
14. Minnesota Wild
Offseason energy rating: 14
MVP prediction: Kirill Kaprizov. GM Invoice Gueron says that Kaprizov has the “it issue” and after what he did final season, there is not any motive to suppose he will not replicate it. The 2021 Calder Trophy winner, scored 51 factors in 55 video games final yr and was dazzling.
15. Seattle Kraken
Offseason energy rankings: 16
MVP prediction: Philipp Grubauer. How his numbers will look is anybody’s guess since it is a brand-spanking-new staff in entrance of him however he does carry alongside a powerful resume. Final season he went 30-9-1 with a 1.95 GAA, a .922 save proportion and 7 shutouts to earn a Vezina Trophy finalist nod. In fact, in entrance of him had been the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and Makar; nevertheless, Grubauer is not any slouch. He has a profession .920 save proportion.
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16. New York Rangers
Offseason energy rating: 22
MVP prediction: Alexis Lafreniére. Should you’ve seen Lafreniére play, then you understand he’s uber-talented. Should you noticed the Rangers play final yr, you understand then-coach David Quinn did not actually encompass Lafreniére with the weapons to truy carry out his greatest. Enter new coach Gerard Gallant and the No. 1 decide from 2020 has been skating on the highest line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Count on huge issues from Lafreniére.
17. St. Louis Blues
Offseason energy rating: 15
MVP prediction: Ryan O’Reilly. One of many prime two-way facilities within the league, as evident from his Selke Trophy in 2019, Selke finalist nod in 2020 and a top-five end in 2021, O’Reilly shall be relied on closely this season. He scored 54 factors in 56 video games final season thanks partially to a 53.7 Corsi For proportion. With Jaden Schwartz gone and Vladimir Tarasenko’s standing (does he nonetheless need a commerce?), coach Craig Berube will want his captain to return up big-time this season.
18. Dallas Stars
Offseason energy rating: 17
MVP prediction: Tyler Seguin. After a season that noticed him play in simply three video games down the stretch after hip surgical procedure saved him out for almost all of the 2021-22 season, Seguin is wholesome and able to go. He is a key cog to the Stars’ success. Since being traded to the Lone Star state via the 2019-20 season, he is scored essentially the most factors for the franchise (514 factors in 538 video games). Jamie Benn is second at 495 factors in 551 video games.
19. Vancouver Canucks
Offseason energy rating: 20
MVP prediction: Elias Pettersson. Pettersson missed 30 video games down the stretch and is able to get again to sniping pucks in 2021-22.
“It was an unlucky harm,” he mentioned again in mid-August. “I am extraordinarily hungry for revenge. I have never performed a single sport since March 2. I am actually wanting ahead to play video games once more.”
Translation: Be careful NHL, Pettersson is again.
20. New Jersey Devils
Offseason energy rating: 19
MVP prediction: Dougie Hamilton. Including Hamilton to the blue line was crucial to the Devils rebuild. He completed fourth in Norris Trophy balloting final season due to 42 factors in 55 video games with the Hurricanes. He’ll add talent and point-production from the backend. In 2021, he had 56.03 % of the shot makes an attempt at 5v5 and a 62.12 Targets For proportion.
NHL DRAFT GRADES 2021: Ultimate grades, evaluation for all 32 groups
21. Pittsburgh Penguins
Offseason energy rating: 18
MVP prediction: Sidney Crosby. His standing to start out the season on time could also be up within the air following wrist surgical procedure however he is nonetheless the most effective within the sport. A visionary on the ice, Crosby scored 62 factors in 55 video games final season and completed fourth in Hart Trophy voting. There is no such thing as a motive to suppose he will not put up comparable numbers this season.
22. Ottawa Senators
Offseason energy rating: 24
MVP prediction: Tim Stützle. Because the Brady Tkachuk drama continues and he stays unsigned, all eyes shall be on his buddy Stützle. In his rookie season, he posted 29 factors in 53 video games and there is not any motive to suppose he will not construct on that extra in 2021-22. Chosen third general in 2020, he’s a stud pure and easy and a celebrity within the making.
23. Philadelphia Flyers
Offseason energy rating: 21
MVP prediction: Ryan Ellis. One of many Flyers’ largest offseason strikes was buying the blueliner Ellis earlier than free company opened. It helped to bump up the protection that struggled mightily in 2021, permitting an NHL-worst 3.52 targets towards per sport. Plus, with Jakub Voracek again in Columbus, he is now the highest Gritty look-alike now in Philadelphia and that is fairly darn helpful.
24. Los Angeles Kings
Offseason energy rating: 26
MVP prediction: Anze Kopitar. The Kings are aiming to finish their postseason drought and make the postseason for the primary time in 4 seasons. A robust mixture of veterans and younger studs will fill out the roster over the season however how this staff does will trip on the shoulders of the captain, Kopitar. Final season he scored 50 factors in 50 video games and has precisely 1,000 profession factors in 1,129 profession video games — all in L.A.
25. Calgary Flames
Offseason energy rating: 23
MVP prediction: Jacob Markstrom. If Markstrom does what Markstrom does (greatest numbers had been two years in the past with Vancouver when he boasted a .918 save proportion and 11.4 Targets Saved Above Common) and coach Darryl Sutter does what he does (trip his No. 1 netminder) there shall be little question who the MVP is. Calgary did not do a lot within the offseason to bump up its offense so do not be shocked that that began 43 of the Flames’ 56 video games final yr will bear the brunt of plenty of photographs.
26. Nashville Predators
Offseason energy rating: 27
MVP prediction: Roman Josi. His offensive numbers dropped a bit year-over-year from 2019-20 to 2020-21, going from 65 factors in 69 video games to 33 factors in 48, respectively. However he is nonetheless a play driver as he not solely will get the puck out of his personal finish, he then creates offense effectively. If he can return to his career-best numbers in 2019-20 (68.3 CF/60 and 0.32 targets created per sport), the Predators will simply climb this listing.
27. Columbus Blue Jackets
Offseason energy rating: 25
MVP prediction: Patrik Laine. A man who scored 138 targets in his first 4 seasons, Laine has struggled as of late, lighting the lamp simply 12 instances in 2021. However, now he’s firmly planted in Columbus after shifting south from Winnipeg a few video games into final season. May this season see a rejuvenate Finn? This preseason aim could possibly be a great indicator.
28. Detroit Crimson Wings
Offseason energy rating: 28
MVP prediction: Alex Nedljkovic. Acquired through a commerce that nobody actually noticed coming, Nedeljkovic shall be backstopping a a lot completely different membership in Motown. Final season, the Hurricanes gave up 28.2 photographs per sport (tied for sixth-fewest) and the Crimson Wings gave up 31.9 (seventh-most). A finalist for the Calder Trophy in 2021, he’s nonetheless eligible in 2021-22.
SN PREDICTIONS: Stanley Cup | Calder | Vezina | Norris | Hart
29. Anaheim Geese
Offseason energy rating: 30
MVP prediction: Trevor Zegras. He is a star. Plain and easy. Final season he scored 13 factors in 24 NHL video games after main the USA to gold on the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with 18 factors in seven video games. Zegras is a man to be careful for within the Calder Trophy race.
30. Arizona Coyotes
Offseason energy rating: 31
MVP prediction: Jakob Chychrun. Arizona has a brand new bench boss in 2021 after they employed Hockey Canada’s Andre Tourigny within the offseason. He will not have a ton of expertise to work with however Chychrun is a younger star on the blue line. A robust contender to play for Canada on the Olympics, the 23-year-old posted a 52.8 CF% final season whereas additionally posting 1.9 points-per-60.
31. San Jose Sharks
Offseason energy rating: 29
MVP prediction: Kevin Labanc. There will not be a lot to be blissful about within the Bay Space. The Sharks did not do an entire lot within the offseason and this staff has struggled of late. New York Metropolis native Labanc ought to have a stable yr with a full slate of video games in entrance of him. He potted 28 factors (12 targets, 16 assists) in 55 video games final yr which was good for a 0.04 enhance in his points-per-game stats from 2019-20 to 2021 (0.47 to 0.51). Within the final 82-game season (2019-20), he posted career-highs with 17 targets and 56 factors.
MORE: Explaining the nice divide between Jack Eichel and the Sabres
32. Buffalo Sabres
Offseason energy rating: 32
MVP prediction: Dylan Cozens. After a freshman season that noticed him rating 13 factors in 41 video games, the centerman is predicted to get top-six minutes. He advised reporters after Tuesday’s preseason sport: “After an extended summer season, I believe I wish to are available and dominate immediately.” There is no motive to suppose the Yukon native will not. On the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship, he scored 16 factors (eight targets, eight assists) in seven video games for the silver-medal successful Canadians. Solely 4 gamers have scored extra on the match for Canada together with two Corridor of Famers (Wayne Gretzky) and Eric Lindros.
Analytics offered by Hockey Reference and Pure Stat Trick.
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