NHL Power Rankings: The Bottom Feeders (31-25)

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As promised, it’s time for my first edition of NHL power rankings! For this series, I researched each and every team in the NHL, evaluated and analyzed their projected roster and lineups, and ranked them! I have been working on these for a long time now, so I apologize if any roster or lineup isn’t 100% accurate (it’s pretty difficult over time). There isn’t a set number of teams that will be in each part of the series, but for part one, I’m going to put all of the projected “bottom-feeders” together. Let’s get into it!

Part One: The Bottom Feeders (31-25)

 

  1. Ottawa Senators

Projected lineup:

Boedker (15-22-37)-Duchene (27-32-59)-Stone (20-42-62)

Dzingel (23-18-41)-Tierney (17-23-40)-Ryan (11-22-33)

Gaborik (11-10-21)-Brown (0-1-1)-White (2-4-6)

Paajarvi (6-2-8)/Chlapik (1-3-4)-Smith (5-14-19)/Paul (1-0-1)-Pyatt (7-15-22)

 

Chabot (9-16-25)-Ceci (5-14-19)

Harpur (0-1-1)/Wolanin (1-2-3)-DeMelo (0-20-20)

Borowiecki (3-8-11)-Wideman (3-5-8)

 

Anderson (23-25-6 record, 3.32 GAA, .898 SV%, 2 shutouts)

Condon (5-17-5 record, 3.25 GAA, .902 SV%, 0 shutouts)

 

Overview: Yikes. You could have put a picture of a dumpster fire here and it wouldn’t have begun to describe the situation in Ottawa. Matt Duchene and Mark Stone are bright spots on offense, and Brady Tkachuk, Logan Brown, and Colin White could be solid young players, but the rest is just bad. Boedker isn’t a top six winger nowadays. Bobby Ryan isn’t much of anything, especially with his contract. The defense is a hot mess, even before the Senators traded away Erik Karlsson. They have no true top defender, and honestly, the only guy who should truly be playing in a top four role is Chabot. The goaltending is pretty awful as well. Craig Anderson was good a couple of years ago, but he was bad last year and I’m not sure how much he’ll improve with that team in front of him. Mike Condon is a below average backup as well, so there is no relief there. Overall, the team is bad and only looks to get worse. Stone and Duchene hit unrestricted free agency after the season, so yeah, buckle up Ottawa, and reports have it that Mark Stone no longer wants to be a Senator. You might think that they’ll have a good draft pick to look forward to, but nope! It’s going to Colorado. All I can do now is laugh. Ottawa is the clear bottom team. Both now and in the future.

  1. Montreal Canadiens

Projected lineup:

Tatar (20-14-34)-Drouin (13-33-46)-Gallagher (31-23-54)

Domi (9-36-45)-Danault (8-17-25)-Lehkonen (12-9-21)

De La Rose (4-8-12)-Peca (2-3-5)-Hudon(10-20-30)

Deslauriers (10-4-14)/Scherbak (4-2-6)-Plekanec (6-20-26)-Armia (12-17-29)

 

Alzner (1-11-12)-Petry (12-30-42)

Schlemko (1-4-5)-Juulsen (1-2-3)

Mete (0-7-7)-Benn (4-11-15)

 

Price (16-26-7 record, 3.11 GAA, .900 SV%, 1 shutout)

Niemi (7-9-4 record, 3.11 GAA, .911 SV%, 1 shutout)

 

Overview: Montreal looks bad. Andrew Shaw, Shea Weber, and Paul Byron all remain out after serious injuries and look doubtful for the start of the season. As the lineup looks now, there are more holes than there are strengths. Drouin is solid, and Domi and Gallagher should be solid pieces, but the depth in the forward lineup is poor. If someone like Drouin gets hurt or struggles, this team is going to be awful. Moving Pacioretty is a move that makes the team worse right now, although Montreal wins the trade long term. Tatar could bounce back, though, and help out that top six. The defense is also pretty bad without Weber. Even with Weber it’s not good. There really isn’t much more to say about it. Carey Price is one of the NHL’s elite goalies when healthy, but can he actually stay healthy? Even when he was on the ice last year he was not his usual form. It looks to be a rough season shaking out in Montreal, but if the team can get players back from injury and avoid other major injuries, they might not be at the VERY bottom.

 

  1. New York Islanders

Projected lineup:

Beauvillier (21-15-36)-Barzal (22-63-85)-Eberle (25-34-59)

Lee (40-22-62)-Nelson (19-16-35)-Bailey (18-53-71)

Ladd (12-17-29)-Filppula (11-22-33)/Kovar (N/A)-Ho Sang (2-10-12)

Komarov (7-12-19)-Cizikas (7-10-17)-Clutterbuck (8-10-18)

 

Leddy (10-32-42)-Boychuk (6-12-18)

Hickey (5-20-25)-Pulock (10-22-32)

Aho (1-3-4)/Mayfield (2-10-12)-Pelech (3-16-19)

 

Lehner (14-26-9 record, 2.99 GAA, .909 SV%, 3 shutouts)

Greiss (13-8-2 record, 3.82 GAA, .892 SV%, 1 shutout)

 

Overview: The Islanders might be in for a rough season. Losing star John Tavares is going to be a massive blow, although Matthew Barzal is a special player and is ready to be the number one center here. The top six still isn’t that bad, although they could use an upgrade at center, obviously. The bottom six is pretty bad, and some of those contracts are beyond awful. Losing de Haan on defense will also hurt. That group just isn’t all that good. I like Leddy, but all around there are concerns about the defense’s ability to play, well, defense. The goaltending situation is again bad, although Lehner should be an upgrade on Halak. I don’t think this team is going to be as bad as many seem to expect them to, but I definitely don’t expect the playoffs. Don’t expect the Islanders to be on Ottawa levels of bad, but they won’t be good enough to contend for a playoff berth.

 

 

  1. Vancouver Canucks

Projected lineup:

Eriksson (10-13-23)-Horvat (22-22-44)-Boeser (29-26-55)

Baertschi (14-15-29)-Pettersson (N/A)-Goldobin (8-6-14)

Leipsic (5-17-22)/Roussell (5-12-17)-Sutter (11-15-26)-Gagner (10-21-31)

Dahlen (N/A)/Schaller (12-10-22)-Beagle (7-15-22)-Virtanen (10-10-20)

 

Del Zotto (6-16-22)-Gudbranson (2-3-5)

Edler (6-28-34)-Stecher (1-10-11)

Hutton (0-6-6)-Tanev (2-9-11)/Pouliot(3-19-22)

 

Markstrom (23-26-7 record, 2.71 GAA, .912 SV%, 2 shutouts)

Nilsson (7-14-4 record, 3.44 GAA, .901 SV%, 2 shutouts)

 

Overview: Vancouver’s roster looks pretty rough. Sorry, extremely rough. Other than Brock Boeser and Bo Horvat, the Canucks have zero proven top six NHL forwards on their roster. Sure, Elias Pettersson is going to be an electric player in this league, but there might be an adjustment period for him and with the roster looking the way it is, he might be relied on too heavily. The entire forward group beyond a few players is just old and washed up. Also, Eriksson is dealing with an injury. The defense is shaky as well. I like Ben Hutton, and Edler isn’t too bad, but that’s literally it. Del Zotto, Gudbranson, and Tanev are all mediocre at this point, but I will say that Stecher is a solid young defender to have around. Markstrom and Nilsson are okay as the two goalies, but I’m not convinced that Markstrom is really capable of being a starting goalie in the NHL. To give them credit, I will say that Vancouver has a top three farm system in the NHL, so the future is bright. But, for now, there is going to be some rough hockey being played in Vancouver. Don’t expect playoffs, but if there’s that one team that is supposed to be really bad but somehow sneaks their way into playoff contention, it’s always the Canucks.

 

 

  1. Detroit Red Wings

Projected lineup:

Nyquist (21-19-40)-Larkin (16-47-63)-Mantha (24-24-48)

Vanek (24-32-56)-Nielsen (16-17-33)-Zadina (N/A)/Svechnikov (2-2-4)

Bertuzzi (7-17-24)-Athanasiou (16-17-33)-Frk (11-14-25)/ Rasmussen (N/A)

Abdelkader (13-22-35)-Glendening (11-8-19)-Helm (13-18-31)

 

Ericsson (3-10-13)-Green (8-25-33)

Kronwall (4-23-27)-Daley (9-7-16)

DeKeyser (6-6-12)-Jensen (0-15-15)/Hronek (N/A)

 

Howard (22-27-9 record, 2.85 GAA, .910 SV%, 1 shutout)

Bernier (19-13-3 record, 2.85 GAA, .913 SV%, 2 shutouts)

 

Overview: The Red Wings finished 5th in the Atlantic Division last season, but they still missed the playoffs by 24 points. Detroit’s roster isn’t great, but I also don’t think it’s quite as bad as everybody thinks it is. I like the top six outside of Nielsen, although it’s not going to be good enough to make the playoffs. Youngsters Zadina, Svechnikov, and Rasmussen could be question marks if any of them crack the roster, but I don’t expect many troubles from them, especially Zadina. However, their transitions to the NHL would’ve been easier with someone like Zetterberg playing with them. The defense looks very bad, with an iffy Mike Green as the top defenseman. The goalies could be better as well, but you can’t really blame them when you have that defense in front of them. I definitely don’t expect this team to sniff the playoffs, and I don’t think they will until they fix the defense. Losing Zetterberg is going to be a huge blow, and he alone could get this team out the basement at the very least. The young talent on offense is what ranks the Red Wings ahead of the previous four teams.

 

 

  1. New York Rangers

Projected lineup:

Kreider (16-21-37)-Zibanejad (27-20-47)-Zuccarello (16-37-53)

Spooner (13-28-41)-Namestnikov (22-26-48)-Buchnevich (14-29-43)

Vesey (17-11-28)-Hayes (25-19-44)-Fast (13-20-33)

Howden (N/A)/Meskanen (N/A)-Andersson (1-1-2)/Holland (1-3-4)-Chytil (1-2-3)/McLeod (1-3-4)

 

Skjei (4-21-25)-Shattenkirk (5-18-23)

Staal (1-7-8)-DeAngelo (0-8-8)

Smith (1-7-8)/Gilmour (2-3-5)-Pionk (1-13-14)

 

Lundqvist (26-26-7 record, 2.98 GAA, .915 SV%, 2 shutouts)

Georgiev (4-4-1 record, 3.15 GAA, .918 SV%, 0 shutouts)

 

Overview: The Rangers’ offense actually doesn’t look terrible. The top six as is surprisingly looks somewhat decent. That could get even better if youngsters Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil can impress at the NHL level. The top nine as a whole is solid, but the depth beyond the current NHL roster is a bit iffy. The defense is flat out awful. Skjei and Shattenkirk are fine, but they don’t have another defenseman capable of playing meaningful NHL minutes on the roster. And with an aging goalie in Henrik Lundqvist, that spells trouble. If things come together, I like the Rangers’ ability to score goals. The defense is going to be what loses them games. They probably need to add two or three NHL defenseman to the roster before they can be serious about contending. Lundqvist deserves to be a winner, but I can’t see that being in New York. Like the Islanders, I don’t expect this team to be great, but I also don’t think they’ll be as terrible as some people seem to project them to be. But, for now, the Rangers are a rebuilding team with some unproven players stepping into potentially major roles. They have a case to be right above the “bottom-feeders” division, but for now, they’re rightfully stuck there.

 

 

  1. Edmonton Oilers

Projected lineup:

Nugent Hopkins (24-24-48)-McDavid (41-67-108)-Puljujarvi (12-8-20)

Lucic (10-24-34)-Draisaitl (25-45-70)-Rattie (5-4-9)

Rieder (12-13-25)-Strome (13-21-34)-Caggiula (13-7-20)

Aberg (4-12-16)/Khaira (11-20-21)-Brodziak (10-23-33)-Kassian (7-12-19)

 

Nurse (6-20-26)-Larsson (4-9-13)

Klefbom (5-16-21)-Benning (6-15-21)

Jerabek (2-6-8)/Gravel (0-3-3)-Russell (4-17-21)

 

Talbot (31-31-3 record, 3.02 GAA, .908 SV%, 1 shutout)

Koskinen (N/A)

 

Overview: It’s hard to say that the Oilers won’t be good since they have the best player in the NHL in Connor McDavid. But the supporting cast just isn’t there. Nugent-Hopkins and Draisaitl are nice supporting pieces, but in an ideal world in Edmonton, they’d all play center and you would have the best group of top three centers in the NHL. The wingers on this team are either bad or unproven. The team needs to surround their star players with talent, but they’ve chosen to surround them with grit and mediocre talent instead. The defense isn’t much better, especially after losing Andrej Sekera to a season ending injury for the second year in a row. Klefbom is a solid guy to have in your top four, but he’s going to be relied on more than he should have to be. Nurse has had an up and down pro career, but I think he’s finally proving that he should be on the NHL roster. Larsson and Benning are just okay, and Russell isn’t very good defensively. Cam Talbot is a good goalie, but his numbers suffer due to bad defense and not having a backup to relieve him during the season. This year, the Oilers have Mikko Koskinen, who had a SV% north of .930 in the KHL last season. He might not be the sexy choice, but I think he might finally give the Oilers the backup they’ve been looking for. I don’t think this team is a playoff team, or really that close to being one, but you never know when you have Connor McDavid.

 

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