NHL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, plus the best new addition for every team

After another week of the 2021-22 NHL season, we’ve had more changes in the top 5 of the power rankings.

Here are our updated rankings of all 32 teams, plus the newcomer — either a free-agent signing, trade addition or rookie — that has made the biggest impact thus far for each club.

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 last week’s rankings, published on Oct. 27. Points percentages are through the games of Nov. 2.

Previous ranking: 1
Points percentage: 0.944
Upcoming schedule: vs. WSH (Nov. 4), vs. CAR (Nov. 6), @ NYR (Nov. 8), @ NJ (No. 9)

Sam Reinhart (UFA signing). Certainly, Reinhart needed a reset after seven seasons of rebuilding in Buffalo. Now he’s on a Panthers team so deep up front that the perennial 20-plus goal scorer has bounced successfully up and down Florida’s lineup. Through nine games, Reinhart sits fifth in team scoring with two goals and seven points, and looks to be picking up steam.

Previous ranking: 2
Points percentage: 1.000
Upcoming schedule: @ CHI (Nov. 3), @ FLA (Nov. 6), @ TB (Nov. 9)

Frederik Andersen (UFA signing). There was no sign of the usual October struggles for Andersen with Carolina. He opened the season 7-0-0, with a .956 save percentage and 1.29 goals-against average, leading the NHL in all three categories among starting netminders.

Previous ranking: 4
Points percentage: 0.857
Upcoming schedule: @ LA (Nov. 3), @ SJ (Nov. 4), @ ANA (Nov. 7), @ WPG (Nov. 9)

Klim Kostin (rookie). The Blues don’t have many news faces in their ranks this season, and technically Kostin has previously appeared in six NHL games. The 22-year-old is in the fold right away this season though, and he’s already earned a look on St. Louis’ top line. Kostin has registered two goals and three points in his first six games while leading the Blues in hits (21).

Previous ranking: 5
Points percentage: 0.722
Upcoming schedule: @ FLA (Nov. 4), vs. PHI (Nov. 6), vs. BUF (Nov. 8)

Connor McMichael, (rookie). Yes, McMichael did play one NHL game prior to this season. But with Nicklas Backstrom sidelined by a hip injury, McMichael has really become part of the Capitals’ lineup. Skating on Washington’s second line, the young pivot has done well offensively in creating scoring opportunities and firing pucks on net. And his 62.0 SAT% leads all Capitals. Now McMichael just need his defensive game to match what he can do up front.

Previous ranking: 9
Points percentage: 0.611
Upcoming schedule: @ TOR (Nov. 4), @ OTT (Nov. 6), vs. CAR (Nov. 9)

Alex Barre-Boulet (rookie). The saga Barre-Boulet has been through already earns him top addition honors for the Lightning. Barre-Boulet was waived by Tampa on Oct. 10 and claimed by Seattle, then waived again after two games with the Kraken, only to be re-claimed by the Lightning. He’s been mostly slotted on Tampa’s fourth line since, bringing good effort on the back check and collecting three points. That could lead to more opportunities ahead.

Previous ranking: 3
Points percentage: 0.875
Upcoming schedule: vs. NSH (Nov. 3), vs. NYR (Nov. 5), @ DET (Nov. 9)

Zach Hyman (UFA signing). Hyman has stepped seamlessly into Edmonton’s lineup, bringing his trademark work ethic and tenacious forechecking along from Toronto. The winger has been off to a hot start offensively with six goals in his first six games, while proving to be the great complement to Connor McDavid for whom the Oilers had been searching.

Previous ranking: 13
Points percentage: 0.778
Upcoming schedule: vs. DAL (Nov. 4), vs. NYR (Nov. 6), vs. SJ (Nov. 9)

Erik Gudbranson (UFA signing). While the Flames’ hot hands up front steal the spotlight, Gudbranson is quietly having a fine start on Calgary’s blue line. Playing primarily with Juuso Valimaki, Gudbranson has tallied three assists while his pairing with Valimaki has produced has a 52.0 scoring chances percentage, and 53.0% possession through seven games.

Previous ranking: 8
Points percentage: 0.700
Upcoming schedule: @ EDM (Nov. 5), @ CGY (Nov. 6), vs. FLA (Nov. 8)

Sammy Blais (trade with Blues). Blais makes his presence felt physically. He’s second to Ryan Reaves among Rangers in hits per 60 minutes (13.8) while averaging 2.87 blocked shots per 60, and adding three assists. Blais will battle it out in the corner for pucks and provide a spark for teammates, the type of intangible that the Rangers need more of as they establish an identity this season.

Previous ranking: 17
Points percentage: 0.500
Upcoming schedule: vs. CBJ (Nov. 3), @ CBJ (Nov. 6)

Bowen Byram (rookie). Technically Byram isn’t “new” to the Avalanche after appearing in 19 games last season. But this is the 20-year-old’s first season starting out in the NHL, and he’s taking full advantage. The young duo of Byram and Cale Makar is ahead 41-21 in scoring chances, and Byram leads Colorado in SAT% at 58.6.

Previous ranking: 14
Points percentage: 0.571
Upcoming schedule: @ MTL (Nov. 4), @ WPG (Nov. 6), @ MIN (Nov. 7)

Zach Parise (UFA signing). This was tough because the Islanders don’t have any prominent new players this season except Zdeno Chara and Parise. While Chara has looked every bit the 44-year-old defender that he is, Parise’s still showing he can contribute. The winger has yet to register a point in seven games, but he battles hard and appears to fit well in New York’s system. Perhaps there is more in the tank for him to give.

Previous ranking: 19
Points percentage: 0.611
Upcoming schedule: @ SEA (Nov. 4), vs. DET (Nov. 6), @ WSH (Nov. 8)

Vinnie Hinostroza (UFA signing). The Sabres wanted players to complement their young core, and Hinostroza is delivering in that role. He’s added one goal and three assists on the scoresheet through eight games, but Hinostroza’s primary value is in hard-working shifts, playing physically and adding some bite when Buffalo needs a boost.

Previous ranking: 16
Points percentage: 0.563
Upcoming schedule: @ LA (Nov. 5), @ SJ (Nov. 6), vs. FLA (Nov. 9)

Dougie Hamilton (UFA signing). Hamilton was the big fish in free agency last summer, and he’s caught right on with the Devils. He leads the team in average ice time (23:53 per game), is tied for the team lead in points (6) and is fifth amongst NHL defensemen with a 62.1 SAT%. And there’s the matter of New Jersey giving up the third fewest shots in the league (28.3 per game), something else attributable to a better blue line.

Previous ranking: 10
Points percentage: 0.571
Upcoming schedule: vs. DET (Nov. 4), @ TOR (Nov. 6), vs. OTT (Nov. 9)

Tomas Nosek (UFA signing). The Bruins have already lost Nick Foligno and Craig Smith to injuries this season, and its been Nosek stepping up to help fill the void. While his stats are nothing special (one goal and two points in seven games), coach Bruce Cassidy appreciates Nosek’s versatility. Calling him a “Swiss Army guy,” Cassidy has used Nosek everywhere from the fourth line to centering Taylor Hall and Charlie Coyle. The early returns have been good.

Previous ranking: 27
Points percentage: 0.444
Upcoming schedule: @ OTT (Nov. 4), @ MTL (Nov. 6), @ DET (Nov. 7), vs. SEA (Nov. 9)

Evgenii Dadonov (trade with Senators). It’s indicative of how few goals Vegas has scored this season that Dadonov’s two put him in a tie for second most on the team. Both goals were post-regulation game-winners by Dadonov, helping the Golden Knights to their first run of consecutive wins this season. Now with news that William Karlsson will join Max Pacioretty and Mark Stone on the sidelines with injury, Vegas will need Dadonov to keep pumping in the goals to stay afloat.

Previous ranking: 7
Points percentage: 0.500
Upcoming schedule: vs. PHI (Nov. 4), vs. MIN (Nov. 6), @ CHI (Nov. 9)

Danton Heinen (UFA signing). No Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin or Jeff Carter at various times, due to injuries? Enter Danton Heinen. The veteran has stepped up to lead Pittsburgh in goals (four) and points (six), while averaging just 14:13 in time on ice per game. And Heinen has a strong defensive game to match his offensive production, averaging 2.63 takeaways per 60 minutes, and 3.16 blocked shots per 60.

Previous ranking: 6
Points percentage: 0.667
Upcoming schedule: vs. STL (Nov. 4), vs. NJ (Nov. 6), @ CGY (Nov. 9)

Jonathan Dahlen (rookie). Logan Couture saw Dahlen skate before training camp and knew he wanted a chance to play with him. Dahlen’s start shows why. The 23-year-old has three goals in seven games, and his five points were fourth among Sharks prior to him being placed in COVID-19 protocol last week. But prior to that, Dahlen showed he likes shooting the puck, plays well at both ends of the ice and has strong playmaking potential.

Previous ranking: 20
Points percentage: 0.667
Upcoming schedule: vs. CHI (Nov. 5), vs. NYI (Nov. 6), vs. STL (Nov. 9)

Evgeny Svechnikov (UFA signing). Svechnikov signed a contract with the Jets’ American Hockey League affiliate in August. By the end of training camp, he was on an NHL deal. And his glow-up hasn’t stopped there; Svechnikov does the little things well, gets to the net often and has helped elevate linemate Pierre-Luc Dubois. Over time, you could see his current average ice time (11:47) begin to rise, and his stats (one goal, three points) keep inflating as well.

Previous ranking: 12
Points percentage: 0.688
Upcoming schedule: @ PIT (Nov. 4), @ WSH (Nov. 6)

Cam Atkinson (trade with Blue Jackets). Atkinson isn’t just the Flyers’ best new addition. He’s been just about their best player, period. So much so that coach Alain Vigneault recently bumped Atkinson to the team’s top power-play unit to reward his strong start. Atkinson is averaging a point per game, leads the Flyers in goals with six, and sits third with a 26.1% shooting percentage.

Previous ranking: 11
Points percentage: 0.667
Upcoming schedule: @ PIT (Nov. 6), vs. NYI (Nov. 7)

Brandon Duhaime (rookie). Minnesota has relied on its bottom six to contribute, and Duhaime has been a good part of that success. His speed pairs well on a line with Nick Bjugstad and Nico Sturm, and Duhaime is plus-24 in shot attempts differential. He has only one goal and three points to show for his efforts, but bringing a mix of strength, skill and overall tenacity will continue to serve the rookie well.

Previous ranking: 24
Points percentage: 0.550
Upcoming schedule: vs. TB (Nov. 4), vs. BOS (Nov. 6), vs. LA (Nov. 8)

Michael Bunting (UFA signing). Toronto is getting serious bang for its buck with Bunting. He took less (on a two-year, $1.9 million contract) to play for his hometown team, but has been among the team’s most consistent forwards. Versatile enough to play from the third to the first line, Bunting already has three goals and five points, just two shy of the team lead, and is fourth in hits per 60 minutes (7.05).

Previous ranking: 23
Points percentage: 0.625
Upcoming schedule: @ COL (Nov. 3), vs. COL (Nov. 6)

Jakub Voracek (trade with Flyers). Columbus acquired Voracek in large part to give Patrik Laine a boost and help the power play. So far, he’s done both. Voracek has seven assists on the season, five of which have come about with Laine, and he leads the Blue Jackets with five power-play points. The more comfortable Voracek becomes, the bigger presence he could have for Columbus.

Previous ranking: 15
Points percentage: 0.444
Upcoming schedule: @ CGY (Nov. 4), @ VAN (Nov. 7)

Braden Holtby (UFA signing). Only Arizona has scored fewer goals this season than Dallas (1.75 per game). That doesn’t leave Holtby much room for error, and he’s been up to the task. Holtby’s 2-3-0 record is supported by a .926 save percentage and 2.40 goals-against average, and he’s held the Stars in games that could have become lopsided. Holtby will need some better goal support to keep this up.

Previous ranking: 22
Points percentage: 0.500
Upcoming schedule: @ BOS (Nov. 4), @ BUF (Nov. 6), vs. VGK (Nov. 7), vs. EDM (Nov. 9)

Lucas Raymond (rookie). The Red Wings are off to their best start in years, and it’s been powered (in large part) by their top freshman. Raymond leads all NHL rookies in goals (four), 5-on-5 points (seven) and total points (nine) through nine games, and is second among rookie forwards in average ice time (16:07). And he has a flair for the dramatic too: Raymond has already scored his first NHL hat trick.

Previous ranking: 25
Points percentage: 0.389
Upcoming schedule: vs. STL (Nov. 3), vs. NJ (Nov. 5), @ TOR (Nov. 8), @ MTL (Nov. 9)

Phillip Danault (UFA signing). The Kings raised eyebrows in signing Danault to a massive six-year, $33 million contract, but so far, it’s working for them. L.A. already had a top-line center in Anze Kopitar and needed Danault for depth. He’s come in as the quintessential shutdown guy, producing stats that may look underwhelming (one goal and three points in nine games), but has a two-way game and suffocating forecheck that keeps L.A. on the puck.

Previous ranking: 18
Points percentage: 0.556
Upcoming schedule: @ EDM (Nov. 3), @ VAN (Nov. 5), @ CHI (Nov. 7)

Philip Tomasino (rookie). Tomasino has already battled some adversity this season, appearing in Nashville’s first game and then being scratched the next two. The 20-year-old has persevered since, and registered two goals and three points in six games while watching his ice time steadily increase to match the better efforts.

Previous ranking: 28
Points percentage: 0.500
Upcoming schedule: vs. ARI (Nov. 5), vs. STL (Nov. 7), @ VAN (Nov. 9)

Trevor Zegras (rookie). Zegras isn’t brand new to the Ducks’ lineup this season, having joined them midway through last season and appearing in 24 games. This is Zegras’ first season starting in the NHL though, and the 20-year-old is starting to hit his stride with four points in his last four games. He also paces NHL rookie forwards in average ice time (17:16).

Previous ranking: 26
Points percentage: 0.375
Upcoming schedule: vs. VGK (Nov. 4), vs. TB (Nov. 6), @ BOS (Nov. 9)

Tyler Ennis (PTO signing). Ennis earned his second go-around in Ottawa with a strong professional tryout performance. And as the Senators ran deep into early injury trouble, Ennis grabbed hold of more opportunity. He’s third among Senators in points-per-game rate (0.63) and has carved out a significant role on Ottawa’s power play, which has been ranked top 10 in the NHL for much of the season.

Previous ranking: 29
Points percentage: 0.350
Upcoming schedule: vs. BUF (Nov. 4), @ ARI (Nov. 6), @ VGK (Nov. 9)

Yanni Gourde (expansion draft). Everyone is new to Seattle this season, and several players are carving out important roles. Gourde has specifically stood out. While Jared McCann leads the way with seven points for the Kraken, Gourde is getting under opponents’ skin, making Seattle tough to play against and adding to the scoresheet with one goal and four points in five games.

Previous ranking: 21
Points percentage: 0.450
Upcoming schedule: vs. NSH (Nov. 5), vs. DAL (Nov. 7), vs. ANA (Nov. 9)

Conor Garland (trade with Coyotes). As if the Coyotes don’t have it bad enough this season, the player whose restricted free agent rights they traded away has begun to blossom. Garland set a franchise record with his six-game point streak to open the season, and sits second on the Canucks in goals (three) and points (eight), seven of which came at 5-on-5. He’s not afraid to get in the dirty areas either, and the chemistry Garland has with frequent linemate Bo Horvat only continues to grow.

Previous ranking: 30
Points percentage: 0.273
Upcoming schedule: vs. NYI (Nov. 4), vs. VGK (Nov. 6), vs. LA (Nov. 9)

Mike Hoffman (UFA signing). An injury held Hoffman out of Montreal’s first three games, but he’s made up for lost time. In fact, he’s been one of the few positives for the Candiens in a season rapidly going off the rails. Hoffman has four goals in seven games so far and leads Montreal with a 33.3% shooting percentage. Hoffman will have to keep firing in the net to lift Montreal out of its early funk.

Previous ranking: 31
Points percentage: 0.200
Upcoming schedule: vs. CAR (Nov. 3), @ WPG (Nov. 5), vs. NSH (Nov. 7), vs. PIT (Nov. 9)

Seth Jones (trade with Blue Jackets). It would be wrong to say Jones has had a great start in Chicago. But he’s still their best newcomer. The blueliner leads the Blackhawks in average ice time (25:46 per game), is second in points (eight) and has the most shots on net (33). Jones hasn’t scored a goal himself yet, but was a factor in Chicago’s first win of the season this week.

Previous ranking: 32
Points percentage: 0.050
Upcoming schedule: @ ANA (Nov. 5), vs. SEA (Nov. 6)

Shayne Gostisbehere (trade with Flyers). The winless Coyotes haven’t had many bright spots this season. Gostisbehere might be the closest thing to one. He paces Arizona in points, with five assists, and is third on the team in average ice time (19:36 per game).

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