NHL Power Rankings: Where things stand after NHL trade deadline

In this week’s edition of the NHL Power Rankings we will be taking a look at where things stand in the league after the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday.

Try to look at it as a mixture of where teams are in the standings, how they are currently playing, and what their rosters look like after the additions and subtractions they’ve made.

The Avalanche hold on to the top spot, with the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning right behind them.

Where does your team rank?

To this week’s NHL Power Rankings!

1. Colorado Avalanche. Already had what is arguably the best roster in the league. Carl Soderberg is a decent depth addition and Devan Dubnyk addresses the backup goalie situation. He may not be the player he was, but he is an upgrade over Hunter Miska and Jonas Johansson.

2. Tampa Bay Lightning. Creative work by Julien BriseBois to get David Savard at a quarter of his salary cap rate. Another strong deadline move for the second year in a row.

3. Carolina Hurricanes. A mostly quiet deadline but the Hurricanes did not need much. An outstanding team playing at an extremely high level this season.

4. Vegas Golden Knights. They did not make the big blockbuster move they have have been accustomed to making but Mattias Janmark can bring some offense to their bottom six.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs. Playing great hockey right now and they added some nice depth pieces in Nick Foligno and David Rittich. Not many weaknesses in that forward group with Foligno in the mix.

6. Washington Capitals. They paid a steep price for Anthony Mantha but he is a perfect fit for the Capitals style of play. He is also signed long-term, meaning the trade should save them salary cap space over the next two years as Jakub Vrana was due for a significant raise this offseason.

[Related: Mantha makes Capitals even bigger]

7. Pittsburgh Penguins. Jeff Carter gives Mike Sullivan a lot of lineup flexibility and options to work with. He can play wing, he can be the third line center, and he did not cost them much of anything.

8. New York Islanders. Kyle Palmieri is a great Anders Lee replacement. Maybe not the same type of player exactly, but a really good fit for the way the Islanders play.

9. Florida Panthers. There is nothing wrong with adding Brandon Montour or Sam Bennett, but given the salary cap space and their success this season I would have liked to have seen them go for a bigger score. Still an excellent team.

10. Boston Bruins. The expectations for Taylor Hall right now are as low as they have ever been, which explains the low price to acquiring him. I am expecting a big stretch run from him in a better situation.

11. Minnesota Wild. Bill Guerin and the Wild are rolling with the roster they have. The good news is it is a pretty good roster.

12. Winnipeg Jets. I am not sure Jordie Benn is enough of an upgrade to the defense to give them a chance against a team like Toronto in the playoffs. Or Connor McDavid.

13. Nashville Predators. Their recent surge took them out of the sellers market, but it did not really put them into the buyer market, either. Erik Gudbranson keeps changing teams for a reason.

14. Edmonton Oilers. Ken Holland’s comment about not being able to go all in every year just does not work for me. When you have Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl every year is an all in year.

15. Montreal Canadiens. Erik Gustafsson and Jon Merril give them a lot of bodies on defense, but it is debatable as to how much better it makes them. Eric Staal will be the player that makes or breaks the deadline for them. Besides their biggest addition to the lineup could be Cole Caufield.

[ProHockeyTalk’s 2021 NHL Trade Tracker]

16. St. Louis Blues. The Blues are banking on the idea that the roster they have can turn it around. Given their schedule that is going to be a challenge. If they do, they will have earned it.

17. New York Rangers. Other than trading Brendan Lemieux the Rangers stayed quiet. That is okay though because trading him opened the roster spot for Vitali Kravtsov.

18. Philadelphia Flyers. Scott Laughton is a nice player, but a five-year term for a third-liner is always risky.

19. Dallas Stars. Injuries and COVID have played havoc on their season. Their biggest advantage for the stretch run is the games in hand. But they have to win.

20. Chicago Blackhawks. They had a decent trade deadline in terms of collecting assets and some future picks, but it is hard to say they are better in the short-term for a playoff push.

21. Arizona Coyotes. They have the scheduling edge over St. Louis and San Jose in that playoff race. Can they take advantage of it?

22. San Jose Sharks. I don’t know that trading Devan Dubnyk hurts their playoff chances, but they also did not really do anything to improve them. Smart move to buy an extra draft pick in the Mattias Janmark trade.

23. Calgary Flames. Their trade deadline activity indicates they have thrown in the towel on this season. For good reason.

24. Vancouver Canucks. Not much to judge here lately. The most important thing is everybody being healthy. The trade deadline activity does not really impact the short-term or long-term outlook. The Tanner Pearson re-signing, though, is a curious move.

[Related: Winners And Losers Of The 2021 NHL Trade Deadline]

25. Los Angeles Kings. They could get hit pretty hard on cap recapture penalties if Jeff Carter retires after this season, but they have cap space to work with and picked up a couple of future assets. Re-signing Alex Iafallo is a nice move as he should fit in with their short-term future.

26. Columbus Blue Jackets. Getting two first-round picks for Nick Foligno and David Savard is great asset management. That is promising for the future. The remaining roster for this season is significantly weaker.

27. Detroit Red Wings. If they were going to trade Anthony Mantha, they managed to get a great return for him.

28. New Jersey Devils. They lost a lot from this current roster but Jack Hughes looks more and more like a star every game. So they have that going for them.

29. Ottawa Senators. The only thing that matters here is just continuing to see the young players develop.

30. Anaheim Ducks. They still seem to be stuck in that no-man’s land of needing to rebuild without fully committing to it.

31. Buffalo Sabres. They have played a lot better since the coaching change, but this is still a team that is way too far away from seriously contending.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

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    NHL top prospect Connor Bedard draws comparisons to Connor McDavid as draft approaches

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    Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — The NHL is going to have another Connor to contend with very shortly.

    For everything two-time NHL MVP Connor McDavid has accomplished in Edmonton since being selected No. 1 in the 2015 draft, Connor Bedard is on the same trajectory in being pegged as this year’s top eligible draft prospect, Central Scouting director Dan Marr said Friday.

    “He’s right up there with Connor McDavid, it’s just the next generation,” Marr said in touting Bedard’s quickness, shot and ability to read and adapt. “So Connor McDavid started that trend, and Connor Bedard is going to lead it into the next trend.”

    The annual NHL pre-draft combine in Buffalo, New York, is resembling more of a coronation for the 17-year-old Bedard, who has spent the past two years putting up generational numbers with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League while also shining against his peers on the international stage.

    “I think you can use a lot of adjectives to describe it,” Regina coach John Paddock told The Associated Press recently in comparing Bedard’s production at the same age level to McDavid and Penguins captain Sidney Crosby.

    “That’s quite a high ceiling,” said Paddock, a former NHL coach and player. “But there’s no indication he’s not going to do that based on what he’s done to date.”

    The Chicago Blackhawks own the No. 1 pick, and are highly anticipated to use it on Bedard when the draft opens in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 28.

    Bedard held his latest meeting with the Blackhawks at the combine in a relationship that began at a top-prospects camp in Toronto last summer.

    Bedard’s arrival would coincide with the franchise in transition, with Chicago moving on from its aging core after trading 2007 No. 1 pick, Patrick Kane, and with captain Jonathan Toews’ future uncertain.

    “Yeah, it’d be awesome,” Bedard said of the possibility of being selected by the Blackhawks. “The history of that organization, that city with sports would be unbelievable. We’ll see what happens, but to be selected, that would be a huge honor.”

    Bedard said he’s following McDavid’s advice to stay in the moment and not peak too far ahead. He added, his dream to play in the NHL began no different than those of his colleagues: the moment he picked up a hockey stick growing up in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

    What separates Bedard, however, is his exceptional skating ability and a hard shot, which is even more lethal given his quick release.

    With Bedard the likely top pick, the intrigue at the draft is likely to revolve around who rounds out the remainder of the top five selections.

    University of Michigan’s Adam Fantilli is second among North American skaters on Central Scouting’s final list, followed by top American prospect, William Smith, who played for USA Hockey’s developmental program. The top two European skaters are also considered in the mix with Sweden’s Leo Carlsson and Russia’s Matvei Michkov.

    Anaheim is scheduled to pick second followed by Columbus, San Jose and Montreal.

    Marr gives the edge to Bedard while also being impressed with Fantilli – just the third freshman to win the Hobey Baker Trophy awarded to college hockey’s top players – in a draft class considered very deep with offensive-minded forwards.

    “You’re going to win with both,” Marr said. “And whoever gets these two players they’re going to help define a franchise.”

    What distinguishes Bedard, who doesn’t turn 18 until next month, has been his consistency.

    Last season, his 71 goals in just 57 games were the most in the WHL since Pavel Brendl scored 73 in 1998-99. Bedard’s 143 points were the most in the CHL since three players topped that mark in 1995-96. And it was a season in which he enjoyed 10 games with five or more points, and just five games in which he failed to register a point.

    In 2020-21, Bedard became just the third WHL 16-year-old to reach 100 points, and was the youngest to score 50 goals in finishing with 51.

    He’s also made a splash on the international stage. Bedard led Canada with nine goals and 23 points at the world juniors last winter, and his combined production of 17 goals and 36 points in just 16 games ranks fourth on the career tournament list.

    Bedard has honed his talent by spending countless hours practicing shots in his backyard, which he referred to as his “Happy Place.” He was so dedicated to work on his shot that he preferred practicing than joining his family for a vacation to Disneyland, and eventually vacationed in Hawaii but only after he was allowed to bring his inline skates and sticks to practice.

    Noted for being soft-spoken, Bedard said he’s not yet allowed himself to envision being drafted or making his NHL debut yet.

    “It’s hard kind of think of that. But of course, I’ll work as hard as I can to try to achieve that goal,” he said. “And hopefully I do.”

    Blue Jackets acquire D Damon Severson from Devils after he signs 8-year deal

    blue jackets
    Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

    The Columbus Blue Jackets acquired Damon Severson from the New Jersey Devils on Friday after the veteran defenseman and soon-to-be free agent signed an eight-year $50 million contract.

    Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen sent a third-round pick, 80th overall, in this month’s draft to the Devils for Severson, who will be under contract through the 2030-31 NHL season.

    Severson had 58 goals and 205 assists in 647 career appearances with the Devils since making his NHL debut in 2014-15. He scored seven game-winning goals and averaged more than 21 minutes of playing time during his nine seasons. The 28-year-old had seven goals and 26 assists this season, including two game-winning goals, in 81 games.

    “Damon is a versatile defenseman who has great vision, moves the puck extremely well, has good size and can play heavy minutes at both ends of the ice,” Kekalainen said.

    The Canadian was selected in the second round in the 2012 draft. He has collected 30 or more points five times in his career and twice notched 11 or more goals. He played in every game in three straight seasons from 2018-21 and has played 80 or more contests four times in his career.

    With the addition of the third-round pick, New Jersey now has six selections in the draft, including its own picks in rounds two, four, five, six and seven.

    Matthew Tkachuk returns from big hit in Stanley Cup Final, adds more playoff heroics

    James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
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    Matthew Tkachuk was down, out briefly and then back with plenty of time to make a difference.

    The Florida Panthers star left early in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final after a big hit from Vegas Golden Knights forward Keegan Kolesar, and he missed most of the first period and didn’t return immediately following intermission while being evaluated for a concussion. After looking as if he might be lost for the night, Tkachuk returned in the second and then came through with more of his now trademark playoff heroics.

    Tkachuk scored the tying goal with 2:13 left in regulation, forcing overtime and giving the Panthers new life. He then provided the screen on Carter Verhaeghe‘s OT goal for a 3-2 victory that cut Florida’s series deficit to 2-1.

    The 25-year-old said he knew he was coming back when he left the game, pulled by concussion spotters. That absence felt like a long time ago in the aftermath of another big win he was largely responsible for.

    “I felt great – I feel great,” Tkachuk said. “I’m ready to go. Everybody’s excited that we’re in this position right now.”

    Florida is in this position rather than facing elimination in Game 4 on Saturday thanks in large part to Tkachuk, who also set up Brandon Montour‘s goal that opened the scoring less than five minutes in.

    Not long after, Tkachuk stumbled getting up after the hit from Kolesar and skated to the bench. He took a shift on Florida’s power play before going down the tunnel at the demand of concussion spotters mandated by NHL protocol.

    At that point, there was zero clarity, even on the Florida bench.

    “You’re not informed at all: It’s a complete shutdown,” coach Paul Maurice said. “You are completely in the dark on those. You don’t know when the player’s coming back. There’s not an update.”

    Players insist they were not worried. Montour called it a no-brainer.

    “He’s going to come back no matter what,” captain Aleksander Barkov said. “He’s really tough guy, and he’s going to battle through everything.”

    Tkachuk rejoined his teammates on the bench a few minutes into the second. When he stepped back onto the ice for his first shift since leaving, fans cheered and chanted, “Chucky! Chucky!”

    The crowd was even louder and threw rats when Tkachuk scored his biggest goal of many during this run to tie it. He didn’t get an assist on Verhaeghe’s goal but made it happen with a tape-to-tape pass in the neutral zone and was in front of Adin Hill when it happened.

    Asked if he was happy Tkachuk returned, Maurice joked that it was after midnight.

    “It was fine,” he quipped.

    Panthers rally, top Golden Knights 3-2 in OT of Game 3 of Stanley Cup final

    stanley cup final
    Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports

    SUNRISE, Fla. — Carter Verhaeghe scored 4:27 into overtime and the Florida Panthers pulled off some more postseason dramatics to beat the Vegas Golden Knights 3-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Thursday night.

    Matthew Tkachuk tied it with 2:13 left in the third period for the Panthers, who got the franchise’s first title-series game win in seven tries. Florida had to fend off a power play to start overtime, and Verhaeghe got the winner from the slot to get the Panthers within 2-1 in the series.

    Game 4 is Saturday night.

    Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 shots for Florida. Adin Hill made 20 saves for Vegas, but got beat on the only shot that came his way in overtime.

    Brandon Montour also scored for Florida, which pulled Bobrovsky down 2-1 late in the third for the extra attacker and Tkachuk — who left for parts of the first and second periods after taking a big hit — made that move pay off when he tied the game.

    His goal breathed life into a very nervous building. But the Panthers were furious — and replays showed they had a case — when Gustav Forsling was sent to the box with 11.2 seconds remaining for tripping. Florida survived that scare, and a few minutes later, had life in the series again.

    The odds are still long, but the Panthers at least have a bit more statistical hope now. Of the previous 55 teams to trail 2-1 at this point of the Stanley Cup Final, 11 have actually rallied to hoist the trophy.

    It’s improbable, sure. So are the Panthers, who were the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, were down 3-1 to Boston in Round 1, were 133 seconds away from trailing this series 3-0 — and now have tons of reasons for optimism.

    Jonathan Marchessault and Mark Stone each had power-play goals for Vegas.

    Marchessault’s goal was his 13th in his last 13 playoff games, his fourth of this series and his third with the man advantage.

    As if all that wasn’t enough, there was a little history in there as well. Vegas joined the 1980 New York Islanders as the only team with at least two power-play goals in three consecutive games in the Cup final. And Marchessault became the third player in the last 35 years to score in each of the first three games of a title series — joining Steve Yzerman in 1997 with Detroit and Jake Guentzel with Pittsburgh in 2017.

    But it wasn’t enough to give Vegas a 3-0 lead in the series.


    Before Thursday, Florida’s last home game in the title series was June 10, 1996, when Uwe Krupp scored in the third overtime for a 1-0 win as Colorado finished off a four-game sweep of the Panthers for the Cup. … Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was in the crowd, as was NBA great Charles Barkley, and former Dolphins star Dan Marino was the celebrity drummer to welcome the Panthers onto the ice.