With more than a week since the 2021-22 NHL trade deadline, it’s given us a small taste of all the traded players suiting up for their new teams — for better or worse.
For this week’s Power Rankings, we’ve added notes on how the players acquired this trade season have performed in this way-too-early timeframe.
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 the last edition, published on March 23. Points paces are through Tuesday’s games.
1. Colorado Avalanche
Previous ranking: 1
Points percentage: 0.742
Next seven days: vs. SJ (March 31), vs. PIT (Apr. 2), @ PIT (Apr. 5)
The Artturi Lehkonen era in Colorado has been delayed by visa paperwork, so a full appraisal of his impact will have to wait. We do know that Josh Manson’s transition to the Avalanche’s blue line has been rocky, including some big plays coughed up at untimely moments. Fortunately, there’s runway left to get the rhythm right. What is working? Nico Sturm, carving out a nice role in the bottom six.
2. Carolina Hurricanes
Previous ranking: 5
Points percentage: 0.720
Next seven days: vs. MTL (March 31), vs. MIN (Apr. 2), @ BUF (Apr. 5)
Max Domi has been an ideal addition for the Hurricanes. He’s got the skill to play with their forward group, but he’s dogged, physical and biting. A late hit on Carolina rookie Seth Jarvis last Saturday drew Domi right into the fray, and he followed it up with an assist for his first point in red and black. Looking like a home run.
3. Calgary Flames
Previous ranking: 4
Points percentage: 0.677
Next seven days: vs. LA (March 31), vs. STL (Apr. 2), @ LA (Apr. 4)
The Flames hopped on that Tyler Toffoli trade early in February, and he’s been huge, notching eight goals and 17 points in his first 20 games. Calle Jarnkrok has basically been Darryl Sutter’s dream player, so versatile, infuriating, and skilled that he fits in perfectly, while also adding some grit that Calgary needs for playoffs.
4. Florida Panthers
Previous ranking: 2
Points percentage: 0.723
Next seven days: vs. CHI (March 31), @ NJ (Apr. 2), @ BUF (Apr. 3), vs. TOR (Apr. 5)
The Claude Giroux era in Florida is off to a swimming start. Giroux has been on the Panthers’ top line, potted four assists in his first three games, and is great in the face-off dot. Ben Chiarot has been less tantalizing — he was minus-two in Florida’s overtime win against Ottawa on Saturday — but not terrible. Do the Panthers know exactly how he’s going to fit, though? Specifically on special teams? TBD.
5. New York Rangers
Previous ranking: 3
Points percentage: 0.674
Next seven days: @ DET (March 30), vs. NYI (Apr. 1), vs. PHI (Apr. 3), @ NJ (Apr. 5)
So far, so good for the Rangers’ new guys. Andrew Copp notched a goal and five points in his first three games, and Tyler Motte has been a tenacious addition up front and on New York’s penalty kill. Justin Braun is in and out on the back end thus far, but given the veteran’s age (35) and experience, he might shine brightest come playoffs anyway.
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
Previous ranking: 7
Points percentage: 0.672
Next seven days: @ MIN (March 31), @ COL (Apr. 2), vs. COL (Apr. 5)
Panic in Pittsburgh! Rickard Rakell went pointless through his first three games with the Penguins. Trade bust? As if. Rakell took his time getting settled, and then grabbed a goal and two assists in Pittsburgh’s rout of Detroit. The Penguins acquired Rakell to make them deeper offensively, and that’s exactly what he’ll continue doing.
7. Tampa Bay Lightning
Previous ranking: 6
Points percentage: 0.677
Next seven days: vs. CHI (Apr. 1), vs. MTL (Apr. 2), vs. TOR (Apr. 4)
Considering what Tampa paid for Brandon Hagel (it was two first-round picks and two roster players, if you forgot), the expectations for immediate return on the investment were high. And probably unrealistic. Hagel scored in his second game with the Lightning and has overall been fine while averaging about 12 minutes of ice time per game. Will that role expand with time? One would think it has to. Nick Paul has also worked into the lineup, adding one goal in his first game.
8. Minnesota Wild
Previous ranking: 15
Points percentage: 0.656
Next seven days: vs. PIT (March 31), @ CAR (Apr. 2), @ WSH (Apr. 3), @ NSH (Apr. 5)
Marc-Andre Fleury literally got his flowers (via a fan who threw a bouquet on the ice) after his Wild debut on Saturday, a 3-2 OT win over Columbus. That trade has, as expected, paid excellent early returns. Tyson Jost has also been a welcome addition to the Wild’s bottom six, along with Nicolas Deslauriers. Since GM Bill Guerin got to work making moves, Minnesota has won five straight games.
9. Toronto Maple Leafs
Previous ranking: 9
Points percentage: 0.669
Next seven days: vs. WPG (March 31), @ PHI (Apr. 2), @ TB (Apr. 4), @ FLA (Apr. 5)
The Maple Leafs got it right with the Mark Giordano trade. They’re slow-walking him into things as a third-pairing guy, and most everything Giordano does is on point — he’s calm, he clears the zone, he controls play and can add some spice offensively. That Colin Blackwell came along with Giordano and has been the physical, grinding forward Toronto lacked? Even better.
10. Boston Bruins
Previous ranking: 8
Points percentage: 0.669
Next seven days: vs. NJ (March 31), vs. CBJ (Apr. 2), @ CBJ (Apr. 4), @ DET (Apr. 5)
The Bruins went on a great post-deadline run, just as Hampus Lindholm entered the chat. Boston’s big swing before the deadline was shoring up the blue line, and Lindholm’s already at home. He gets the Bruins up ice faster, attacks the zone and has a terrific first pass. Exactly what Boston needed, when they needed it.
11. St. Louis Blues
Previous ranking: 12
Points percentage: 0.623
Next seven days: @ VAN (March 30), @ EDM (Apr. 1), @ CGY (Apr. 2), vs. ARI (Apr. 4)
The Blues brought in Nick Leddy at the deadline. They should have targeted another blueliner, too. Leddy’s addition has been solid, but he’s a bandage on the gaping wound that is St. Louis’ defensive problems. Losing 5-2 to Philadelphia? Bad. Losing 7-2 to Carolina? Woof. If they could turn back time, the Blues would had to have been more aggressive in addressing their most obvious need.
12. Washington Capitals
Previous ranking: 14
Points percentage: 0.618
Next seven days: vs. MIN (Apr. 3)
The Capitals welcomed Marcus Johansson back with a top-line spot opposite Alex Ovechkin and over 16 minutes of ice time per game. Big-time stuff. Only he hasn’t reached the scoresheet in four games, and Sebastian Aho treated Johansson like a turnstile in Monday’s walloping by Carolina. Is there buyer’s remorse brewing? We’ll see.
13. Los Angeles Kings
Previous ranking: 16
Points percentage: 0.596
Next seven days: @ EDM (March 30), @ CGY (March 31), @ WPG (Apr. 2), vs. CGY (Apr. 4)
The Kings did almost nothing to help themselves at the deadline (no disrespect to Troy Stecher, their only acquisition in a deal with Detroit). Maybe L.A. tried on Jakob Chychrun, which would make sense given both Drew Doughty and Mikey Anderson are hurt. But GM Rob Blake’s belief in the group as-is appears steadfast. That’s noble, and risky, especially if injuries drag on and there’s no insurance to fill in the gaps.
14. Nashville Predators
Previous ranking: 13
Points percentage: 0.606
Next seven days: @ BUF (Apr. 1), vs. MIN (Apr. 5)
Filip Forsberg had a five-point outing on the evening of the trade deadline. That’s why GM David Poile kept him around. Forsberg is a game-changing, difference-making player and Nashville hasn’t conceded on any postseason aspirations. Poile did little else but stick with his current group, and despite recent back-to-back, 6-1 losses, having Forsberg still provides confidence in Nashville’s chances.
15. Edmonton Oilers
Previous ranking: 10
Points percentage: 0.590
Next seven days: vs. LA (March 30), vs. STL (Apr. 1), @ ANA (Apr. 3), @ SJ (Apr. 5)
The Oilers did not trade for a goalie. So, it’s Mikko Koskinen and Mike Smith or bust. That’s a slippery slope. Edmonton is 2-2-1 since the deadline passed, and their goaltending has been sub-optimal (Koskinen has an .859 save percentage; Smith is .897). Adding Brett Kulak and Derick Brassard wasn’t moving the needle on Edmonton’s playoff prospects. Having more peace of mind in your goalie stable? That would have.
16. Dallas Stars
Previous ranking: 11
Points percentage: 0.586
Next seven days: @ ANA (March 31), @ SJ (Apr. 2), @ SEA (Apr. 3), vs. NYI (Apr. 5)
There was no John Klingberg trade in Dallas and, at least for the last week, that’s been a good thing. Klingberg had three points in the Stars’ first two games post-deadline, and if the goal was to keep him in place and push for playoff success this season, great. We can reconvene on that decision in the summer when Klingberg becomes a UFA.
17. Vegas Golden Knights
Previous ranking: 17
Points percentage: 0.559
Next seven days: @ SEA (March 30), @ SEA (Apr. 1), @ VAN (Apr. 3)
Vegas may be the only team in NHL history to benefit from a voided deal. Evgenii Dadonov‘s no-trade list prevented him from being dealt to Anaheim, so the deal was canceled by the league … and the forward responded with five points in Vegas’ next two games. And now that Vegas was able to move Reilly Smith‘s $5 million cap hit onto LTIR, it’s not so bad (in more ways than one) that Dadonov and his $5 million hit are still very much in play.
18. Vancouver Canucks
Previous ranking: 19
Points percentage: 0.537
Next seven days: vs. STL (March 30), vs. VGK (Apr. 3)
Some were expecting fireworks from Vancouver before the trade window closed, but J.T. Miller, Conor Garland and Brock Boeser all stayed put. Only Travis Dermott came on board, and he’s a fine third-pairing D. Will the Canucks eventually regret standing pat? Since the deadline, Vancouver has remained consistently inconsistent against a run of tough opponents. Where’s it all heading?
19. Winnipeg Jets
Previous ranking: 18
Points percentage: 0.552
Next seven days: @ BUF (March 30), @ TOR (March 31), vs. LA (Apr. 2)
The Jets were a curious case at the deadline, completing smaller trades (other than the Andrew Copp decision) that didn’t overcommit to one direction or another. So far, it’s been a sound strategy. Winnipeg’s newest additions, Mason Appleton and Zach Sanford, have fit in well, and the Jets are 3-1-0 since they came on board. Did GM Kevin Cheveldayoff’s lack of a major overhaul provide his group with a confidence boost? Shrewd!
20. Anaheim Ducks
Previous ranking: 20
Points percentage: 0.485
Next seven days: vs. DAL (March 31), @ ARI (Apr. 1), vs. EDM (Apr. 3)
Look, GM Pat Verbeek wasn’t unloading all those pending UFAs for nothing. His deadline moves were about building the Ducks’ future (although hey, having Evgenii Dadonov in the present wouldn’t exactly hurt). As it is, two of the players Verbeek acquired — Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon, from Pittsburgh in the Rickard Rakell swap — have migrated into the lineup, and will get a continued look as this regular season winds down.
21. San Jose Sharks
Previous ranking: 21
Points percentage: 0.508
Next seven days: @ ARI (March 30), @ COL (March 31), vs. DAL (Apr. 2), vs. EDM (Apr. 5)
The Sharks’ big deadline move was signing Tomas Hertl to an eight-year extension. Grabbing Kaapo Kahkonen to back up James Reimer in net was the other highlight. Kahkonen has appeared in one game for San Jose — a 5-2 loss to Edmonton — so that’s an inauspicious start for him. The fact San Jose didn’t pull the trigger on more deals tells us that management hasn’t fully embraced the idea of a rebuild. But … maybe they should?
22. New York Islanders
Previous ranking: 22
Points percentage: 0.508
Next seven days: vs. CBJ (March 31), @ NYR (Apr. 1), @ NJ (Apr. 3), @ DAL (Apr. 5)
GM Lou Lamoriello did literally nothing before the deadline. He wants to assess the Islanders as they are and go from there. New York has since lost both games on its schedule against playoff-bound teams (Boston and Tampa Bay) by a combined 10-4 score, which isn’t the best reflection on the Islanders’ assembled crew. But maybe it’s just been a bad week.
23. Columbus Blue Jackets
Previous ranking: 23
Points percentage: 0.523
Next seven days: @ NYI (March 31), @ BOS (Apr. 2), vs. BOS (Apr. 4), @ PHI (Apr. 5)
Well, the Blue Jackets didn’t acquire any roster players via trade. GM Jarmo Kekalainen said he’d be more likely to shake things up in free agency. It’s not that surprising then that Columbus went 0-1-2 in their first three games following the deadline. Kekalainen’s strategy reflects where Columbus is at this season, where there’s little hope of a playoff-bound miracle run.
24. Buffalo Sabres
Previous ranking: 24
Points percentage: 0.433
Next seven days: vs. WPG (March 30), vs. NSH (Apr. 1), vs. FLA (Apr. 3), vs. CAR (Apr. 5)
GM Kevyn Adams completed his blockbuster trade in November (Jack Eichel; remember him?) and brought no one else in (after Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs, the return centrepieces of that Eichel deal) before March 21 came and went. The plan has been to assess who the Sabres already have. And what did we all learn from Buffalo erasing a 4-0 deficit against Chicago on Monday to win, 6-5? That the Sabres can still surprise!
25. Detroit Red Wings
Previous ranking: 25
Points percentage: 0.455
Next seven days: vs. NYR (March 30), vs. OTT (Apr. 1), @ OTT (Apr. 3), vs. BOS (Apr. 5)
The Red Wings are getting a decent return on the acquisition of Oskar Sundqvist, who had two goals and three points in his first three games. Jake Walman has also been solid on the back end, and played over 20 minutes in Detroit’s overtime loss to Tampa Bay last weekend. Losing Nick Leddy was going to hurt the Red Wings, but the speedy Walman has stepped in well to keep Detroit competitive.
26. Philadelphia Flyers
Previous ranking: 29
Points percentage: 0.402
Next seven days: vs. TOR (Apr. 2), @ NYR (Apr. 3), vs. CBJ (Apr. 5)
Considering the Flyers traded away their best player (Claude Giroux), things in Philadelphia post-deadline weren’t going to be improved. Owen Tippett is playing and taking advantage of a fresh start. That’s a positive. The Flyers can recognize this season is a wash, and none of their other moves were meant to bring immediate help. So, the skidding continues.
27. New Jersey Devils
Previous ranking: 26
Points percentage: 0.402
Next seven days: @ BOS (March 31), vs. FLA (Apr. 2), vs. NYI (Apr. 3), vs. NYR (Apr. 5)
I called the Devils out after the deadline for making zero significant moves. It could be that GM Tom Fitzgerald is holding out for summertime swaps and free agency. In the here and now, New Jersey is no better off the last 10 days than the previous five months. The Devils’ only acquisition was Andrew Hammond, and he just had his first team practice on Tuesday. We’ll see how the veteran netminder is eventually utilized in this final month.
28. Arizona Coyotes
Previous ranking: 28
Points percentage: 0.341
Next seven days: vs. SJ (March 30), vs. ANA (Apr. 1), @ CHI (Apr. 3), @ STL (Apr. 4)
Arizona’s best move came weeks before the deadline in acquiring Nick Ritchie from Toronto. He’s come in, worked hard, produced well and can play basically anywhere in the lineup. Otherwise, the Coyotes didn’t do a whole lot to make themselves better this season, and that’s reflected in their current seven-game slide. Moving on.
29. Chicago Blackhawks
Previous ranking: 27
Points percentage: 0.433
Next seven days: @ FLA (March 31), @ TB (Apr. 1), vs. ARI (Apr. 3)
Taylor Raddysh was part of Chicago’s return from Tampa Bay in the Brandon Hagel deal, and he hasn’t shied away from opportunity, steeping onto Jonathan Toews’ wing and notching two goals and five points in his first six games. That’s been a nice bright spot for the Blackhawks. Less great? Chicago blowing back-to-back, three-plus goal leads in its last two games, both of which were losses. Ouch.
30. Montreal Canadiens
Previous ranking: 32
Points percentage: 0.356
Next seven days: @ CAR (March 31), @ TB (Apr. 2), vs. OTT (Apr. 5)
The Canadiens went from Stanley Cup Final appearance last season to being the first team officially eliminated from the playoffs this season. Life comes at you fast. GM Kent Hughes’ deadline moves set Montreal up nicely for the next two drafts, and he added a couple intriguing prospects. Tyler Pitlick (incoming from Calgary in the Tyler Toffoli deal) has started to see some game action this season, too. But all eyes are on what’s next for the Habs.
31. Ottawa Senators
Previous ranking: 30
Points percentage: 0.400
Next seven days: @ DET (Apr. 1), vs. DET (Apr. 3), @ MTL (Apr. 5)
The Senators’ head-scratching trade for Travis Hamonic (in which Ottawa took on all of Hamonic’s $3 million cap hit and gave Vancouver back a third-round pick) hasn’t been a total disaster. Coach DJ Smith likes that Hamonic is a stabilizing presence on the blue line. But again … why Hamonic for that role? Anyway, Mathieu Joseph looks like a real good addition here, and is a pending RFA who could be re-signed. He’s brought speed, skill, and playmaking ability; a super Swiss-army knife for the Senators.
32. Seattle Kraken
Previous ranking: 31
Points percentage: 0.364
Next seven days: vs. VGK (March 30), vs. VGK (Apr. 1), vs. DAL (Apr. 3)
Daniel Sprong scored three goals in his first three games with the Kraken after being acquired in the Marcus Johansson deal with Washington (for context, Sprong had eight goals through 47 games pre-trade with the Capitals). He’s a nice little pickup by GM Ron Francis, who prioritized gathering draft picks over lineup players at the deadline.