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NHL Power Rankings: Early overreactions for each team

This is the second edition of theScore's NHL Power Rankings for 2019-20. Check back for updated rankings every second Monday during the regular season.

In this edition, we jump to way-too-early conclusions after the first two weeks of the new campaign.

1. Colorado Avalanche (4-0-0)

Previous rank: 9

Quarterbacking a loaded power play, Cale Makar will break the rookie record for points by a defenseman (80) set by Mark Howe in 1979-80. Makar already has five points in four games - four of which have come with the man advantage.

2. Carolina Hurricanes (5-1-0)

Previous rank: 10

Step aside, Devils, Rangers, and Panthers: The Hurricanes, despite not making an earth-shattering move this summer, were the winners of the offseason. Erik Haula and Ryan Dzingel brought much-needed scoring depth, Jake Gardiner and Joel Edmundson helped solidify a sturdy back end, and James Reimer may steal Petr Mrazek's starting gig between the pipes.

3. Boston Bruins (4-1-0)

Previous rank: 2

Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, the best one-two goalie punch in the league, have alternated starts thus far - a trend that will continue for the entire season, with each netminder starting exactly 41 games.

4. Edmonton Oilers (5-0-0)

Previous rank: 25

James Neal, whose seven goals in five games match his total from all of last season, will not only enjoy a bounce-back year, but he'll also surpass his career high of 40 goals and help the Oilers return to the playoffs.

5. Buffalo Sabres (4-0-1)

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Previous rank: 24

Personnel was never the main issue in Buffalo. New head coach Ralph Krueger is the right man to lead the charge in Western New York, and he'll capture the Jack Adams Trophy as coach of the year.

6. Washington Capitals (3-1-2)

Previous rank: 11

In what will be his last season with the Capitals, Braden Holtby will be relegated to backup duties behind Ilya Samsonov, the club's goalie of the future and the present.

7. Tampa Bay Lightning (2-2-1)

Previous rank: 1

Brayden Point, who missed the Lightning's first three games, is the straw that stirs the drink. Even with Nikita Kucherov, Steven Stamkos, and Victor Hedman on the roster, Point is the club's most complete player.

8. Vegas Golden Knights (4-2-0)

Previous rank: 5

Two-way star Mark Stone, who's on pace for a career year offensively, will not only win the Selke Trophy as the league's best defensive forward, but he'll also garner serious Hart Trophy consideration.

9. St. Louis Blues (3-1-1)

Previous rank: 3

The Blues are as tough to play against as any team in the league. Last season's title wasn't just a second-half miracle. They're legit, and they will enjoy another deep playoff run.

10. Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2-1)

Francois Lacasse / National Hockey League / Getty

Previous rank: 6

William Nylander has come out of the gate playing the best of hockey of his career, and he'll finish the season with more points than teammate Mitch Marner.

11. Philadelphia Flyers (2-0-1)

Previous rank: 20

Not only have the Flyers found a legitimate No. 1 goalie in Carter Hart, but the 21-year-old will be the youngest netminder to win the Vezina Trophy since Tom Barrasso did it as an 18-year-old in 1983-84 (Jim Carey won in his age-21 campaign in 1995-96, but he'd turned 22 by season's end).

12. Nashville Predators (3-2-0)

Previous rank: 8

After the addition of Matt Duchene, combined with the decline of Pekka Rinne, the Predators will finish with a top-five offense for the second time in franchise history, but they'll end up in the bottom half of the league in goals against for the first time since 2013-14.

13. Pittsburgh Penguins (4-2-0)

Previous rank: 14

A healthy Kris Letang is more important to the Penguins than a healthy Evgeni Malkin. The next month or so will provide the evidence.

14. Winnipeg Jets (4-3-0)

Previous rank: 16

Though they have offensive firepower, the Jets don't boast a formidable enough blue line to make the postseason.

15. Calgary Flames (2-3-1)

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Previous rank: 7

David Rittich has started five of Calgary's first six games, but it'll be Cam Talbot who eventually runs away with the No. 1 gig.

16. Anaheim Ducks (4-1-0)

Previous rank: 28

John Gibson is the best goalie in the league, and it isn't close. With a new voice behind the bench in Dallas Eakins, the Ducks shouldn't be slept on as a playoff contender.

17. Vancouver Canucks (2-2-0)

Previous rank: 23

Jacob Markstrom's stellar play in the crease has jolted the Canucks to begin the campaign. With the talented Thatcher Demko playing second fiddle, Vancouver's goaltending tandem looks like it has enough game to propel it to the playoffs.

18. Montreal Canadiens (2-1-2)

Previous rank: 17

Jonathan Drouin has finally arrived in Montreal. The 24-year-old forward has six points in five contests and will keep the club in the wild-card race while becoming the first Canadiens player to eclipse the 80-point mark this decade.

19. San Jose Sharks (2-4-0)

Previous rank: 4

Martin Jones is not who we thought he was. The 29-year-old puck-stopper has carried his subpar play from last season into 2019-20 with 13 goals against and an .887 save percentage through four starts. San Jose won't get the goaltending it needs to separate from the pack and will find itself in a tight playoff race all season.

20. New York Rangers (2-1-0)

Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

Previous rank: 19

Despite adding Artemi Panarin and Kappo Kakko this offseason, Mika Zibanejad is the best and most important player on the Rangers. The Swedish center already has eight points in three games this season and should be named the franchise's next captain.

21. Detroit Red Wings (3-2-0)

Previous rank: 30

Anthony Mantha's goal-scoring ability has finally translated from junior to the NHL level. Come March, the Red Wings will likely be near the bottom of the standings, but Mantha's name will still be bandied about when discussing the "Rocket" Richard Trophy race.

22. New York Islanders (2-3-0)

Previous rank: 18

The Islanders have only mustered 11 goals in five contests and haven't received the same all-world goaltending that helped them to 47 wins last season. Inking netminder Semyon Varlamov for $20 million over four years was a mistake, and New York will end the year closer to a lottery position than a postseason berth.

23. Florida Panthers (1-2-2)

Previous rank: 13

It's happening again. The Panthers are off to another slow start as their record falls to 7-12-6 in October since 2017. In an Atlantic Division that offers little room for error, the Panthers will once again miss the postseason by a sliver.

24. Los Angeles Kings (2-3-0)

Previous rank: 29

It's been a nightmare between the pipes for Jonathan Quick. The veteran has allowed 19 goals on 92 shots through three starts. Jack Campbell has a pair of wins despite posting mediocre numbers and will earn more starts than Quick this season.

25. Columbus Blue Jackets (2-3-0)

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports / USA TODAY Sports

Previous rank: 27

Sergei Bobrovsky's departure could set the Blue Jackets back years. Joonas Korpisalo has been subpar as the starting netminder and youngster Elvis Merzlikins was shelled for seven goals in his NHL debut.

26. Arizona Coyotes (1-2-1)

Previous rank: 22

The Coyotes still can't find the back of the net and Phil Kessel has not come as advertised. The perennial goal-scorer has yet to find twine through his first four games with the club, and his lack of production will lead to the demise of Arizona's playoff aspirations.

27. Dallas Stars (1-4-1)

Previous rank: 12

The Stars' top talents are past their prime. Jamie Benn, Joe Pavelski, Tyler Seguin, and Alex Radulov have combined for four goals in six games, and the club's offensive deficiencies will hinder its playoff chances in a competitive Central Division.

28. Ottawa Senators (1-3-0)

Previous rank: 31

The Senators' victory over the Lightning shows that they're to be taken seriously on a nightly basis. Maybe Ottawa isn't the worst team in the Eastern Conference after all?

29. Chicago Blackhawks (0-2-1)

Previous rank: 21

The Blackhawks made an assertive effort to bolster their defensive depth this summer, but they're winless through three games and have allowed 12 goals. Chicago looks poised to be the league's most entertaining non-playoff team once again.

30. New Jersey Devils (0-3-2)

Andy Marlin / National Hockey League / Getty

Previous rank: 15

After an exciting summer, the new-look Devils are the league's biggest disappointment. Is John Hynes the right man for the job? A new voice behind the bench could serve the club well.

31. Minnesota Wild (0-4-0)

Previous rank: 26

The Wild can't keep the puck out of their net and lack the firepower up front to keep games balanced. Mats Zuccarello's five-year, $30-million deal is the worst signing of the offseason and Devan Dubnyk's best days are in the rearview. General manager Bill Guerin will be a big-time seller at the trade deadline.

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NHL podcast: Cammalleri on cannabis, mid-game trade, Iginla

Welcome to Puck Pursuit, a weekly NHL podcast hosted by John Matisz, theScore's national hockey writer.

Subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Spotify.

This week, ex-NHL winger Mike Cammalleri joins the show to discuss a wide range of topics:

  • Why he's helping to create a CBD-infused sports drink
  • Origins of BioSteel, a popular supplements company
  • Why 5-foot-9 forwards like Mike fit well in the modern NHL
  • The story behind a mid-game trade from Montreal to Calgary
  • Playing with Iginla, Giordano, Kopitar, McDavid, etc.

...and more!

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Top 100 NHL players: 10-1

Leading up to the start of the 2019-20 season, theScore is counting down the top 100 players in the game today, as voted on by our NHL editors.

100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

10. Victor Hedman, Lightning

You can't discuss who the league's top defenseman is without almost immediately mentioning Hedman. The 6-foot-6 Swede is dominant at both ends of the ice and ranks third among NHL defensemen in points (236) over the past four seasons. Hedman has finished in the top three in Norris Trophy voting in three consecutive campaigns, including his win in 2018.

9. Evgeni Malkin, Penguins

Malkin can take over games like no other player in the NHL - when he wants to. The problem is that when he doesn't want to, he can hurt his team, which was the case for much of last season. The two-time Art Ross winner could easily bounce back this season if he's up for it. He at least sounds motivated, and that should scare opponents.

8. Erik Karlsson, Sharks

Brandon Magnus / National Hockey League / Getty

The highest-rated defenseman in our top 100, Karlsson was significantly hampered by injury last season and still managed to record 45 points in 53 games plus 16 more points in the playoffs. When healthy, the smooth-skating Shark is arguably the best offensive-minded blue-liner in the game and a perennial Norris Trophy contender.

7. Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs

Injuries have slowed Matthews over the last couple of seasons, but he's been ultra-productive when healthy, posting more than half a goal per game and over a point per contest in 2018-19. He's among the NHL's best snipers and brightest stars at 22 years old.

6. Patrick Kane, Blackhawks

One of the league's most electrifying players is geared up for another season of "Showtime" in Chicago. The 30-year-old Kane showed why he's one of the most elite players in the game with a career-best 44-goal, 110-point season in 2018-19. Sitting at 938 career points, Kane will become the youngest American-born player to join the 1,000-point club if he can do it this season.

5. Alex Ovechkin, Capitals

You know a player is special when his Hockey Reference page is covered in bold print, signaling a league leader. Ovechkin has won the "Rocket" Richard Trophy eight times and has led the NHL in shots 11 times. Even if he doesn't catch Wayne Gretzky for the all-time goals record, the Great Eight should be considered the best pure goal-scorer in hockey history based on era-adjusted stats.

4. Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche

Dilip Vishwanat / National Hockey League / Getty

After four decent but not great seasons to begin his career, MacKinnon emerged at age 22 as one of the best players in hockey during the 2017-18 season. Since then, the former first overall pick has notched 196 points in 156 games and enters the season as a Hart Trophy favorite.

3. Nikita Kucherov, Lightning

Sure, he plays on a stacked team, but Kucherov was a worthy Hart winner in June after leading the NHL in points and assists. The dynamic Russian forward's production has increased in all five campaigns since his rookie year in 2013-14, and while it might be hard to top 128 points, he's one of only a handful of players in the league who could conceivably do it.

2. Sidney Crosby, Penguins

Crosby proved last season that he's got plenty left in the tank with his first 100-point campaign since 2013-14. He may no longer be the consensus top talent in the league, but he's still arguably the most important face of the game. It will be a privilege to watch him add to his legacy in the back half of his career as the Penguins look to stay near the top of a competitive Metropolitan Division.

1. Connor McDavid, Oilers

For the second straight season, McDavid is our consensus No. 1 overall player, and rightly so. Nobody's more dominant than 97. He's the most explosive skater the game has ever seen, and the things he can do with the puck on his stick while at top gear are simply remarkable. Watching McDavid play hockey is a treat, and we should never take it for granted.

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Top 100 NHL players: 30-21

Leading up to the start of the 2019-20 season, theScore will be counting down the top 100 players in the game today, as voted on by our NHL editors. We'll reveal 10 players every day until the top 10 is unveiled on Oct. 2.

100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

30. Mark Stone, Golden Knights

Stone has always been one of the best defensive wingers in hockey, but his positive offensive development has made him a rare commodity. Despite the Golden Knights' first-round playoff exit last season, the 27-year-old exploded for a ridiculous six goals and 12 points in seven games. It will be a treat to see what he can do over a full campaign on one of the league's top clubs.

29. Blake Wheeler, Jets

Wheeler is arguably the league's most underrated playmaker. Only Nikita Kucherov and Connor McDavid have more assists than the Jets captain over the past two years. There's a conversation to be had that he's a top-five NHL winger, but he's also shown the versatility and selflessness to play center when necessary.

28. Mark Scheifele, Jets

Frederick Breedon / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Scheifele has been a point-per-game player over the last three years for the Jets, culminating with career highs in goals (38) and points (84) last season. He has the ability to be a difference-maker by either scoring goals or setting up teammates as a playmaker and will be looking to help Winnipeg make another extended playoff run after last season's disappointing first-round exit.

27. Roman Josi, Predators

Josi continues to be one of the NHL's best puck-moving defensemen. The Nashville captain excels at generating offense, consistently maintaining favorable Scoring Chances For and Goals For percentages. He's topped 50 points in four of the last five seasons, and averaged more than 25 minutes of ice time in 2018-19.

26. Ryan O'Reilly, Blues

Could 2018-19 have gone any better for the Ontario native? O'Reilly mustered a career-high 77 points in his first year with the Blues and captured the Selke Trophy, Conn Smythe Trophy, and of course, the Stanley Cup. After such a dominant season, there's no question the 28-year-old is among the best two-way players in hockey.

25. Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs

Marner established himself as one of the game's best playmakers in 2018-19, leading the league with 36 primary assists at five-on-five. While he receives no shortage of attention playing in Toronto, the highly intelligent winger probably doesn't get enough credit for his defensive game. He has an excellent stick and is a threat shorthanded.

24. Sebastian Aho, Hurricanes

Aho was a massive talking point during the offseason after signing an offer sheet with the Canadiens. Carolina quickly matched the offer, which should have come as no surprise considering the 22-year-old is coming off of a breakout season when he led the Hurricanes in goals (30) and points (83).

23. Mikko Rantanen, Avalanche

Michael Martin / National Hockey League / Getty

Rantanen took another step forward last season, collecting 31 goals and 87 points to exceed his 2017-18 numbers despite playing seven fewer games. The Finnish forward benefits from playing on one of the best lines in hockey, but he's proven over the last two campaigns that he deserves a spot on Colorado's explosive top unit.

22. Brayden Point, Lightning

Point enjoyed a breakout third NHL season, notching career bests with 41 goals and 92 points in 79 games. The dynamic, two-way center also proved to be a lethal weapon on the man advantage, leading the entire league with 20 power-play markers.

21. Tyler Seguin, Stars

Only Alex Ovechkin fired more shots on goal than Seguin over the past two years. He's had at least 70 points in every season since joining the Stars in 2013-14, and it's quite possible the best is yet to come.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Top 100 NHL players: 20-11

Leading up to the start of the 2019-20 season, theScore will be counting down the top 100 players in the game today, as voted on by our NHL editors. We'll reveal 10 players every day until the top 10 is unveiled Oct. 2.

100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

20. Johnny Gaudreau, Flames

Johnny Hockey had his best year during the 2018-19 season, setting personal bests in goals (36), assists (63), and points (99). His efforts helped lead the Flames to their best regular season since 1988-89 when they went on to win the Stanley Cup. Gaudreau didn't find the same kind of postseason success with just one point in a five-game first-round loss, so he'll be chomping at the bit for a shot at playoff redemption.

19. Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning

The NHL's best goalie was a major reason why Tampa Bay was so dominant in the 2018-19 regular season. Vasilevskiy posted a career-high .925 save percentage en route to claiming the Vezina Trophy for the first time, and he's improved in each of the last three campaigns. Can the 25-year-old get even better this season?

18. Leon Draisaitl, Oilers

Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

The big German went scorched-earth in 2018-19 and became the first Oilers player to record a 50-goal season since Wayne Gretzky in 1986-87. Draisaitl isn't just a goal-scorer, either. His career-best 55 assists ranked second on the club to only Connor McDavid.

17. Taylor Hall, Devils

After he was limited to just 33 games last year, it can be easy to forget that Hall is one of the NHL's most dynamic players. The 27-year-old won the Hart Trophy with 93 points in 2017-18, but next season could be a career year for one of the most powerful skaters in the league after the Devils beefed up in the offseason.

16. Brad Marchand, Bruins

Marchand may not be the most popular player outside of Boston, but his impact on the ice is undeniable. Often known more for his ability to pester the opposition, Marchand took his game to another level last year, reaching the 100-point mark for the first time in his career and then equalling Ryan O'Reilly for the league lead with 23 postseason points.

15. Steven Stamkos, Lightning

The captain of the NHL's most watchable team is a huge part of its fearsome offensive attack, and he remains one of the league's brightest stars. Stamkos was also a major contributor to linemate Nikita Kucherov's 2018-19 Hart Trophy exploits, pouring in 45 goals and a career-high 98 points.

14. Brent Burns, Sharks

Brandon Magnus / National Hockey League / Getty

Will Burns ever slow down? It appears the 34-year-old rearguard is only getting better with age. Burns has reached the 60-point mark in five straight campaigns, including a career-high 83 point season in 2018-19. His 101 goals in that span lead all NHL defensemen by a wide margin of 17.

13. Patrice Bergeron, Bruins

Should the Selke just be renamed the Bergeron? The Bruins pivot has been named the NHL's top defensive forward a record-tying four times. He likely could've added to that total, but injuries have held him out of a combined 35 games over the past two years. He may be 34 now, but he's coming off a career-best 79 point season despite skating in just 65 contests.

12. Aleksander Barkov, Panthers

Barkov emerged as a premier two-way player last season after several years as a Selke Trophy contender. The 24-year-old added elite offensive production to his defensive acumen, putting up a career-high 98 points, 18 higher than his previous best, and helping bring a lot of optimism for the future in Sunrise.

11. John Tavares, Maple Leafs

Tavares' first season with Toronto was the best campaign of his career from a production standpoint. The former New York Islanders captain came within three tallies of the 50-goal mark and racked up 88 points while playing every game. Few centers in the NHL possess Tavares' scoring touch, and his quick hands make him very difficult to contain.

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NHL Power Rankings: Lightning, Bruins hungry for redemption

This is the first edition of theScore's NHL Power Rankings for 2019-20. Check back for updated rankings every second Monday during the regular season.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

Last year's infamous first-round sweep was a massive disappointment, but the Lightning remain as deep and dangerous as they were during a historically dominant 2018-19 regular season. Tampa Bay still boasts the NHL's most potent roster, and thus begins the season as the prohibitive Stanley Cup favorite.

2. Boston Bruins

The Bruins came within one win of the Stanley Cup in June and return for 2019-20 with the core intact. After extending blue-liners Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, the reigning Eastern Conference champions are well-positioned for another deep run.

3. St. Louis Blues

Though few expect the Blues to repeat, the defending champs also enter the new campaign with virtually the same core that won a title this past spring. The acquisition of Justin Faulk raises some questions, but it does give the team even more defensive depth. St. Louis remains a well-rounded club with strength in all three positional groups.

4. San Jose Sharks

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

San Jose lost some firepower over the summer but still has plenty of it. With Erik Karlsson now signed for the long haul and Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc both inked at reasonable rates, the Sharks are once again poised to be one of the NHL's top clubs.

5. Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights will be as motivated as any team in 2019-20 after last season's controversial first-round exit. Trading away cap casualties Nikita Gusev and Colin Miller might sting, but Vegas still boasts a dangerous top six, a solid top four on the blue line, and the ever-dependable Marc-Andre Fleury in the crease.

6. Toronto Maple Leafs

With Mitch Marner's contract situation resolved, the Maple Leafs again enter the season with one of the league's most talented stables of forwards. Will the defense-bolstering addition of Tyson Barrie and continued development of the young core be enough to get them over the first-round hump this spring?

7. Calgary Flames

The Flames got their own high-profile restricted free agent, Matthew Tkachuk, signed to a new deal last week, but a few questions loom large: Can David Rittich shoulder a starter's workload in net? Can Mark Giordano avoid a big regression? Will Milan Lucic make a positive impact following the worst season of his NHL career?

8. Nashville Predators

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Matt Duchene should help improve the league's worst powerplay of 2018-19. P.K. Subban is gone, but Predators general manager David Poile felt comfortable making that trade partly because of what he's seen from Dante Fabbro. Nashville's vaunted blue line likely won't be significantly worse this season.

9. Colorado Avalanche

An utterly fearsome top line, a potential Calder Trophy candidate in Cale Makar, and some new depth up front have the Avalanche poised to take a big step forward in 2019-20. Philipp Grubauer is going to exceed last season's career-high 37 appearances; if he can provide stability over the course of a full schedule, Colorado should be one of the NHL's most dangerous teams.

10. Carolina Hurricanes

There's been some turnover for the Hurricanes following their run to the Eastern Conference Final. The team will still ice one of the NHL's deepest defensive groups, however, as well as a trio of promising young forwards. "Storm Surge" or not, Carolina will be a tough out once again.

11. Washington Capitals

A first-round playoff exit followed by a fairly uneventful offseason in D.C. has cast some doubt on the Capitals' chances of returning to their 2017-2018 championship form. They'll be more intimidating, with Radko Gudas joining a team that already features Tom Wilson, but will that ultimately matter?

12. Dallas Stars

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Stars could be legitimate contenders in 2019-20. If Jamie Benn can get back on track and Miro Heiskanen takes another step forward in his development, Dallas should improve on last season's wild-card finish and make some noise come playoff time.

13. Florida Panthers

What a difference an offseason makes. Sure, the Panthers didn't get Artemi Panarin, but Sergei Bobrovsky and new head coach Joel Quenneville should turn Florida into a quasi-contender before long, especially considering the talent already on the roster.

14. Pittsburgh Penguins

Changes were clearly coming for the Penguins after they were swept out of the first round in the spring, but general manager Jim Rutherford raised eyebrows when he traded Phil Kessel for Alex Galchenyuk and signed Brandon Tanev to a six-year deal. The Penguins' window isn't closed yet, but it's starting to slide shut.

15. New Jersey Devils

The Devils already possessed a solid collection of talent before putting together an incredible offseason. Adding P.K. Subban, Jack Hughes, and Nikita Gusev to a group that includes Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier, and Kyle Palmieri all but ensures this New Jersey squad will be much better than the one that finished with the NHL's third-worst record in 2018-19.

16. Winnipeg Jets

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor are back in the fold, but Dustin Byfuglien's future is still up in the air and the Jets' defense is depleted regardless of whether the hulking blue-liner returns. Winnipeg has the talent to remain competitive, but this team will be in tough keeping pace in the ultra-tight Central Division.

17. Montreal Canadiens

Montreal only missed the playoffs by two points and had incredible underlying numbers throughout the year. An infusion of new young talent in Nick Suzuki and Ryan Poehling combined with healthy seasons from Carey Price and Shea Weber could be enough to get the Habs over the hump this time around.

18. New York Islanders

The Islanders had a relatively quiet summer - aside from losing their best player from a season ago. Is Semyon Varlamov reliable enough to mask New York's deficiencies as effectively as Robin Lehner did? Time will tell.

19. New York Rangers

Artemi Panarin, Kaapo Kakko, Jacob Trouba, and Adam Fox. How the Rangers' new players impact their playoff chances remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Things just got way more entertaining on Broadway.

20. Philadelphia Flyers

Len Redkoles / National Hockey League / Getty

It was a busy offseason in Philly. The Flyers hired a new coach, signed Kevin Hayes to one of the summer's most lucrative free-agent contracts, and made a pair of trades to shore up the blue line. Most importantly, though, goaltender Carter Hart had a .982 save percentage in the preseason and remains this squad's best hope for a postseason appearance.

21. Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks will be an interesting team to watch this year. Jeremy Colliton has a full season to make his mark and a few new pieces at his disposal. That said, he has his work cut out for him as this aging roster eyes a playoff berth in the stacked Central.

22. Arizona Coyotes

The Coyotes came within four points of the playoffs in 2018-19 despite being ravaged by injuries. With a healthy roster and Phil Kessel in the mix, Arizona might be good enough to squeak in this time.

23. Vancouver Canucks

Expectations are high in Vancouver as the Canucks look to take a step forward this season. The young core is talented, and the front office added J.T. Miller, Micheal Ferland, and Tyler Myers to help build a more complete roster. Anything less than a stake in the wild-card race will be a disappointment.

24. Buffalo Sabres

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

General manager Jason Botterill has made a series of shrewd moves to bolster the Sabres' blue line, but offensive depth remains a serious concern. It's tough to see how this club makes noise in the Atlantic relying solely on the contributions of Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner.

25. Edmonton Oilers

Speaking of lackluster offensive depth, the Oilers seemed destined to repeat last year's playoff miss unless Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl (once again) put together some truly stellar numbers.

26. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota is a team stuck in the middle, but with good health, the Wild could be sneaky. The club's veteran forwards are still quietly productive and the blue line remains solid. The lack of star power might be an issue, though, especially in the Central.

27. Columbus Blue Jackets

If the Blue Jackets are to make the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year, they'll have to do so through hard work and grit. Columbus lost too much talent this summer to be considered a true threat, but it'd be unwise to discount John Tortorella's ability to rally his troops.

28. Anaheim Ducks

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

The Ducks are in the midst of a retool but still have a handful of quality pieces. If Dallas Eakins is the right fit behind the bench and John Gibson does what John Gibson does in goal, maybe Anaheim can surprise.

29. Los Angeles Kings

Outside of Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, the Kings are running seriously low on talent. Another high draft pick is the best-case scenario in Hollywood this season.

30. Detroit Red Wings

Steve Yzerman's first year back in Motown is likely to be a long one as the Red Wings' rebuild is still in its infancy. At least Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha should be fun to watch.

31. Ottawa Senators

The Senators sold all their veterans last season and enter the 2019-20 campaign in true scorched-earth form. The wins will be few and far between, but there are some nice pieces to develop this year. Brady Tkachuk, Erik Brannstrom, Thomas Chabot, and Drake Batherson comprise a genuinely promising young core in Ottawa.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Top 100 NHL players: 60-51

Leading up to the start of the 2019-20 season, theScore will be counting down the top 100 players in the game today, as voted on by our NHL editors. We'll reveal 10 players every day until the top 10 is unveiled Oct. 2.

100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

60. Shea Weber, Canadiens

Weber remains one of the game's best defensemen, but he needs to be able to stay on the ice. The six-time All-Star has played just 84 games total over the last two seasons, though he still managed 49 points over that span. The Canadiens captain enters this season healthy and will be key to Montreal's playoff hopes.

59. P.K. Subban, Devils

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The player who was traded for Weber was dealt again following a down statistical year, but he's still a very good defenseman who should bounce back with a slew of exciting new teammates. Subban's puck-moving ability and his knack for creating offense is exactly what New Jersey needs to complement Taylor Hall, Jack Hughes, and Co.

58. Phil Kessel, Coyotes

Kessel has been among the league's most consistent producers this decade. The 31-year-old has played in 774 consecutive contests and has contributed 697 points in that span. He's hit the 20-goal mark in 11 straight campaigns, including six 30-goal seasons, and was a pivotal player in helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.

57. John Klingberg, Stars

Klingberg is one of the best offensive defensemen in the league. He's averaged 58 points per 82 games in his career and is a possession monster. The Swede struggles to guard his own blue line and is mistake-prone at times, but his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses.

56. Mathew Barzal, Islanders

While Barzal's production may have taken a step back in 2018-19 following his Calder Trophy-winning season in 2017-18, he remains one of the NHL's brightest young talents. Barzal improved defensively last season under new head coach Barry Trotz and will look to up his totals on the scoresheet to offer the Isles the total package.

55. Ben Bishop, Stars

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Bishop had a resurgent 2018-19 campaign, finishing second in Vezina Trophy voting after leading the league with a career-best .934 save percentage and a 19.88 goals saved above average at five-on-five. The veteran netminder will be 33 in November, but he's showing few signs of slowing down.

54. Sean Couturier, Flyers

The potential Selke Trophy candidate is one of the top two-way players in the game and has recently flourished as an elite point producer. Couturier has racked up back-to-back 76-point seasons while tasked with shutting down the opposition's top talent on most nights.

53. Vladimir Tarasenko, Blues

For as talented as Tarasenko is, it's a bit surprising that he's never exceeded 40 goals or 75 points in a single season, although that could change this year. The Russian sniper might have the best release in all of hockey, outside of Auston Matthews. We're not talking slap shots or one-timers here.

52. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Capitals

It was a bumpy offseason for Kuznetsov, who was suspended for Washington's first three games this season as well as for four years by the IIHF after testing positive for cocaine. But on the ice, he remains key to the Capitals' attack after posting 155 points in 155 games the last two seasons, and he should help Washington contend for another Cup.

51. Anze Kopitar, Kings

Kopitar followed up a 92-point season with a 60-point campaign in 2018-19, but Los Angeles' team-wide struggles don't change the fact that he's still a gifted two-way center. The versatile Kings captain remains a vital cog up front for the retooling club.

(Analytics courtesy: Natural Stat Trick)

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Top 100 NHL players: 80-71

Leading up to the start of the 2019-20 season, theScore will be counting down the top 100 players in the game today, as voted on by our NHL editors. We'll reveal 10 players every day until the top 10 is unveiled Oct. 2.

100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

80. Colton Parayko, Blues

Parayko was a key contributor during the Blues' Stanley Cup run, playing over 25 minutes per game during the postseason, second-most on the team behind only Alex Pietrangelo. At 26 years old, Parayko is set to enter his prime. While he may have registered a career-low 28 points last season, his value as a shutdown defenseman will continue to rise.

79. Marc-Andre Fleury, Golden Knights

Fleury will turn 35 in late November, but he's still quite dependable. The Vegas goaltender started 61 games last season - his most since 2014-15 - and finished fourth in Vezina Trophy voting. Fleury will likely shoulder a big workload again this season, but he's proven to be one of the league's most reliable netminders.

78. Timo Meier, Sharks

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Meier had an incredible breakout campaign in his third NHL season in 2018-19. The 2015 first-round pick notched a career-high 30 goals and 66 points and ranked third among Sharks forwards with 99 hits. The 22-year-old is already a savvy two-way forward and will play a significant top-line role in San Jose for years to come.

77. Pekka Rinne, Predators

Even at 36 years old, Rinne remains one of the NHL's most reliable goalies. He's registered a save percentage of .918 or better in four of his last five seasons. Perhaps the most underrated part of his game is his ability to handle the puck, which might only be bested by Mike Smith.

76. Miro Heiskanen, Stars

The former third overall pick made an impressive debut last year during his rookie season, as he finished fourth in Calder Trophy voting and led all rookie defensemen with 12 goals. Heiskanen beefed up during the summer, adding eight pounds of muscle; the added strength should help elevate his play to another level.

75. Brock Boeser, Canucks

With a new contract signed, Boeser can now focus on helping the Canucks continue to progress in what will be his third full campaign with Vancouver. The talented American winger has already shown a knack for scoring, even though we haven't seen him play more than 69 games in a season.

74. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Coyotes

Norm Hall / National Hockey League / Getty

The Coyotes captain is a premier blue-liner with significant offensive upside. Ekman-Larsson ranks third among defenseman in goals (102) since the 2012-13 campaign and has reached double digits in that department in six straight seasons. The 6-foot Swede has only missed 13 games over his nine-year career and has logged 24:20 of ice time per contest since his sophomore campaign.

73. Filip Forsberg, Predators

Forsberg uses a combination of strength, speed, and skill as one of the league's best players at driving to the net. This ability attracts defensemen's attention, which creates time and space for him and his linemates. He's yet to reach 35 goals or 70 points, but that will change soon. It's still mind-boggling that he was traded for Martin Erat and Michael Latta.

72. Matt Duchene, Predators

Duchene joins his fourth team in three years, though it appears he's found a home in Nashville. The Predators inked Duchene to a seven-year, $56-million contract after he scored a career-high 31 goals last season and are counting on him to spark an offense that was in the bottom half of the league a year ago.

71. Gabriel Landeskog, Avalanche

Playing on arguably the best line in hockey certainly isn't a bad gig, but Landeskog has proven he belongs alongside Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. The Avalanche captain set career-highs in goals, assists, and points in 2018-19 while playing more than 21 minutes per contest for the first time in his career.

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Top 100 NHL players: 70-61

Leading up to the start of the 2019-20 season, theScore will be counting down the top 100 players in the game today, as voted on by our NHL editors. We'll reveal 10 players every day until the top 10 is unveiled Oct. 2.

100-91 | 90-81 | 80-71 | 70-61 | 60-51 | 50-41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-1

70. Jaccob Slavin, Hurricanes

Slavin's game isn't very flashy, but it's extremely effective, making the 25-year-old one of the most underrated players in the game. He's led the Hurricanes in blocks in three straight campaigns and ranks 19th among all NHL defensemen in that department since his debut in 2015-16. The 6-foot-3 rearguard has also posted positive possession numbers in each of his four NHL seasons and has hit the 30-point mark three times.

69. Jeff Skinner, Sabres

After eight seasons in Carolina, Skinner finally got his chance to play with an elite playmaking center in Jack Eichel. It resulted in his first 40-goal campaign, and if he sticks with Eichel, it probably won't be his last.

68. Charlie McAvoy, Bruins

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Despite being only 21 years old, McAvoy has already proven himself to be a high-value defenseman, as he led the Bruins in average time on ice with over 22 minutes last season, and then upped that total to over 24 minutes per game in the postseason. He was rewarded with a new deal and should help cement Boston's blue line for a long time.

67. Torey Krug, Bruins

Speaking of Bruins defensemen, Krug is a key member of one of the best defensive corps in the NHL. He topped the 50-point plateau for the third straight campaign in 2018-19 despite being limited to 64 games and proved more than worthy of slotting in on Boston's second pairing.

66. Tuukka Rask, Bruins

Rask showed that he's still one of the elite netminders in the game with another dominant performance in 2018-19. The 32-year-old ranks eighth among active netminders in wins and his career goals-against average of 2.28 is good for 11th all time among goalies with at least 150 NHL starts.

65. Rasmus Dahlin, Sabres

Dahlin didn't receive as much national recognition for his rookie season as he should've. He became just the third defenseman ever to record 40 points or more as an 18-year-old, joining Bobby Orr and Phil Housley. The comparisons to Nicklas Lidstrom and Erik Karlsson are lofty, but the 2019-20 season may show us why he's being measured against two all-time greats.

64. Jamie Benn, Stars

Last year, Benn recorded his lowest point total in a full season since he was a rookie, but there's still plenty left in the tank for the former 40-goal scorer. The Stars captain remains a threat whenever he steps on the ice and should be able to top the 30-goal mark again on a strong Dallas roster.

63. Frederik Andersen, Maple Leafs

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Like many goaltenders, Andersen has endured inconsistency at times, but the Toronto netminder has been steady overall, posting save percentages of .918, .918, and .917 in his three seasons with the Leafs. His 15.86 goals saved above average at five-on-five ranked fifth among all NHL goalies in 2018-19.

62. Matthew Tkachuk, Flames

Tkachuk broke onto the scene last season as one of the toughest yet most effective players in the league. The 6-foot-2 forward finished second among Flames forwards with 104 hits while also chipping in career highs of 34 goals and 77 points. Tkachuk has all the makings of an NHL captain, and with current leader Mark Giordano turning 36 in October, he could be next in line for the role.

61. Patrik Laine, Jets

In terms of playing a complete 200-foot game, Laine is far too high on this list. He may be one of the league's most lethal goal scorers when he's going, but when he's not, he can be virtually useless. The Jets sniper scored 18 goals in November last year, but no more than four in any other month. He has annual 50-goal potential, but he's also a major defensive liability.

(Analytics courtesy: Natural Stat Trick)

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

NHL podcast: Devin Setoguchi on alcoholism, Joe Thornton, Germany

Welcome to Puck Pursuit, a weekly NHL podcast hosted by John Matisz, theScore's national hockey writer.

Subscribe to the show on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Spotify.

In the first episode of the 2019-20 season, John is joined by former NHL forward Devin Setoguchi to discuss a variety of topics:

  • Ups and downs of post-playing life
  • Advice for those suffering from mental illness
  • Fondest memories of NHL career, Joe Thornton
  • Takeaways from stints in Europe

... and more!

Copyright © 2019 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.