The regular season starts in just a few days, and there was tons of action this offseason, with the Flames at the forefront. Because of that, we ranked all of the four major positions: wingers, centres, defencemen, and goaltenders.
- NHL winger depth rankings for 2022–23
- NHL centre depth rankings for 2022–23
- NHL defence corps rankings for 2022–23
- NHL goaltending rankings for 2022–23
In our rankings, the Flames found themselves 21st, sixth, fourth, and fourth, respectively. This gives them an average ranking of 8.75 for the four positions. Where does that rank league wide? Let’s take a look at our consolidated rankings chart to find out.
Consolidated NHL ranking chart
The chart below has our given rankings inputted for the four positions. We then took an average of the four, and gave a ranking based on that consolidated rankings. The chart has been organized to show the highest ranking first, going all the way down to the lowest ranking.
|Tampa Bay Lightning||1||8||17||1||6.75||2|
|New York Rangers||8||10||9||1||7||3|
|New York Islanders||19||17||7||3||11.5||9|
|St Louis Blues||2||7||16||23||12||11|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||13||2||11||22||12||12|
|New Jersey Devils||10||14||8||24||14||15|
|Vegas Golden Knights||22||12||2||27||15.75||18|
|Detroit Red Wings||26||24||26||19||23.75||25|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||20||30||22||25||24.25||26|
|San Jose Sharks||31||18||30||21||25||28|
The Pittsburgh Penguins are our consolidated #1
A bit of a surprise when running this exercise, the Penguins narrowly edge out the Lightning for top spot in our consolidated rankings. The Penguins kept their core together, re-signing Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Bryan Rust, and Rickard Rakell. They did make some changed to their backend, shifting out Mike Matheson and John Marino, and adding Jeff Petry, Ty Smith, and Jan Rutta. With Tristan Jarry in net, and Sidney Crosby and Jake Guentzel up front, the Penguins are solid all around.
The Flames find themselves at #6, narrowly edging out their rival
The strong goaltending, defence, and centre rankings boost the Flames into sixth place in our rankings. The Edmonton Oilers find themselves in seventh place, boosted by their centre ranking being first overall. Pretty hard to beat Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl down the middle. However, the Oilers ranked in the middle of the pack for the other three positions that we ranked, which dropped them a bit.
Notable position ranking outliers
Both the Florida Panthers and Los Angeles Kings rankings seems to be lower than most projections. For the Panthers, it was the lack of depth and the defence which looks poor, while the Kings are still underrated, as young players will continue to push for positions.
The New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and Vancouver Canucks seem to be a tad higher than what others are projecting. While the forward group certainly leaves something to be desired, the Islanders do have a very strong defence corps and goaltending. The Devils are extremely underrated heading into the season, if their goaltending can finally hold up. The Canucks don’t look great on defence, but Thatcher Demko is in net and a solid forward core could propel them into a playoff spot.
Two major drop-off points
Looking at the consolidated ranking values, there are two major drop-offs, where the consolidated ranking value between two teams was more than three. The first drop-off happens between the L.A. Kings and Seattle Kraken, demonstrating that the playoff hopes cutoff could end with the Kings. The second cutoff happens between the Sabres and the Coyotes, demonstrating that there is a major cutoff from the bottom of the barrel teams.
Battle for the bottom
The Bedard Bowl looks like it is a two-horse race between the Arizona Coyotes and the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks ranked last or second last in every single category, placing them as the favourites for Bedard. The Coyotes were the third worst in both winger and defence, which boosts them slightly above the Blackhawks.
Predicting the playoff picture
Our consolidated rankings give the following playoffs:
- Pacific: Flames, Oilers, Canucks, Golden Knights (WC2)
- Central: Avalanche, Predators, Blues, Wild (WC1)
- Metro: Penguins, Rangers, Hurricanes, Islanders (WC1), Capitals (WC2)
- Atlantic: Lightning, Bruins, Leafs
Bring on the hockey
We’ll see which teams elevate themselves and which ones go into freefall over the course of the season. Let’s do that hockey.
Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire