Consolidated NHL position rankings and where the Calgary Flames stack up

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.

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.

Pittsburgh Penguins536116.251
Tampa Bay Lightning181716.752
New York Rangers8109173
Carolina Hurricanes6155684
Colorado Avalanche3131178.55
Calgary Flames216448.756
Edmonton Oilers111181310.757
Boston Bruins159121011.58
New York Islanders19177311.59
Nashville Predators12273511.7510
St Louis Blues2716231211
Toronto Maple Leafs13211221212
Washington Capitals716141412.7513
Minnesota Wild1411131613.514
New Jersey Devils10148241415
Florida Panthers23424714.516
Vancouver Canucks18528814.7517
Vegas Golden Knights221222715.7518
Ottawa Senators422251516.519
Winnipeg Jets252115917.520
Dallas Stars2425101217.7521
LA Kings1720191818.522
Seattle Kraken923272821.7523
Anaheim Ducks3019212022.524
Detroit Red Wings2624261923.7525
Columbus Blue Jackets2030222524.2526
Philadelphia Flyers282620262527
San Jose Sharks311830212528
Montreal Canadiens1628323026.529
Buffalo Sabres272923292730
Arizona Coyotes2932293230.531
Chicago Blackhawks3231313131.2532

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

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