We’re more than two weeks into yet another unique NHL season and there has been plenty to digest. New rivalries are forming thanks to the new division alignments, new stars and playoff contenders are emerging, and there’s even a new way post-game media availabilities are handled.
Since there’s so much new about the 2021 NHL season, we’ve decided to highlight some new faces in new places and look at how they’ve fared in our first regular-season Power Rankings.
1. Montreal Canadiens
Tyler Toffoli scored five goals in a three-game span against his former team, Josh Anderson has added size up front and Jake Allen is off to a perfect start backing up Carey Price. No surprise the Canadiens haven’t lost in regulation.
2. Vegas Golden Knights
Alex Pietrangelo has eaten up nearly 26 minutes a night after signing his big off-season deal and the Golden Knights are once again rolling.
3. Toronto Maple Leafs
The team will enjoy seeing Joe Thornton eventually return from his rib injury, but in the meantime it’s tough to complain when your record is 6-2-0 and your top stars are living up to their cap hits.
4. Washington Capitals
Rookie netminder Vitek Vanecek has been a pleasant surprise with a .918 save percentage through his first five starts and the Caps remain unbeaten in regulation.
5. Boston Bruins
Craig Smith has a three-game point streak going including two straight game-winners. The former longtime Predators forward is an ideal fit on Boston’s third line.
6. Tampa Bay Lightning
No new additions for the Lightning as the team adjusts to life without Nikita Kucherov.
7. Dallas Stars
Why fix what isn’t really broken? The Stars basically have an identical lineup to the one that came two wins shy of a Stanley Cup and they’re off to a blazing 3-0-0 start after being forced to delay their season opener.
8. Winnipeg Jets
Pierre-Luc Dubois entering the equation makes life in Winnipeg quite intriguing going forward. A one-two punch of Scheifele and Dubois down the middle gives the Jets envious centre depth in the North Division.
9. Pittsburgh Penguins
Kasperi Kapanen has points in three of his first four games with Pittsburgh. Kapanen was acquired in the off-season by Jim Rutherford, who resigned as Pens GM on Wednesday.
10. St. Louis Blues
The Blues power play hasn’t had much success thus far but that should change the more comfortable Torey Krug becomes with his new teammates.
11. Florida Panthers
First-year Panthers Patric Hornqvist and Carter Verhaeghe both have five points through three games and the Panthers are 3-0-0.
12. Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers don’t have any new impact players and outside of two blowout losses they’ve been chugging along admirably without Sean Couturier.
13. New Jersey Devils
Head coach Lindy Ruff appears to have made a positive impact on his new team even though goals have been hard to come by.
14. Colorado Avalanche
The Avs haven't found consistency quite yet but Devon Toews and Brandon Saad have been early contributors.
15. Minnesota Wild
Kirill Kaprizov’s star potential is apparent even though he has slowed down slightly following his memorable three-point NHL debut.
16. Calgary Flames
Jacob Markstrom has a .911 save percentage, a 2.62 goals-against average and one shutout but he and the Flames are looking to regroup after back-to-back one-goal regulation losses to the Maple Leafs at home.
17. Vancouver Canucks
Does everyone have their Nils Hoglander jerseys yet?! The rookie winger has been a bright spot on a line with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson despite his team’s overall defensive lapses.
18. Los Angeles Kings
The Kings already have a couple nice wins and manage to keep games close when they’re clearly outmatched on paper. Andreas Athanasiou’s speed has made a difference and he has chipped in with three goals already.
19. Nashville Predators
Nick Cousins scored his first goal with the Preds on Wednesday in Nashville’s second extra-time win in as many nights against Chicago.
20. Carolina Hurricanes
It’s too early to tell what type of impact Jesper Fast can have on his new team. The Hurricanes have only played three games and just went through a 10-day hiatus.
21. Buffalo Sabres
Buffalo has won two straight after dropping four of five to start the year, but now Taylor Hall, Eric Staal, Dylan Cozens and others need to build on that momentum.
22. Anaheim Ducks
Kevin Shattenkirk, like most Ducks, hasn’t been able to provide much offence and that’s why Anaheim is averaging a league-worst 1.71 goals per game.
23. Columbus Blue Jackets
Max Domi and Mikhail Grigorenko have been quiet offensively, while Michael Del Zotto has chipped in with four even-strength assists. The big question in Columbus is will the additions of Patrik Laine and Jack Roslovic help get the Blue Jackets back to the playoffs?
24. New York Islanders
The Isles have allowed 11 goals against through six games and rookie Ilya Sorokin let in seven of them during his two starts. The team is also averaging fewer than two goals per game.
25. Edmonton Oilers
Tyson Barrie, Kyle Turris, Jesse Puljujarvi and Dominik Kahun have combined for a mere one goal and five assists in 32 combined man games played. Not good.
26. Chicago Blackhawks
Nikita Zadorov has predictably thrown his body around, Mattias Janmark has a team-high three goals and Kevin Lankinen has posted solid numbers between the pipes in four starts yet the only team Chicago has been able to beat was Detroit.
27. San Jose Sharks
Ryan Donato seems to have some decent chemistry going with Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc as the Sharks continue their extended road trip to start the year.
28. Arizona Coyotes
Derick Brassard, Drake Caggiula and Johan Larsson haven’t done much on offence, which falls in line with the rest of the Yotes, who have been blanked in two straight games. Playing the Golden Knights four times in one week is not conducive to success either.
29. Detroit Red Wings
Bobby Ryan is already just one goal shy to tying his total from last season. Unfortunately for Red Wings fans it’s not making much of a difference in the standings.
30. New York Rangers
The Blue Shirts have struggled out the gates this season and No. 1 draft pick Alexis Lafrenière having zero points to start the year doesn’t help.
31. Ottawa Senators
Third-overall pick Tim Stützle has only one point, Matt Murray has only one win and the Sens once again find themselves at the very bottom of the league standings with head coach D.J. Smith feeling the pressure.