NHL Power Rankings: Each team's most impressive player since restart
This is the 14th edition of theScore's NHL Power Rankings for 2019-20 and the second since the announcement of the season restart. With the round of 16 about to begin, we've limited the rankings to the teams still competing.
In this edition, we'll look at each club's most impressive player since play resumed on Aug. 1.
1. Philadelphia Flyers
Previous rank: 6
Scott Laughton has continued to develop offensively after potting a career-high 13 regular-season goals. The 6-foot-1 forward led the Flyers with three goals and five points in round-robin play despite logging just over 14 minutes per contest.
2. Vegas Golden Knights
Previous rank: 8
The Golden Knights went 3-0-0 in round-robin action without Max Pacioretty, largely due to defenseman Shea Theodore's brilliant play. The 24-year-old rearguard recorded two goals and two assists while averaging 24:02 of ice time. He also led the club with 11 shots on goal and paced Vegas' blue-liners with a 62.37% Corsi For rate at five-on-five.
3. Colorado Avalanche
Previous rank: 3
Nathan MacKinnon hasn't shown any rust following the league's long hiatus. The Hart Trophy candidate notched three points in three games and led all forwards while averaging 22:17 of ice time per contest. MacKinnon also set the tone physically with six hits, and Colorado owned a 63.49% share of expected goals with the star forward on the ice at five-on-five.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning
Previous rank: 4
Brayden Point picked up the slack with Lightning captain Steven Stamkos out. The 23-year-old pivot shared the team lead with three points in three games, and he was dominant during faceoffs while winning 65.85% of his draws.
5. Boston Bruins
Previous rank: 1
The mighty Bruins are struggling to find their game since returning to action, dropping all three round-robin games while scoring only four goals. Two of those tallies came from 6-foot grinder Chris Wagner, who also led the team with 12 hits and played a penalty-kill role. The Bruins will be in fine form if they receive that type of depth play once their big guns get rolling.
6. Carolina Hurricanes
Previous rank: 10
With 23-year-old Sebastian Aho leading the attack, the Hurricanes' young stars were on full display in their sweep of the New York Rangers. Aho netted three goals, and he ranks second in postseason scoring with an impressive eight points in three games.
7. St. Louis Blues
Previous rank: 2
The reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner is picking up where he left off last postseason. The Blues weren't at their best during the round robin, but Ryan O'Reilly was the team's offensive leader with three points, and he remains one of the league's best defensive forwards.
8. Washington Capitals
Previous rank: 7
The Capitals are counting on Braden Holtby to return to his old form this postseason. His regular season was lackluster, and backup Ilya Samsonov isn't with the team. However, Holtby looked sharp during the round robin, posting a .925 save percentage and a 1.98 goals-against average.
9. Dallas Stars
Previous rank: 9
Miro Heiskanen doesn't get enough attention despite being one of the league's best young defensemen. It's time to start recognizing the 21-year-old Finn as a future Norris Trophy candidate. He led the Stars offensively with four points in three games during the round robin while also playing big minutes and doing an excellent job limiting his opponents' chances.
10. Columbus Blue Jackets
Previous rank: 15
If the Blue Jackets go on a deep run, it'll be because of their defense and goaltending. While Seth Jones and Zach Werenski were sensational at slowing down the high-powered Toronto Maple Leafs' attack, Joonas Korpisalo gets the nod here after posting a .956 save percentage and a qualifying-round best 4.43 goals saved above average over four games.
11. New York Islanders
Previous rank: 13
Semyon Varlamov helped provide stability for the Islanders while sharing the crease with Thomas Greiss during the regular season, and the Russian goaltender was the biggest reason New York dispatched the Florida Panthers in four games during the qualifying round. Varlamov allowed only seven goals throughout the series while authoring a .932 save percentage.
12. Vancouver Canucks
Previous rank: 17
Jacob Markstrom was solid in net for the Canucks over four games as they eliminated the Minnesota Wild, but Quinn Hughes has been Vancouver's best player since the restart. The 20-year-old Calder Trophy finalist led his club with five assists and six points in the series while averaging a team-leading over 24 minutes of ice time per game.
13. Calgary Flames
Previous rank: 19
There was some debate about who should start Game 1 for the Flames against the Winnipeg Jets, but there's no doubt who should occupy Calgary's crease now. Cam Talbot was excellent in the qualifying round, surrendering only six goals over four games while posting a .945 save percentage and helping to eliminate the Jets with a 31-save shutout in Game 4.
14. Montreal Canadiens
Previous rank: 24
Speaking of netminders, the Canadiens needed their franchise player to excel if they wanted to shock the Pittsburgh Penguins, and that's exactly what happened. Carey Price finished the series with a .947 save percentage, shutting out his dynamic opposition in the Game 4 clincher and allowing two-plus goals only once over the three previous contests.
15. Arizona Coyotes
Previous rank: 22
16. Chicago Blackhawks
Previous rank: 23
Jonathan Toews is playing like a man on a mission this postseason. "Captain Serious" has been disproving doubters throughout the 2019-20 campaign, and the Blackhawks' leader remains the club's best player since play resumed. He helped Chicago upset the Edmonton Oilers with a team-leading four goals and seven points over four games.
(Analytics source: Natural Stat Trick)