As the calendar moved to November of the 2022-23 NHL season, some early-season trends fizzled out while others strengthened. And as the number of injuries has started to pile up, some players need to play a bigger role or just start working harder with the opportunities they’ve been given.
For this week’s NHL Strength Rankings, we’ve identified one player per club to move up in the coming days and weeks.
How we evaluate: Sportzshala’s panel of hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors rank teams against each other – taking into account game scores, injuries and upcoming schedules – and those scores are tabulated to create the list presented here.
Note. Each team’s previous rankings refer to the previous edition published on October 28th. Points are for Thursday’s games.
1. Boston Bruins
Previous rating: 2
Point Percentage: 0.909
Next seven days: @ TOR (November 5), vs. STL (November 7), vs. CGY (November 10)
Trent Frederick had opportunities with this hot Bruins team and could have done more. Frederick plays with a sort of reckless dedication that could hurt him, but coach Jim Montgomery chose Boston’s 2016 first-round pick over no other options and has seen him only hit three points in nine games. What else is there from him?
2. Vegas Golden Knights
Previous rating: 6
Point Percentage: 0.833
Next seven days: @ MTL (November 5), @ TOR (November 8), @ BUF (November 10)
Zak Whitecloud is one of those young guards who is right on the doorstep. Vegas has been a frighteningly good start to this season, and it’s the perfect time for White Cloud to further develop his growing talent. The 25-year-old clearly makes sure that something happens every shift; he has room to move even higher.
3. Carolina Hurricanes
Previous rating: one
Point Percentage: 0.750
Next seven days: against. BUF (November 4) vs. TOR (November 6), @FLA (November 9) vs. Electronic Music (November 10)
Teuvo Teravainen is in the top five in average playing time for the Hurricanes (over 17 minutes per game), but, oddly enough, he managed only three assists in his first nine games. The winger scores 65 points, proving that Teravainen has more to offer to Carolina’s offense (who were in the middle of the rankings, scoring 3.25 goals per game).
4. Calgary Flames
Previous rating: 5
Point Percentage: 0.556
Next seven days: against. New Jersey (November 5), @ NYI (November 7), @ New Jersey (November 8), @ BOS (November 10)
Jonathan Huberdeau revealed himself this week, saying he is “much better than I am right now.” Calgary believes it is. Huberdo did not go up in flames like Nazem Qadri; the former Panthers scored just one point in 5-on-5 matches in eight games and was not very sharp defensively.
5. Edmonton Oilers
Previous rating: eleven
Point Percentage: 0.636
Next seven days: against. DAL (November 5), @ WSH (November 7), @ TB (November 8), @ CAR (November 10)
Jack Campbell signed a major offseason and became Edmonton’s next starting goaltender. The Oilers are still waiting for their full comeback. Campbell struggled for goal with a .881 shooting percentage and 3.91 goals average over six games (albeit with a 5-2-0 record). The veteran was wobbly enough that coach Jay Woodcroft began to rely on Stuart Skinner instead. But finding his form for Campbell is extremely important for Edmonton.
6. New York Rangers
Previous rating: 9
Point Percentage: 0.583
Next seven days: against. DET (November 6), vs. NYI (November 8), @DET (November 10)
Kaapo Kakko can do anything but points. The young winger has faced an abyss of bad rebounds that has clouded his confidence in puck possession and his improved game overall. The Rangers are third in goals this season and need more secondary scoring chances. Players like Kakko, who has only scored two goals in 11 games, should start doing this.
7. Tampa Bay Lightning
Previous rating: twenty
Point Percentage: 0.591
Next seven days: vs. BUF (November 5), vs. EDM (November 8)
This week, Mikhail Sergachev spared no words when discussing the “unacceptable” chances that Tampa Bay are giving up on defense. Now that Victor Hedman suffers day after day from an upper body injury, Sergachev has even more to shore up the back of the Lightning. Sergachev has had a good offensive start this season, but more attention to detail in the Tampa Bay ending and limiting those high-quality scoring chances will be critical.
8. New Jersey Devils
Previous rating: 16
Point Percentage: 0.727
Next seven days: @CGY (November 5), vs. CGY (November 8), vs. OTT (November 10)
Jesper Bockvist will have more opportunities with the Devils now that Ondrej Palat is out with an injury. This is the perfect time to reboot Boqvist. He’s been a healthy scratch while New Jersey found his rhythm early, and with Bockvist back in the chat, refreshed and ready, he can pick up where the successful 2021-22 season left off and contribute to a surprisingly hot start. New Jersey.
9. Colorado Avalanche
Previous rating: 3
Point Percentage: 0.500
Next seven days: against. CBJ (November 4) vs. CBJ (November 5) vs. NSH (November 10)
Alex Newhook faced the unenviable task of filling a vacant second-line role at Colorado’s center when Nazem Kadri left for free agency. This is still ongoing and the Avalanche needs Newhook to complete the transition. He started with just one goal in nine games and hit minus four, a statistic that doesn’t reflect what Colorado thinks he’s capable of with extended options.
10. Florida Panthers
Previous rating: 7
Point Percentage: 0.591
Next seven days: @ LA (November 5), @ ANA (November 6) vs. CAR (November 9)
Sam Bennett has been an anomaly this season, posting one of the highest expected goals per 60 minutes of any striker, but with no visible results. Florida would benefit from changes there. Bennett scored one goal and had four assists in 10 games, averaging about 20 minutes per game. The sooner Bennett can start capitalizing on his opportunities, the better.
11. Dallas Stars
Previous rating: ten
Point Percentage: 0.682
Next seven days: @EDM (November 5th), @WPG (November 8th)
Scott Wedgwood has huge skates that he can use as a Dallas starter, while Jake Ettinger is out with a lower body injury. Cap issues prevented the Stars from recalling veteran Anton Khudobin to support him, so rookie Matt Murray, fresh from an entry-level contract, is behind Wedgwood. Essentially, that means the veteran has to keep Dallas afloat until Ettinger returns.
12. Buffalo Sabers
Previous rating: fourteen
Point Percentage: 0.700
Next seven days: @ CAR (November 4), @ TB (November 5) vs. ORI (November 8), vs. VGK (November 10)
Jacob Bryson hit the Sabres’ top defense with Rasmus Dahlin when a trio of blue Buffalo players were injured. It’s time for Bryson to show why it’s worth giving him more options. Buffalo is in the top 10 in shooting against this season, and he will be counting on Bryson playing higher in the lineup to help keep his backside stable until healthy bodies return.
13. New York Islanders
Previous rating: 22
Point Percentage: 0.636
Next seven days: @ DET (November 5), vs. CGY (November 7), @NYR (November 8) vs. ARI (November 10)
Anthony Beauvillier scored a key goal for the Islanders this week in a win over the Rangers. Is this a sign that more hitting games are coming? Beauvillier spends a lot of time with New York in a 5-on-5 game, and he could be even more involved in the Islanders’ growing success behind the net. The winger has scored three goals in his first nine games, but the floodgates may be about to open.
14. Toronto Maple Leafs
Previous rating: eight
Point Percentage: 0.545
Next seven days: against. BOS (November 5), @CAR (November 6) vs. VGK (November 8)
Justin Hall has top pair as Toronto tries to work out its defense issues. This position comes with a huge responsibility, and all too often Hall looks like a burden. He has taken ill-timed penalties, regularly failed breakouts, and can be thrown off by too-fast competition. Jake Mazzin may not be back for a while; Hall should give the Leafs more.
15. Pittsburgh Penguins
Previous rating: four
Point Percentage: 0.454
Next seven days: against. SEA (November 5), @ WSH (November 9)
Chris Letang is not like Chris Letang. His performances early in the season were marked by uncharacteristic psychological lapses, including egregious passing and forced plays that were not there, with him often hitting out of position. However, Letang needs to find his way and help Pittsburgh out of a recent skid.
16. Los Angeles Kings
Previous rating: eighteen
Point Percentage: 0.500
Next seven days: against. FLA (November 5), vs. MIN (November 8), vs. CHI (November 10)
Cal Petersen may be a backup goaltender in Los Angeles, but the Kings need a solid pairing of Petersen and Jonathan Quick to reach the next level. No goaltender has had his strongest start so far, and the Los Angeles defense has been too vulnerable. This is a difficult combination. Petersen could take some of the pressure off Quick by playing better.
17. Washington Capitals
Previous rating: 17
Point Percentage: 0.500
Next seven days: vs. ARI (November 5), vs. EDM (November 7), vs. PIT (November 9)
Evgeny Kuznetsov came to his senses. He failed to score a single goal in the team’s first 10 games while averaging nearly 18 minutes per game, and that was at a time when Washington was hit hard by injury (Connor Brown is the last forward , who was knocked out of the roster, possibly out of the game). for the season). The Capitals expect more from Kuznetsov.
18. Philadelphia Flyers
Previous rating: 19
Point Percentage: 0.600
Next seven days: @OTT (November 5th) vs. STL (November 8th), @CBJ (November 10th)
Travis Konecny reacted well to being sent to the bench by coach John Tortorella last week. The Flyers forward now needs to further increase his contribution. Philadelphia needs to take some of the pressure off Carter Hart to be the savior, and Koneckney can do that by using his 20-plus minutes per competition in a stronger 200-foot game that complements the steady pace of scoring per game.