Skip to main content

NHL Power Rankings: Which MCU Superhero Best Represents Each Team?

From Howard the Duck (Coyotes) to Captain Marvel (Panthers), ranking every NHL team and their Marvel superhero counterparts.

Avengers, assemble! The newest Spider-Man movie hits theaters Thursday, which naturally got us thinking about the intersection of superheroes and hockey. No, not like the 2011 flop that was the NHL’s Guardian Project.

In this week’s power rankings, see which superhero from the Marvel Cinematic Universe represents every team. (And worry not, friends—the rankings are free from spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.)

Auston Matthews celebrates with Maple Leafs teammates.

32. Arizona Coyotes

Last Week: 32
Record: 5-20-2

Howard the Duck. The Coyotes are as relevant in the standings as Howard the Duck is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), which is to say: not very.

31. Montreal Canadiens

Last week: 31
Record: 6-21-3

Captain Carter. Montreal’s magical run to the Stanley Cup Final last season now feels like an alternate universe. The Canadiens sit dead-last in the Eastern Conference and must be asking themselves: What if …?

30. Buffalo Sabres

Last week: 29
Record: 9-15-4

Quicksilver. The speedster’s time in the MCU was short-lived—much like Jack Eichel’s hopes and dreams in Buffalo.

29. Ottawa Senators

Last week: 30
Record: 9-16-1

Shang-Chi. The new hero accepted the mantle of responsibility passed down from his father, and Brady Tkachuk, son of 18-year NHL veteran Keith Tkachuk, is doing the same, with 22 points in 23 games this season (and 11 in his last seven).

28. New York Islanders

Last week: 27
Record: 7-12-5

Star-Lord. Last relevant on Earth in the 1980s, Peter Quill and the Islanders nevertheless have shown flashes of greatness in recent years, but the Islanders have struggled so far this season.

27. Seattle Kraken

Last week: 23
Record: 9-15-3

Eros. Just like the character, played by Harry Styles and introduced in an Eternals postcredits scene, the Kraken are new and fans don’t know what to make of them yet, but they’re excited to find out.

26. Philadelphia Flyers

Last week: 28
Record: 11-12-4

Gritty. Look, Gritty may not be part of the MCU yet, but we all know he has superhero potential.

25. Chicago Blackhawks

Last week: 25
Record: 10-15-2

Thanos. Chicago won the Stanley Cup three times in six seasons from 2010 to ’15, but despite almost a full Infinity Gauntlet of championship rings, the team is now a shell of its former self.

24. New Jersey Devils

Last week: 24
Record: 10-12-5

Daredevil. Just as Daredevil is awaiting his turn on the big screen in the MCU, so too are the Devils awaiting their chance at the spotlight. With Jack Hughes locked up long-term, that time could be approaching.

23. Detroit Red Wings

Last week: 19
Record: 14-12-3

Young Avengers. While the Red Wings are not quite ready to come into their own, they are rounding into form, with rookies Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider leading the way.

22. Columbus Blue Jackets

Last week: 22
Record: 14-12-1

Dr. Strange. Both the sorcerer and the Blue Jackets have had success, but they’ve been overshadowed by others. Will Columbus pull off some wizardry in a tough Metropolitan Division?

21. Vancouver Canucks

Last week: 26
Record: 13-15-2

Vision. The Canucks remain undefeated since Bruce Boudreau took the reins, with five straight wins in his first five games as head coach. But does a new coach make a new team? Someone call up Vision to explain the Ship of Theseus problem.

20. Los Angeles Kings

Last week: 21
Record: 12-10-5

Nebula. The Kings have the same skilled players at their core (see: Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick), but they’ve also reinvented themselves with new additions, including Viktor Arvidsson and Phillip Danault, and they are trying to figure out where they stand.

19. San Jose Sharks

Last week: 20
Record: 15-12-1

Ant-Man. Like happy-go-lucky Scott Lang, who seems thrilled just to join in on the Avengers’ fun, the Sharks should be happy just to be in contention. They sit a point out of a wild-card berth after the first third of the season, a surprising start after they ended last season near the bottom of the league.

18. Dallas Stars

Last week: 12
Record: 13-11-2

Mysterio. Was the Stars’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season all smoke and mirrors? Or, despite missing the playoffs last season, can they get back in contention this time around?

17. Winnipeg Jets

Last week: 16
Record: 13-10-5

Iron Patriot. The original iteration was replaced by another version but still plays second fiddle to costars. Am I referring to James Rhodes or to the Jets? Yes.

16. Edmonton Oilers

Last week: 9
Record: 16-11-0

Black Panther. A new king took the throne in Connor McDavid, and he has brought his kingdom to new relevance on the world stage.

15. Anaheim Ducks

Last week: 17
Record: 16-9-5

Rocket Raccoon. A talking raccoon, an odd mix of youngsters and veterans; Rocket and Anaheim are both confusing assemblages, but they’re working.

14. St. Louis Blues

Last week: 15
Record: 16-8-5

Valkyrie. After long years of exile, Valkyrie and the Blues took their place on the throne in 2019—the former as king of Asgard, the latter as Stanley Cup champions after a 51-season drought. For each, the question remains: What comes next?

13. Nashville Predators

Last week: 18
Record: 17-10-1

Gamora. Even after being killed off, the skilled assassin was brought back from the dead, but she’s not her old self again, either. The Predators find themselves in a similar limbo as they attempt to rebuild on the fly and maintain their streak of playoff appearances (seven seasons and counting).

12. Boston Bruins

Last week: 13
Record: 14-9-2

The Hulk. The bruising Bruins are second to only the Islanders in hits per game this season, with a bone-crunching 28.24. You won’t like them when they’re angry.

11. Calgary Flames

Last week: 8
Record: 15-7-6

Scarlet Witch. While the Flames often find themselves on the sidelines when the season comes down to the wire, they are coming into their own power. They sit in second place in the Pacific Division, one point behind the Ducks.

Watch NHL games online all season long with fuboTV: Start with a 7-day free trial!

10. Pittsburgh Penguins

Last week: 14
Record: 15-8-5

Loki. The Penguins, like the trickster god, have been difficult to pin down this season. Are they the team that has won five games in a row, or the team that lost six of eight just a month ago?

9. Vegas Golden Knights

Last week: 11
Record: 17-11-0

Agatha Harkness. Agatha is even newer to the MCU than the Golden Knights are to the NHL, but both have made outsized impressions compared to their short time on the scene. (Yes, we’re still singing “Agatha All Along.”)

8. New York Rangers

Last week: 6
Record: 18-7-3

Captain America. The passing of the shield has served the Rangers (and the Captain America franchise) well. A new group of Rangers, led by Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin, and a new Captain America in Sam Wilson have stepped up to represent the red, white and blue.

7. Washington Capitals

Last week: 4
Record: 17-5-6

Thor. The Capitals and the Asgardian hero both hit ruts around 2013 (the Adam Oates and The Dark World eras, respectively) but have looked stronger than ever since then. Both are in position for electric years in ’22.

6. Minnesota Wild

Last week: 3
Record: 19-8-1

Black Widow. The character and the NHL team are finally getting their due, but is it too late? Perhaps not, with a pair of young Russians in Yelena Belova and Kirill Kaprizov stepping into leading roles.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Last week: 5
Record: 18-6-4

Iron Man. Tony Stark tinkers with technology; Tampa Bay tinkers with the salary cap. As a result, both have access to more money than should be allowed, and both have played the advantage with great success.

4. Carolina Hurricanes

Last week: 10
Record: 19-7-1

Spider-Man. Spider-Man and the Hurricanes have transformed from young upstarts with chips on their shoulders into big shots in their respective universes (or is it multiverses?). But they must remember: With great power comes great responsibility.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

Last week: 2
Record: 20-8-2

The Winter Soldier. The Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup drought (since 1967) has lasted almost as long as HYDRA kept Bucky Barnes on ice, but the last few years have given both the Leafs and Barnes new leases on life.

2. Colorado Avalanche

Last week: 7
Record: 17-7-2

Hawkeye. The Avalanche are the sharpest shooters in the league, scoring on 12.7% of their shots. And while they have underwhelmed in past installments, they are stepping into a starring role this season.

1. Florida Panthers

Last week: 1
Record: 18-6-4

Captain Marvel. Like Carol Danvers, the Panthers are powerful but underappreciated. (And when they’re knocked down, as they were in Tuesday’s 8–2 loss to the Senators, they get back up again.)

More NHL Coverager: 

Player Safety Must Come First As NHL Ponders the Olympics
EA Sports Adding Women's IIHF Teams to NHL 22
The NHL Has a COVID-19 Problem

Sports Illustrated may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.