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NHL Power Rankings: Players Hitting Their Stride in 2022

A new team takes over at No. 1. Plus, looking around the league at which players are heating up in the second half of the season.

New year, new me? However trite, Toronto’s Alexander Kerfoot and Vancouver’s Tyler Motte took the saying to heart. Neither had scored a point since Dec. 1, but both have turned a new leaf since the start of January.

Even as temperatures are cooling, players from Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon to San Jose’s Timo Meier are heating up. This week’s power rankings spotlight the hottest players of 2022 for each team. 

Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon

32. Montreal Canadiens

Last week: 32
Record: 8-25-5

Sam Montembeault. The 25-year-old backup goalie made a career-high 48 saves Tuesday to help Montreal snap its six-game losing streak (and its nine-game road losing streak) with a 5–3 win against the Stars.

31. Arizona Coyotes

Last Week: 31
Record: 9-24-4

Johan Larsson. Larsson scored his first career hat trick in a win against the Blackhawks on Jan. 6. He also had a goal and an assist in a 5–2 win Monday against the Canadiens.

30. Buffalo Sabres

Last week: 30
Record: 12-20-7

Alex Tuch. The 25-year-old winger made his season debut on Dec. 29 after missing the first two months of the season due to a shoulder injury. In his first seven games, he has seven points (two goals and five assists).

29. Seattle Kraken

Last week: 28
Record: 11-23-4

Marcus Johansson. The center has two power-play goals in the last five games after recording just one in his previous 22.

28. Ottawa Senators

Last week: 29
Record: 11-19-2

Alex Formenton. The speedy 22-year-old compiled two points in each of Ottawa’s last two wins. He’s carved out a spot for himself among the team’s top six forwards.

27. Philadelphia Flyers

Last week: 27
Record: 13-18-8

Cam Atkinson. The Flyers dropped their ninth straight game Tuesday against the Islanders after a nine-round shootout in which no Philadelphia player found the net. Still, even as the team has floundered, Atkinson has continued his steady contributions to the offense, with a point per game during the skid.

26. Columbus Blue Jackets

Last week: 23
Record: 17-18-1

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Gustav Nyquist. Even as the Blue Jackets have struggled to start the new year, with five losses in seven games, Nyquist has surged with nine points since Jan. 1.

25. New Jersey Devils

Last week: 24
Record: 14-18-5

Nathan Bastian. The depth forward has contributed three points in the Devils’ last three games, including a power-play goal and a power-play assist.

24. Detroit Red Wings

Last week: 25
Record: 18-17-5

Tyler Bertuzzi. The 26-year-old winger has 14 points in his last 11 games. In the Red Wings’ most recent game, coach Jeff Blashill dropped him from the first line to the second to generate scoring depth, and it worked: He assisted on the first goal of Detroit’s 3–2 win against the Sabres.

23. Chicago Blackhawks

Last week: 26
Record: 15-18-6

Patrick Kane. Since Jan. 2, the star forward is on an eight-game point streak. The Blackhawks are starting to heat up as well, with four wins and a shootout loss in their last five games.

22. Vancouver Canucks

Last week: 21
Record: 18-18-3

Tyler Motte. A potential trade candidate, he’s upping his value. After recording just one point in 10 games in December, he has five points in six games in 2022.

21. New York Islanders

Last week: 22
Record: 13-13-6

Josh Bailey. The 32-year-old center has 16 points in 27 games this season but six in his last six games. Can he find the consistency Islanders fans want to see from him?

20. Edmonton Oilers

Last week: 19
Record: 18-15-2

No one. The Oilers have lost six straight games and 12 of 14. Not even the star duo of Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid has been enough to pull them out of this spiral.

19. Dallas Stars

Last week: 16
Record: 18-16-2

Jason Robertson. The 22-year-old winger had an eight-game point streak from Dec. 14 through Jan. 12. While that streak has ended, another is still alive: He has scored a point in 11 straight home games for the Stars stretching back to Nov. 23.

18. San Jose Sharks

Last week: 20
Record: 21-17-2

Timo Meier. A first-time All-Star this season, the winger showed why he belongs in the upcoming showcase when he scored a franchise-record five goals in the Sharks’ 6–2 win Monday against the Kings.

17. Anaheim Ducks

Last week: 15
Record: 19-15-7

Troy Terry. Before entering the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols on Jan. 14, the forward had six points in five games to start the new year.

16. Winnipeg Jets

Last week: 17
Record: 17-12-6

Connor Hellebuyck. Erase a ghastly 7–1 loss to the Avalanche on Jan. 6 and the netminder has had a sterling start to 2022, with a 3-0-1 record and a .934 save percentage.

15. Los Angeles Kings

Last week: 18
Record: 20-15-5

Trevor Moore. On the Kings’ recent four-game winning streak, the 26-year-old winger contributed one goal and six assists—but he’s been scoreless in their last two games, both losses.

14. Calgary Flames

Last week: 14
Record: 18-11-6

Johnny Gaudreau. The first of Gaudreau’s four assists in Tuesday’s 5–1 win against the Panthers marked his 40th point on the season. He’s reached that milestone in each of his eight seasons in the league.

13. Nashville Predators

Last week: 8
Record: 24-14-3

Juuse Saros. The goaltender started 2022 with a five-game winning streak before losing his last three starts. He’s faced a average of 38.25 shots per game over the last eight games, so he needs some help from the Predators’ defense.

12. Minnesota Wild

Last week: 13
Record: 22-10-3

Mats Zuccarello. The 34-year-old winger extended his season-long point streak to six games in Monday’s shootout loss to the Avalanche. With two assists in that contest, he’s up to 10 points during the hot streak.

11. Washington Capitals

Last week: 10
Record: 22-9-9

Tom Wilson. After going scoreless for more than a month, Wilson has goals in the Capitals’ last three games, including the overtime winner Tuesday against the Jets.

10. New York Rangers

Last week: 12
Record: 25-10-4

Igor Shesterkin. While a trip to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list kept Shesterkin off the ice for a week, the goalie sandwiched his weeklong break with shutouts against the Lightning and the Sharks. He also posted a 3–2 win Saturday against the Flyers.

9. St. Louis Blues

Last week: 9
Record: 23-11-5

Ivan Barbashev. The 26-year-old center has notched four goals and five assists in seven games this month, including two of each in the Blues’ 5–3 win Monday against Predators.

8. Boston Bruins

Last week: 11
Record: 22-12-2

Brad Marchand. His strong play over the last few weeks makes his All-Star snub that much more apparent. Marchand has 16 points so far in 2022 and 43 on the season; eight of the nine players that rank ahead of him in points received All-Star nods.

7. Vegas Golden Knights

Last week: 7
Record: 23-15-2

Evgenii Dadonov. The Golden Knights have won just one of their six games so far this month, but their second line has been a bright spot, led by Dadonov’s point per game pace in that span.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins

Last week: 5
Record: 23-10-5

Kris Letang. The veteran defenseman has started the year on an eight-game point streak, and he has 13 points (two goals and 11 assists) in that stretch.

5. Toronto Maple Leafs

Last week: 4
Record: 24-9-3

Alexander Kerfoot. The center hadn’t recorded a point since Dec. 1, but when the calendar flipped to January, he flipped a switch. Kerfoot has 10 points in Toronto’s first six games of 2022.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

Last week: 6
Record: 27-9-5

Nikita Kucherov. After missing 32 games with a lower-body injury, the star forward notched two assists in his return to Tampa’s lineup on Jan. 6. Two games later, he tallied a hat trick. No injury hangover here.

3. Florida Panthers

Last week: 3
Record: 26-8-5

Sam Bennett. The only obstacle to stop Bennett so far this January is himself. He received a three-game suspension for a hit to the head of Montreal’s Sam Paquette on New Year’s Day. In the five games he has played this year, he has nine points, including a hat trick in a 7–1 win against the Stars on Jan. 14.

2. Carolina Hurricanes

Last week: 1
Record: 26-8-2

Andrei Svechnikov. The 21-year-old winger has recorded two points in each of the Hurricanes’ four wins in 2022, including a goal and an assist in Tuesday’s 7–1 drubbing of the Bruins.

1. Colorado Avalanche

Last week: 2
Record: 25-8-3

Nathan MacKinnon. The Central Division’s All-Star captain snapped his 13-game point streak on Jan. 10, but since then he has six points in four games, including two goals and an assist in Colorado’s win Saturday against Arizona.

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