Blockchain and cryptocurrency are here to stay. But what will the future of these technologies look like? And, more importantly, how can you be prepared for it?
In the 2021-22 NHL season, December has arrived, and with it comes the yearly practice of guessing which clubs will make the playoffs based on their rankings following Thanksgiving. Over the last week, we’ve seen some eye-opening performances that have resulted in some significant adjustments in our Power Rankings.
Plus, no matter how good a team seems thus far, each squad has at least one player who has to step up; we’ve identified one for each of the 32 teams below.
How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey pundits, analysts, reporters, and editors rank teams against one another based on game results, injuries, and the upcoming schedule, and the results are collated to generate the list seen above.
Note: The previous ranking for each team corresponds to the rankings from last week, which were released on November 24. The percentages of points scored are through Tuesday’s games.
1 Points Percentage: 0.738 Previous ranking: 1 Previous ranking: 1 Previous ranking: 1 Previous ranking: 1 Previous ranking: Upcoming games include: against. OTT (Dec. 2), vs. BUF (Dec. 4), and At WPG (Dec. 5). (Dec. 7)
Jesperi Kotkaniemi is a Finnish writer. The Hurricanes haven’t seen Kotkaniemi at his finest. Yes, in his first 20 games this season, the center has equaled his goal total from last season (5), but he is only averaging approximately 12 minutes of ice time per game and has taken his time acclimating to Rod Brind’amour’s environment. Carolina has also been a force to be reckoned with right from the start, sheltering Kotkaniemi while he makes his way. It’s time for his own personal storm to erupt.
Previously ranked at 4 points, with a percentage of 0.750. upcoming games: against. Buffalo (Dec. 2), vs. St. Louis (Dec. 4), At St. Louis (Dec. 7)
Spencer Knight is a fictional character. This season, the Panthers haven’t had many passengers; everyone is working hard. Knight was one of them until he met a few speed bumps recently. Knight is 1-3-0 with an.882 save % and 3.63 goals-against average in his last five outings, which isn’t uncommon for a rookie goaltender. Sergei Bobrovsky, Knight’s goaltender partner, has faced with injuries this season, and Knight has been depended on even more as a result. Florida can’t afford for Knight to lose faith in himself.
Previously ranked at 6 points, with a percentage of 0.717. next games: Dec. 2 vs. CHI, Dec. 4 vs. CBJ, Dec. 5 vs. ANA (Dec. 6)
Sprong, Daniel. Last season was Sprong’s greatest statistical performance to date (13 goals and 20 points in 42 games). This season has been a unique experience. For a Capitals club that could use more depth scoring, Sprong has just three goals and six points in 20 games. After just three points in 11 games, Sprong was a healthy scratch last week. Sprong has a lot of distance to make up if he wants to play a more regular role for Washington.
Previously ranked: 5 points, 0.717 percentile against. COL (Dec. 1), At MIN (Dec. 4), @ WPG (Dec. 5), vs. CBJ (Dec. 6) (Dec. 7)
Justin Holl is the author of the book Justin Holl. Last season, Holl enjoyed a well-deserved coming-out party. This season, he has stayed on Toronto’s second pairing alongside Jake Muzzin, although his performance has deteriorated. Holl has been a healthy scratch on many occasions, has yet to score in 17 games (despite averaging over 20 minutes of ice time), and has struggled with transition defense. The more this Leafs team heats up, the more clear it becomes that Holl must step up.
Previously ranked at 3 points with a percentage of 0.750. against. PIT (Dec. 1), At SEA (Dec. 3), vs. LA (Dec. 5), vs. MIN (Dec. 6) (Dec. 7)
Kailer Yamamoto is a Japanese actor. Yamamoto has been riding shotgun on Edmonton’s second line with Leon Draisaitl… so why just five points in his first 20 games? Yamamoto’s lack of productivity has been a recurring problem for him, notably during his first seven games with the Oilers. Even though Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins have been excelling on the second unit, things haven’t really picked up since then. Yamamoto is interested in joining them.
Previously ranked: 2 points, 0.705 percentile next games: Dec. 2 vs. LA, Dec. 3 vs. ANA, Dec. 5 vs. VGK, Dec. 6 vs. SJ (Dec. 7)
Sean Monahan is an American actor. Monahan has slipped into the background in Calgary, where Andrew Mangiapane, Johnny Gaudreau, Jacob Markstrom (and so on) are doing so well. Monahan’s scoring has been inconsistent, with just two goals and 10 points in 22 games. He’s also been below average in the faceoff circle (49 percent) and has a minus-six rating, which is the lowest on the club. It’s perplexing, and Monahan has a lot of room for improvement.
Previously ranked at number eight, with a percentage of 0.705. Upcoming games include: against. NJ (Dec. 2), vs. TOR (Dec. 4), and at EDM (Dec. 5). (Dec. 7)
Jordan Greenway is a professional basketball player. The Wild are another squad with balanced contributions across the board. Greenway is someone they could need more consistency from, particularly in terms of how he utilizes his 6-foot-6 stature. Greenway can always have an effect in that area, even if he isn’t contributing much offensively (which he hasn’t been, with just three assists in 17 games).
Previously ranked at 9 points, with a percentage of 0.667. vs. STL (Dec. 2), At BOS (Dec. 4), @ PHI (Dec. 5), @ MTL (Dec. 6) (Dec. 7)
Corey Perry is a well-known actor. We’ll refer to this as Perry’s “keep moving up” label. After a nine-game point slump to begin the season, he has just recovered his stride. Perry is a 36-year-old veteran, but injuries to Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point have forced everyone, including Perry, to step up their offensive game. He’s got a lot to work on with five points in 20 games, four of which came in a row in late November.
Previously ranked: 10 points, 0.639 percentile next games: Dec. 1 vs. TOR, Dec. 2 vs. MTL, Dec. 4 vs. OTT, Dec. 5 vs. PHI (Dec. 6)
Darcy Kuemper is a character in the film Darcy Kuemper. The Avalanche have been on a roll owing to outstanding performances in the front row (looking at you, Nazem Kadri). Kuemper, the goaltender, hasn’t been able to keep up. He won nine of his first 15 games, although he had ordinary numbers (.903 save %, 2.84 goals-against average) throughout that time, boosted by Colorado’s aggressive onslaught. That scorching-hot scoring streak won’t continue forever, and Kuemper will need more help when it eventually evens out.
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Previously ranked at #7, with a percentage of 0.725. next games: Dec. 1 vs. PHI, Dec. 3 vs. SJ, Dec. 4 vs. CHI, Dec. 5 At CHI (Dec. 7)
Alexis Lafreniere is a character in the film Alexis Lafreniere. For the top overall choice in the 2020 draft, the dreaded sophomore slump has hit hard. Lafreniere had one goal and six points in the Rangers’ first 20 games, although his ice time had dropped to about 11 minutes per game. New York has been receiving offensive contributions from several players to help them get out to a good start, but Lafreniere is clearly trailing behind his colleagues — and individual expectations.
Previous position: 11; percentage: 0.545; previous ranking: 11; previous ranking: 11; previous ranking: 11; previous ranking: next games: Dec. 3 vs. NJ, Dec. 5 vs. TOR, Dec. 6 vs. CAR (Dec. 7)
Blake Wheeler is a writer. Wheeler has been in a slump for a while now. Despite playing elite minutes, the Jets captain has yet to score in 17 games and had just seven assists to his credit. Wheeler was recently reunited with Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor by coach Paul Maurice, which might provide him a boost. The Jets could certainly use some relief from Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois, who have had outstanding beginnings to the season.
Previously ranked at 12 points, with a percentage of 0.587. upcoming games: Dec. 1 vs. VGK, Dec. 3 vs. CGY, Dec. 6 vs. WSH, Dec. 7 vs. BUF (Dec. 7)
Silfverberg, Jakob Silfverberg might provide more to the Ducks. The 31-year-old winger has been a consistent 20-goal scorer in his career (save for the dreadful 2020-21 season with Anaheim), but he has fallen behind this season. Silfverberg did lose time due to COVID-19, which might have contributed to his one goal and nine points in 16 games. Anaheim, on the other hand, can’t afford to wait much longer for Silfverberg to bounce back.
Previously ranked at 18 points, with a percentage of 0.571. next games: against. CGY (Dec. 1), At ANA (Dec. 3), @ ARI (Dec. 3). (Dec. 5)
Janmark, Mattias. Despite all of Vegas’ early-season ailments, Janmark hasn’t been the difference-maker. He’s clearly capable of more than the one goal and four points he’s accumulated in 16 outings. As a result, Janmark’s ice time has decreased, maybe as a message from coach Peter DeBoer regarding expectations.
Previously ranked at 13 points with a percentage of 0.614. TB (Dec. 2), FLA (Dec. 4), and vs. FLA are on the schedule (Dec. 7)
Parayko, Colton. Through 21 games, Parayko led the Blues with 16 giveaways. That encapsulates some of his difficulties this season. St. Louis is counting on Parayko to be more responsible after he displayed unusually poor puck control. His overall numbers have deteriorated (nine points and a minus-three rating in 21 games), and the Blues’ overall defensive performance has deteriorated as well.
Previously ranked at 14 points, with a percentage of 0.600. Schedule: against. SJ (Dec. 5), At DAL (Dec. 2), @ WSH (Dec. 4), @ TOR (Dec. 5). (Dec. 7)
Jack Roslovic is a writer. Roslovic has fought hard to overcome a poor start, and he isn’t finished yet. Roslovic’s game has more depth, and it’s steadily blossoming, with three goals and eight points in 19 games. However, Roslovic only had 25 shots on goal throughout that time, an area where he could surely improve to make himself more of a danger.
Previously ranked: 15 points, 0.579 percentile upcoming games: against. TB (Dec. 2), At NSH (Dec. 2) (Dec. 4)
Taylor Hall is a building on the campus of Taylor University. A few players in Boston are working hard to get back on track. Hall is towards the top of the list. Throughout 18 games, he has been inconsistent, with lengthy spells without a point. In that time, Hall has five goals and ten points, which isn’t bad for someone who plays more than 15 minutes a game (and given his skill level). Boston is well aware of his abilities; all they need now is a lot more of it.
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Previously ranked: 20 points, 0.568 percentile Schedule: At EDM (Dec. 1), @ VAN (Dec. 4), @ SEA (Dec. 15). (Dec. 6)
Brian Dumoulin is the author of the novel Brian Dumoulin. Like many of his colleagues, Dumoulin’s season was cut short by COVID-19. He has to step up now that he’s back. Dumoulin’s defensive play has been unpredictable at times, and his two assists in 16 games felt inadequate. There’s more to come from one of Pittsburgh’s most crucial defenders.
Previously ranked at 19 points, with a percentage of 0.550. next games: against. OTT (Dec. 2), At MIN (Dec. 3), @ WPG (Dec. 4). (Dec. 6)
Nico Hischier is a French actor. What are the Devils’ plans to get Hischier going? In his first 19 games, New Jersey’s captain scored only two goals, and just six of his nine total points came at even strength. Hischier’s advanced statistics have been excellent, but a player of his quality should be able to put up more points after playing over 20 minutes every game.
Previously ranked at 23 points, with a percentage of 0.600. next games: against. CBJ (Dec. 2), vs. ARI (Dec. 2). (Dec. 6)
Tyler Seguin is a musician from the United States. Seguin, to be fair, is coming off severe hip operations. It’s tough to recover from such a traumatic experience. Dallas, on the other hand, wants to see its star shine once again. Seguin has been hit-or-miss this season, with five goals and nine points in 19 games and a couple of multigame droughts. Seguin has plenty of time to rediscover his form.
Previously ranked: 21 points, 0.568 percentile Schedule: against. CGY (Dec. 2), At NYI (Dec. 3), @ NYR (Dec. 3), @ CBJ (Dec. 5). (Dec. 7)
Nick Bonino is a professional baseball player. Bonino had to wait 18 games to get his first point of the season. He has two through 21 tilts, a very low number considering he averages more than 16 minutes per game. He also doesn’t shoot the puck very often (33 shots on goal this season), and San Jose could use all the help it can get. If Bonino is going to play significant minutes, the Sharks will need to produce more consistently.
Previously ranked at 17 points, with a percentage of 0.568. next games: Dec. 2 vs. BOS, Dec. 4 vs. MTL, Dec. 5 At DET (Dec. 7)
Ekholm, Mattias. Ekholm is held to a high standard by the Predators, as seen by his four-year, $25 million contract extension inked in October. That contract doesn’t start until next season, allowing Ekholm plenty of time to go back to his old self. So far, he’s been mediocre defensively, with 13 giveaways and the lowest plus-minus (minus-six) among Nashville blueliners through 21 games. Ekholm has just three assists in the offensive zone. The Predators are used to having a greater influence.
Previously ranked at 22 points, with a percentage of 0.524. Upcoming games include: versus. CGY (Dec. 2), At EDM (Dec. 5), and @ VAN (Dec. 6). (Dec. 6)
Viktor Arvidsson is a Swedish actor. Arvidsson has just discovered his game. The city of Los Angeles can only hope that this trend continues. Arvidsson didn’t have a great start to the season (five points in his first 11 games) and had to miss a few weeks due to COVID-19. Arvidsson, like others who have had setbacks, might try to make up for lost time. His latest two-game three-point streak was his best of the season, and it’s something to build on.
Previously ranked at 16 points, with a percentage of 0.500. upcoming games: against. TB (Dec. 5), vs. COL (Dec. 1), At NYR (Dec. 1), vs. TB (Dec. 5), vs. COL (Dec. 6). (Dec. 6)
Cam Atkinson is a British actor. Momentum is an amusing concept. With his first five games in Philadelphia, Atkinson scored six goals. In his next 15 games, he scored one goal and made three assists. This has been difficult for the Flyers, who have been shut out three times in the last month and have only scored more than two goals in three of those games. Philadelphia had a purpose for wanting Atkinson, and he’ll have to prove it once again.
Previous position: 24 points, 0.543 percentile Upcoming games: Dec. 1 vs. SEA, Dec. 4 vs. NYI, Dec. 5 vs. NSH (Dec. 7)
Nick Leddy is a musician from the United Kingdom. The Red Wings have relied heavily on their youthful players, but veterans like as Leddy can contribute more. This season, the 12-year blueliner has struggled to impose himself, as seen by his seven assists and minus-seven rating through 22 games. His total possession percentages (which are now just around 50%) should also be improved. Leddy can be a calming factor on Detroit’s back end with a few tweaks.
Previous position: 26 points, with a percentage of 0.432. next games: against. ANA (Dec. 2), vs. FLA (Dec. 4), vs. CAR (Dec. 5). (Dec. 7)
Dell, Aaron. Craig Anderson is much missed by the Sabres. However, since the experienced goalkeeper is still out with an injury, Dell’s performance as a backup to Dustin Tokarski has come under (justifiable) criticism. Dell has a.862 save percentage and a 4.56 goals-against average in four games. Tokarski is trying his best to fill Anderson’s shoes, but Dell isn’t assisting Buffalo in any way.
Previous position: 27 points, with a percentage of 0.381. Schedule: against. NYR (Dec. 2), vs. WSH (Dec. 4), vs. NYR (Dec. 5). (Dec. 7)
Kubalik, Dominik. Last season, Kubalik had a solid showing with the Blackhawks. He has come a long way since then. After a promising start, the winger faltered, with just three assists in 12 games in November and only seven for the season. Although Chicago has improved lately, Kubalik remains cautious.
Previous position: 28 points, with a percentage of 0.348. upcoming schedule: against. PIT (Dec. 4), vs. LA (Dec. 1), vs. OTT (Dec. 1); vs. OTT (Dec. 1); vs. PIT (Dec. 4); vs. (Dec. 6)
Elias Pettersson is a Swedish actor. Pettersson has been chastised for his bruising start in Vancouver. Through 22 games, the Canucks’ top center has just four goals and 11 points (seven on the power play). The Swedish star, who previously averaged over a point per game to earn a three-year, $22 million deal from Vancouver in October, has had a surprise lack of productivity. It’s past time for him to live up to that promise once again.
Previous position: 29 points, with a percentage of 0.386. Schedule: against. EDM (Dec. 3), vs. PIT (Dec. 1), vs. DET (Dec. 1). (Dec. 6)
Philipp Grubauer is a German author. It’s easy to forget Grubauer was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season. In Seattle, he hasn’t even come close to that level of performance. Grubauer had a.890 save percentage and a 3.03 goals-against average in his first 17 appearances. Grubauer, in particular, has more to provide than his fellow Kraken goaltenders, who haven’t been that good.
Previous position: 25th percentile: 0.353 upcoming games: against. SJ on December 2, At DET on December 4, vs. CHI on December 5, and @ OTT on December 6. (Dec. 7)
Mathew Barzal is a mathematician. Barzal hasn’t looked his best this season for the Islanders. Barzal’s early productivity hasn’t been there, whether it’s because of the more defensive position he’s been assigned or because of all the changes in New York’s lineup. Through 17 games, he had four goals and eight points while posting a minus-eight rating (lowest among Islanders forwards). New York has been one of the league’s lowest-scoring teams this season, so a lift from Barzal would be huge.
Previous position: 31 0.237 percentage points against. VAN (Dec. 1), At CAR (Dec. 2), vs. COL (Dec. 4), @ NJ (Dec. 6), vs. NYI (Dec. 7) (Dec. 7)
Tim Stutzle is a writer. Stutzle is in desperate need of traction. Coach D.J. Smith is definitely attempting to find the proper mix of players to help Stutzle get back to his best self, as he has lately shifted to center. Stutzle was minus-10 in his first 19 games, with one goal and eight assists. Following a great 29-point debut season, Ottawa was expecting a lot more from him.
30 pts. 0.292 pts. 0.292 pts. 0.292 pts Upcoming games include: against. COL (Dec. 2), At NSH (Dec. 4), and vs. TB (Dec. 5). (Dec. 7)
Jeff Petry is a writer. Petry has had a difficult start. Through 24 games, Montreal’s top defender has just two assists and a minus-four rating, and he hasn’t been executing at a high enough level. Maybe it’s because Petry is missing his customary partner Joel Edmundson, who is out with an injury. Maybe it’s just Petry’s age (33) catching up with him. Petry’s advanced statistics aren’t terrible, but he isn’t the game-changer Montreal needs.
Previously ranked at 32 points, with a percentage of 0.261. Upcoming games include: vs. VGK on December 3rd, and Vs DAL on December 4th (Dec. 6)
Jakob Chychrun is a character in the film Jakob Chychrun. Chychrun was meant to be the bright spot on an otherwise dreadful Arizona squad. He isn’t. Chychrun finished with six points, a minus-24 rating, and a 2.8 shooting % in 22 games. He still plays more than 25 minutes per game for the Coyotes, but following his 18-goal breakthrough season last season, the expectation was for Chychrun to take it up even more on the back end for the Coyotes. They’ve been waiting for a long time.