Chasing the Draft – December 18th Edition

By Bob Trask – With a light schedule for today, I thought I would calculate my reverse power rankings before the weekend schedule was completed. For this edition of the power rankings I have tweaked my methodology to include the impact of recent performance (last 10 games) in addition to each team’s overall record and its goal differential. It impacts the results slightly but not significantly.

Keep in mind that the points earned are my reverse power ranking points and not a prediction of the points a team may earn during the season. What these points do illustrate however, is how close together some some teams are ranked, how close some are to making or missing the playoffs and how likely or unlikely a team is to make it into the top three with respect to draft picks.

Without further ado, here are the new rankings:

DRAFT
POSITION
TEAMPOINTS
Lottery Teams
1Chicago Blackhawks50.3
2Anaheim Ducks58.0
3Columbus Blue Jackets61.7
4Arizona Coyotes66.9
5Philadelphia Flyers68.5
6San Jose Sharks70.7
7Montreal Canadiens73.7
8Nashville Predators74.8
9Detroit Red Wings77.9
10St. Louis Blues78.1
11Vancouver Canucks81.5
12Calgary Flames83.8
13Florida Panthers – traded to Montreal Canadiens85.1
14Edmonton Oilers87.8
15New York Islanders88.9
16Ottawa Senators89.0
Non-Lottery Teams
17Colorado Avalanche89.1
18Los Angeles Kings89.6
19Buffalo Sabres90.8
20Seattle Kraken91.3
21Washington Capitals93.1
22New York Rangers99.6
23Minnesota Wild99.7
24Vegas Golden Knights102.2
25New Jersey Devils103.7
26Dallas Stars103.7
27Winnipeg Jets106.2
28Toronto Maple Leafs108.0
29Pittsburgh Penguins108.1
30Tampa Bay Lightning108.6
31Carolina Hurricanes111.0
32Boston Bruins125.0

Takeaways

Because of the conference format and wildcard teams, some teams with fewer points could make the playoffs ahead of teams with more points. The Edmonton Oilers, for example, could make the playoffs while the Buffalo Sabres could be on the outside looking in despite having more points. It’s because the Western Conference is weaker than the Eastern Conference this year.

The Montreal Canadiens have “climbed” to #7 in the rankings and the upcoming road trip over the Christmas holidays will give us a better idea of what kind of team they are.

Buffalo has made it into the top 16 while Ottawa is knocking on the door. It would not be surprising to see both teams finish ahead of the Florida Panthers – and that would be good news for Canadiens fans.

Detroit has slipped in the rankings and with only 2 regulation wins in their last 10 games their lead over Montreal is slipping slightly. They are currently out of a wild card spot in the official NHL standings. While their points percentage is higher than Florida’s, other metrics indicate it will be a struggle for the Red Wings to remain ahead of the Panthers.

My power rankings currently have the Panthers with the #13 overall pick but what their record will be going forward may depend on the extent of the injury to Aleksander Barkov. At the moment that #13 pick looks very attractive to the Canadiens and it is not out of the realm of possibility for them to have 2 top 10 picks in June entry draft.

The Nashville Predators are the team closest to Montreal in the rankings and Habs fans should be cheering for them when they are not playing the Canadiens.

The trade deadline and the subsequent entry draft are shaping up to be very interesting for Montreal Canadiens’ fans. There should be a lot of action.

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