Method-too-early NHL Energy Rankings for 2019-20

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10:46 PM ET

Emily KaplanESPN

So the 2018-19 season simply ended? We all know everybody else is already trying forward, so we joined in.

For this way-to-early version of the 2019-20 NHL Energy Rankings, we additionally recognized what a profitable season would seem like for every of the 31 groups.

How we rank: The ESPN hockey editorial workers submits polls rating groups 1-31, and people outcomes are tabulated to the record featured right here. For this version, we’re projecting how we predict the groups will probably be rated heading into subsequent season, taking into consideration current success and different components, resembling who could possibly be leaving through free company. The “earlier rating” for every staff refers back to the membership’s spot in our closing pre-playoff rankings.

Earlier rating: 1

How will the Lightning measure success in 2019-20? By getting over the playoff hump. It is Stanley Cup or bust right here.

Earlier rating: three

Sustaining excellence after a Stanley Cup Remaining run is rarely straightforward. However that is the bar Boston has set for itself.

Earlier rating: 2

The Flames have been so superior through the common season, and so forgettable within the playoffs. Success subsequent season is all about sustainability.

Earlier rating: four

With a summer time of prolonged relaxation, the Caps needs to be again among the many prime Cup contenders in 2019-20. They should not have hassle making the payoffs, however they should keep away from one other early exit.

Earlier rating: 6

All eyes proper now are on the Mitch Marner negotiations, however a win for the Leafs in 2019-20 is a protracted playoff run.

Earlier rating: 12

The Blues needs to be contenders but once more. So subsequent season, the aim is to strive to not make it so onerous on themselves early.

Earlier rating: eight

A shock playoff staff in 2018-19, the Islanders needs to be glad to copy that subsequent season; it nonetheless means they’d be forward of schedule.

Earlier rating: 5

The Sharks are nonetheless trying to find that elusive first Stanley Cup. With so many roster questions this summer time (particularly Erik Karlsson), the staff may look a bit completely different on opening night time.

Earlier rating: 7

It seems Penguins GM Jim Rutherford, desires to as soon as once more reinvigorate his group by making just a few trades. Success subsequent season is contingent on how efficient these strikes are.

Earlier rating: 9

With an interesting offseason forward — and loads of troublesome contract selections and negotiations to navigate — a win for the Jets is that if they will keep afloat amid all of the uncertainty.

Earlier rating: 11

The Golden Knights out of the blue discover themselves strapped by the cap. They should shed some cash to remain versatile, and perhaps which means ridding themselves of the David Clarkson contract.

Earlier rating: 10

The Predators might need plateaued with this group, and wish a roster shakeup if they’re going to spark one other lengthy playoff run.

Earlier rating: 16

If Mats Zuccarello decides to remain, the Stars are beginning the offseason on a great foot. They’re going to achieve success in the event that they present extra consistency.

Earlier rating: 17

The Avs are not the plucky younger staff that arrived forward of schedule. Subsequent season is a hit in the event that they match expectations, which isn’t simply making the playoffs, however occurring a run.

Earlier rating: 14

After clearing many bars final season — each on and off the ice — the Canes have the unenviable activity of elevating them but once more.

Earlier rating: 13

The Blues Jackets do not wish to be graded on a curve. Success this summer time is that if they will lure some free brokers, as they most likely say goodbye to 2 large ones in Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Earlier rating: 15

The Canadiens’ energy play cannot be as dreadful because it was final season. In addition they needs to be a playoff spot subsequent spring.

Earlier rating: 20

Within the Joel Quenneville period, the Panthers ought to graduate on from being everybody’s favourite sleeper staff. It’ll assist in the event that they get Bobrovsky and/or Panarin.

Earlier rating: 21

With a brand new coach and new GM calling the photographs, the Flyers ought to push for a playoff spot subsequent season, particularly in the event that they’re as lively in free company as we’re predicting.

Earlier rating: 18

The Coyotes have been the plucky underdogs who virtually snuck into the playoffs final spring. If they will lure any large names (Phil Kessel? Huge-time UFAs?) subsequent season might embrace a long-awaited return to the postseason.

Earlier rating: 19

A win subsequent season for the Minnesota Wild? Trades that are not immediately regrettable. It has been a shaky go for first-time GM Paul Fenton, however he is nonetheless working to place his stamp on the roster.

Earlier rating: 22

Chicago is attempting to tug off what Boston one way or the other finagled: rebuilding on the fly to squeeze just a few extra runs out of a veteran core.

Earlier rating: 24

In Edmonton, the bar is low however the ceiling is excessive. New coach Dave Tippett has to benefit from his roster exterior Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Earlier rating: 23

The Canucks want to amass depth (whereas avoiding unhealthy contracts) to enrich their budding younger stars. Simpler stated than accomplished.

Earlier rating: 26

With the No. 2 draft decide and the temptation to dip into high-priced free company this summer time, the Rangers could be contenders once more before we thought.

Earlier rating: 25

Nonetheless looking out for a brand new coach, the staff will discover success if it continues transitioning youthful; that may imply goodbyes to some longtime Geese.

Earlier rating: 27

Below new GM Steve Yzerman, there are actually excessive expectations for an expedited rebuild in Detroit. First, Yzerman must shed just a few bloated contracts.

Earlier rating: 30

It may well’t worsen than it was final season. The Kings must get extra out of — and discover a option to work with — Ilya Kovalchuk, for starters. He is underneath contract by way of 2021.

Earlier rating: 28

New coach Ralph Krueger is tasked with altering the tradition in Buffalo, and it is encouraging that Jeff Skinner re-signed for eight extra years. Making the playoffs in Krueger’s first season could be a stretch, although.

Earlier rating: 29

Sure, New Jersey has the No. 1 decide within the draft. But when the Devils cannot persuade Taylor Corridor to stay round, their short-term trajectory might come to a screeching halt.

Earlier rating: 31

The Senators can be ok with themselves in the event that they present enhancements underneath new coach D.J. Smith, however even higher if they will keep away from drama.



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