A big chunk of what we do right here at Power Rankings HQ revolves round The Numbers — in all probability rather less than you’d guess, however, nonetheless, a substantial quantity.

Our lil’ weekly ordered listing of hockey groups, although, accounts for different stuff as effectively. It should. This sport — this life — goes past anticipated purpose percentages. These groups are better than their numbers, and so are you. Remember we stated that. Stitch it on a pillow.

And so, we’ve landed on the theme for this week: Guys we like. Lots of them are good — however, as you’ll determine towards the underside, it wasn’t a prerequisite. If you possibly can’t be good, be cool.

Last Week: 1
Record: 10-1-0
Dom rank: 1
Sean rank: 1

One man we like: Linus Ullmark

Sean: Last season, Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman cut up the web useless even, with 41 begins apiece, and posted practically equivalent save percentages. Ullmark beat Swayman fairly decisively in Goals Saved Above Expected; Swayman had prospect sheen that Ullmark didn’t.

So far, 2022-23 has been all Ullmark. He’s 7-0-0 with a .932 save share and was high 10 leaguewide in GSAx forward of his 18-for–20 night time towards the Rangers on Thursday. The day earlier than that, in Pittsburgh, he got here again right into a recreation he’d been pulled from and wound up getting the win in extra time. What’s to not like about that? He’s been an enormous a part of Boston’s sizzling begin, and so they’ll want that to proceed — Swayman is damage, and he’ll be damage for some time.

Dom: If nothing else, the vibes between Boston’s goaltending platoon are merely unmatched. The duo’s post-game goalie hug is without doubt one of the present greatest traditions within the league – and remains to be going even with Swayman on the shelf.

Last Week: 5
Record: 10-2-0
Dom rank: 3
Sean rank: 2

One man we like: Logan Thompson

Sean: Any and all undrafted goalies have a leg up on this kind of factor. Throw in how a lot of Vegas’ season hinges on Thompson’s first prolonged look as a starter, and the truth that he’s been excellent to date, and also you’ve acquired a no brainer. Lots of individuals round that staff believed in him preseason. It’s early, however it looks as if they had been on to one thing. He’s at .934 on the season after a 36-save Thursday towards Ottawa.

Dom: Thompson matches Vegas’s early m.o. completely: A misfit who seized a much bigger alternative, shining in a much bigger position than anticipated. So… give it a pair years earlier than he’s traded for a shinier toy.

Last Week: 2
Record: 7-2-1
Dom rank: 2
Sean rank: 3

One man we like: Andrei Svechnikov

Dom: A fast rule of thumb right here is that when you have scored a Michigan within the NHL, you robotically qualify beneath “guys we like” and Andrei Svechnikov began the wave.

What’s serving to this season is that he’s lastly breaking out into the elite expertise everybody figured he may in the future be. Year after 12 months, he was a classy breakout decide and this 12 months we’re seeing that in movement. Eight objectives and 11 factors in his first 10 video games is fairly nice.

Sean: Rod Brind’Amour gave us a pair good bits on Svechnikov just a few weeks again: “He’s got the dawg in him. He wants to get better. I can’t get this guy out of the rink. We go for an hour in practice, which is long for NHL standards, and he’s staying out there. Then he comes off the ice and he’s in our shooting room, and he’s just firing and firing. I’m just like, ‘dude …’ This is just who he is.”

So he does enjoyable stuff and works so exhausting that Rod Brind’Amour tells him to sit back. That’ll work.

Last Week: 6
Record: 6-4-1
Dom rank: 5
Sean rank: 5

One man we like: Matthew Tkachuk

Dom: There had been doubts about how Matthew Tkachuks’ recreation would translate in a brand new locale away from Calgary’s super-powered high line. After 11 video games, it’s plain to see that Tkachuk is absolutely the actual deal as one of many recreation’s rarest gamers.

Sean did a spit-take yesterday when he noticed how the ol’ mannequin is score him lately (5.7 projected wins), however he’s proper the place he left off to start out the season. Through 11 video games he’s acquired 5 objectives, 10 assists and completely silly numbers at five-on-five. And he’s been unfortunate too with a person anticipated purpose fee above eight. He’s among the finest gamers in hockey.

But past being a mannequin favourite, it’s his uniqueness and normal vibe that make him an official Guy We Like. He’s a enjoyable participant to observe and is dominant on and off the puck. Florida acquired a superb one.

Sean: I can’t personally log out on this, as a Flames Stanley Cup Predictor, however … it’s true.

Last Week: 4
Record: 4-4-1
Dom rank: 4
Sean rank: 7

One guy we like: Cale Makar

Sean: I like the way he skates. He skates good.

I really feel like we may drop in one in all these every week.

Dom: There are so many ridiculously enjoyable gamers within the league lately, however Cale is true close to the highest. He may be quantity two behind Connor McDavid and when you stated he’s primary I wouldn’t even be mad. That boy good.

Last Week: 8
Record: 7-3-1
Dom rank: 7
Sean rank: 4

One man we like: Jake Oettinger

Dom: Sometimes we will all get somewhat caught up in small-sample insanity, particularly come playoff time. Jake Oettinger had potential to fall into that lure after a scene-stealing first spherical final 12 months – however it was additionally extraordinarily troublesome to see him not flip right into a star with that efficiency. Sometimes, seven video games is sufficient.

Early on this season, he’s trying the half and whereas Dallas has seemed robust sufficient to not want elite netminding, it positive helps having Oettinger again there. He’s acquired a swagger in internet that makes him really feel completely unbeatable when he’s on.

Sean: Just get this squad to the playoffs, please.

Last Week: 6
Record: 7-4-0
Dom rank: 10
Sean rank: 8

One man we like: Leon Draisaitl

Sean: I get stronger Jaromir Jagr vibes from Draisaitl with every season. It’s not an ideal comparability, however it’s additionally unimaginable to observe the Oilers’ energy play and never wonder if Drasaitl has probably the most full 5-on-4 toolkit we’ve seen since prime-era No. 68. He’s probably the most harmful passer and shooter on the ice. Doesn’t occur typically. He’s so good, the truth is, that I don’t even care that he appears to have bailed on taking part in protection in the meanwhile (objectives share: 48.0, anticipated objectives share: 47.6)

Also, on the threat of getting my PHWA card revoked, I believe he’s humorous.

Dom: From a essential standpoint, “but his defense” nonetheless sadly stands. But when he’s scoring one million points-per-game I’m inclined to only say “I don’t care anymore, I love this man.” He confirmed that within the playoffs and he’s continued to take action this season. There’s a threshold of scoring the place “but his defense” begins dropping benefit. Around two points-per recreation — which Draisaitl was at in the course of the playoffs and is doing so once more this season — might be the benchmark.

Last Week: 15
Record: 8-3-0
Dom rank: 8
Sean rank: 6

One man we like: Nico Hischier

Dom: Around Power Rankings HQ, we’ve turn into Big Devils Guys during the last couple weeks. Clearly. New Jersey is taking part in a particularly enjoyable model of hockey that will get outcomes whereas additionally being thrilling. Who’d have thought that was allowed on this league?

That meant a variety of worthy decisions as a result of this staff has a variety of guys we like, however Nico Hischier is one which wants his due proper now. Jack Hughes is the staff’s celebrity, Jesper Bratt is purple sizzling, Dougie Hamilton is again, John Marino was a steal — however it’s Hischier who feels just like the glue.

Hischier is taking the staff’s hardest minutes whereas concurrently producing and taking part in Selke-level protection. Last season was the 12 months Hughes arrived as a celebrity. This is the 12 months Hischier does the identical.

Sean: On cue, he did this on Thursday night time. Buddy simply wants to remain wholesome.

9. New York Rangers

Last Week: 9
Record: 6-4-2
Dom rank: 10
Sean rank: 9

One man we like: K’Andre Miller

Dom: A really stylish decide for anybody who follows the Rangers and for good motive: Miller is legit. There isn’t a lot he doesn’t do effectively and his emergence beginning with final 12 months’s second half is an enormous motive the Rangers are beginning to earn their stripes as a official contender. I’d like to see him line up for just a few video games subsequent to Adam Fox, however for now, the Rangers look comparatively set with two high pairs anchored by glorious rearguards.

Oh, and his model recreation is clearly off the charts.

Sean: I additionally respect his dedication to sweet corn.

10. Calgary Flames

Last Week: 3
Record: 5-4-0
Dom rank: 9
Sean rank: 10

One man we like: Michael Stone

Sean: Not an unique level right here — I’’ll give that one to Hailey Salvian — however there’s one thing very satisfying about watching of us react upon seeing Stone drop a bomb from the highest of the circles for the primary time.

The incongruity is what makes it work; Stone has performed greater than 500 NHL video games and busted his ass your complete time. He’s someway signed 5 contracts with the Flames because the begin of the 2019 season. Five! With the identical staff! And now he’s acquired 5 factors in his final eight video games. Not unhealthy for a seventh defenseman.

Dom: We love a glow-up and few defenders have had a much bigger one than Stone during the last two seasons. He’s not trying like a seventh defenseman recently – he can play!

Last Week: 11
Record: 6-4-1
Dom rank: 11
Sean rank: 11

One man we like: Nikita Kucherov

Sean: Who within the league are you able to say has a extra aesthetically pleasing recreation than Kucherov? Like, who actually has him beat? It may be a zero-man listing.

From a extra goal standpoint, there are in all probability some causes to really feel a twinge of concern over the Lightning. Maybe the beginning of a twinge. Rumors of a begin of a twinge. Kucherov, regardless, will not be amongst them. He’s acquired 16 factors in 11 video games and an anticipated objectives share of 56.31.

Dom: He’s an artiste, one of many recreation’s true visionaries. He additionally stays the proud proprietor of the sports activities world’s biggest postgame press conferences. That counts for lots right here.

Last Week: 17
Record: 7-3-0
Dom rank: 13
Sean rank: 12

One man we like: Tage Thompson

Dom: This entire train began due to one man, one very massive man: Tage Thompson. If there’s any participant who greatest displays the significance of Good Vibes, it’s Tage. There are a variety of enjoyable issues in hockey, however all of these issues are made rather more enjoyable when it’s a 6-foot-6 behemoth doing them. Put energy play clap bombs on the high of that listing.

Thompson’s growth has been actually unimaginable to witness (there couldn’t have been anybody who noticed this coming just a few years in the past) and Power Rankings HQ’s official favourite reply man by no means lets me stay a day with out reminding me of an all-time unhealthy name.

Tage guidelines. Also that is an official request that he simply will get the “Sid”, “LeBron”, “Kobe” therapy: simply “Tage.”

Sean: I may also settle for “Big Strong Tage.”

Dom: “Mt. Tage.”

Last Week: 13
Record: 5-5-1
Dom rank: 14
Sean rank: 13

One man we like: Calen Addison

Sean: He’s our first Mustache Guy, and our youngest, however he isn’t the final.

Addison was typically slept on as a Calder candidate, which appeared like a mistake. He got here into the season with some NHL expertise beneath his belt and a spot on the Wild’s energy play, and he’s made probably the most of it. Everyone loves an undersized PP QB.

Dom: Great title. Great ‘stache. Great vibes.

Last Week: 12
Record: 5-4-2
Dom rank: 12
Sean rank: 15

One guy we like: Ilya Samsonov

Dom: Hard to choose from the league’s most unlikeable team, however for now we’ll go along with the brand new man in internet. The Leafs struggling out of the gate and it’s not goaltending? Wild stuff. Ilya Samsonov has been a rock to date and if the remainder of the staff lastly figures its stuff out towards a staff that isn’t ranked thirty first in anticipated objectives, they may have one thing actual right here.

Toronto wanted simply one in all its bizarre offseason goalie bets to pan out and to date so good with Samsonov. More vital is that he passes the vibe verify. Frankly, we will all “get some smile” lately.

Sean: Pass.

15. New York Islanders

Last Week: 23
Record: 7-4-0
Dom rank: 16
Sean rank: 14

One man we like: Mathew Barzal

Dom: Through 11 video games Mathew Barzal has 11 factors… all assists. It’s classic stuff from one of many recreation’s greatest playmakers — however it’s not with out making an attempt. He’s capturing the puck greater than ever this season and getting extra harmful probabilities, too. Once these begin stepping into, he’ll lastly begin trying just like the man all of us anticipate him to be. The means he strikes across the ice stays one in all hockey’s greatest visible treats and it helps that the remainder of the Islanders are rather more watchable lately.

Sean: I do know he’s meshing higher along with his linemates than he did final season, however I’m nonetheless aggravated that he doesn’t have a legit 25/30-goal man to play with each night time. Not his fault.

Last Week: 7
Record: 4-5-2
Dom rank: 15
Sean rank: 16

One man we like: Jason Zucker

Sean: We talked about Calen Addison a bit. Pittsburgh, you would possibly bear in mind, drafted him in 2018, then traded him to Minnesota because the centerpiece of the Zucker deal. Things haven’t gone in keeping with plan for Zucker with the Penguins — he’s been both injured or snakebitten, when it comes to offensive manufacturing, because the soar — however no person on that roster works tougher than him. It’s noticeable. Tough to not respect.

More relevantly, he’s proven indicators of clicking with Evgeni Malkin (eight factors in 9 video games, 64.9 anticipated objectives fee). Most relevantly, he acquired the Jagr stamp of approval.

Dom: The Jagr Salute carrying the Robo Penguin? Perfect. No notes.

Last Week: 25
Record: 6-4-2
Dom rank: 17
Sean rank: 17

One man we like: Matty Beniers

Sean: Dude actually is strictly what the Kraken wanted. When I’m watching Pacific video games, I’ve subsequent to no real interest in boring, competent, possession-based video games. Give me objectives. Give me star energy. Beniers, early in his profession as it might be, has each. Like, watch this.

Ironically, given the guide on him in his draft 12 months, the two-way recreation in all probability isn’t there for him but, however I couldn’t care much less. He’s gonna rating 30 objectives as a rookie, and he might effectively power me to benefit from the Kraken. What a exceptional younger man!

Dom: Sometimes my mannequin has projections that make me assume: “Why do you do this to me? Why are you the way that you are?” Projecting Beniers to be a 70-point participant on the idea of 10 video games final 12 months was actually a type of moments. But add one other 12 video games to the ledger and that projection isn’t trying too wild in any case. The Kraken had been one of many least enjoyable groups to observe final 12 months, and he’s making an enormous distinction to date this season.

Sean: When you ask the mannequin that, does it reply again in a voice that suspiciously appears like your individual?

Last Week: 22
Record: 6-3-1
Dom rank: 18
Sean rank: 19

One man we like: Kyle Connor

Dom: We each worship at The Temple Of Phil, so it’s no shock that our man from Winnipeg is Phil Reincarnate. The New Phil. Phil 2.0.

One of the massive issues with our Guys We Like is how a lot we are going to each overtly admit that, from a “watching the games” standpoint, neither of us will give a lick about protection. From a essential standpoint protection issues, positive, effective, but when we’re simply sitting down watching a recreation – give us the man who forgets that 100 toes of ice exists. All offense, child.

Connor is often a type of guys (although his defensive numbers to start out the season are… good?) however we’re simply right here for the objectives. The OT winner final night time was classic Phil which is actually additionally classic Connor.

Last Week: 19
Record: 6-6-1
Dom rank: 20
Sean rank: 18

One man we like: Gabe Vilardi

Sean: Someone from that nice large group of Kings ahead prospects was certain to interrupt out, and Vilardi is — by far — the early chief. It looks like a shock, however it in all probability shouldn’t. Vilardi is an enormous dude (6-foot-3, 215 kilos) with ability and pedigree who’d by no means performed greater than 54 video games in knowledgeable season. There was nonetheless some meat left on that bone, assuming he may keep wholesome and skate at an NHL degree. So far, so good. He’s two objectives from his profession excessive, and it’s Nov. 4.

Will the capturing share dip? Sure. Nobody sits at 23.5. But his underlyings are robust, and his title ends in a vowel. I’m on board.

Dom: Remember final 12 months’s seemingly out-of-nowhere however not-that-surprising breakout from Troy Terry? Vilardi is giving off the identical power to start out the season.

Last Week: 20
Record: 5-5-2
Dom rank: 19
Sean rank: 22

One man we like: Darcy Kuemper

Sean: I talked to him for the primary time in September. He was very partaking and had, like, a Disney prince smile. That’s sufficient to get him the title on a staff that’s more and more quick on positivity. He’s additionally been as marketed, given the monster deal he signed with the Capitals within the offseason, with a .922 save share and top-10 GSAx to date.

Dom: It’s fairly slim pickings in Washington to start out, however no downside with Kuemper, who’s proving that not all former Avalanche goalies will submit an all-time worst season the 12 months after shifting on.

21. Ottawa Senators

Last Week: 14
Record: 4-6-0
Dom rank: 21
Sean rank: 20

One man we like: Brady Tkachuk

Dom: I’ll always remember “Brady Tkachuk: Flames fan” and he’ll ceaselessly be entrenched as a king of the vibes for immaculate off-ice presence. On the ice, he’s been excellent this season, however that actually doesn’t matter right here. Show us his beers-chugged-per-60.

Sean: We talked to Keith Tkachuk on “The Athletic Hockey Show,” and he was across-the-board nice. I couldn’t deliver myself to deliver up Brady’s Saddledome efficiency, however we talked to Keith a couple of whoooole lot of stuff, and he was nice. Another overdone matter got here up: The risk of a Tkachuk vs. Tkachuk battle, now that each are within the Atlantic Division.

Keith’s reply: “There’s plenty of other guys to fight. Plus, Brady would destroy Matthew in a fight. There’s no doubt about it. Not even close. Matthew knows it. Matthew would try to outsmart him because Matthew is pretty smart and pretty quick. Brady might fall for it because Brady’s a nice kid off the ice, but he gets on the ice and he gets a little ‘Looney Toons.’”

Last Week: 21
Record: 5-3-2
Dom rank: 22
Sean rank: 21

One man we like: Moritz Seider Filip Hronek

Sean: Seider’s early numbers are powerful to log out on, however we had been each able to do it — till we noticed this.

Dom: We merely can’t resist a superb mustache. It is Movember in any case.

23. Nashville Predators

Last Week: 22
Record: 4-6-1
Dom rank: 22
Sean rank: 23

One man we like: Filip Forsberg

Dom: Remember our rule about scoring Michigan objectives? Yeah, that applies right here for Filip Forsberg. Up till final 12 months, he wasn’t a man who actually dominated the scoresheet or confirmed up extremely on level leaderboards – however the high quality of these objectives was positively within the league’s higher echelon. Forsberg is aware of how you can placed on a present with some spotlight reel efforts.

Also, his mustache. That’s an vital a part of this train.

 

Last Week: 16
Record: 3-6-0
Dom rank: 24
Sean rank: 24

One man we like: Brandon Saad

Dom: I used to be tempted to place “no one” for the bit. (To the Blues followers racing to the feedback, it is a joke – there are certainly a number of Blues gamers I like). I’ll let Sean let you know why we went with Brandon Saad although.

Sean: I used to be going to only paste a Google Maps screenshot of the route from my condominium to the Pittsburgh suburb Saad grew up in, however that appeared unwise. Just know that it’s fairly shut.

Last Week: 24
Record: 5-3-2
Dom rank: 25
Sean rank: 25

One man we like: Carter Hart

Sean: Nobody ought to like Hart greater than John Tortorella. In seven begins this season, he’s saved practically 14 objectives above anticipated. That’s first within the league by practically three. Insane numbers and the precise season a number of of us have been anticipating for some time. It’ll be attention-grabbing to see a) how lengthy he retains it up and b) how lengthy his teammates are fortunate sufficient to maintain stringing collectively some wins — as a result of exterior Hart, that roster is as brutal as marketed.

Dom: It’s good to see a man begin delivering on his potential. Hart has all of the qualities to be The Guy in internet however simply didn’t look the half the final two seasons. He’s making up for misplaced time in an enormous means this season.

Last Week: 26
Record: 5-5-1
Dom rank: 26
Sean rank: 27

One man we like: Arber Xhekaj

Dom: Mustache? Check. Cool title? Check. This man guidelines and he can throw ‘em down too. This battle feels prefer it was straight out of 1988.

I wish nothing however one of the best to him and everybody he loves.

Sean: Yeah, he noticed Kassian modify his elbow pad and pounced. Xhekaj additionally labored at Costco in 2021, as I realized from this story by Arpon Basu. Shoutout to his previous supervisor: “She was mad that I had hockey and I wasn’t making Costco more of a priority. I don’t think she fully understood what level I was at.”

Dom: That’s an all-time quote.

Last Week: 28
Record: 5-4-2
Dom rank: 28
Sean rank: 26

One man we like: Alex Stalock

Dom: Alex Stalock has been by means of quite a bit over the previous few years so this begin to the season has been a nice sight for the journeyman goaltender. He’s someway preserving one of many league’s absolute worst groups away from the league’s basement and deserves nothing however respect for that.

Sean: Feels like a type of years the place the Masterton will get sewn up in November.

Last Week: 28
Record: 3-7-1
Dom rank: 29
Sean rank: 28

One man we like: Trevor Zegras

Sean: Might as effectively simply use this area to dump clips of no matter cool stuff Zegras does in a given week.

Dom: As somebody who can also be 175 kilos, I’ve actually no thought how these youngsters survive within the large leagues. I might perish. I suppose “be extremely good at hockey” helps and Zegras clearly qualifies.

Oh yeah, and he’s right here as a result of he scores which ought to give him an additional 0.5 GSVA for my part.

Last Week: 32
Record: 3-6-2
Dom rank: 27
Sean rank: 29

One man we like: Bo Horvat

Dom: Players with double-digit objectives to date this 12 months: Connor McDavid, Erik Karlsson (?!), and Bo Horvat. While a lot of the staff has had a horrible begin to the season, don’t depend Horvat amongst them. He’s doing all the pieces he can to proper the ship, scoring at a close to goal-per-game clip. Secure the bag, homie.

Sean: I’m positive the Canucks wish that they had an additional $8 million laying round in every of the following seven seasons.

Last Week: 27
Record: 3-7-0
Dom rank: 29
Sean rank: 30

One man we like: Patrik Laine

Sean: Just let him keep wholesome and on a line with Johnny Gaudreau for just a few months, please. Give us what we would like. Defense is pointless.

Dom: I need Laine to attain 50 objectives and be minus-50. All the objectives, on a regular basis, for everyone.

Last Week: 30
Record: 3-8-2
Dom rank: 31
Sean rank: 31

One man we like: Erik Karlsson

Sean: Here now we have a former Mustache Guy. His resurgence began in earnest final season, and it’s been nice to observe it progress. I’ve by no means witnessed something firsthand fairly like Prime Karlsson, and I hope he’s acquired sufficient within the tank to manifest a commerce to a related staff. I don’t know the way it occurs, given his $11.5 million wage by means of 2027, however so long as he’s taking part in this effectively, it’s … much less unimaginable, I suppose.

Dom: Karlsson nonetheless has the juice and is a very simple participant to root for. Prime Karlsson was a panoramic power, one of many absolute must-see gamers league-wide. And Prime Karlsson by no means did something like this which is what makes this begin so unimaginable. Ten objectives and 18 factors in 13 video games is unfathomable.

Last Week: 31
Record: 3-6-1
Dom rank: 32
Sean rank: 32

One man we like: Christian Fischer

Dom: It was… exhausting to choose a man from a staff that’s designed to fail. For now, we’re simply going to provide some kudos to Christian Fischer who has six factors in 10 video games and is without doubt one of the few Coyotes who hasn’t been an unmitigated catastrophe for Arizona at five-on-five this 12 months. Could I let you know something about what Fischer does on the ice that makes him good or okay? Absolutely not. But nobody stated these decisions needed to be in any means rational. He simply looks as if a pleasant man who deserves some love on a staff the place there aren’t many gamers who do.

Also within the operating was Dysin Mayo who continues to have one of many biggest names of all time. This was vital to us.

Sean: I’ve talked to a variety of guys who performed with Fischer with the U.S. National Developmental Team, and so they all say he’s cool. So positive, let’s go.

(Top picture: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)



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