2016 Offseason Power Rankings


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Every month, Hockey Trade Central will be posting Power Rankings. They will be posted the 1st of every month during the regular season, and will reflect the previous month’s play.

 

The Power Rankings are voted on by the writers.

 

Offseason Power Rankings are based on how well the teams drafted, how well they did in Free Agency, and the trades the teams have made.

 

2016 Offseason Rankings:

 

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins /
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning +1
  3. San Jose Sharks -1
  4. Dallas Stars +1
  5. Washington Capitals +2
  6. Nashville Predators /
  7. Florida Panthers +4
  8. Chicago Blackhawks +2
  9. St. Louis Blues -5
  10. New York Islanders -2
  11. Anaheim Ducks -2
  12. Los Angeles Kings +3
  13. Philadelphia Flyers /
  14. Minnesota Wild -2
  15. Detroit Red Wings -1
  16. Boston Bruins +1
  17. New Jersey Devils +3
  18. New York Rangers -2
  19. Carolina Hurricanes -1
  20. Buffalo Sabres +3
  21. Ottawa Senators -2
  22. Montreal Canadiens /
  23. Calgary Flames +3
  24. Arizona Coyotes /
  25. Winnipeg Jets /
  26. Colorado Avalanche -5
  27. Edmonton Oilers +2
  28. Toronto Maple Leafs +2
  29. Columbus Blue Jackets -2
  30. Vancouver Canucks -2

 

Previous Rankings:

  1. Pittsburgh Penguins
  2. San Jose Sharks
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning
  4. St. Louis Blues
  5. Dallas Stars
  6. Nashville Predators
  7. Washington Capitals
  8. New York Islanders
  9. Anaheim Ducks
  10. Chicago Blackhawks
  11. Florida Panthers
  12. Minnesota Wild
  13. Philadelphia Flyers
  14. Detroit Red Wings
  15. Los Angeles Kings
  16. New York Rangers
  17. Boston Bruins
  18. Carolina Hurricanes
  19. Ottawa Senators
  20. New Jersey Devils
  21. Colorado Avalanche
  22. Montreal Canadiens
  23. Buffalo Sabres
  24. Arizona Coyotes
  25. Winnipeg Jets
  26. Calgary Flames
  27. Columbus Blue Jackets
  28. Vancouver Canucks
  29. Edmonton Oilers
  30. Toronto Maple Leafs
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Metro Division Draft Day: Team Needs


By Bobby Bauders

Senior Writer/Editor

 

We’ll have four team needs stories highlighting the draft needs of the teams in every division. Written on June 23rd, any trades that happened after this story was written will not be mentioned in this story, therefore some draft spots may be outdated.

 

Our Updated Mock Draft

 

Carolina Hurricanes:

1st Round Picks: 2

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 9

Carolina currently needs offensive prospects in my opinion. All of their  offensive prospects are average excluding Victor Rask and Teuvo Teravainen. Their defensive crops are excellent with Justin Faulk, Noah Hanifin, and Ryan Murphy.

 

At 13th, Carolina has a wide variety of offensive players to choose from. If they’re available of course, those include Tyson Jost, Kieffer Bellows, Max Jones, Luke Kunin, and Michael McLeod. All of which would greatly improve Carolina’s prospect pool.

 

Columbus Blue Jackets:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 5

With the acquisition of Seth Jones, Columbus looks set on defense. Selecting Jesse Puljujarvi and Tage Thompson in the 2nd Round could help that.

Unless Columbus trades the 3rd overall pick, which they have gotten impressive offers for, they’ll be selecting Puljujarvi.

 

New Jersey Devils:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 1

Total Draft Picks: 9

 

New Jersey is in the same boat as Carolina. They have a fairly young, productive defense. They just need that high end scoring forward to get their offense rolling.

 

Sitting at number 11 they have a lot of control. Lots of forwards everywhere at this point in the draft. Their goal will be to get either Clayton Keller, Logan Brown, or Kieffer Bellows.

 

New York Islanders:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 0

Total Draft Picks: 5

The New York Islanders are set down the middle, and they have a decent, young defense. They should look at wingers in the draft.

 

With the 19th overall pick, The Isles should hope that Riley Tufte, Max Jones, or Julien Gauthier are available because they’d be fantastic in Brooklyn.

 

New York Rangers:

1st Round Picks: 0

2dn Round Picks: 0

Total Draft Picks: 6

What a mess the Rangers have become. Can’t really say much about the Rangers because they’ve traded their 1st and 2nd Round Picks.

 

What they need is a new General Manager. Jeff Gorton has been proving he’s not fit to be running a front office. They acquired Keith Yandle from the Coyotes, and one of the assets moved in that trade was this year’s 1st Round Pick. Well, Yandle is no longer on the team and Arizona hasn’t even used the pick yet. Rangers management has been downright embarrassing for at least 4 straight years.

 

Philadelphia Flyers:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 2

Total Draft Picks: 10

The Flyers have a fairly young offensive core. Other than Shayne Gostisbehere, their defense needs help.

 

Expect Philly to select Dante Fabbro. He’s a defenseman with amazing offensive ability, like that of Gostisbehere. He once out up 78 points in 58 games. Incredible. Any team would be lucky to have that talent.

 

Pittsburgh Penguins:

1st Round Picks: 0

2nd Round Picks: 2

Total Draft Picks: 5

Pittsburgh just won the Stanley Cup, so they’re needs aren’t exactly dire. Although, an extra defensive prospect or 2 never hurts.

 

Currently sitting at the 55th and 61st picks, Pittsburgh may be able to draft Ryan Lindgren. This would be a decent pickup for Pittsburgh. He’s a defenseman that knows how to put up points, at one point posting 88 in Bantam.

 

Washington Capitals:

1st Round Picks: 1

2nd Round Picks: 0

Total Draft Picks: 6

Washington has needed an in your face scorer since they lost Joel Ward and Eric Fehr.They could get that at the 26th pick.

 

If the Caps are lucky enough, they could land German Rubstov. He’s in your face and let’s you know he’s on the ice, and he scores points, earning 26 points in 28 games with the U-18 Team Russia. He’ll have to work on his size to fill his role, but that shouldn’t be a problem in development. Tage Thomposon would also be excellent, standing at 6’5”.

 

Flyers Interested in Yakupov


By Bobby Bauders
Senior Writer/Editor

Back in 2012 Nail Yakupov was selected 1st overall at the NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. His future looked bright. The Edmonton Oilers looked on their way up. Now, 4 years later in 2016, the 22-year-old Yakupov is falling miles away from expectations, and the Oilers are looking to dish him, and the Philadelphia Flyers may be interested.

Yakupov is coming off his least productive year in the National Hockey League. In 60 games played he had only 8 goals and 23 points. That’s a far cry from his rookie season where he played only 48 games scoring 17 goals and 31 points, arguably his most productive season of his young NHL career.

 

So why would the Flyers be interested in what seems to be a declining Yakupov? 2 main points: low cost and the change of scenery.

 

Yakupov comes at a low price in value and salary. His current salary is $2.5 million until he becomes a Restricted Free Agent next offseason. Flyers currently have about $10.5 million in cap space before all their re-signings.

 

The second point is the change of scenery. Obviously forwards have been having a difficult time in Edmonton. They have a top-6-forward core of Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Connor McDavid, Jordan Eberle, and Nail Yakupov and they still can’t find a way to win. Something is very wrong with that picture. Philly may be the change Yakupov needs to boost himself to the potential that he possess. No one’s denying he has skill, he’s just not utilizing that skill.

 

The rumored deal would be Yakupov to Philly and defensive prospect Travis Sandheim, who was their first round pick in 2014, plus a pick to Edmonton. Given the value of Sanheim the pick would likely be on of Philly’s third or their fourth. This would make sense given Philadelphia’s cluster of defensive prospects and Edmonton’s lack thereof. Sandheim is a great puck moving denseman that shows excellent promise in the future. This would also address the Flyers’ lack of young talented forwards.

 

If the Flyers believe they can turn around Yakupov’s career, this deal may happen. Edmonton may ask for a little more value coming their way given that Yakupov was their 1st overall pick, but with his lack of success in Alberta they’re going to have to settle, or let him walk as a RFA next year.

Kessel could put the Phil in Philly


By Bobby Bauders

 

Phil Kessel released the list of teams he’d accept a trade to. That list can always change, but it doesn’t seem like it will.

 

The list:

Montreal

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

New York Rangers

Boston

Chicago

Los Angeles

Minnesota

 

Obviously, not all of these teams will trade for Kessel. Teams like Chicago are desperately trying to dump salary to stay competitive.

 

Philly may be able to afford Kessel. I thought about what the Toronto Maple Leafs’ needs are. It’s usually goal tending. Plus Toronto is entering a rebuild. They want draft picks. The Philadelphia Flyers aren’t exactly full of goalies, young, but they do have draft picks. The questions is, are they willing to give up those draft picks? Personally, I don’t think so. I see any Kessel trade to Philly a long shot, but not impossible. Kessel’s hit is $7million, and cap space is something the Flyers don’t have. Nevertheless, let’s look at this potential trade.

 

Philadelphia gets:

Phil Kessel – Winger

Tornto’s 2015 3rd Round Draft Pick

 

Toronto gets:

Wayne Simmonds – Winger

Ray Emery – Goalie

Philadelphia’s 2015 2nd Round Draft Pick