The upcoming 2021-2022 NHL season is perhaps the most anticipated one in the league’s history. With the NHL entry draft completed back in early October, a handful of new talent is making its way onto the rink, getting fans even more eager for the season’s start on New Year’s Day.
Fans are already reviewing commentary and stats from expert wagering analysts as the momentum is clearly high for NHL followers going into 2021. However, a few key teams are set to stand out among the rest. Either due to their proven greatness this past season, or their potential for a big championship win in 2020’s playoffs, these NHL teams have demonstrated that they are in it for the long haul and are likely contenders for a Stanley Cup in 2021. Let’s take a look at some of the league’s power rankings as we gear up for a brand-new round of exciting face-offs.
The Avs are most definitely the team to look out for this upcoming year. Their championship opportunities may have been cut short by the Dallas Stars, but new, young stars like Devon Toews and Brandon Saad are expected to complement the team’s already strong lineup. Powerhouse players combined with intense momentum coming off last season is enough to propel them quickly to the top. Colorado lands at the top of this list because, more than any other organization in the league, they the potential to become the greatest team in the Western Conference moving forward.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning knows all about momentum as the team is coming into the 2021 season straight off an NHL championship win against the Dallas Stars. Whether or not they’ll be able to secure back-to-back wins is unknown, but the defending champs are locked and loaded with some of the best players in the league like goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy and defenseman Victor Hedman. Other teams in the NHL have their eyes pointed towards Tampa Bay, with a special focus on Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow, the organization’s most notable assets that lead them to receive a Stanley Cup.
Before the NHL was forced to come to an abrupt halt this past season, the Bruins ranked within the best standings in the league. However, when games resumed, they weren’t able to keep the success going and fell short. But going in fresh to 2021 they are expected to be one of the most important and valuable teams in the Eastern Conference. With a powerful offensive lineup that includes Craig Smith as well as strong goaltending in Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halák, the Bruins could very well make 2021 their year.
Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights are going into the 2021 season with an incredible team of talent which, most importantly, includes powerhouse defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, a new draft pick who was signed in mid-October. During their first season they nearly secured a Stanley Cup and Western Conference champs title, but again the Dallas Stars interfered and kicked Vegas out. However, this year they will be contending again to become the top team in the West.
Last but certainly not least, the Philadelphia Flyers are entering into a new NHL season with a good run during last year’s games. Their young talent includes vital players Joel Farabee, Nolan Patrick, and Phillipe Myers which have each proven themselves as valuable assets on the rink. If other teams in the league want to get ahead of the flyers, they’ll have to go through a handful of great defensemen. With only six games lost in the entirety of last season, Philadelphia is hoping for a successful repeat, and quite possibly a Stanley Cup.