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Super 16 NHL Power Rankings
(Page 3 of 4)
Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Super 16: MacKinnon's rookie year one for the ages

Friday, 03.14.2014 / 2:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Shortly after Sidney Crosby joined the NHL, tales of the next "Next One" began to percolate.

John Tavares gained notoriety for becoming the first 15-year-old allowed into the Ontario Hockey League in 2005. He quickly became the most talked about prospect in North America, despite there being two more NHL drafts between then and the one he was eligible for. During that period, a few great hockey players (like Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Nicklas Backstrom and Phil Kessel) almost were overshadowed by what the youngster who NHL teams couldn't yet draft was doing in Oshawa.

Nathan MacKinnon was in a similar situation last season. Though he was lighting up the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League en route to being the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft, there were plenty of stories written about the new "best prospect since Crosby."

It wasn't MacKinnon, who hails from the same small town as Crosby, but Connor McDavid, who isn't eligible to be drafted until 2015 but produced great numbers with Erie in the OHL after gaining "exceptional-player status" to play in the OHL at 15 like Tavares did.

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Super 16: Teams hang on to top picks

Friday, 03.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

It was a busy day Wednesday in the NHL as teams scrambled to make trades on the last day allowed for players to be eligible for the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There were 20 trades on NHL Trade Deadline day, and a total of 39 deals in the month leading up to it.

Something happened (or didn't happen) in that month that hasn't been the case in any season since the 2004-05 lockout: No team officially traded a first-round pick in the upcoming draft.

Two teams, the New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues, traded first-round selections in the 2015 NHL Draft and both of those deals included an extra conditional pick that could become a first-rounder in the 2014 draft. This was the first time a first-round pick in the forthcoming draft was not moved on deadline day since 2010, and the first time none officially were moved in the month before the deadline since the aforementioned lockout.

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Super 16: Johansen followed own path to stardom

Friday, 02.07.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The lead-up to the 2010 NHL Draft was dominated by a simple question: Taylor or Tyler?

Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin were the top two picks in that draft, and each has had a strong start to his NHL career. Each has been a high-profile player from day one, and Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner was also great as an 18-year-old, collecting the 2011 Calder Trophy.

Ryan Johansen has been in the NHL for as long as those three players, but his development curve was different. He put up modest numbers in his first two seasons, showing flashes of the potential that made him the fourth pick in the draft but lots of inconsistency as well.

Johansen might be the most improved player in the League in 2013-14. He's become a monster in the middle, the prototype franchise center the Blue Jackets hoped for on draft day.

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Super 16: Calder Cup winners boost Wings, Lightning

Friday, 01.31.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Tomas Tatar and Riley Sheahan each had a goal and an assist in a 5-4 come-from-ahead loss Saturday the Detroit Red Wings probably would like to forget.

The night before Tyler Johnson netted the first hat trick of his NHL career to help the Tampa Bay Lightning to a comfortable victory the rookie forward will remember for a long time.

Why are these seemingly random events connected? Tatar and Sheahan were part of a Grand Rapids Griffins team that defeated Johnson and the Syracuse Crunch in six games last season to capture the Calder Cup in the American Hockey League.

The Red Wings and the Lightning affiliates have won the Calder Cup the past two seasons, as Tampa Bay’s players won with the Norfolk Admirals in 2012 before the organization switched affiliates.

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Super 16: Devils' Jagr joins exclusive club

Friday, 01.24.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

This season has been full of milestones for Jaromir Jagr as he climbs the NHL's all-time leaderboard in goals and points.

He added another slightly more obscure one Tuesday when his goal for the New Jersey Devils in a 7-1 rout of the St. Louis Blues gave him 40 points this season. Jagr became the 15th member of the NHL's "40/40 club," reaching 40 points in his age-40 season or later.

It is a feat that has happened 26 times in League history. Gordie Howe did it four times, while Igor Larionov, Mark Messier and Mark Recchi reached 40 after 40 three times each. The 41-year-old Jagr was close last season with 35 points in 45 games. His birthday is Feb. 15, so he missed the Feb. 1 cutoff for this exercise two seasons ago when he had 54 points.

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Super 16: Ducks dominance raises many questions

Friday, 01.17.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

Before the Anaheim Ducks blasted the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night, they had played 48 games this season, which is obviously the same number as the entirety of the 2012-13 campaign.

Anaheim was 30-12-6 last season, good for third in the NHL standings. The Ducks were nine points better through 48 games this season and are setting the pace in the League, six points clear of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Are the Ducks better this season, or better yet, why are they better?

The goaltending has been almost identical. Anaheim's save percentage was .9169 in 2012-13 and it is at .9148 this season. Jonas Hiller had a .913 save percentage last season and is at .914 in 2013-14.

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Super 16: Goalie depth can be top teams' biggest key

Friday, 01.10.2014 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The goaltender is often seen as not only the most important position in hockey but maybe in all of professional sports. If a team doesn't have a solid or better goaltender, it is probably losing a lot of games and in the process of trying to find an upgrade at the position.

Another position in the discussion is the NFL quarterback. There is no question having an elite goalie or an elite quarterback gives a franchise an advantage and a piece around which to build.

Where the two positions diverge is in overall depth. There are 32 NFL teams, and not only is the group of elite quarterbacks relatively small, there aren't enough who can provide consistent, competent play for every team to have one, let alone two or three.

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Super 16: Blackhawks hold top post-Christmas spot

Friday, 12.27.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The holiday break has given players, coaches and general managers for every team in the NHL a chance to stop, take a couple of deep breaths, and evaluate where this season has been and where it is headed, which is a mad dash to the Olympic break and another compressed scramble to the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

There have been plenty of prominent pre-Christmas storylines, from the fast starts by the San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs, to the outstanding goaltending depth in Southern California, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin dominating leaderboards, and, of course, the incredible tale of goaltender Josh Harding.

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Super 16: Flames, Sabres work from similar positions

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

When Jay Feaster was removed from the position of general manager of the Calgary Flames, it meant there were now two such openings in the NHL because the Buffalo Sabres have yet to replace the departed Darcy Regier.

Though it is the same position and the two franchises are relatively close to each other in the League standings, there are a lot of differences about the two jobs and the situations make for an interesting contrast.

Neither franchise has been very successful of late, though the Flames reached the Stanley Cup Final a decade ago and the Sabres soon followed with back-to-back Eastern Conference Final appearances. Each made significant trades last season to signal a full-scale rebuild, trading their captain and other key players for prospects and draft picks.

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Super 16: Blackhawks can join select company

Friday, 12.13.2013 / 3:00 AM / Super 16: NHL Power Rankings

Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer

The Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks both played game No. 34 of the season Wednesday night, and both teams continue to help set the pace near the top of the Western Conference and NHL standings.

By doing so, they were the first teams to reach 82 regular-season games played since the start of the 2012-13 campaign. Much of what was written last season came with the caveats about a shortened season and small sample sizes.

The 82-game benchmark is a good place to stop and admire the dominance of the Blackhawks, while trying to decipher if the 2013-14 Ducks are more like the team from the first half of last season or the one from the second half.

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Quote of the Day

This is a great day for me. This is something I've been thinking about for a long time. This is a great opportunity that the St. Louis Blues organization, (owner) Tom Stillman and Doug Armstrong are giving me and trusting me in doing...This is going to be a great challenge for me.

— Martin Brodeur, after announcing his retirement as an NHL player and becoming a senior adviser with the Blues on Thursday