NHL Power Rankings: 1-31 poll, plus stocks to buy or sell for each team in 2021

We're one month into the 2021 NHL season, and there's already been plenty of market fluctuation. In this week's edition of ESPN's Power Rankings, we identify what NHL team-related stocks are worth buying or selling.

How we rank: The ESPN hockey editorial staff submits selections ranking teams 1 to 31 -- taking into account game results, injuries and upcoming schedule -- and those results are tabulated in the list featured here.


Note: Previous ranking for each team refers to our Week 4 edition, published on Feb. 10. Points percentages are through the games of Feb. 16.





1. Vegas Golden Knights


Previous ranking: 3

Points percentage: .750

This week: vs. COL (Feb. 20); @ COL (Feb. 22)

The Golden Knights were ready to sell on Marc-Andre Fleury this summer but feel good about keeping him around. Entering Tuesday, Fleury had allowed just two total goals in his past three starts (.976 save percentage) and has supplanted Robin Lehner as the team's No. 1.



2. Boston Bruins


Previous ranking: 2

Points percentage: .786

This week: vs. NJ (Feb. 18); vs. PHI (Feb. 21)

The Bruins' blue line was supposed to be a bear market, but instead there's a ton of promise. In their first season as regulars, Jeremy Lauzon (who leads the team in penalty-kill time per game) and Jakub Zboril (solid in the third pairing) have been pleasant surprises.



3. Tampa Bay Lightning


Previous ranking: 4

Points percentage: .750

This week: @ DAL (Feb. 18, 20); @ CAR (Feb. 22)

You should be bullish on a healthy Steven Stamkos. The captain has eight goals through his first 12 games. The last time we saw him score at this type of rate was -- coincidentally or not -- his severely truncated 2013-14 season.



4. Toronto Maple Leafs


Previous ranking: 1

Points percentage:.750

This week: vs. OTT (Feb. 17, 18); @ MTL (Feb. 20); vs. CGY (Feb. 22)

Auston Matthews is the one to catch in the NHL's goal-scoring race. His pace (13 goals in 15 games) is absurd. If this were a full 82-game season, Matthews would be tracking for 71 goals.



5. Carolina Hurricanes


Previous ranking: 10

Points percentage: .769

This week: vs. FLA (Feb. 17); vs. CHI (Feb. 19, 20); vs. TB (Feb. 22)

Not sure if he'll sustain it, but Brock McGinn's stock has never been higher. He has always been known as a do-everything grinder, but his seven goals through the first 13 games, and first-line promotion, certainly raised eyebrows.



6. Montreal Canadiens


Previous ranking: 5

Points percentage: .667

This week: vs. TOR (Feb. 20); @ OTT (Feb. 21, 23)

Buy stock in Marc Bergevin's job security. In a 40-minute videoconference with reporters on Monday, the general manager noted that 40% of the team's goals have come from newcomers his staff brought in this offseason.



7. Florida Panthers


Previous ranking: 12

Points percentage: .769

This week: @ CAR (Feb. 17); @ DET (Feb. 19, 20); vs. DAL (Feb. 22)

Now is the time to buy stock on Anthony Duclair. The newcomer has had some seriously bad puck luck early (3.1 shooting percentage) but notched his first goal this week, and he continues to get a featured role on the top line with Aleksander Barkov.



8. St. Louis Blues


Previous ranking: 8

Points percentage: .625

This week: vs. SJ (Feb. 18, 20); vs. LA (Feb. 22)

Mike Hoffman is finally looking more comfortable with his new team. The late free-agent add seriously upped his shot total in the Arizona series (25 shots over seven games) and was rewarded with three goals, including an overtime winner.



9. Philadelphia Flyers


Previous ranking: 6

Points percentage: .692

This week: vs. NYR (Feb. 18); vs. BOS (Feb. 21)

The depleted Flyers finally returned to practice on Tuesday, albeit with only 16 players skating. They'll still be missing regulars for Thursday's game against the Rangers, but I'd buy stock that they'll be able to play this weekend in Lake Tahoe.



10. Colorado Avalanche


Previous ranking: 7

Points percentage: .654

This week: vs. VGS (Feb. 20, 22)

We were hesitant to believe in Philipp Grubauer, but the 25-year-old just keeps putting up great performances. Entering Tuesday's game against the Golden Knights, Grubauer had allowed just three goals in his past four games (.968 save percentage).




11. Winnipeg Jets


Previous ranking: 13

Points percentage: .633

This week: @ EDM (Feb. 17); @ VAN (Feb. 19, 21)

Nikolaj Ehlers doesn't always have the most featured role on the Jets' roster, so that's all the more reason to buy his stock. The 25-year-old has been the team's most dynamic forward this season, scoring 10 goals in 15 games.



12. New York Islanders


Previous ranking: 17

Points percentage: .633

This week: @ PIT (Feb. 18, 20); vs. BUF (Feb. 22)

It's never a good idea to sell stock in the Islanders' defense, but now would be the time to buy it back. Though it's equally an indictment on the Sabres, let's note New York prevented Buffalo from taking a shot on goal the entire third period on Monday.



13. Chicago Blackhawks


Previous ranking: 22

Points percentage: .588

This week: @ DET (Feb. 17); @ CAR (Feb. 19-20); @ CBJ (Feb. 23)

It would have been smart to buy Alex DeBrincat stock at the end of last season. It was a down campaign for the 23-year-old sniper, but he has bounced back (16 points through 13 games) in a big way.



14. Dallas Stars


Previous ranking: 11

Points percentage: .583

This week: vs. TB (Feb. 18, 20); @ FLA (Feb. 22)

I'm buying stock that coach Rick Bowness is about to light a fire under his team soon, after picking up just three points over the past five games. "We're running out of patience, I'll tell you that," Bowness said this week.



15. Pittsburgh Penguins


Previous ranking: 15

Points percentage: .536

This week: vs. NYI (Feb. 18, 20); @ WSH (Feb. 23)

Reports that Pittsburgh at least explored bringingMarc-Andre Fleuryback show that you should be selling on Penguins goaltenders. Tristan Jarry and Casey DeSmith have both struggled with sub-.900 save percentages, and neither has emerged as the true No. 1.



16. Washington Capitals


Previous ranking: 9

Points percentage: .607

This week: vs. BUF (Feb. 18); vs. NYR (Feb. 20); vs. NJ (Feb. 21); vs. PIT (Feb. 23)

Not ready to sell on the Capitals just yet, whose defense (3.77 goals against per game, second most leaguewide behind Ottawa) has been atrocious. Though it's a new coach, this is typical behavior for the Capitals, who can fluctuate throughout the season.



17. Calgary Flames


Previous ranking: 21

Points percentage: .567

This week: vs. VAN (Feb. 17); vs. EDM (Feb. 19); @ EDM (Feb. 20); @ TOR (Feb. 22)

If the Flames had traded Johnny Gaudreau last season -- a popular item on the rumor mill -- they would have been selling low. The 27-year-old winger is in bounce-back mode; with nine goals in 18 games, he has half of his 2019-20 total.



18. Columbus Blue Jackets


Previous ranking: 14

Points percentage: .529

This week: vs. NSH (Feb. 18, 20); vs. CHI (Feb. 23)

After coming over in the Pierre-Luc Dubois-Patrik Laine trade, hometown hero Jack Roslovic is thriving in Columbus (10 points over his past eight), and that has him feeling confident. Buy, buy, buy.



19. Arizona Coyotes


Previous ranking: 18

Points percentage: .533

This week: vs. LA (Feb. 18, 20); vs. ANA (Feb. 22)

After bursting onto the scene in 2018-19, Conor Garland continues to prove he belongs. The 24-year-old leads the Yotes with 14 points through 15 games, as well as leading the team in shots by a wide margin; Garland's 53 are well clear of Clayton Keller, the next-closest forward, at 39.



20. Edmonton Oilers


Previous ranking: 16

Points percentage: .529

This week: vs. WPG (Feb. 17); @ CGY (Feb. 19); vs. CGY (Feb. 20); @ VAN (Feb. 23)

After missing the season's first month, veteran netminder Mike Smith came in hot, allowing just five goals in his first three games. But it's probably wise to sell now; the 38-year-old has a history of being streaky.



21. Minnesota Wild


Previous ranking: 19


Points percentage: .500

This week: @ ANA (Feb. 18, 20); @ SJ (Feb. 22)

Consider this an IPO (initial public offering) alert, at least for the 2021 campaign. After a 10-day break, the Wild welcomed new faces to the lineup: rookie defenseman Calen Addison (originally a Pittsburgh 2018 second-rounder) and veteran winger Mats Zuccarello (offseason arm surgery).



22. New Jersey Devils


Previous ranking: 20

Points percentage: .600

This week: @ BOS (Feb. 18); vs. BUF (Feb. 20); @ WSH (Feb. 21); vs. BUF (Feb. 23)

The Devils finally returned to action, and the break was a good time to buy stock on Jesper Bratt and Andreas Johnsson. The tandem joined Jack Hughes on the top line, and they should benefit from it.



23. Anaheim Ducks


Previous ranking: 23

Points percentage: .469

This week: vs. MIN (Feb. 18, 20); @ ARI (Feb. 22)

With a team-high seven goals in 16 games, Max Comtois has now matched his totals from the past two seasons combined. He's the only 23-and-under player in the league to hit seven goals so far.



24. San Jose Sharks


Previous ranking: 26

Points percentage: .464

This week: @ STL (Feb. 18, 20); vs. MIN (Feb. 22)

It's definitely time to sell on Marc-Edouard Vlasic, as the 33-year-old's contract ($7 million annually through 2025-26, no-movement clause) is not aging well with his play regressing. It feels like a while since he's been an impact player for this team.



25. New York Rangers


Previous ranking: 25

Points percentage: .393

This week: @ PHI (Feb. 18); @ WSH (Feb. 20)

With just one goal, the production hasn't been there for Alexis Lafreniere, but it's a good time to buy stock. According to Evolving-Hockey data, the 2020 No. 1 pick has the fourth-best expected goals for per 60 rate on the team (2.6).



26. Buffalo Sabres


Previous ranking: 24

Points percentage: .417

This week:@ WSH (Feb. 18); @ NJ (Feb. 20); @ NYI (Feb. 22); @ NJ (Feb. 23)

Since Victor Olofsson made his NHL debut nearly two years ago, only Leon Draisaitl and David Pastrnak have scored more power-play goals than Olofsson's 17. But he's one of many Sabres players struggling at 5-on-5.



27. Los Angeles Kings


Previous ranking: 29

Points percentage: .464

This week: @ ARI (Feb. 18, 20); @ STL (Feb. 22)

The Kings might be worth buying into as soon as next season, but they're not there now. Promising to see Quinton Byfield and Akil Thomas both pick up their first AHL goals this week -- and better yet, Byfield assisting on Thomas' with a slick between-the-legs pass.



28. Vancouver Canucks


Previous ranking: 28

Points percentage: .395

This week: @ CGY (Feb. 17); vs. WPG (Feb. 19, 21); vs. EDM (Feb. 23)

The Canucks' offense could still find its stride, but the defense is a straight-up bear market. Vancouver has allowed the third-most goals per game in the league (3.74) as well as shots allowed (33) per game.



29. Nashville Predators


Previous ranking: 27

Points percentage: .400

This week: @ CBJ (Feb. 18, 20); @ DET (Feb. 23)

It's OK to sell on the Predators, period. Ever since its appearance in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, Nashville has been a bear market. Goaltending isn't there this season. A once-promised youth movement has yet to arrive -- though that could be coming soon as veterans continue to struggle.



30. Detroit Red Wings


Previous ranking: 30

Points percentage: .324

This week: vs. CHI (Feb. 17); vs. FLA (Feb. 19, 20); vs. NSH (Feb. 23)

The Red Wings are desperate to fix their no-good power play, and it probably can't get much worse. Detroit is 4-for-53 on the man advantage for the season. It hasn't scored a power-play goal in nearly three weeks.



31. Ottawa Senators


Previous ranking: 31

Points percentage: .265

This week: @ TOR (Feb. 17, 18); vs. MTL (Feb. 21, 23)

Sportsnet ran an article on Tuesday headlined: Senators' thrilling comeback win over Maple Leafs is their Miracle on Ice. That's great, but still not buying the Sens.

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