NHL Power Rankings: 1-32 poll, every team's best trade

ByKristen Shilton ESPN logo
Friday, February 17, 2023

The NHL's 2023 trade deadline is March 3. We've seen two big deals consummated thus far -- with Vladimir Tarasenko joining the New York Rangers and Bo Horvat heading to the New York Islanders -- but we're pretty sure the volume will pick up in the coming weeks.

For this week's edition of the Power Rankings, we identified the best trade that each team has made at the past five deadlines.

How we rank: A panel of ESPN hockey commentators, analysts, reporters and editors rates teams against one another -- taking into account game results, injuries and upcoming schedule -- and those results are tabulated to produce the list featured here.

Note: Previous ranking for each team refers to the most recent edition, published Feb. 10. Points percentages are through Thursday's games.

1. Boston Bruins

Previous ranking: 1

Points percentage: 80.56%

Next seven days: vs. NYI (Feb. 18), vs. OTT (Feb. 20), @ SEA (Feb. 23)

Hampus Lindholm (2022). Boston shipped a hefty package of picks and prospect to Anaheim last season for Lindholm, then signed the 28-year-old to an eight-year, $52 million contract. He's been worth every penny. Lindholm has boosted the Bruins' blue line to new heights this season, playing upward of 24 minutes a night, pumping in points and packing a physical punch. That's a true game-changer.

2. Carolina Hurricanes

Previous ranking: 2

Points percentage: 74.07%

Next seven days: vs. WSH (Feb. 18), vs. STL (Feb. 21)

Patrick Marleau (2019). Carolina never expected Marleau to play for them; they just played the role of middleman. Toronto needed to dump Marleau's contract in 2019 and the Hurricanes took it on for draft capital, including a 2020 first-round choice that became forward Seth Jarvis. The 21-year-old has been an important addition for the Hurricanes (he had a 40-point freshman season in 2021-22) and projects to play a key role in the team's future.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous ranking: 4

Points percentage: 67.27%

Next seven days: vs. MTL (Feb. 18), @ CHI (Feb. 19), @ BUF (Feb. 21)

Rasmus Sandin (2018). Toronto drafted Sandin in 2018 after GM Kyle Dubas swapped the No. 25 overall pick for the No. 29 and No. 76 overall selections. Dubas selected Sandin at No. 29, and he has become an integral piece of Toronto's current blue line (not to mention its future). And with that extra pick at No. 76, Toronto got forward Semyon Der-Arguchintsev, a 22-year-old bursting with potential.

4. New Jersey Devils

Previous ranking: 3

Points percentage: 69.44%

Next seven days: @ PIT (Feb. 18), vs. WPG (Feb. 19), vs. MTL (Feb. 21), vs. LA (Feb. 23)

Vitek Vanecek (2022). New Jersey was desperate to improve its goaltending this past offseason. Landing Vanecek from Washington in July for a pair of draft choices has given the Devils what they needed -- a reliable No. 1 starter. Now, New Jersey looks like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Pretty clean work by GM Tom Fitzgerald.

5. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 6

Points percentage: 67.59%

Next seven days: @ VGK (Feb. 18), vs. ANA (Feb. 21), vs. BUF (Feb. 23)

Ryan McDonagh (2018). Former Lightning GM Steve Yzerman orchestrated a megadeal with the New York Rangers in 2018 to bring the Bolts their shutdown defenseman in McDonagh (plus forward J.T. Miller) for two impending Stanley Cup runs. Tampa Bay gave up a mix of players, prospects and picks to make it happen, but without McDonagh's blue-line presence, the Lightning would have been far less likely to become champs (twice over).

6. Dallas Stars

Previous ranking: 5

Points percentage: 64.55%

Next seven days: @ MIN (Feb. 17), vs. CBJ (Feb. 18), vs. CHI (Feb. 22)

Scott Wedgewood (2022). Dallas boosted its goaltending depth by adding Wedgewood in March from Arizona in exchange for a conditional fourth-round pick that will become a third if the Stars make playoffs this season. Which they will. That's a solid complement for Jake Oettinger in net on a tidy return. Well done, GM Jim Nill.

7. Winnipeg Jets

Previous ranking: 7

Points percentage: 62.73%

Next seven days: @ NJ (Feb. 19), @ NYR (Feb. 20), @ NYI (Feb. 22)

Neal Pionk (2019). Winnipeg had a disgruntled Jacob Trouba on its hands in June 2019, and offered him to the Rangers for a first-round pick (that became defenseman Ville Heinola) and Pionk. Back then the trade seemed to favor New York, but Pionk has emerged as a minute-munching, wholly reliable top-pairing blueliner and Heinola (still just 21 years old) has a promising future too.

8. New York Rangers

Previous ranking: 8

Points percentage: 66.67%

Next seven days: @ EDM (Feb. 17), @ CGY (Feb. 18), vs. WPG (Feb. 20), @ DET (Feb. 23)

Adam Fox (2019). Yes, the Rangers' recent trade for Vladimir Tarasenko has been so stunningly successful it almost ended up here. But let's not go overboard. New York acquired Fox from Carolina in 2019 for a second-round pick and conditional third. In turn, Fox has become the Rangers' top-pairing defenseman and just the second NHL blueliner -- after Bobby Orr -- to win a Norris Trophy before his third pro season.

9. Vegas Golden Knights

Previous ranking: 10

Points percentage: 63.64%

Next seven days: vs. TB (Feb. 18), @ CHI (Feb. 21), vs. CGY (Feb. 23)

Jack Eichel (2021). The Golden Knights risked acquiring Eichel in November 2021 when he wanted an experimental surgery on a herniated disc in his neck. When Eichel got healthy, he proved Vegas right on rolling the dice. The 26-year-old is an elite top-line player, producing at nearly a point-per-game pace this season. And Eichel's prime should be on display for years to come.

10. Los Angeles Kings

Previous ranking: 14

Points percentage: 60.91%

Next seven days: @ ANA (Feb. 17), vs. ARI (Feb. 18), @ MIN (Feb. 21), @ NJ (Feb. 23)

Kevin Fiala (2022). Los Angeles upgraded its attack last June by acquiring Fiala from Minnesota. He's the Kings' leading scorer this season, represented them at the NHL All-Star Game and continues to make what L.A. gave up in the deal (Brock Faber and a first-round pick) look exceedingly reasonable for a difference-maker.

11. Seattle Kraken

Previous ranking: 9

Points percentage: 61.82%

Next seven days: vs. DET (Feb. 18), @ SJ (Feb. 20), vs. BOS (Feb. 23)

Daniel Sprong (2022). Seattle hasn't made many trades, of course. But collecting Sprong from Washington last March in exchange for Marcus Johansson stands out. Sprong has carved out a solid bottom-six role, is producing the best numbers of his career this season and has scored some big goals for the Kraken.

12. Edmonton Oilers

Previous ranking: 11

Points percentage: 60.00%

Next seven days: vs. NYR (Feb. 17), @ COL (Feb. 19), vs. PHI (Feb. 21), @ PIT (Feb. 23)

Brett Kulak (2022). It wasn't a splashy move by GM Ken Holland to pluck Kulak from Montreal last March for William Lagesson and two picks. It was a smart one. Kulak signed a four-year extension to stay in Edmonton and is a consistent second-pairing defender with good offensive upside who can play well with anyone. That's good value.

13. Colorado Avalanche

Previous ranking: 12

Points percentage: 59.43%

Next seven days: @ STL (Feb. 18), vs. EDM (Feb. 19)

Devon Toews (2020). Colorado took advantage of the Islanders' salary cap crunch and acquired Toews in October 2020 for a pair of 2021 second-round picks. Highway robbery. Toews has blossomed into a premier defender, analytics darling and, crucially, a perfect partner for Cale Makar (and they've got the Stanley Cup rings to prove it).

14. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous ranking: 13

Points percentage: 59.43%

Next seven days: @ NYI (Feb. 17), vs. NJ (Feb. 18), vs. NYI (Feb. 20), vs. EDM (Feb. 23)

Rickard Rakell (2022). Pittsburgh grabbed Rakell -- then a pending unrestricted free agent -- from Anaheim last season without giving up a first-round pick. That was ideal. Even better? Having Rakell sign a six-year, $30 million extension and work his way into a top-line role. Talk about a massive early return.

15. Washington Capitals

Previous ranking: 17

Points percentage: 54.39%

Next seven days: @ CAR (Feb. 18), vs. DET (Feb. 21), vs. ANA (Feb. 23)

Michal Kempny (2018). Washington sent Chicago a third-round pick for Kempny in 2018. The Capitals' return was a top-pairing defender for their ensuing run to a Cup championship. Injuries and age slowed Kempny after that, and he has since moved on from the NHL. But what he gave Washington at his best was more than enough.

16. Minnesota Wild

Previous ranking: 15

Points percentage: 56.48%

Next seven days: vs. DAL (Feb. 17), vs. NSH (Feb. 19), vs. LA (Feb. 21), @ CBJ (Feb. 23)

Marc-Andre Fleury (2022). Wild GM Bill Guerin acquired Fleury -- a three-time Stanley Cup winner and future Hall of Fame goaltender -- from Chicago for a conditional second-round pick last season. Low risk; high reward. Fleury isn't flawless, but he is durable and produces solid stats while standing tall as Minnesota's No. 1 netminder.

17. Calgary Flames

Previous ranking: 19

Points percentage: 55.45%

Next seven days: vs. NYR (Feb. 18), vs. PHI (Feb. 20), @ ARI (Feb. 22), @ VGK (Feb. 23)

Jonathan Huberdeau/MacKenzie Weegar (2022). Calgary has yet to see Huberdeau's best. That's undeniable. But the trade Brad Treliving pulled off last July to bring Huberdeau and Weegar (plus prospect Cole Schwindt) from Florida? Stunner. The GM was in a tough spot when Matthew Tkachuk said he wouldn't re-sign with the Flames. Treliving made something of nothing, and there is plenty of time for Huberdeau -- now on an eight-year deal -- to find his footing.

18. Nashville Predators

Previous ranking: 23

Points percentage: 53.85%

Next seven days: vs. FLA (Feb. 18), @ MIN (Feb. 19), vs. VAN (Feb. 21), @ SJ (Feb. 23)

P.K. Subban (2019). Some moves just have to be made. In 2019, Nashville needed cap space to extend Roman Josi and sign Matt Duchene. The Predators sent Subban (and his $9 million annual cap hit) to New Jersey to get that done. Josi is inarguably Nashville's most important player, and Duchene has excelled (for the most part) in a top-six forward spot.

19. Buffalo Sabres

Previous ranking: 18

Points percentage: 54.72%

Next seven days: @ SJ (Feb. 18), vs. TOR (Feb. 21), @ TB (Feb. 23)

Tage Thompson (2018). No disrespect to GM Kevyn Adams' work on the Jack Eichel trade last November. But Buffalo's seriously feeling the benefits now from parting with Ryan O'Reilly and acquiring Thompson -- among other assets -- from St. Louis in July 2018. The towering centerman is at the core of the Sabres' resurgence, as the team's leading scorer, a budding playmaker and all-around offensive wrecking ball.

20. New York Islanders

Previous ranking: 20

Points percentage: 53.51%

Next seven days: vs. PIT (Feb. 17), @ BOS (Feb. 18), @ PIT (Feb. 20), vs. WPG (Feb. 22)

Jean-Gabriel Pageau (2020). The Islanders ponied up for Pageau in February 2020, sending Ottawa a first-, second- and third-round pick for the versatile forward. The 30-year-old center has been worth the Islanders' investment (which included a six-year, $30 million extension) to be a Swiss Army knife in the team's offense; he can collect points while slotting into any situation across 5-on-5 and special teams.

21. Florida Panthers

Previous ranking: 16

Points percentage: 53.45%

Next seven days: @ NSH (Feb. 18), vs. ANA (Feb. 20)

Matthew Tkachuk (2022). Florida swapped its former top scorer (Jonathan Huberdeau) for its newest one. It's safe to say that the Panthers are pleased. The blockbuster deal last July sending Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar to Calgary for Tkachuk was a risk that has paid off; Florida's feisty forward has dominated offensively (with nearly 30 points more than his closest teammate) and Tkachuk represented the club well as the 2023 NHL All-Star Game MVP.

22. Detroit Red Wings

Previous ranking: 21

Points percentage: 55.56%

Next seven days: @ SEA (Feb. 18), @ WSH (Feb. 21), vs. NYR (Feb. 23)

Ville Husso (2022). Detroit traded with St. Louis at last year's draft, grabbing its now-No. 1 netminder in Husso for a third-round pick. The deal is aging like a fine wine already, since Husso has been the Red Wings' inarguable MVP through a tough first season. The 28-year-old might just be hitting his peak, and that's good news for Detroit's future prospects.

23. Ottawa Senators

Previous ranking: 24

Points percentage: 51.89%

Next seven days: vs. CHI (Feb. 17), vs. STL (Feb. 19), @ BOS (Feb. 20)

Josh Norris (2018). Ottawa sent Erik Karlsson to San Jose in September 2018 for a return haul that had Norris -- one of the Sharks' top prospects -- at its center (along with a handful of other players and picks, too). Norris is one of the Senators' key core pieces now, despite being sidelined by injury most of this season. At age 23, there's plenty more Norris will have to offer as the Senators continue finding their way back to contending status.

24. Philadelphia Flyers

Previous ranking: 25

Points percentage: 48.21%

Next seven days: @ VAN (Feb. 18), @ CGY (Feb. 20), @ EDM (Feb. 21)

Owen Tippett (2022). Philadelphia added the up-and-coming Tippett -- plus a first- and third-round draft choice -- by trading then-captain Claude Giroux to Florida last March. Giroux held all the cards selecting his next destination, but the Flyers made the most of their options by getting a power forward in Tippett who's just 23 years old and has so far exceeded expectations for Philadelphia in his best statistical season to date.

25. St. Louis Blues

Previous ranking: 22

Points percentage: 50.93%

Next seven days: vs. COL (Feb. 18), @ OTT (Feb. 19), @ CAR (Feb. 21), vs. VAN (Feb. 23)

Justin Faulk (2020). St. Louis made waves acquiring Faulk from Carolina in 2020 forJoel Edmundson, a prospect and a draft pick. It took time for Faulk to find his fit, but the veteran has become a stalwart defensive defenseman providing stability -- and a few timely goals -- from the Blues' back end.

26. Montreal Canadiens

Previous ranking: 26

Points percentage: 45.45%

Next seven days: @ TOR (Feb. 18), @ NJ (Feb. 21)

Nick Suzuki (2018). Montreal traded its former captain Max Pacioretty to Vegas in September 2018 to acquire a future one in Suzuki. The 23-year-old does a lot more for the Canadiens than just wear their "C" -- he's the team's leading scorer this season and a foundational piece of the hopeful next chapter Montreal has been writing.

27. Vancouver Canucks

Previous ranking: 28

Points percentage: 41.82%

Next seven days: vs. PHI (Feb. 18), @ NSH (Feb. 21), @ STL (Feb. 23)

J.T. Miller (2019). Vancouver going all-in on acquiring Miller from Tampa in June 2019 was a controversial choice. The Canucks parted with a first-round and third-round choice, plus goalie Marek Mazanec, to grab the Bolts' middle-six winger. Miller grew into much more than that in Vancouver, operating near a point-per-game clip in a top-six role the past two seasons.

28. San Jose Sharks

Previous ranking: 27

Points percentage: 40.18%

Next seven days: vs. BUF (Feb. 18), vs. SEA (Feb. 20), vs. NSH (Feb. 23)

Erik Karlsson (2018). Controversial choice? Perhaps. San Jose swapped players and picks with Ottawa in September 2018 to get Karlsson, signed him to a mammoth eight-year, $92 million extension and then watched injuries and inconsistencies eat away at Karlsson's abilities. That all changed this season with Karlsson back in the Norris Trophy conversation and boasting bona fide trade potential. If GM Mike Grier can find the right suitor, trading Karlsson away would be a major win for the Sharks, too.

29. Arizona Coyotes

Previous ranking: 29

Points percentage: 41.82%

Next seven days: @ LA (Feb. 18), vs. CBJ (Feb. 19), vs. CGY (Feb. 22)

Jack McBain (2022). Arizona pounced on McBain last March when it was clear the college free agent wouldn't be signing with Minnesota (which drafted him 63rd overall in 2018). For a paltry second-round draft choice, the Coyotes acquired a 23-year-old forward who put up over a point per game at Boston College and has ample NHL potential. He's another exciting young player to aid in the Coyotes' build.

30. Columbus Blue Jackets

Previous ranking: 32

Points percentage: 34.55%

Next seven days: @ DAL (Feb. 18), @ ARI (Feb. 19), vs. MIN (Feb. 23)

Artemi Panarin (2017). Columbus targeted Panarin in a 2017 draft day deal with Chicago and received one the most talented forwards the club has ever had. Panarin stuck around for only two seasons, but he was the first skater in franchise history to produce multiple 80-plus-point seasons and helped Columbus make the playoffs both seasons, too.

31. Chicago Blackhawks

Previous ranking: 30

Points percentage: 34.91%

Next seven days: @ OTT (Feb. 17), vs. TOR (Feb. 19), vs. VGK (Feb. 21), @ DAL (Feb. 22)

A pair of picks (2022). Chicago isn't tiptoeing around a rebuild. It has leaned all the way in. That's why the Blackhawks sent Brandon Hagel to Tampa Bay last March for a first-round pick in each of the 2023 and 2024 drafts (plus Taylor Raddysh and Boris Katchouk). The depth of talent available in 2023 is said to be excellent, too, which only makes the move look better on Chicago's part.

32. Anaheim Ducks

Previous ranking: 31

Points percentage: 36.36%

Next seven days: vs. LA (Feb. 17), @ FLA (Feb. 20), @ TB (Feb. 21), @ WSH (Feb. 23)

Draft picks galore (2022). Anaheim is rebuilding, and so GM Pat Verbeek's attention is on the future. That's why shipping Hampus Lindholm to Boston last March to stock the cupboards with a first-round pick, two second-round choices and defenseman Urho Vaakanainen (Boston's 18th overall pick in 2017) made so much sense. Sometimes the long game is the best one.