Who’s the MVP of each NHL team halfway through the 2021-22 season?
The All-Star break means that the 2021-22 NHL season has reached its halfway mark. The season has been an exciting one, with unexpected teams thriving at the top and teams we thought would be contenders having a rough go of things.
In this week’s power rankings, we take a look at the MVP of each team halfway through the season.
Check out Week 15’s power rankings here.
32. Montreal Canadiens
Week 16: DNP
Previous Ranking: 32
Artturi Lehkonen. The elite defensive forward has been the team’s best player and it isn’t close. Lehkonen likely won’t be a Canadien for much longer.
31. Arizona Coyotes
Week 16: 1-1-0, 5 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: COL, CGY)
Previous Ranking: 31
Shayne Gostisbehere. An unsung hero of this Coyotes team, who has left his struggles in Philadelphia.
30. Seattle Kraken
Week 16: 1-1-0, 5 GF, 3 GA (Opponents: BOS, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 30
Jared McCann. The breakout star is having quite the offensive season and is, by far, the best the Kraken have to offer.
29. Buffalo Sabres
Week 16: 0-1-0, 2 GF, 5 GA (Opponent: VGK)
Previous Ranking: 29
Tage Thompson. The young forward is the team’s leading scorer and a bright spot for the future.
28. New Jersey Devils
Week 16: 0-2-0, 5 GF, 13 GA (Opponent: TOR x2)
Previous Ranking: 28
Jesper Bratt. The former sixth-round pick has become the Devils’ best player and emerged as a legitimate top-six two-way forward. Spectacular.
27. Ottawa Senators
Week 16: 1-1-0, 4 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: EDM, NYI)
Previous Ranking: 26
Thomas Chabot. Brady Tkachuk always gets all the love and much of it is well deserved, but Chabot is the true star of this team and continues to be one of the most underrated defensemen in the league.
26. Philadelphia Flyers
Week 16: 1-0-0, 3 GF, 1 GA (Opponent: WPG)
Previous Ranking: 27
Claude Giroux. As always, the Flyers’ captain is their MVP. But this might be the last time we ever say this. Where will Giroux be come the trade deadline?
25. Chicago Blackhawks
Week 16: 0-2-0, 12 GF, 13 GA (Opponents: VAN, MIN)
Previous Ranking: 25
Alex DeBrincat. The team’s top scorer has been one of the sole bright spots on an underperforming Blackhawks team and will be expected to potentially carry quite the burden on this team for years to come.
24. Columbus Blue Jackets
Week 16: 0-1-0, 4 GF, 8 GA (Opponent: FLA)
Previous Ranking: 22
Adam Boqvist. No one has been phenomenal on this Blue Jackets team, but Boqvist has stood out. The young defenseman has been especially noticeable in his opponents’ zone and he’s a good body to have in such an inexperienced and vulnerable blueline.
23. New York Islanders
Week 16: 1-1-0, 4 GF, 4 GA (Opponents: OTT, SEA)
Previous Ranking: 24
Adam Pelech. Much of the little success the Islanders have achieved this season can be attributed to their top defenseman and 2022 All-Star, who is one of the best and most underrated defensive-defensemen in the league.
22. Detroit Red Wings
Week 16: 1-1-0, 5 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: ANA, LAK)
Previous Ranking: 23
Tyler Bertuzzi. Detroit’s rebuild is going well and several of the team’s newbies are taking the league by storm, but Bertuzzi is MVP. He’s the team’s leading scorer and is having a fantastic season in his own zone, as well.
21. Vancouver Canucks
Week 16: 1-1-0, 6 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: CHI, NSH)
Previous Ranking: 21
Thatcher Demko. The Canucks’ representative at the 2022 All-Star Game has, in fact, been the team’s best player and true bright spot in an extremely disappointing season. Demko has been one of the best goalies in hockey and a true MVP for Vancouver.
20. Winnipeg Jets
Week 16: 0-1-0, 1 GF, 3 GA (Opponent: PHI)
Previous Ranking: 20
Kyle Connor. One of the top goal-scorers in the league as well as Winnipeg’s top scorer and All-Star has definitely been the Jets’ best player. He continues to be underrated and that’s exacerbated by the Jets’ underwhelming play this season.
19. San Jose Sharks
Week 16: 0-0-1, 2 GF, 3 GA (Opponent: TBL)
Previous Ranking: 19
Timo Meier. This is an obvious one. Meier has been one of the best forwards in the NHL this season and few have had the kind of offensive impact that he’s made on his team.
18. Dallas Stars
Week 16: 0-1-0, 3 GF, 4 GA (Opponent: CGY)
Previous Ranking: 18
Joe Pavelski. The Stars’ veteran forward and All-Star has been sensational in his first year in Dallas, even if the team hasn’t. What’s amazing about Pavelski this season is how elite he’s been in both zones.
17. Edmonton Oilers
Week 16: 1-0-1, 7 GF, 6 GA (Opponents: OTT, WSH)
Previous Ranking: 17
Connor McDavid. Do we really need to elaborate?
16. Anaheim Ducks
Week 16: 0-0-1, 1 GF, 2 GA (Opponent: DET)
Previous Ranking: 15
Troy Terry. We’ve been saying Terry’s name all season and he hasn’t slowed down. Terry has been an elite offensive presence who holds his own defensively and has been a primary reason why the Ducks are having such a strong season.
15. Los Angeles Kings
Week 16: 1-0-0, 5 GF, 3 GA (Opponent: DET)
Previous Ranking: 16
Drew Doughty. Just when we thought Doughty was on the decline, he turned it all around and looks like he’s back in his prime this season. If the Kings make the playoffs, Doughty is a massive reason why.
14. Calgary Flames
Week 16: 2-0-0, 8 GF, 5 GA (Opponents: DAL, ARI)
Previous Ranking: 14
Johnny Gaudreau. Several Flames players have been doing great this season, but Gaudreau’s 54 points in 42 games speak for themselves. His importance to this team is unmatched.
13. Vegas Golden Knights
Week 16: 1-0-0, 5 GF, 2 GA (Opponent: BUF)
Previous Ranking: 13
Zach Whitecloud. He isn’t the flashiest of players, but no Golden Knight has been more valuable than Whitecloud. He’s great defensively, but even better offensively, even though the points might not show it. He’s been instrumental in Vegas turning its season around.
12. Boston Bruins
Week 15: 1-0-0, 3 GF, 2 GA (Opponent: SEA)
Previous Ranking: 12
David Pastrnak. On the epitome of a star-studded team, Pastrnak continues to shine. No Bruin has been as good offensively, especially on the man-advantage, and Pastrnak is not shy to make big plays in his own zone, either.
11. Washington Capitals
Week 16: 1-1-0, 7 GF, 8 GA (Opponents: PIT, EDM)
Previous Ranking: 11
Alex Ovechkin. The “Great Eight” is going to at least be a finalist for the Hart, so naming him MVP of his team is a no-brainer.
10. St. Louis Blues
Week 16: DNP
Previous Ranking: 9
Pavel Buchnevich. What a trade this was for the Blues. Buchnevich’s elite play in both zones has been transformational for a Blues team that has quickly become one of the best in the league.
9. Nashville Predators
Week 15: 1-0-0, 4 GF, 2 GA (Opponent: VAN)
Previous Ranking: 10
Filip Forsberg. The Predators have become famous for poor offensive play, so Forsberg’s performance in his opponents’ zone (as well as his own) has been warmly welcomed. We can even say that without him, the Predators aren’t nearly as great as they have been in 2021-22.
8. Pittsburgh Penguins
Week 16: 0-0-1, 3 GF, 4 GA (Opponent: WSH)
Previous Ranking: 7
Evan Rodrigues. Rodrigues carried this team on his back when things couldn’t have been going worse for them early on. Current struggles or not, he’s the MVP for that reason alone.
7. New York Rangers
Week 16: 1-0-0, 5 GF, 2 GA (Opponent: FLA)
Previous Ranking: 8
Igor Shesterkin. Shesterkin could run away with the Vezina and be a finalist for the Hart. The Rangers aren’t one of the top teams in the league without his heroics.
6. Minnesota Wild
Week 16: 1-0-0, 5 GF, 0 GA (Opponent: CHI)
Previous Ranking: 6
Kirill Kaprizov. The face of the Wild is also their MVP. Kaprizov continues to be a lethal offensive force whom other teams can’t control.
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
Week 16: 2-0-0, 13 GF, 5 GA (Opponent: NJD x2)
Previous Ranking: 5
Auston Matthews. Matthews might somehow be having his best season yet. No one has been as elite in both zones as he and we can count the amount of players that are on his level on one hand.
4. Tampa Bay Lightning
Week 16: 1-0-0, 3 GF, 2 GA (Opponent: SJS)
Previous Ranking: 4
Victor Hedman. After somewhat of a “down year”, Hedman is making a strong case for the Norris and has been unbelievably good in both zones. He deserves so much credit for helping his team get back to this caliber of play.
3. Carolina Hurricanes
Week 16: DNP
Previous Ranking: 3
Jaccob Slavin. Dougie Hamilton’s absence really hasn’t been glaring and Slavin is a reason why. He isn’t getting the credit he deserves for being the best player- by far- one one of the most elite teams in the game.
2. Florida Panthers
Week 16: 1-1-0, 10 GF, 9 GA (Opponents: CBJ, NYR)
Previous Ranking: 2
Aaron Ekblad. Ekblad is somehow criminally underrated. He’s the Panthers’ best player and MVP this season and is is a reason why they’re so elite at everything. This team isn’t the same without him.
1. Colorado Avalanche
Week 16: 0-0-1, 2 GF, 3 GA (Opponent: ARI)
Previous Ranking: 1
Nazem Kadri. It was tough to choose between Kadri and Cale Makar, the current favorite for the Norris, but the fact of the matter is that the Avalanche got off to a bad start and wouldn’t have come out of that slump the way they did without Kadri.