NHL Power Rankings Week One: Capitals, Lightning, Predators, And Ducks Are Favorites

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Power Rankings: #9 – New York Rangers

Coming in at number nine in our NHL Power Rankings are the New York Rangers. The Rangers are coming off an Eastern Conference Final appearance. They underwent some changes during this offseason. It remains to be seen just how much those changes will affect the team. They should contend for a Stanley Cup regardless.

STRENGTHS: The Rangers have an impressive top six forward group. Rick Nash is one of the best goal scorers in the NHL and is an underrated two-way player. Derek Stepan had a down year in 2014-2015 but came up huge for them in the playoffs. Mats Zuccarello is extremely underrated and should make the first forward line much better.

Derrick Brassard has made a name for himself with his clutch scoring. Chris Kreider is an unpopular player because of his tendency to crash into goalies. However, he is an extremely talented forward who could have a breakout season this year. Jesper Fast could join the second forward line and give them another speedy option opposite Kreider.

Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best goalies in the NHL. Ryan McDonagh leads their blue line and is one of the best defensemen in the league when he’s healthy.

WEAKNESSES: Their defense isn’t as good as people would like to think it is. Dan Girardi is a liability and often holds McDonagh back from being a better player. Marc Staal is a bit pricey, but he’s a fine defenseman. Kevin Klein is overpaid considering what his role is. Dan Boyle and Keith Yandle are both offensively minded defensemen who struggle in their own zone.

It’s very concerning that the Rangers continue to let Tanner Glass play despite making the team much worse. He brings nothing of value to the table.

OUTLOOK: As long as Henrik doesn’t get injured again, the Rangers are a lock to make the playoffs. They don’t have Talbot to save them this season.

Next: #8