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

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Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Power Rankings: #27 – Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes are quietly building a core of players. Unfortunately, they are in the brutal Metropolitan Division. No NHL team should take this team lightly though. They’ll outwork anyone who doesn’t take them seriously.

STRENGTHS: The Hurricanes have a strong top forward line if they can stay healthy. Jordan Staal, Eric Staal, and Jeff Skinner could form a very good first line. All three players have struggled to stay healthy in their last three NHL seasons, though. Riley Nash and Elias Lindholm look like they’re going to be very good players. They’re ready to take the next step forward this season.

The Canes main strength will be their blue line. Justin Faulk is an elite defenseman. They’re adding another potential elite defensemen to their roster in Noah Hanifin. Eddie Lack should be a huge upgrade over Cam Ward. Their prospect system has quietly gone from really bad to really good in a short period of time. Drafting wisely tends to do that to you.

WEAKNESSES: They don’t have nearly enough scoring depth to compete in the Metropolitan Division. They’ll struggle to score even more should the Staals or Skinner fail to stay healthy. Nash and Lindholm aren’t ready to be relied on to be their best scorers.

OUTLOOK: The Hurricanes will be really good in a few years. This season is not their time.

Next: #26