December 6, 2018, 1:00 pm

NHL Power Rankings after Week 9

The Lightning are our new No. 1 team. Plus, if the enlargement bill of exchange were this summer, here are the participants Seattle would select from each club.

NHL Power Rankings after Week 9

This week, we erudite that the NHL will officially wanted (related term) Seattle as its 32nd franchise, but not until 2021-22. That's plentifulness of time for teams to fix and form their rolls for yet some other enlargement bill of exchange. What if the bill of exchange were this summer, though? For this week's powerfulness rankings -- voted, as always, by ESPN's sheet of experts -- we reasoned which participant mightiness get pizzicato if Seattle got to choose this June, exploitation the same rules as Vegas in 2017.

It's all imaginary, of course. But it's also an absorbing peek into actual roll constructions.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

Previous ranking: 2

Here's where beingness one of the deepest teams in the conference presents a problem. With so many gifted participants to protect, of import middle-six guardant such as Tyler Johnson or Alex Killorn mightiness have to be exposed.

2. Nashville Predators

Previous ranking: 1

Juuse Saros is expected to be the goalie of the approaching in Nashville. But acknowledgment to Pekka Rinne's length of service (and no-movement clause), the 23-year-old Finn could be the goalie of the much-sooner approaching in Seattle.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

Previous ranking: 3

The Leafs are strapped by tough approaching written agreement decisions. Stocked with guardant talent, possibly it's best for a center such as Frederik Gauthier to leave and see what he can do with a larger opportunity.

4. Colorado Avalanche

Previous ranking: 5

Forward depth is still an issue in Colorado, though the Avalanche must part with one of their grinding third-line wingers: Matt Calvert or Matt Nieto. They aren't known as huge point producers, and neither has cracked double-digit points yet.

5. Washington Capitals

Previous ranking: 6

Michal Kempny revived his career with the Capitals after beingness an odd man out in Chicago, but he could find himself in a numbers game yet again. Or does pending restricted free-agent Andre Burakovsky get exposed from this deep roll?

6. Winnipeg Jets

Previous ranking: 9

The Jets still have to allocate some big money this summer, which could mean the versatile Mathieu Perreault is on his way out (if only because of his $4.125 million cap hit).

7. Buffalo Sabres

Previous ranking: 4

Buffalo has a ton of young participants not yet signed to bad written agreement s. But the one who mightiness be most attractive to Seattle -- and, unfortunately for the Sabres, available -- is 25-year-old goaltender Linus Ullmark.

8. Calgary Flames

Previous ranking: 11

A deep team without no-movement clauses? The Flames could lose either 22-year-old Sam Bennett, a pending RFA, or defenseman Travis Hamonic.

9. Minnesota Wild

Previous ranking: 7

Over the past two seasons, Charlie Coyle has been struggling to find his game. Being exposed in the enlargement bill of exchange could be the motivation he needs to find confidence again.

10. San Jose Sharks

Previous ranking: 8

The Sharks lucked out in the 2017 enlargement bill of exchange, losing only third-pairing defenseman David Schlemko. It mightiness be similar this summer, with possibly Justin Braun on his way out.

11. Columbus Blue Jackets

Previous ranking: 10

These days, Oliver Bjorkstrand is fighting for a third-line winger spot in Columbus. If the enlargement bill of exchange were this summer, he could contend for a larger role with the new team. And hey, we hear the last struggling Blue Jacket to find a new home with an enlargement team did OK for himself ...

12. Boston Bruins

Previous ranking: 12

With so many participants on entry-level written agreement s in big roles, the Bruins are well-positioned to save cornerstone contributors. But to protect Torey Krug, the ascending Matt Grzelcyk and the affordable John Moore, it mightiness be blueliner Kevin Miller who gets pizzicato.

13. Dallas Stars

Previous ranking: 14

With Ben Bishop's injury issues, the Stars would hate to see their terrific backup goaltender, Anton Khudobin, go. However, Dallas mightiness be forced to do so, acknowledgment, in part, to Bishop's no-movement clause.

14. Vegas Golden Knights

Previous ranking: 18

Lucky Vegas, they don't have to give up a participant in the enlargement bill of exchange! They also don't get a cut of the $650 million enlargement fee.

15. Anaheim Ducks

Previous ranking: 20

Anaheim has a pretty obvious list of keepers, and unfortunately, Andrew Cogliano just misses the cut. His middle-class written agreement ($3.25 million per year) is expendable for a team in transition.

16. Montreal Canadiens

Previous ranking: 16

Matthew Peca has a plucky underdog story. The young center mightiness be available, and he mightiness just fit the mold if the Seattle team is trying to replicate Vegas' "Golden Misfit" profile.

17. New York Rangers

Previous ranking: 13

With a pair of no-movement clauses for Marc Staal and Kevin Shattenkirk, the Rangers will have to make tough calls on the blue line. Perhaps Brady Skjei falls so out of favor this season that it culminates with a change of scenery.

18. Carolina Hurricanes

Previous ranking: 15

With an abundance of exciting young defensemen, the Canes will likely go for the eight-skater approach and protect most of their blueliners. Just like in the Vegas bill of exchange, Trevor van Riemsdyk could be left vulnerable yet again.

19. New York Islanders

Previous ranking: 17

Leo Komarov, 31, was a very Lou Lamoriello signing this summer. Thanks to his versatility and experience, he would be a good addition for an enlargement team.

20. Arizona Coyotes

Previous ranking: 24

There are lots of ELC-exempt participants on the Coyotes' list, which leaves Seattle scrambling. Perhaps they pick up an expiring written agreement , such as Richard Panik's.

21. Pittsburgh Penguins

Previous ranking: 19

Despite a lack of depth on the blue line, the Penguins have so many guardant to protect that they mightiness have to part with one of their middle-pairing defensemen: Olli Maatta or Jamie Oleksiak.

22. Edmonton Oilers

Previous ranking: 21

In order to save the top four defensemen (Kris Russell has a no-movement clause), the Oilers will have to expose a young guardant; Drake Caggiula is the pick.

23. Detroit Red Wings

Previous ranking: 28

Our best bet for who mightiness be pizzicato? It's going to be slim pickings, but grinder Luke Glendening is versatile, rounds out the bottom six and comes cheaply, at $1.8 million per season.

24. Philadelphia Flyers

Previous ranking: 22

The Flyers made a surprising move and opted to protect Scott Laughton in the previous enlargement bill of exchange. The center mightiness get exposed this time around and could be a smarter option for Seattle than the older Dale Weise.

25. Vancouver Canucks

Previous ranking: 23

Might the Canucks escape the Antoine Roussel written agreement via exposure in the enlargement bill of exchange? We wouldn't rule it out.

26. New Jersey Devils

Previous ranking: 25

Mirco Mueller was protected last go-around. However, the 23-year-old defenseman could be exposed this time despite his promise, acknowledgment to his pending RFA status.

27. Florida Panthers

Previous ranking: 26

All right, Panthers, don't mess this up again. Without Reilly Smith or Jonathan Marchessault-level talents available, the enlargement team could pick up a depth defenseman such as Mark Pysyk.

28. Ottawa Senators

Previous ranking: 29

Seattle mightiness have to use this as a dead pick and select a participant with an expiring written agreement . Which mightiness be OK, considering Ottawa's overall talent level.

29. Chicago Blackhawks

Previous ranking: 27

Artem Anisimov is a center who, increasingly, mightiness benefit from a change of scenery. By exposing him in the enlargement bill of exchange, Chicago could get his $4.55 million written agreement off the books as it continues to transition.

30. St. Louis Blues

Previous ranking: 30

David Perron again? The guardant doesn't get to finish his third stint with the Blues after the Seattle team remembers how well he fit in as a Golden Misfit (including a career-high 66 points).

31. Los Angeles Kings

Previous ranking: 31

The Kings are a team hamstrung by bad written agreement s. Although they mightiness try to expose someone such as Dustin Brown (34 years old and signed through 2021-22), Alec Martinez could be the one heading north.

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