What an incredible feeling to be back watching NHL hockey on a daily basis. And what a thrilling first six days of a new season, with multiple noteworthy feats being seen across the league. Arranging the second edition of the NHL Power Rankings was a tricky affair, as some teams have three contests under their belt, while other franchises have only played a single game. For that reason, the rankings have remained fairly reasonable, with only a few significant jumps either up or down the list.

But what an encouraging first week of the 2023-24 National Hockey League campaign. Who saw scoring leader Elias Pettersson and the Vancouver Canucks opening their season with an 8-1 shellacking of the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers? Or back-to-back hat tricks for Auston Matthews, vaulting the Toronto Maple Leafs into the top five and himself into the record books? What about Jordan Binnington's incredible start; is he already the favorite for bounce back player of the year?

It's way too early to read too much into the first week of the season, but hockey fans across North America and beyond will just be happy to be watching the sport again after a long summer. Here is the second edition of ClutchPoints' weekly NHL Power Rankings.

32. San Jose Sharks (no change)

The San Jose Sharks opened their season with a 4-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights after the Golden Misfits unveiled their inaugural championship banner at T-Mobile Arena. The Sharks looked like the much worse team in that one, and the same can be said about their 2-1 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche three nights later. But Mackenzie Blackwood was electric in his Sharks debut, making 51 saves and earning early consideration as the starter going forward.

31. Philadelphia Flyers (no change)

The Philadelphia Flyers started the season 1-1, beating the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road before falling 5-2 to the Ottawa Senators two nights later. Watching Sean Couturier back on the ice must be riveting for fans of the franchise, but they weren't given too much else to cheer about in Week 1. Still, an opening week win isn't bad, and they'll look to improve on it in their home opener against the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

30. Chicago Blackhawks (no change)

The Connor Bedard era has officially arrived in Chicago. The youngster looked excellent in his first three games, helping the Blackhawks upset the Pittsburgh Penguins on opening night and scoring his first goal against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden a few nights later. A 1-2 record isn't too shabby for this team, and a Taylor Hall week-to-week injury scare was avoided after the former Hart Trophy winner confirmed he would be in the lineup when the squad heads to Toronto for Bedard's first game in the 6ix.

Connor Bedard, Chicago Blackhawks

29. Montreal Canadiens (no change)

A solid start to the season for the Montreal Canadiens was derailed by a brutal update on Kirby Dach on Monday morning. The potential breakout candidate's injury is significant, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, and he'll be out long-term. It's an awful way to start the season for both player and club, although the Habs remain undefeated in regulation at 1-0-1 after Week 1.

28. Nashville Predators (-2)

As expected, the Nashville Predators struggled out of the gate in 2023-24. They lost two of their first three games, including a 5-3 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first contest of the NHL season. A Juuse Saros shutout against the Seattle Kraken is encouraging, but it's already shaping up to be a long season in Smashville.

27. Anaheim Ducks (+1)

The Anaheim Ducks are exactly .500 through two games, going 1-1 while scoring seven goals and giving up the same amount. A surprising 6-3 win over the powerhouse Carolina Hurricanes help the Ducks jump up a spot, and the second line of Mason McTavish, Frank Vatrano and Ryan Strome looks great. Vatrano picked up a hat trick on Sunday, while McTavish has three points through two games. An encouraging start as they prepare for the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

26. Arizona Coyotes (+1)

The Arizona Coyotes have only played a single game, but it was a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on the road, which is an excellent start. Rookie Logan Cooley picked up two assists in his debut, while Clayton Keller and Nick Schmaltz both looked phenomenal while picking up multiple points of their own. The Yotes are back in action on Long Island on Tuesday as they look to keep the wins coming.


25. Columbus Blue Jackets (no change)

The 1-1 Columbus Blue Jackets lost their home opener to the Philadelphia Flyers, which is very not ideal, but followed it up with a massive 5-3 win at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers. But the concern is again for Zach Werenski, who was placed on IR with a quad contusion and is expected to miss ‘a few weeks.' This team can't make the playoffs without him, and his health is crucial to shaping what this squad will look like in 2023-24.

24. Washington Capitals (-4)

Like the Yotes, the Washington Capitals played just one game in Week 1, and they didn't score a single goal. A 4-0 loss to the Pens is a disappointing start, especially as it was in front of the home crowd at Capital One Arena. Way too early to panic, but Caps fans will be looking to get No. 8 (and the rest of the team) going on Monday night with Calgary in town.

23. New York Islanders (no change)

It was another one-game week in Long Island, as the Islanders edged the Sabres 3-2 on a late Casey Cizikas tally. Brock Nelson picked up right where he left off with the Isles' first goal of the season, and Ilya Sorokin looked sharp, making 27-of-29 saves in the winning effort. So far, so good ahead of a tilt with the Coyotes on Tuesday.

22. Detroit Red Wings (-1)

Alex DeBrincat, welcome to town. It looks like his home state of Michigan is exactly where the 25-year-old wants to be, and he proved it with a riveting two-goal, three-point performance against the Lightning in a 6-4 win. An opening 4-3 loss to the Devils has the Wings 1-1 through two, and the DeBrincat-Dylan Larkin chemistry will look to keep improving at Nationwide Arena in Columbus 0n Monday.

21. St. Louis Blues (+1)

Is Jordan Binnington back? After an abysmal season in 2022-23, one so bad that he didn't get drafted in either of my fantasy hockey pools this year, the 30-year-old stood on his head as the St. Louis Blues followed up a 2-1 shootout loss to the Stars by beating the Kraken by the same score, in the same format. Binnington has made 63 saves in two games, and if he can keep this elite play going, the Missouri-based franchise could be looking at a triumphant playoff return in 2024. But remember, it's early.

20. Buffalo Sabres (-4)

What a disastrous start for a Buffalo Sabres team with playoff aspirations in 2024. The Sabres are 0-2 after losses to the Rangers and Islanders, and have only scored three goals along the way. The first line of Tage Thompson, Jeff Skinner and Alex Tuch really needs to get going; none of them have a point yet. Potential Calder Trophy finalist Devon Levi has also struggled, and that needs to change quickly. Tampa Bay is in town on Tuesday as Buffalo looks to avoid the dreaded 0-3.

19. Calgary Flames (no change)

Like Binnington, Jacob Markstrom could be primed for a bounce-back campaign in 2023-24. He looked great in the team's 5-3 win over the Jets, but was just ok in a 5-2 loss to the Pens. Andrew Mangiapane looks re-invigorated, with four points, while Elias Lindholm has four of his own. The Flames will look to get above .500 in Washington on Monday.

Elias Lindholm, Calgary Flames, NHL

18. Minnesota Wild (no change)

Filip Gustavsson looked like he was ready to challenge for the Vezina Trophy in the Minnesota Wild's first game of the season, posting an outrageous 41-save shutout in a 2-0 win over the Panthers. Who would have thought that Auston Matthews and the Leafs would tattoo him for seven goals just two nights later? It was a wacky first week for the Wild, who will be reeling if Matt Boldy's injury ends up being long-term.

17. Seattle Kraken (-3)

Probably no team had a worse start than the Seattle Kraken in Week 1, as the expected regression hit this club hard. The Kraken are 0-2-1 after losses to the Knights, Predators and Blues, and have only scored two goals in that span. Yikes. Like I said, it's early, but it wouldn't be surprising at all to see this team struggle all year with Philipp Grubauer between the pipes. They'll get a chance to bounce back against the Avalanche, the team they upset in Round 1, Game 7 of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, on Tuesday.

16. Vancouver Canucks (+8)

You probably couldn't have written a better start for the Vancouver Canucks. Two games against the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers was a tough way to start the season, but this looks like a completely different team than last year. The Canucks destroyed the Oilers 8-1 in front of the home crowd, with Brock Boeser snapping for four goals and Elias Pettersson earning four points of his own. They followed it up by beating Connor McDavid's team again in Edmonton, proving that this 2023-24 Vancouver team is postseason or bust. Thatcher Demko and Casey DeSmith both had excellent debuts, and there is finally positive vibes on Canucks' Twitter these days.

15. Florida Panthers (-5)

Like the Kraken, the Florida Panthers got off on the wrong foot in 2023-24. And absolutely everyone saw it coming. This is just a different team without Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad on the back end, and they'll be treading water until those two players are ready to return. A 2-0 loss to the Wild was a miserable start, and following it up with a 6-4 loss in Winnipeg has the Cats 0-2 after their Stanley Cup Final run. They need to turn things around, and there's no Alex Lyon to save the day if Sergei Bobrovsky can't find regular-season success.

14. Ottawa Senators (+3)

The Senators lost their first game in Carolina, but followed it up with two straight 5-2 wins in front of new owner Michael Andlauer and president of hockey operations Steve Staios at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa. Captain Brady Tkachuk looks phenomenal, with four goals and five points in three games, while Vladimir Tarasenko is fitting in quite nicely himself after securing four points of his own. Both Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg look sharp. A very encouraging start in Canada's capital.

13. Los Angeles Kings (-1)

The Los Angeles Kings are winless through two games, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt as they played the Avalanche and Hurricanes to start the season. Still, the goaltending is in shambles, with 11 goals against in two games as Cam Talbot and Phoenix Copley provide the below-average goaltending we expected from this team. Anze Kopitar still looks great, and the Kings will look to right the ship against the team just above them in our NHL Power Rankings.

Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles Kings, NHL, contract grade

12. Winnipeg Jets (+3)

The Winnipeg Jets are in a similar boat to the Ducks, going 1-1 in Week 1 while scoring nine goals and giving up the exact same amount. Mark Scheifele looks invigorated with his new contract, scoring two goals and three points, while Kyle Connor continues to shine on his left wing. Connor Hellebuyck's early play has been concerning, but he should bounce back quickly. Despite the modest record, the Jets look ready to compete for a top-three spot in the Central Division.

11. Tampa Bay Lightning (-2)

It will surprise absolutely no one that the Lightning are struggling to keep pucks out of their net without Andrei Vasilevskiy. Tampa is much better than their 1-2 record suggests, but 14 goals in three games is not at all encouraging. And neither is Steven Stamkos being a question mark after missing Sunday's loss to the Senators. It could be a long few months as this team tries to tread water without one of the greatest goaltenders of all time.

10. Boston Bruins (+3)

No Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, no problem for the new-look Boston Bruins in 2023. Despite many thinking this team would be bad after a mass exodus this summer, new captain Brad Marchand has the B's playing at a high level, en route to another 2-0 start. The Bruins still have excellent defense and goaltending, along with a ton of forwards with something to prove. Although the Preds and Hawks weren't the toughest of opening schedules, Boston will still be competing for a top-three spot in the Atlantic this year.

9. Pittsburgh Penguins (+2)

All eyes were on Erik Karlsson when the Penguins 2023-24 season kicked off, but it's been the trio of Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel and Evgeni Malkin who have impressed. After a tough opening loss to the Hawks, the Pens won two convincing games; a 4-0 shutout win over the rival Capitals and a 5-2 victory over the Flames. Karlsson has just one assist, but the above trio has combined for 16 points, and Geno looks revitalized. Pittsburgh looks poised to compete for the Metropolitan Division crown.

8. Edmonton Oilers (-2)

Absolutely no one expected the Canucks to run roughshod over the Oilers in the first game of both team's seasons. It's hard to believe Vancouver put up more than a touchdown on a team with legitimate Stanley Cup aspirations, and beat them again just days later. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl will be fine, but Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner were both dreadful against the Canucks' potent top-six. Goaltending has been a constant problem for this team, and if the reigning Calder Trophy finalist doesn't figure it out, expectations will need to be tempered for this high-flying Pacific Division team.

7. New York Rangers (+1)

The Rangers looked hungry after their dismal postseason exit against the Devils in Round 1 last postseason. They crushed the Sabres in their first gmae of the year, but were unable to keep the momentum going against the Blue Jackets in a disappointing showing in Game 2 in Ohio. Lots of new faces still getting acclimated to this offense, including Blake Wheeler and Will Cuylle. The Rangers will be fine, and will aim to get above .500 with the Yotes in town on Monday.

6. Dallas Stars (-1)

The Stars edged the Blues 2-1 in their season opener, in a game that didn't have much going for either side. Jake Oettinger looked spectacular, but expect the top line of Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz and Joe Pavelski to be much more involved when Dallas heads to Las Vegas to play the mighty Golden Knights on Tuesday. Fans of this club won't be penalized for focusing more on the Texas Rangers-Houston Astros ALCS than early regular-season puck.

Jake Oettinger, Dallas Stars, Stars Golden Knights, Stanley Cup Playoffs

5. New Jersey Devils (-1)

Jack Hughes and Jesper Bratt are going to absolutely feast this season. The duo has already combined for eight points as the New Jersey Devils remain undefeated in regulation at 1-0-1. Blowing a third period lead against the Coyotes was disappointing, but they'll look to get back on track at home against the Panthers on Monday.

4. Toronto Maple Leafs (+3)

Auston Matthews became only the second player since 1917-18 to score a hat trick in back-to-back games to start a season, as No. 34 makes an early Rocket Richard case. The Maple Leafs look spectacular, coming from behind to beat the Habs before hammering the Wild on Hockey Night in Canada. Ilya Samsonov needs to be better, as does the overall defense, but the offense looks absolutely electric. Toronto are early favorites to win the Atlantic Division. Can Matthews score 60 this year?

3. Carolina Hurricanes (no change)

It's been a steady if unspectacular start for the Hurricanes, who have the weight of the world on their shoulders in Raleigh. A 2-1 record isn't too shabby, but a 6-3 loss to the lowly Ducks on Sunday was puzzling. Still, they've scored 13 goals in three games, and that's without Andrei Svechnikov in the lineup. Frederik Andersen looks like the undisputed starter, and the Canes will look to make it 3-1 on Tuesday in San Jose.

2. Colorado Avalanche (no change)

The Avalanche almost lost to the Sharks on the back of a miraculous performance from Blackwood. But Colorado prevailed, with superstar Cale Makar scoring late and Mikko Rantanen scoring the only goal in the shootout. After a 5-2 win over the Kings, it's an early 2-0 record for the Central Division's best team. It will take a lot more time to determine how the depth forwards will fare, but it's an encouraging start for Jared Bednar's team. It's off to Seattle for a date with the Kraken on Tuesday.

1. Vegas Golden Knights (no change)

There's no way the Vegas Golden Knights were coming out of the No. 1 spot after the best start of any NHL team in 2023-24. It looks like the Stanley Cup hangover is a myth for this squad, who put together back-to-back-to-back 4-1 wins over the Kraken, Sharks and Ducks, respectively. Adin Hill and Logan Thompson both look fantastic, and the offense hasn't missed a step. The 2023 Stanley Cup champions are back and better than ever.