Believe it or not, the 2015-16 NHL season is quickly approaching. Training camps across the league get underway in just a few weeks, and pretty soon the Chicago Blackhawks will open their third title defense of the decade.
But after an offseason that saw it’s share of departures, are the Blackhawks the top team entering the new year? I’ve compiled NHL power rankings for the pre-training camp period, from team No. 30 to team No. 1, for an early look at who the favorites are to win the 2016 Stanley Cup. We’ll start with the first 10 teams in this three-part post.
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; Dylan Strome poses for a photo after being selected as the number three overall pick to the Arizona Coyotes in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
30. Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes are in an interesting spot right now. Despite dealing with annual offseason relocation rumors and currently possessing one of the worst rosters in the NHL, they have plenty to look forward to within the system.
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The current roster is rather barren. The ‘Yotes still have captain Shane Doan and dynamic defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. They’ve also re-signed center Antoine Vermette after trading him at the most-recent deadline to the Chicago Blackhawks, where he served as an instrumental player in Chicago’s championship run.
Here’s where things start looking up for Arizona. The Coyotes have a wealth of really good talent that is on the cusp of making the transition to the NHL. As a matter of fact, the ‘Yotes have five players inside the top 71 of ESPN’s top-100 prospects list. That includes the third overall pick in the draft, Dylan Strome, who should be an instant impact at center for the Coyotes.
Arizona still has a long way to go and needs these prospects to make an impact quickly before the Coyotes can think about a return to the postseason.
Next: Next: No. 29
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