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NHL Future Power Rankings - Projections for all 31 teams for the next three years

UniqueThis 3 Sep 10

ESPN Illustration

To determine which NHL clubs are in the best shape for the next three seasons, we had our panel of experts (Emily Kaplan, Chris Peters and Greg Wyshynski) rate each team in four categories -- roster; prospects; cap situation and contracts; and front office, ownership and coaching -- using this scale:

100: A+ (Elite) 90: A (Great) 80: B (Very good) 70: C (Average) 60: D (Very Bad) 50: F (Disastrous)

40: F- (The worst thing imaginable)

After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the four categories was weighted to create the overall score: roster (35 percent), prospects (25 percent), cap/contracts (20 percent) and owner/GM/coach (20 percent). The result is a comprehensive ranking based on how well each team is positioned for the future.

Read through the entire file from No. 1 to No. 31, or jump ahead to your team by using the quick links below:

Jump to a team:
ANA | ARI | BOS | BUF | CGY | CAR | CHI
COL | CBJ | DAL | DET | EDM | FLA

LA | MIN | MTL | NSH | NJ | NYI
NYR | OTT | PHI | PIT | SJ | STL
TB | TOR | VAN | VGS | WSH | WPG

1. Colorado Avalanche
Overall score: 87.8

Why they're here: Everyone in the NHL is talking about the Avalanche these days. They are loaded enough to win now, and their best players are young and cheap; case in point is Nathan MacKinnon, a top-three player in the league, playing on a ridiculous bargain at $6.3 million through 2023. Eventually, these guys will need new contracts, and that will test GM Joe Sakic's discipline. -- Kaplan

Points of concern: About the only point of concern for the Avalanche at this point is whether they'll meet the expectations that have been placed on them. Because otherwise, they have a young core that's the envy of the league, and a salary cap outlook for the next three seasons that is equally enviable. Coach Jared Bednar and GM Joe Sakic have rightfully earned their admiration with the group they've constructed -- now let's see what it does on the ice. -- Wyshynski

Cornerstone prospects: The Avs' blue line may be set for the next decade if Cale Makar and Bowen Byram reach their ceilings. Both are among the top defense prospects in the game, with Makar looking like one of the best such prospects in the past several years based on his development. Both have offensive talent and can really skate. Makar is a right shot; Byram is a left shot. Could this be the top pairing of the future for Colorado? If it is, that's going to be a great benefit to the team's forwards -- and of great detriment to the rest of the Central Division. -- Peters

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