(Image Credit: EA Sports)
It’s always good to know who the best teams in NHL 19 are just in case a buddy offers you a game. The numbers on the overalls are a bit misleading in some places, so this article helps you to see which teams are the best, the worst, and who the stars of the show are.
OFF: 91DEF: 91GOA: 93
The Anaheim Ducks stormed their way to a divisional playoff place last season. So, on NHL 19, they’re a force to be reckoned with. John Gibson is a top goaltender at 88 overall, while the top line plays start and often finish with the 88-rated Ryan Getzlaf.
OFF: 91DEF: 92GOA: 89
They finished rock bottom of the Western Conference last season, and unless their young stars all suddenly realize their potential at once, they’re likely to be there this time next year too. At least on NHL 19, the young Clayton Keller is rated at 84 to provide some zip up top while Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the star of the show with an 88 rating.
OFF: 90DEF: 93GOA: 94
The Boston Bruins were somewhat of a surprise package last season, managing to come second in the Atlantic Division with a mighty 112 points. With veterans like the 90-rated Patrice Bergeron and 85-rated Zdeno Chara, the team’s core is complemented by young stars like Charlie McAvoy (85) and David Pastrnak (87).
OFF: 91DEF: 91GOA: 87
With Rasmus Dahlin (82) in the lines, there’s a renewed hope in Buffalo. The Sabres finished rock bottom last season, but with new additions in Carter Hutton (82) in net and Jeff Skinner (84) on the wing, they’ve tried to better their two primary weaknesses.
OFF: 87DEF: 92GOA: 86
The Carolina Hurricanes finished at the top of non-playoff contenders in the Eastern Conference, but look poised for postseason success soon. With Andrei Svechnikov (80) joining the likes of Teuvo Teravainen (85), Sebastian Aho (85), and Jaccob Slavin (84), the Canes have an excellent young team on their hands.
Columbus Blue Jackets
OFF: 92DEF: 93GOA: 95
After surprising the league a couple of seasons back with a romp through the Metropolitan Division, the Columbus Blue Jackets have proven that they’re here to stay. Sergei Bobrovsky rated at 91 gives an immense boost to anyone who picks them while Seth Jones (87), Zach Werenski (86), and Cam Atkinson (84) boast plenty of speed to make them very user-friendly.
OFF: 91DEF: 93GOA: 90
While the defense of the Calgary Flames is pretty good, it’s all about forwards Sean Monahan (87), Johnny Gaudreau (90), and James Neal (84). They missed out on the playoffs last season due to a very poor run of form towards the end, but the young core is more experienced and even hungrier than before.
OFF: 89DEF: 90GOA: 92
Duncan Keith (86), Corey Crawford (88), Patrick Kane (91), and Jonathan Toews (87) remain the team’s core while they await a stronger supporting cast to take them back to the postseason.
OFF: 91DEF: 91GOA: 90
Colorado Avalanche snuck into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth last season, but they have the makings of a playoff regular with the likes of Nathan MacKinnon (90), Mikko Rantanen (87), and Tyson Barrie (85) in the team.
OFF: 92DEF: 89GOA: 90
Apart from the 87-rated John Klingberg, the Dallas Stars have immense problems in defense. Luckily, they have incredible forwards in Jamie Benn (90), Tyler Seguin (90), and Alexander Radulov (87) to try and score as many as the defense lets seep in.
Detroit Red Wings
OFF: 90DEF: 90GOA: 88
Unfortunately, this isn’t a great year for the legendary franchise. The Detroit Red Wings were among the bottom dwellers last season and will be down there again this season. In NHL 19, their top-rated players are Henrik Zetterberg and Dylan Larkin – both rated a humble 84 overall.
OFF: 91DEF: 91GOA: 87
Connor McDavid. What more do you need to know? As far as NHL 19 is concerned, McDavid can do anything and everything with his unreal speed and skill attributes. Leon Draisaitl (87) and Oscar Klefbom (84) offer strong gameplay, but it’s all about feeding ‘The Mac’.
OFF: 91DEF: 92GOA: 91
The Florida Panthers have been on the cusp of establishing themselves as playoff regulars for a few seasons, even obliterating the Atlantic Division two seasons ago, but many long-term injuries and an inexplicable head coach switch have hindered them. Now that Jonathan Huberdeau (86), Aleksander Barkov (88), Vincent Trocheck (86), and Aaron Ekblad (86) have a firm grip on the league, they’re destined for a return to the playoffs this season.
Los Angeles Kings
OFF: 90DEF: 94GOA: 92
The Los Angeles Kings could go either way this season, having sealed a wild card place last year. The Western Conference will be much tougher this year, so the Kings will need Jonathan Quick (89), Drew Doughty (92), Anze Kopitar (90), and Jeff Carter (86) on top form. Bringing Ilya Kovalchuk (86) in after his North America hiatus could prove to be one of the best moves of the summer.
OFF: 90DEF: 93GOA: 93
With a top goaltender like Devan Dubnyk (88) and a premier defensive defenseman in Ryan Suter (88), the Minnesota Wild are one of the harder teams to score against in NHL 19. But, it was their goal scoring which receives the credit for their run to the postseason in 2018, with the likes of Mikael Granlund (85), Eric Staal (85), and Jason Zucker (85) putting up strong numbers.
OFF: 90DEF: 89GOA: 96
The Montreal Canadiens will most likely continue their slide to the basement of the league after another lackluster summer. Carey Price (92) will always keep them in games, and in NHL 19 they have a fully-fit Shea Weber (87) to provide a defensive presence and a lightning bolt from the blueline, but their immense lack of talent at center means that players will struggle to win faceoffs in the game – just as the Habs will when the NHL gets underway.
New Jersey Devils
OFF: 90DEF: 90GOA: 92
The New Jersey Devils can still be considered an emerging team due to how young so many of their star players are and the number of great prospects breaking in. But, that didn’t stop them from sneaking into the playoffs last season. Led by the enigmatic play of Taylor Hall (90), Cory Schneider (88) provides top-class goaltending to the well-balanced crop young stars.
OFF: 92DEF: 93GOA: 86
Pekka Rinne (89), Roman Josi (88), and P.K. Subban (88) are just the tip of the iceberg for this defensive juggernaut of a team. The Nashville Predators won the Presidents’ Trophy last season and will push for the Stanley Cup this season.
New York Islanders
OFF: 91DEF: 90GOA: 88
Don’t be fooled by the 90s and high 88 in their ratings; the New York Islanders have very little to offer NHL 19 players. John Tavares left because the team couldn’t scrape together a team that might get him to the playoffs, and they’ve done very little since his departure to prove their former captain otherwise. The highlights include Sabres castaway Robin Lehner (83) in net with Nick Leddy (84) as the best defenseman, and youngster Mathew Barzal (85) leading the forwards.
New York Rangers
OFF: 90DEF: 89GOA: 93
The New York Rangers suffered the same fate as their local rivals in not making it to the playoffs last season. Not much is expected of them in the upcoming campaign, but in NHL 19, players like Henrik Lundqvist (88) and Kevin Shattenkirk (84) will always stifle the opposition while the speed of Mika Zibanejad (85) and Mats Zuccarello (85) will prove to be lethal weapons.
OFF: 89DEF: 87GOA: 87
With Mike Hoffman and Erik Karlsson traded away, the Ottawa Senators have plunged themselves into full-rebuild mode. It probably won’t be long before Mark Stone (87), Matt Duchene (85), and Bobby Ryan (81) are traded for prospects and picks. For now, those three forwards are the best that the Sens have to offer among their skaters.
OFF: 92DEF: 89GOA: 87
This Philadelphia Flyers team has all the makings of a Stanley Cup contender in the next couple of years. They’re well-balanced, rife with talent in every skating position, but are sorely lacking in goal. NHL 19 puts their starting goalie, Brian Elliott, as an 82 overall, which may be a bit generous. But, their talented skaters will pull them to the playoffs once again. The hope must be that Anthony Stolarz or even Carter Hart can breakthrough over the next 12 months.
OFF: 94DEF: 92GOA: 91
With Sidney Crosby (93), Evgeni Malkin (91), Phil Kessel (89), Kris Letang (87), and Matt Murray (87), the Pittsburgh Penguins weigh in as one of the best teams on NHL 19. They missed out on a potentially legendary three-peat of Stanley Cups last season, but with a much-needed summer break, they’ll come back more potent than ever.
San Jose Sharks
OFF: 89DEF: 95GOA: 92
The San Jose Sharks were considered to be outsiders for the Stanley Cup last season and this season, but trading for Erik Karlsson (90) to join the likes of Brent Burns (89), Martin Jones (87), Joe Pavelski (87), Logan Couture (85), and Evander Kane (84) has transformed them into top contenders.
St. Louis Blues
OFF: 93DEF: 92GOA: 89
After narrowly missing out on the playoffs last season, the St. Louis Blues went out and traded in one of the best two-way centers in the league – the record-breaking Ryan O’Reilly (86) – to provide more depth and an even stronger defensive focus. He joins Vladimir Tarasenko (90), Jaden Schwartz (87), Alex Pietrangelo (89), and Jake Allen (84) in a team that should make it to the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Lightning
OFF: 93DEF: 95GOA: 92
Easily the best, most well-rounded, elite-level team in the NHL, NHL 19 hasn’t skimped on rating Tampa Bay Lightning players with lofty attributes. Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos, and Nikita Kucherov all clock in a 91 overall rating, with Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) and Ryan McDonagh (87) close behind. They’re the most legitimately favored team to win the Stanley Cup this season.
Toronto Maple Leafs
OFF: 94DEF: 92GOA: 93
The Toronto Maple Leafs made it to the playoffs last season and boast a strong young team, but just adding John Tavares (90) doesn’t make them Stanley Cup-ready just yet. Auston Matthews (89), and Mitchell Marner (86) are great forwards, and Frederik Andersen (88) continues to put up strong numbers in net, but there are question marks over the defense – mostly the lack of an elite-level defenseman that Stanley Cup winners almost always boast.
OFF: 89DEF: 89GOA: 86
If you fancy a challenge on NHL 19, give the Vancouver Canucks a spin. They’ll be battling for the first overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft while using this season to see how their young players continue to develop and they’ll also be blooding in some new faces. Bo Horvat (85), Brock Boeser (85), and Christopher Tanev (84) highlight the lines this year.
Vegas Golden Knights
OFF: 91DEF: 91GOA: 92
Over the summer, the Vegas Golden Knights lost two of their most influential players – David Perron and James Neal – but there’s the makings of a team that can contend for a place in the postseason in Sin City. With a new leader in Max Pacioretty (86) and Marc-Andre Fleury (87) continuing to prove his class, there’s a lot to like about the Golden Knights this season.
OFF: 93DEF: 94GOA: 91
If any team is going to contend with the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference, it’s Central Division foes Winnipeg Jets. Overflowing with young stars who have found their footing in the NHL, it all appears to be coming together for the Jets. They may be Canada’s best chance of snapping a 25-year Stanley Cup drought. In NHL 19, Dustin Byfuglien (87) is great to throw around, while Mark Scheifele (89) and Patrik Laine (89) sort out the scoring.
OFF: 93DEF: 92GOA: 94
For the very first time, the ‘Great Eight’ Alex Ovechkin (92) finally got his hands on the Stanley Cup last season and decided to do a bunch of keg stands from it. Following a summer of partying, the Washington Capitals aren’t expected to repeat, but with Braden Holtby (91), John Carlson (88), Evgeny Kuznetsov (89), and Nicklas Backstrom (88), they’ll always be in the picture.