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Eastern Conference

1. Toronto Maple Leafs: Loaded with talent up front, the Leafs' potential is on the rise.

2. New Jersey Devils: Their 50-plus wins last season didn't come off as a fluke, especially not with center Jack Hughes at the helm.

3. Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes remain a force.

4. New York Rangers: Veterans Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider continue to set the tone, but the Rangers' young players have improved.

5. Boston Bruins: Patrice Bergeron retired after the Bruins won an NHL-record 65 games before getting upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Panthers.

6. Pittsburgh Penguins: After missing the playoffs for the first time in 17 years, the Penguins traded for Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson.

7. Florida Panthers: The Panthers will regroup after their trip to the Stanley Cup Final without top defensemen Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour, both of whom had offseason shoulder surgery and aren't expected to debut until December.

8. Tampa Bay Lightning: Goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy is recovering from back surgery.

9. Buffalo Sabres: Can the Sabres take another step forward after finishing one point out of a playoff spot?

10. New York Islanders: Bo Horvat is kicking off an eight-year contract after scoring a career-high 38 goals.

11. Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin is at 822 goals, 72 behind Wayne Gretzky's career record.

12. Ottawa Senators: There's momentum in Ottawa with a budding young core and new owner in charge.

13. Detroit Red Wings: The Red Wings had a busy offseason, which included bringing in two-time 40-goal scorer Alex DeBrincat.

14. Montreal Canadiens: Youth is the name of the game for the Canadiens.

15. Philadelphia Flyers: Getting healthier should help the Flyers make strides.

16. Columbus Blue Jackets: The Hobey Baker winner from Michigan, third overall pick Adam Fantilli, has the ability to jolt the slumping Blue Jackets.

Western Conference

1. Vegas Golden Knights: The defending champs made few changes after an impressive 16-6 postseason surge to the franchise's first Stanley Cup.

2. Edmonton Oilers: NHL scoring leaders Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are still very much in the prime of their careers.

3. Colorado Avalanche: Could a longer offseason catapult the Avalanche back into contention?

4. Los Angeles Kings: An already deep forward group added Pierre-Luc Dubois down the middle behind two-way stalwarts Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault.

5. Dallas Stars: Watch out for the Stars, who are led by their skill, size and smarts.

6. Minnesota Wild: Although not at full strength, the Wild are much healthier than they were at the end of last season.

7. Seattle Kraken: There's plenty of intrigue with the Kraken after a 40-point jump and longer-than-expected playoff run in Year 2.

8. Vancouver Canucks: Elias Pettersson is coming off his first 100-point season.

9. Winnipeg Jets: Blake Wheeler is gone to the Rangers after getting bought out, while goalie Connor Hellebuyck and forward Mark Scheifele are in the final seasons of their contracts.

10. Calgary Flames: Will the Flames bounce back after slipping down the standings and firing coach Darryl Sutter?

11. Nashville Predators: This is the start of a new era in Nashville, with longtime coach Barry Trotz taking over as general manager.

12. St. Louis Blues: The Blues are recalibrating after forwards Ryan O'Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko left last season in separate trades.

13. Chicago Blackhawks: First overall pick Connor Bedard has arrived.

14: Arizona Coyotes: Former Gopher Logan Cooley and ex-Wild defenseman Matt Dumba have joined the rebuild.

15: Anaheim Ducks: Young scorer Trevor Zegras recently signed, but the Ducks are still a work in progress.

16: San Jose Sharks: Karlsson's exit to Penguins could stall the Sharks.