The Player Power Rankings appeared on ESPN.com starting last season, and so far this year, we've done one preseason edition.
During the season, the rankings are based on player production in terms of Hockey Prospectus' GVT valuation metric. If you are unfamiliar with our VUKOTA projection system and how it works, you can find more here.
Because this season is less than a week old, some odd names are near the top here: you will, for example, see Alex Ovechkin (at No. 4), but a guy like Sidney Crosby is missing from the first regular season edition -- and a guy like Cam Ward is there at No. 2.
Check out the full rankings below. We'll be back every week with new editions.
Hockey Prospectus: Player Power Rankings
These are based on games through October 10, 2010.
OGVT: Offensive GVT
GGVT: Goaltending GVT
DGVT: Defensive GVT
SGVT: Shootout GVT
GVT: Total GVT
Rank Player Last Week OGVT/GGVT DGVT GVT
1. Nikolai Khabibulin, G, EDM - 2.8 0.0 2.8
Comment: Khabibulin had a rocky offseason to say the least, but he now has people believing the Oilers are this year's Avalanche with him playing the role of Craig Anderson.
2. Cam Ward, G, CAR - 1.7 -0.1 2.2
Comment: Last year the Hurricanes' season was practically over by December, as a 14-game winless streak and an injury to Ward put them out of contention. Ward is doing his best to avoid a repeat, with a strong 41-save performance against Minnesota. Note on his stats: he has a .5 shootout GVT since he's appeared in one, but we're not listing that yet due to small sample size.
3. Tim Thomas, G, BOS - 1.8 0.0 1.8
Comment: Do the Bruins have the league's strongest goaltending tandem? Thomas certainly wants to prove he's still in contention for the No. 1 job and that he's worth his contract.
4. Alex Ovechkin, F, WSH - 1.4 0.1 1.5
Comment: Usually, the scoring race after a couple of games is led by odd and unfamiliar faces before settling in. Not where Ovechkin is concerned, with four points in two games, and he may very well hold on to the lead until the last day of the season.
5. Jimmy Howard, G, DET - 1.4 0.1 1.5
Comment: Out to prove that last year's heroics were no fluke, Howard is off to a strong start with a shutout in his first game. The Wings are strong, so if Howard holds the fort they'll challenge for the Cup.
6. Derek Stepan, F, NYR - 1.4 0.1 1.5
Comment: Stepan will probably remember his first NHL game for the rest of his life. He scored three goals on three shots against Ryan Miller, maybe the best goalie in the game. A good bar for a rookie is 20 goals. This kid is 15 percent of the way there.
7. Nathan Horton, F, BOS - 1.0 0.3 1.3
Comment: Many are anxious to see what Horton can achieve with better linemates in Boston. With one of the best shots in the NHL, he's a threat for 40 goals.
8. Jonathan Quick, G, LAK - 0.9 0.1 1.3
Comment: Quick and the Kings got revenge for last year's ouster at the hands of the Canucks with a 2-1 win, but he'll need to make sure he's got enough gas for April this year. Quick also has 'shootout GVT' points not reflected in this chart, bringing his total to 1.3.
9. Jaroslav Halak, G, STL - 1.3 0.0 1.3
Comment: Did you expect any less from Halak? Last year's playoff hero was a wall in St. Louis' season debut, a 2-1 OT win against Philadelphia.
10. Ilya Bryzgalov, G, PHX - 1.4 -0.1 1.3
Comment: Once again, the Coyotes will go as far as Bryzgalov takes them. He held up well, stopping 94 percent of the 79 shots he faced, to help the Coyotes earn a split against the Bruins in Prague.
A version of this story originally appeared on ESPN Insider .
Tom Awad is an author of Hockey Prospectus.
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