NHL style power rankings: Patrik Laine struts his stuff, teams show their range

Today, as children all over the United States prepare for trick-or-treating, we have a treat for The Athletic’s readers: the return of the NHL style power rankings. And if I may say, the league’s players have completely embraced autumn and the spooky season.

Before we delve too far into this, though, an introduction is in order. Hello, everyone! I’m Rhiannon, and I’ll be taking over the rankings this season from Sara Civian. I completely understand that I have some massive shoes to fill, because as much passion as I can bring to this, you all enjoyed her work on it. I looked forward to her articles, too. But I’m eager to take on the challenge. I also handle the NFL style rankings, and now that I’m immersing myself in the NHL’s style world, I am absolutely blown away by how well these men dress, across the board.

There’s so much flexibility with the NFL dress code coming into games that seeing the variety just in suit styles in the NHL is kind of crazy. The fact that these players still find ways to stand out is impressive.

Only one player could stand at the top to kick off the season, but he overcame some strong efforts.

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Look, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Blackhawks captain steps into the 360 camera reminding everyone that no tie, a black suit and a pressed white shirt can do the job.

9. The Panthers

Look at those smiles. These men know they look good, and they’re loving being flicked up, too. I see you finding the perfect pocket square to match the tie, Anton Lundell, and that royal blue suit is too fly, too. I’m also amused by how well this quartet matched the colors of their suits to their teammates. Lundell’s maroon tie looks like an exact match to Ryan Lomberg’s suit in the bottom left corner, and we’ve got matching gray color patterns, as well, but in different ways. Cream and plaid gray pants? Don’t see that too often, but after doing so, maybe others should try Colin White’s combination a little more. Tens across the board, gentlemen.

I expect anyone on the precipice of a hallmark achievement to come up with a creative and bold look. In walks the Bruins defenseman wearing a suede, double-breasted suit, hours ahead of playing his 600th career game. I appreciate he utilized a different texture for his suit jacket — he easily could’ve used a more standard material — and paired it with a lighter-colored tie and black dress pants that don’t take the attention from the main character.

Every single thing about the Hurricanes forward’s blue plaid suit is aesthetically pleasing. Also, I’m noticing a lot of men wearing beanies with their dressed-up attire, and I’m curious to see how this trend pans out over the long term — but in this case, it looks great with his dress shirt, so I’m all for it. What would’ve truly elevated this particular suit, in my opinion, is a brown belt. I’d have to see the shoes to know for sure, but having done enough of these, you actually can’t go wrong with brown and blue. Shout out to teammate Dylan Coghlan, as well. I can’t believe I’m saying this — I went to the University of Maryland — but that Carolina-blue tie is exquisite.

I’m here for the Ducks’ hair flips — every last one of them. I think it’s apparent that these players are eating up the catwalk, especially as they break out their best shades, have their hair combed to perfection (or just swing it freely). As far as the suits go, there are some that would challenge the likes of John Wick, but my pick of the litter is Benoit in light purple with stripes. Brown shoes were a wise choice, and I usually advocate for men to really show off their style with their socks, but he goes against the grain, and it pays off. As colleague Eric Stephens says, “pretty strong look there for someone who worked his way up from a training camp invite and AHL contract a couple years ago.”

When everyone else on the Wild decided on solid-color suits, Dumba (bottom right) decided to zag, going with a plaid suit. He played his cards well with this simple gray-and-white combination. It’s certainly not loud, but it’s well-tailored and stands out in a sea of monochromatic outfits.

Every single part of this is giving me, “Making my way downtown, walking fast,” energy. I really hope everyone here knows and appreciates Vanessa Carlton’s masterpiece “A Thousand Miles” and just how perfect it is for the Stars’ star forward. Not a single hair is out of place, and the deep purple suit married with the grey tie could easily stop anyone walking by Seguin in their tracks. And not just because of who he is, folks.

Do I see the Coyotes defenseman, nicknamed “Big Tuna,” in a trench coat above on the left? And excuse me, but is that foliage? FOLIAGE. Wow, if there’s anything I absolutely reward people for in these rankings, it’s effort with the fits. And in this case, these photos don’t jump the way they do if the photographer doesn’t take the photo the way they did here. Do you all see the angles? That blue suit on goalie Karel Vejmelka is also outstanding. You all will learn it’s my favorite color, and I can be biased toward those who wear it well.

2. The Kraken’s dapper gents

My question for the Kraken is when did you all plan this? I really need to know, because I haven’t seen this many dapper dandies in one place since the Kentucky Derby. Wow, there isn’t a single miss in this group, which is crazy, because I only picked two of the available tweets for this post. I could’ve easily added two more. That’s how much style the Kraken came with on Thursday night. If these fits were shots on goal, the score might read like an NFL game. But here’s the thing, can Seattle run it back again in the coming weeks? We’ll find out!

Look, if an elbow sprain ever forces me to miss games, just know that when I do return from injury, I’m strolling in the exact same way that the Blue Jackets’ wing did. In a world full of suits and ties, Laine breaks out with this chameleon-colored fit. No suit jacket, no tie … just vibes, people. As the quote from “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” goes, “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.” Risk-takers are always rewarded in my world. Flawless execution and victory, Laine.

(Top photo of Patrik Laine courtesy of the Blue Jackets)

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