UFHL Releases Preseason Power Rankings: Grizzlies Remain On Top

The Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League has released its preseason Power Rankings, with 11 of the 31 franchises contributing to this consensus.

The Grizzlies are still the team to beat, according to these Power Rankings — remaining on top at No. 1 after winning the Founders’ Trophy as regular-season champion for the inaugural 2020 campaign, led by Edmonton Oilers linemates Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

Connor McDavid’s franchise, the Yetis, wound up No. 2, while the youthful but loaded Red Army franchise rounded out the top three.

Here are the UFHL’s overall Power Rankings as well as conference and division rankings, the playoff picture and draft lottery odds, plus franchise breakdowns and my final thoughts.

Overall Power Rankings

1) Grizzlies

2) Yetis

3) Red Army

4) Strong Island

5) Titans

6) Ice Vikings

7) Rock Republic

8) Outlaws

9) Gators

10) Monarchs

11) Blades of Steel

12) West Coast Express

13) Warriors

14) Murder Hornets

15) Brutes

16) Royals

17) Tornadoes

18) Elite Assassins

19) Defenders

20) Blizzard

21) Vengeance

22) Crypto Knights

T23) Snipers

T23) Bombers

25) Power Players

26) Battlehawks

27) Stallions

28) Chilean Sea Bass

29) Norse Stars

30) Duckman’s Domination

31) Dynasty

Conference Rankings

Legends Conference

Grizzlies — 1

Yetis — 2

Titans — 5

Outlaws — 8

Gators — 9

Monarchs — 10

Blades of Steel — 11

West Coast Express — 12

Murder Hornets — 14

Royals — 16

Elite Assassins — 18

Vengeance — 21

Stallions — 27

Chilean Sea Bass — 28

Duckman’s Domination — 30

Allan Conference

Red Army — 3

Strong Island — 4

Ice Vikings — 6

Rock Republic — 7

Warriors — 13

Brutes — 15

Tornadoes — 17

Defenders — 19

Blizzard — 20

Crypto Knights — 22

Snipers — T23

Bombers — T23

Power Players — 25

Battlehawks — 26

Norse Stars — 29

Dynasty — 31

Division Rankings

Western Stars Division

Grizzlies — 1

Titans — 5

Outlaws — 8

Monarchs — 10

Blades of Steel — 11

West Coast Express — 12

Murder Hornets — 14

Vengeance — 21

Gold Division

Yetis — 2

Gators — 9

Royals — 16

Elite Assassins — 18

Stallions — 27

Chilean Sea Bass — 28

Duckman’s Domination — 30

Diamond Division

Red Army — 3

Ice Vikings — 6

Rock Republic — 7

Brutes — 15

Defenders — 19

Blizzard — 20

Power Players — 25

Dynasty — 31

Emerald Division

Strong Island — 4

Warriors — 13

Tornadoes — 17

Crypto Knights — 22

Snipers — T23

Bombers — T23

Battlehawks — 26

Norse Stars — 29

Playoff Picture

Legends Conference

Western Stars Division

WS1) Grizzlies vs. WC2) Blades of Steel

WS2) Titans vs. WS3) Outlaws

Gold Division

G1) Yetis vs. WC1) Monarchs

G2) Gators vs. G3) Royals

Allan Conference

Diamond Division

D1) Red Army vs. WC2) Defenders

D2) Ice Vikings vs. D3) Rock Republic

Emerald Division

E1) Strong Island vs. WC1) Brutes

E2) Warriors vs. E3) Tornadoes

Draft Lottery Odds

1) Dynasty

2) Duckman’s Domination

T3) Norse Stars

T3) Expansion Franchise

5) Chilean Sea Bass

6) Stallions

7) Battlehawks

8) Power Players

T9) Bombers

T9) Snipers

11) Crypto Knights

12) Vengeance

13) Blizzard

14) Elite Assassins

15) Murder Hornets

16) West Coast Express

Franchise Breakdowns

1) Grizzlies

HIGHEST: 1

LOWEST: 9

AVERAGE: 3.36

OVERALL: 1 (x3), 2 (x2), 3 (x2), 4 (x2), 7, 9

2) Yetis

HIGHEST: 2

LOWEST: 7

AVERAGE: 4.36

OVERALL: 2 (x3), 3, 4 (x2), 6 (x4), 7

3) Red Army

HIGHEST: 1

LOWEST: 19

AVERAGE: 4.91

OVERALL: 1 (x3), 2, 3, 4, 5 (x2), 6, 7, 19

4) Strong Island

HIGHEST: 1

LOWEST: 13

AVERAGE: 6.36

OVERALL: 1, 2 (x3), 5, 7 (x2), 10 (x2), 11, 13

5) Titans

HIGHEST: 1

LOWEST: 21

AVERAGE: 8.55

OVERALL: 1, 4, 5 (x3), 8 (x3), 13, 16, 21

6) Ice Vikings

HIGHEST: 1

LOWEST: 24

AVERAGE: 8.91

OVERALL: 1 (x3), 5, 6 (x2), 8, 9, 14, 23, 24

7) Rock Republic

HIGHEST: 3

LOWEST: 22

AVERAGE: 9.73

OVERALL: 3 (x2), 4 (x2), 5, 7, 10, 11, 19 (x2), 22

8) Outlaws

HIGHEST: 3

LOWEST: 28

AVERAGE: 11.45

OVERALL: 3 (x2), 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 14, 20, 21, 28

9) Gators

HIGHEST: 2

LOWEST: 26

AVERAGE: 11.55

OVERALL: 2, 3, 9, 10 (x2), 11 (x2), 12, 13, 20, 26

10) Monarchs

HIGHEST: 6

LOWEST: 26

AVERAGE: 13.00

OVERALL: 6, 8, 9 (x4), 11, 17, 19, 20, 26

11) Blades of Steel

HIGHEST: 4

LOWEST: 26

AVERAGE: 13.55

OVERALL: 4, 7 (x2), 10, 12 (x2), 13, 16, 18, 24, 26

12) West Coast Express

HIGHEST: 2

LOWEST: 29

AVERAGE: 14.18

OVERALL: 2, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15 (x2), 17, 24, 29

13) Warriors

HIGHEST: 4

LOWEST: 25

AVERAGE: 15.27

OVERALL: 4, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 18 (x2), 23, 24, 25

14) Murder Hornets

HIGHEST: 5

LOWEST: 27

AVERAGE: 15.64

OVERALL: 5, 9, 11, 15, 16 (x3), 17, 20 (x2), 27

15) Brutes

HIGHEST: 4

LOWEST: 23

AVERAGE: 16.00

OVERALL: 4, 12 (x2), 13, 17 (x2), 18, 19 (x2), 22, 23

16) Royals

HIGHEST: 7

LOWEST: 30

AVERAGE: 16.09

OVERALL: 7, 8, 11, 12, 13 (x2), 17, 19, 21, 26, 30

17) Tornadoes

HIGHEST: 3

LOWEST: 28

AVERAGE: 17.27

OVERALL: 3, 6, 9, 11, 15, 17, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28

18) Elite Assassins

HIGHEST: 14

LOWEST: 24

AVERAGE: 17.91

OVERALL: 14, 15 (x2), 16 (x2), 17, 19, 20 (x2), 21, 24

19) Defenders

HIGHEST: 10

LOWEST: 28

AVERAGE: 18.36

OVERALL: 10, 13, 15, 16, 18 (x2), 20 (x2), 22 (x2), 28

20) Blizzard

HIGHEST: 10

LOWEST: 27

AVERAGE: 18.91

OVERALL: 10, 12 (x2), 15, 17, 21 (x2), 23, 25 (x2), 27

21) Vengeance

HIGHEST: 11

LOWEST: 28

AVERAGE: 19.00

OVERALL: 11, 12, 14 (x2), 17, 21, 22 (x3), 26, 28

22) Crypto Knights

HIGHEST: 5

LOWEST: 27

AVERAGE: 19.09

OVERALL: 5, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 23 (x2), 25, 27 (x2)

T23) Snipers

HIGHEST: 7

LOWEST: 29

AVERAGE: 19.18

OVERALL: 7, 14, 15, 16, 18 (x2), 21, 22, 24, 27, 29

T23) Bombers

HIGHEST: 8

LOWEST: 31

AVERAGE: 19.18

OVERALL: 8, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 23, 25, 26, 28, 31

25) Power Players

HIGHEST: 13

LOWEST: 26

AVERAGE: 21.00

OVERALL: 13, 14, 15, 19, 22, 23, 24 (x2), 25, 26 (x2)

26) Battlehawks

HIGHEST: 3

LOWEST: 30

AVERAGE: 21.45

OVERALL: 3, 8, 19, 20, 23, 25 (x2), 27, 28 (x2), 30

27) Stallions

HIGHEST: 8

LOWEST: 29

AVERAGE: 22.73

OVERALL: 8, 21 (x2), 22 (x2), 24 (x2), 25, 27 (x2), 29

28) Chilean Sea Bass

HIGHEST: 11

LOWEST: 30

AVERAGE: 25.55

OVERALL: 11, 18, 25, 26, 27, 28 (x2), 29 (x2), 30 (x2)

29) Norse Stars

HIGHEST: 18

LOWEST: 31

AVERAGE: 26.36

OVERALL: 18, 19, 23, 24, 28, 29 (x3), 30 (x2), 31

30) Duckman’s Domination

HIGHEST: 10

LOWEST: 31

AVERAGE: 28.27

OVERALL: 10, 26, 30 (x4), 31 (x5)

31) Dynasty

HIGHEST: 21

LOWEST: 31

AVERAGE: 28.82

OVERALL: 21, 27, 28, 29 (x3), 30, 31 (x4)


Fisher’s Thoughts

To recap, five franchises received first-place votes — Grizzlies, Red Army and Ice Vikings, with three each, plus Strong Island and Titans, with one apiece. Duckman’s Domination received the most last-place votes, with five, while Dynasty had four and both Norse Stars and Bombers brought up the rear once.

Bombers were the biggest surprise there — I see them as a top-15 franchise on paper, pushing for the top 10 if their young core performs to its potential.

Ice Vikings receiving three first-place votes also took me by surprise, but the UFHL’s scoring system favours their physical lineup that could live up to that lofty ranking. For the record, Ice Vikings did not vote for themselves in first place — in fact, they weren’t among the franchises to submit their rankings.

As you can see, these rankings were wide ranging with no real consensus, which suggests there should be plenty of parity in the Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League once the season gets going. That was the biggest takeaway for me, just the mixed bag of opinions on almost every franchise.

Only the Grizzlies and Yetis were unanimous top-10 franchises — ranked in the top 10 by all 11 voters. But there was no unanimous top-five franchise — none that were ranked in the top five by all 11 voters. That certainly speaks to the parity in the top 10.

Interestingly and astonishingly, 21 franchises were ranked both in the top 10 and outside the top 20 among the 11 voters. That is the craziest stat coming out of these Power Rankings! Again, it is telling of the parity at play in the UFHL.

Not everyone will put stock in these preseason Power Rankings and there could still be significant moves between now and opening night of the NHL season — whenever that might be, hopefully sooner than later. Murder Hornets have since acquired Sean Couturier and Red Army have added Drew Doughty despite his anchor of a contract, so they are both looking more powerful in the present than at the voting deadline for these rankings. There has been an arms race taking place throughout the offseason, so it wouldn’t be shocking if other franchises made reactionary moves to keep pace, but the rosters should be set for the most part.

The true Power Rankings will be the UFHL standings — especially with the rotisserie format removing a lot of the luck factor, aside from injuries — but this was a fun exercise to help pass the time and set the stage for the 2021 season. Like everyone else, I can’t wait for that puck to drop — to see how these Power Rankings will hold up when the real games begin! Stay tuned, exciting times ahead!

To view the current UFHL rosters, check out the Rosters/Protected Lists tab in our UFHL sheets, which are being utilized to track the Ultimate Fantasy Hockey League as UFF Sports transitions to the Zilliqa blockchain this winter with mid-January targeted for that official launch.