With the 2018-19 NHL season complete and with free agents and prospects finding new homes, now is a good time to look forward to next year. We here at SGO look at ten teams in NHL 20 that you should be using in online play to dominate opponents and beat the competition.
NHL 20 Top Ten Teams
10. Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks may have missed the playoffs in the 2018-19 season, but don’t let that fool you. Even though the Blackhawks have lost some talent over the past few seasons, this team is still laden with top-tier talent. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat will set the pace of play on the wings, and Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome should prove to be a stable 1-2 down the middle.
One of the big reasons that the Hawks are here at #10 is because of their offseason moves. The Blackhawks added some depth up front by grabbing Andrew Shaw and Zack Smith, and they also added a tall and talented goalie in Robin Lehner. New Blackhawks defenseman Calvin de Haan isn’t too bad, either.
9. Vegas Golden Knights
The Golden Knights will enter the 2019-20 season off of a tough first round exit at the hands of the San Jose Sharks. The Knights have also moved several players off for salary cap reasons, as centreman Eric Haula joins the Carolina Hurricanes, and defenseman Colin Miller is now a Buffalo Sabre.
Despite those moves, the Knights still have a solid core moving forward. Vegas has one of the best top-6 forward groups in the NHL, filled with impact players such as William Karlsson, Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Paul Stastny and Jonathan Marchasseult. Their blue line has taken a hit with the loss of Miller, but their defense should still be fine. And don’t forget, the Knights still have one of the league’s best goalies in Marc-Andre Fleury.
8. Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars have made quite a few adjustments to their roster for 2019-20, as they have added some veterans to their squad for this season. Corey Perry joins Dallas after playing his entire career thus far with the Anaheim Ducks, and Andrej Sekera also joins the Stars after a stint with the Oilers. Perry isn’t usually a strong player in NHL, as his skating attributes are typically bad, but Sekera should be a nice boost to their defense in NHL 20.
The biggest acquisition this offseason for the Stars was Joe Pavelski, who should be a huge boost to the team. Pavelski is typically a well-balanced player in NHL, with good skating, shooting and defensive attributes, and he’ll add a lot to an already strong Stars squad. The forward core has two of the league’s best forwards in Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, plus some great defensemen in Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg. Their goalie, Ben Bishop, is a Vezina finalist from last season and also traditionally one of the best goalies in the NHL franchise.
7. Boston Bruins
The Bruins are coming off a season where they extremely close to the Stanley Cup, losing in seven games to the St. Louis Blues in the Final. The Bruins didn’t do much to their team this offseason, which is actually fine. Their forward core is strong, as the Bruins have several big-time forwards in Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Patrice Bergeron is one of the most well-rounded players in the game, and David Krejci and Charlie Coyle should also be strong players in NHL 20.
Their blueline is also good, as they have several defenseman that have great speed and puck-handling attributes in Charlie McAvoy and Torey Krug. The big question, however, on this team is Zdeno Chara. The Bruins captain has a booming slap shot in NHL, but is typically one of the worst skating defenseman in the game due to his size. If you plan on using the Bruins in the game, plan on deploying Chara in a sheltered role to avoid getting burned.
6. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Penguins made some big moves recently in the offseason that have hurt their status in NHL 20. In 2018-19, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford traded for centreman Nick Bjugstad and defenseman Eric Gudbranson, two players who are big checkers, but slow skaters. In June, the Penguins traded Phil Kessel, who is traditionally one of the best scorers in the game thanks to his skating and shooting attributes. It’s a big loss for the team, but the Penguins still have two of the league’s best players in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. In addition, they still have some good wingers in Jake Guentzel, Patric Hornqvist and new acquisition Alex Galchenyuk.
Their blueline is fine, with Kris Letang and Justin Schultz leading the way as two strong defensemen who skate well and have good puck-handling and shooting attributes. In the net, Matt Murray should be fine for the Penguins as well.
5. Nashville Predators
Nashville has gone over a bit of a makeover throughout the offseason. The Predators shipped out P.K. Subban to the Devils, and while that will be quite a hit to their defense, their blueline should still be fine. Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis are typically strong skaters in the game, and Mattias Ekholm is a fine defenseman as well.
The Predators’ biggest move this offseason was signing Matt Duchene, who is usually a great player in NHL. Duchene’s skating, shooting and faceoff attributes makes him one of the best centreman in the game, as the Predators have some other talented forward in Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Victor Arvidsson. And not only does this team have depth up front and on the blueline, they’re also deep in the net. Pekka Rinne’s size and attributes make him a great goalie in NHL, and don’t sleep on Juuse Saros either.
4. Washington Capitals
The Capitals may have been unceremoniously bounced from the first round last spring, but their team is still one of the best in the league and in NHL. Their forward core is still loaded with firepower, as Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kusnetzov will still be fantastic forwards in NHL. They also have plenty of depth up front as well, as players such as Lars Eller and Tom Wilson should provide some scoring and tanacity. Jakub Vrana, who’s improved his 81 OVR in NHL 19 to an 82 OVR rating after his 47 point campaign last season, should also be good in this year’s game.
The blueline may not be filled with stars, but the Capitals’ franchise defenseman John Carlson should still be a strong player. Add in good skaters such as Dimitri Orlov and Nick Jensen, and the Capitals will be just fine on the back end. Oh, and don’t forget about Braden Holtby, either.
3. St. Louis Blues
The defending Stanley Cup champions are at #3, as the team will bring back almost the entire squad from last season. That will mean that they will be a popular pick in NHL 20 thanks to their depth and firepower on the blueline, and with their forward core. Vlad Tarasenko is one of the best scorers of the game, and other forwards such as Conn Smythe winner Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Schenn, Tyler Bozak, Alex Steen, and Jaden Schwartz give the Blues a lot of scoring options up front. On the backend, the Blues are loaded with talented defenseman, as Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko can not only hit you hard, but can also skate and score. Oh, and did we forget new pickup Justin Faulk as well.
The Blues should also see several player get big boosts in their NHL ratings. Goalie Jordan Binnington, who’s now an 86 OVR after his stellar rookie season, gives the Blues a top-tier goalie they haven’t had in quite some time. Oskar Sundqvist, who scored 31 points in the regular season and nine points in the playoffs, also saw a bump up from his 78 OVR rating in NHL 19 to an 79 OVR, and his skating and shooting ratings make him an intriguing depth player on this stacked team.
2. Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto’s forward core is loaded with stars up front. Auston Matthews, John Tavares and Mitch Marner (unless he is signs with a new team) should be major forces in NHL 20. Other forwards such as Kaspari Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, and new Leaf Alex Kerfoot will also be nice depth players on the squad.
Their blueline also been improved, thanks in part to a trade that sent Tyson Barrie to Toronto from the Colorado Avalanche. Barrie will join a back end that already features Morgan Reilly and Jake Muzzin, and he should be a great player with the Leafs in NHL 20 thanks to his strong skating and offensive attributes. Frederick Anderson should provide some stability in the net for the Leafs.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
At #1 on our list is the Tampa Bay Lightning. The President’s Trophy winners may have been bounced in the first round last spring, but they still boast the best squad in NHL 20. Up front, the Lightning are loaded with firepower, as Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov are prime scoring threats thanks to their skating and shooting attributes. Tampa Bay also has plenty of depth, as Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Anthony Cirelli, among others, form a powerful forward group.
On the blueline, Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh and Mikhail Sergachev are extremely talented and well-rounded defensemen. The Lightning also have the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Andrei Vasilevsky. With all that talent, it makes the Lightning an easy pick for #1 on our list.
That’s our list for the top ten teams in NHL 20. Who do you think missed the cut? Let us know in our comments section, or on our social media channels. And make sure to keep checking our site for all the latest NHL news.
Want to talk sports and/or games with the fastest growing community in gaming? Join the conversation by registering at the official Sports Gamers Online Forums, and check out our Twitter and Facebook pages as well as our growing YouTube Channel!