To read about the Western Conference, click here. With the NHL season officially underway, here are the preseason Eastern Conference power rankings.

16. New Jersey Devils

Taylor Hall is an elite NHL scorer, but the rest of the roster is lacking the pieces for any sort of meaningful run. It should be another rebuilding year in New Jersey.

15. Carolina Hurricanes

Carolina is one of the youngest teams in the NHL - they're going to need at least another year to start to figure things out. Jeff Skinner is a strong scorer, but inconsistent.

14. Toronto Maple Leafs

Perhaps it's cheating, but after watching some of Wednesday night's season opener, it's safe to say top draft pick Auston Matthews is going to be pretty good pretty quickly.

The rest of the roster will need time to catch up to him, though.

13. Buffalo Sabres

Early optimism about a run at the Eastern Conference playoffs was damaged by a high ankle sprain to Jack Eichel, who will miss 4-6 weeks. They're also going to turn the puck over a lot.

12. Columbus Blue Jackets

The most intriguing figure in Columbus is new head coach John Tortorella, which probably isn't a great indictment of the star power on the roster. Seth Jones has a bright future on the blue line, but he's still developing.

11. Detroit Red Wings

The last time Detroit missed the playoffs, George Bush was still president. The first George Bush. That all changes this season. The cast of characters isn't getting any younger, and Pavel Datsyuk is gone.

10. Philadelphia Flyers

The goalie plateau will continue to define a team that doesn't look considerably better or worse from last season. Claude Giroux needs to step up and become an MVP candidate.

9. Ottawa Senators

People are disrespecting Ottawa a bit too much. Sure they have coaching turmoil, but they also have a solid goaltender, one of the best defensemen in the NHL in Erik Karlsson, and a potent 1-2 punch in Bobby Ryan and Derek Brassard.

8. New York Rangers

The Rangers are a bit worrisome this season - Rick Nash's NHL star is declining and they'll need star play from Henrik Lundqvist to make a run. Trading away the aforementioned Brassard might have been a mistake.

7. Montreal Canadiens

If you have a great goaltender, you have a shot to make the Stanley Cup - Carey Price is the best in the NHL when he's healthy.

The rest of the roster is full of nondescript players that will bring the scrap to any game.

6. New York Islanders

P.A. Parenteau was waved before the season even began - is this Eastern Conference darling panicking already? Still, John Tavares is one of the five best players in the NHL.

5. Boston Bruins

David Backes has had a solid NHL tenure and will bring a wealth of leadership and experience to a roster that probably needs a youth injection next. Letting Loui Eriksson go to Vancouver will prove to be a mistake.

4. Florida Panthers

Despite their biggest name being the ageless Jaromir Jagr, the Panthers have the goods to contend in the Eastern Conference. Roberto Luongo was solid in net last season and should be able to keep up his rebound.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

Pittsburgh's hopes at repeating as NHL champs took a hit when Sidney Crosby suffered another concussion; he's currently day-to-day. They're not the defending champs for nothing, though, and still have a loaded roster with two great goaltenders.

2. Washington Capitals

Alexander Ovechkin and Braden Holtby might be the best forward-goalie tandem in the NHL, but their window is fading to make it to the Finals. Dmitry Orlov has to have a breakout year on the blue line.

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

The biggest move of the offseason happened when the Lightning re-signed Steven Stamkos to a long-term contract - he's the most prolific scorer in the NHL right now. Combined with good goaltending and the return of a happier Jonathan Drouin and the Lightning should be one of the more feared teams in the league.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!