Best of the Power Rankings
by|02 JUL 2024
The tongue-in-cheek Power Rankings are eagerly anticipated by readers during tournaments.
photo: © International Ice Hockey Federation
Looking back at a fun tradition
Hockey is a serious business played by serious athletes. But it’s also a fun game. And if you enjoy a side of sass, sarcasm, and silliness with your international hockey fix, you’ve undoubtedly indulged in’s Power Rankings.
Reflecting the progress of teams during IIHF tournaments, these rankings are distinct from the official standings and World Rankings.
If you feel like you grew up reading the Power Rankings, you probably did. They debuted to immediate popularity at the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship back in 2001. In recent years, they’ve also become a staple at the Women’s Worlds, World Juniors, and Olympics.
Now, it’s a long summer. The first IIHF puck drop is weeks away, and we could all use a laugh with a dose of nostalgia. (“Remember that time they compared German goalie Dennis Endras to Beethoven and Einstein? Or the time they wondered how many Calder Trophies Juraj Slafkovsky would win?”)
So it’s time to dive into the vault. In the spirit of fun, frivolity, and foolishness, here are the best of the Power Rankings from 2018 on.

Finland (2018 WM)

The Chirp: Thoughts and prayers to the victims of Hurricane Aho
The Context: In Denmark, Carolina Hurricanes ace Sebastian Aho led Finland to first place in Group B with a jaw-dropping 17 points in seven games, including a hat trick in a 6-2 romp over the Americans.

France (2019 WM)

The Chirp: New IIHF record for most Bozons
The Context: Not only did former NHL pioneer Philippe Bozon make his debut as France’s head coach, but he also iced a roster featuring his eldest son Tim. (In 2022, Kevin, two years younger than Tim, would join the Worlds team as well.)

U.S. (2019 WM)

The Chirp: For gold medals, press 1 to speak to Hilary Knight
The Context: While the U.S. has been a perennial bronze-medal threat in the 21st century, it hasn’t won the Men’s Worlds since 1933. Hence the suggestion to get advice from Knight, the all-time U.S. Women’s Worlds gold-medal leader.

Germany (2022 OG)

The Chirp: We can bring home silver again if we steal some forks
The Context: German fans rejoiced when their team went on a Cinderella run to capture an all-time best silver medal at the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang. However, skepticism about the Germans’ chances four years later in Beijing proved valid, as they finished ninth.

Slovakia (2022 OG)

The Chirp: Boy outscores entire countries
The Context: At the 2022 Olympics, MVP Juraj Slafkovsky’s seven goals were more than either Germany (six) or China (four) totalled. Amazingly, the Slovak bronze medalist was just 17.

Kazakhstan (2023 WM)

The Chirp: Also known as Comebackstan
The Context: The underdog Kazakhs opened Group B by rallying from a 3-1 deficit to edge Norway, and they finished off group play by topping Slovenia 4-3 after trailing three times.

Hungary (2023 WW)

The Chirp: Embrace your inner eighth-place goddess!
The Context: The Hungarians entered their third consecutive top-division Women’s Worlds with high hopes of staying up. Unfortunately, even a buoyant self-help mantra couldn’t stop them from finishing ninth and going down. Hungary will return for the 2025 WW in Czechia.

Latvia (2024 WJC)

The Chirp: Forecheck, backcheck, national holiday
The Context: Who celebrates playoff success more jubilantly than the Latvians? It’s hard to top the 2023 IIHF World Championship bronze medal party that drew thousands to Riga’s Freedom Monument. The entire country got a day off. The 2024 World Junior squad, though, wouldn’t fulfill its pre-tournament hopes, finishing eighth.

Switzerland (2024 WW)

The Chirp: The Tortured Power Play Department
The Context: In Utica, the Swiss women’s power play clicked at a tournament-low 5.88 percent. The chirp alludes playfully to Taylor Swift’s album The Tortured Poets Department.

Poland (2024 WM)

The Chirp: Can Lewandowski skate?
The Context: Pre-tournament, it was foreseeable that the Poles would struggle to score goals. (They ultimately got a Worlds-low 11.) Under the circumstances, you never know if Robert Lewandowski – Poland’s football talisman – could have helped, right?

Austria (2024 WM)

The Chirp: Mozart couldn’t Handel success
The Context: In Prague, Austria had a glorious shot at a top-eight finish for the first time since 1994 (eighth place). The land of Mozart magically rallied from a 6-1 deficit versus defending champion Canada in a 7-6 overtime loss and then stunned Finland 3-2 on Benjamin Baumgartner’s last-second goal. However, Great Britain – the land of Handel – downed Austria 4-2 to end the group stage, leaving coach Roger Bader’s men to sing a sad tune.