There are currently 32 NHL teams in the league, with the most recent addition to the league being the Seattle Kraken who joined in 2022.
The league was started in 1917 with the original six NHL teams and has continued to grow in both popularity and teams over the last 100+ years!
Alphabetical List of NHL Teams
1. Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks were founded in 1993 by the Walt Disney Company, originally named the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim based on the hit hockey movie The Mighty Ducks. The name was changed to the Anaheim Ducks in 2006.
The Anaheim Ducks have won one Stanley Cup in 2006-2007 when they traded for Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Pronger. The Anahim Ducks have had many star players including Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne that are widely considered the best players to ever play for the Ducks.
2. Arizona Coyotes
The Arizona Coyotes became a franchise when the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix in 1996, and were originally named the Phoenix Coyotes. The team has had a rocky history with numerous ownership issues and in 2009 the NHL took over the franchise after the owner declared bankruptcy.
The Arizona Coyotes are the oldest NHL franchise to have never played in a Stanley Cup final, and historically they have struggled to compete and maintain a strong fanbase in Arizona. There has been talks throughout their history of relocation but to this day they are still finding a way to work in Arizona.
3. Boston Bruins
The Boston Bruins are one of the most storied franchises in the NHL, they were founded in 1924 and were a part of the original six teams of the league. They have won the Stanley Cup six different times, and the most recent Stanley Cup win was in 2010.
The Boston Bruins have had a lot of iconic moments in their history, maybe most famously the goal scored by Bobby Orr when he was diving through the air to clinch the Stanley Cup win in overtime in 1970. They are currently still a dominant team in the NHL and are competitive in the playoffs year after year.
4. Buffalo Sabres
The Buffalo Sabres have been in the NHL for over 40 years, originally joining in 1970 when the league expanded to 14 teams. They have made the Stanley Cup final on two different occasions, but have yet to win the ultimate crown. The unfortunately hold the longest stream along with the Vancouver Canucks as the two franchises to have never won a Stanley Cup.
Adding to the Sabres recent woes, they also have the longest active playoff drought that stands at 11 seasons having not secured a playoff berth. The best ever Buffalo Sabers player is widely considered to be Domick Hasek, a goalie with an unconventional style that played for the Sabres over 8 years. He lead the Sabres to the Stanley Cup finals where he posted a .937 SV% across 23 games and is in the conversation for one of the best NHL goalies of all time.
5. Calgary Flames
The Calgary Flames franchise has been a part of the NHL since 1972, when the NHL expanded to 16 teams. They were originally the Atlanta Flames where they played for eight years before relocating to Calgary. The Calgary Flames have only managed to win the Stanley Cup once in the 1988-1989 season.
Jarome Iginla is the most notable Calgary Flames player and holds the franchise record for games played, goals, and points and was the face of the franchise for over 15 years. The Flames most recently made the Stanley Cup final in 2004 where they lost to the Tampa Bay Lightening.
6. Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes have a long history as they originally were a part of the World Hockey Association (WHA) and were called the New England Whalers until the WHA merged with the NHL in 1979 and they were renamed the Hartford Whalers. They did not relocate to North Carolina until 1997 and then they were renamed to the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Carolina Hurricanes have managed to win one Stanley Cup in 2005 when they defeated the Edmonton Oilers. Currently, the Hurricanes are one of the best teams in the NHL with a young core of skilled players and also have one of the most electric home rink atmosphere.
7. Chicago Blackhawks
The Chicago Blackhawks are another one of the NHLs original six teams, when they joined the NHL in 1926. In their close to 100 year history in the NHL, they have managed to win the Stanley Cup six different times. Most recently, three of these Stanley Cup wins came during the Kane and Toews years between 2009-2015 where they were considered a dynasty.
Largely considered the best Blackhawks player in their history is Bobby Hull, who is currently in the NHL hall of fame and scored 50+ goals with the Hawks five times. Players that will enter the conversation when their careers are over are Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews, who led the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup championships.
8. Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche franchise started in 1979 when the WHA and NHL merged, originally located in Quebec City and known as the Quebec Nordiques. They then relocated to Denver in 1995 and became the Colorado Avalanche. Amazingly, they went on to win their first ever Stanely Cup in their inaugural season in Denver.
Since then, they have gone on to win 3 Stanley Cups with the most recent victory in the 2021-2022 season! They have had some of the best players in league history including Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic. They currently have some of the most exciting players in the NHL including Nathan McKinnon and Cale Makar and are widely considered a Stanley Cup favorite every year.
9. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets are a relatively new franchise to the NHL, and came into existence in 2000 as a part of the NHLs expansion to 30 teams. They have struggled to find success in the NHL playoffs, making it past the first round only once in their history and having made the playoffs only six times.
They have had better luck in the last 10 years having made the playoffs 50% of the time and also holding a 50% overall winning percentage in their last 10 seasons.
10. Dallas Stars
The stars first joined the league in 1967 but as the Minnesota North Stars, and it wasn’t until 1993 that they relocated to Dallas and were named the Dallas Stars. They have won one Stanley Cup in their history coming in the 1998-1999 season, and most recently making it to the Stanley Cup final in 2019-2020 season where they would go on to lose to the Tampa Bay Lightening.
Maybe the most famous Dallas Stars player is Mike Modano, who was the face of the franchise and one of the best players in the NHL during his career. He is the highest-scoring player in franchise history and help initiate the popularity of the Dallas Stars when they were a dominant team in the NHL.
11. Detroit Red Wings
Another one of the NHLs original six teams, they were originally named the Detroit Cougers in 1926. They then changed their name to the Detroit Falcons in 1930 before finally landing on the Detroit Red Wings in 1932. They are one of winningest franchises in NHL history with 11 Stanley Cups and were one a dominant force in the Steve Yzerman era.
They have won the 3rd most Stanley Cups sitting behind only the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadians, two other original six teams. Steve Yzerman is considered one of the greatest players of all time and spent his entire 22 year career with the Detroit Red Wings and retiring as the sixth all time leader in NHL scoring.
12. Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers that we know today were originally named the Alberta Oilers and started as a part of the WHA, it wasn’t until 1979 when the WHA merged with the NHL that they became the Edmonton Oilers. They had tremendous success in the NHL in the 1980s when they won five Stanley cups, led by Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.
Since this time, they have struggled to find consistent success and have not won the Stanley Cup since 1989-1990. The most recent appearance in the Stanley Cup finals came in 2005-2006 season when they were defeated by the Carolina Hurricanes. They currently have one of the best players in the NHL on their team in Connor McDavid and are hopeful to compete for a Stanley Cup.
13. Florida Panthers
The Florida Panthers joined the NHL at the same time as the Anaheim Ducks in the 1993 expansion, where they had one of the most successful inaugural seasons in NHL history. They have struggled to win, having won no Stanley Cups in their history and only made it to the finals once before losing to Colorado in 1996.
14. Los Angeles Kings
The Los Angeles Kings officially joined the NHL in 1967 when the league doubled from six teams to twelve teams. They are one of the leagues oldest franchise with a history spanning over 50 years including two Stanley Cup wins. In 1993 they traded for Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers and would go on to make their first Stanley Cup appearance.
They wouldn’t win their franchise first Stanley Cup until 2011-2012 but they would go on to win two Stanley Cups in three years behind the likes of Jonathan Quick and Drew Doughty. They have a loyal fan base and remain one of the more popular NHL teams behind the original six.
15. Minnesota Wild
The Wild are Minnesota’s second try at holding an NHL franchise, as the Minnesota North Stars were originally unsuccessful and relocated to Dallas in 1993. Seven years later the Minnesota Wild were part of the NHL expansion and NHL hockey was back in Minnesota.
They have struggled to find success in the playoffs, having some great regular season records but have yet to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
16. Montreal Canadians
Possibly the most famous and recognizable franchises in the NHL, the Montreal Canadians are part of the NHLs original six teams and have won the Stanley Cup the most times in league history. With 24 Stanley Cup championships, they are the most winningest franchise in NHL hockey history with the Toronto Maple Leafs in second with 13 Stanley Cups.
What is even more impressive is that they were originally founded in 1909 as part of the National Hockey Association, and are the longest operating hockey team in the world. They have an extremely passionate fan-base and are one of the most popular teams in the NHL.
17. Nashville Predators
One of the leagues newer franchises, they joined in 1998 through an expansion draft and have consistently growth in popularity and following their recent playoff success, nicknamed “Smashville”. The Predators have yet to win a Stanley Cup but advanced to the final in 2017 where they eventually lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Since then they have won the Presidents Trophy as the best team in the regular season and have been competitive in the playoffs, and it feels like the franchise is on the cusp of winning their first Stanley Cup championship.
18. New Jersey Devils
The New Jersey Devils have a long road to where they actually became the Devils we know today, originally starting out as the Kansas City Scouts in 1974. Just two years later the Scouts would end up moving from Kansas City to Denver where they would be known as the Colorado Rockies. They wouldn’t find their current home in New Jersey until 1982.
The franchise has been successful in winning the Stanley Cup on three different occasions, between 1994 – 2003. On the backs of maybe the greatest goaltender of all time Martin Brodeur led the Devils to three Stanley Cups. They are currently a rebuilding team with a slew of exciting young players that are sure to help the Devils win a lot in the future.
19. New York Islanders
The Islanders are widely considered the one of the best ever NHL dynasty teams when they won four consecutive Stanley Cups between 1979 – 1983. Unfortunately since them they have not been able to find their winnings ways, having not won a championship in almost 40 years!
They would struggle through a host of financial and management issues in the years following until they drafted John Tavares in 2009 who was widely considered the savior of the franchise. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out as planned and the islanders currently remain without a championship since 1983.
20. New York Rangers
The New York Rangers are another one of the NHLs storied franchises, being an original six team and collecting one of the largest fanbases in the NHL. The Rangers have been a part of the NHL since 1926, and won their first Stanley Cup in 1928 becoming the first team in the United States to do so in NHL history.
In total, the Rangers have won four championships in the National Hockey League, with their most recent victory coming in 1993-1994. They also play in one of the most famous sporting venues, Madison Square Garden and are the NHLs most valuable franchise at $2 billion dollars.
21. Ottawa Senators
The Ottawa Senators team has a storied franchise, which is actually split in two with neither team being affiliated with one another. The first Ottawa Senators was founded in 1883 and played in the NHL from 1917-1934. They shockingly won 11 Stanley Cups during this time before moving to St. Louis and ultimately folding a few years later.
The renewed Ottawa Senators joined the NHL in 1992, and have struggled to regain their winning ways of the original version of the Senators. They have yet to win a Stanley Cup and have only won a handful of division championships.
22. Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers have almost as much of a storied history as the original six teams, having joined the league in the 1967 expansion draft to go form six to 12 teams. The Flyers won back-to-back Stanley Cups from 1973-1975 where they were known as the “Broad Street Bullies” for their rough and tough play.
They have been successful at reaching the Stanley Cup finals eight different times, winning only twice. They have had a number of promising teams that have consistently under-delivered when it comes to the playoffs and are currently re-building their core team.
23. Pittsburgh Penguins
One of the most beloved franchises in the NHL, they joined in the 1967 expansion and have since won the Stanley Cup five times, tied for the most of any non-original six team. The list of hall of fame players from the Penguins is impressive, with Mario Lemieux being one of the most notable.
When the Pittsburgh Penguins drafted Sidney Crosby, widely considered one of the best #1 picks in NHL draft history. They went on to win back-to-back hockey championships from 2015-2017. The combination of Crosby and Malkin proved to be one of the most efficient scoring duos in recent memory that captivated a passionate fanbase.
24. San Jose Sharks
The San Jose Sharks joined the National Hockey League in 1991 as the 22nd team, where they finished dead last in their inaugural season. The Sharks history has been mediocre, having won no Stanley Cups and only making it to the final once in 2015-2016 where they lost to the Penguins.
The Sharks have been plagued with being the top hockey team in the regular season multiple times recently but have gone on to an early exit from the playoffs. The duo of Joe Thorton and Patrick Marleau recently brought the Sharks the most success but just failed to turn that success into a championship.
25. Seattle Kraken
Fresh off their inaugural season in 2021-2022, the Seattle Kraken are hockey’s newest franchsie and the 32rd team in the National Hockey League. They were widely criticized in their expansion draft for drafting an uncompetitive team, but their management was focused on building for future championships. They finished second last in the Western Conference with a 27-49-6 record.
26. St Louis Blues
The St Louis Blues are another team that was a product of the NHLs 1967 expansion where they went on to make three Stanley Cup appearances in their first three years. They were not successful in winning, but have recently won a Stanley Cup Championship in the 2018-2019 season.
They have been close a number of times, and Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Blues in the 1995-1996 season where they were Stanley Cup hopefuls. The combination of Gretzky and Brett Hull couldn’t miss, but they ultimately did not get the job done.
27. Tampa Bay Lightning
Not your first choice of a hockey city, the Lightning were brought into the NHL in 1992 and struggled mightily in the first decade of their existence. They only managed to make the playoffs once in the first ten years in the league, and they started to turn their hockey team around in the early 2000’s.
They won their first Stanley Cup in 2004 with captain Vincent Lecavalier who is one of the most highly regarded plays in franchise history. Currently, they have won back to back Stanley Cups in 2019-2021 and are widely considered the best all around team in the league. With a balance of a high powered offense, stellar goaltending and all around defense they are a powerhouse in the modern NHL.
28. Toronto Maple Leafs
Another one of the National Hockey Leagues original six teams, the Leafs are one of the NHLs most valuable franchise valued at $1.8 billion dollars behind only the New York Rangers. They have won a total of 13 Stanley Cups and are second in league history, but their last championship came all the way back in 1966-1967.
The have built a number of Stanley Cup contending teams, but have been plagued with underperformance in the playoffs. They are currently on a streak of six straight series in the first-round and haven’t advanced to the second round since 2004. They have also managed to lose a shocking 9 straight elimination games, making the fan base extremely frustrated with the organization.
29. Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks came into the league with the Sabers as the 13th and 14th teams in the National Hockey League in 1970. They have yhet to win a championship but have managed to recently make the finals three times. They are most known for the era of the Sedin twins, where both Henrick and Daniel played their entire career in Vancouver for the Canucks.
The recent performance of the team suggests a rebuild, but the expectations were high in the 2021-2022 season where they flopped at the beginning of the season until hiring Bruce Boudreau as their coach. They still managed to miss playoffs but turned their season around and were in contention for the wild card spot.
30. Vegas Golden Knights
The Vegas Golden Knights were the first expansion team into the NHL in almost 16 years, joining the hockey league in 2017. They got off to instant success making it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals in 2017 where they would lose to the Washington Capitals. This created an instant fanbase in Las Vegas that would remain extremely passionate about the team in the following seasons.
The Vegas Knights missed the playoffs in the recent 2021-2022 season for the first time in their hockey franchises history.
31. Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals have been a part of the National Hockey League since 1974, but their franchise has been largely unmemorable until they drafted Alexander Ovechkin in the 2004 draft with the first overall pick. The first years of his career, the did not manage to bring a championship to Washington and were instead plagued by early round exits after stellar regular seasons.
In 2018 they won their first ever Stanley Cup, with Ovechkin and Backstrom leading the team all the way to the championship. Ovechkin will go down as the greatest Washington Capital in history, and one of the most prolific goal scorers in NHL history.
32. Winnipeg Jets
The Winnipeg Jets have a frustrating past, as they originally joined the NHL in the merger with the WHA. Unfortunately they ended up relocating out of Winnipeg to Phoenix in 1996 and the city of Winnipeg didn’t have a hockey franchise for over 15 years.
In 2011 they managed to relocate the Atlanta Thrashers back to Winnipeg, where they have played for the last 10 years but have not managed to win their first Stanley Cup.
How Many Canadian NHL Teams Are There?
Currently in the National Hockey League there are only 7 Canadian teams of the 32 total National Hockey League teams.
- Edmonton Oilers
- Calgary Flames
- Montreal Canadians
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Vancouver Canucks
- Winnipeg Jets
- Ottawa Senators
How Many American NHL Teams Are There?
American National Hockey League teams make up the majority of the franchises with 25 of the 32 teams.
- Anaheim Ducks
- Arizona Coyotes
- Boston Bruins
- Buffalo Sabres
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Colorado Avalanche
- Blue Jackets
- Dallas Stars
- Detroit Red Wings
- Florida Panthers
- Los Angeles Kings
- Minnesota Wild
- Nashville Predators
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Islanders
- New York Rangers
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- San Jose Sharks
- Seattle Kraken
- St. Louis Blues
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Vegas Golden Knights
- Washington Capitals