The NHL season is just 2 months away and training camp is basically already here. With all the moves in the off season from Patrick Marleau to Kevin Shattenkirk we look at predictions for teams by the end of the year.
31: Las Vegas Golden Knights
Much isn’t expected out in Las Vegas but it still looks entertaining to go watch a game there. The Golden Knights roster is pretty bad Brayden McNabb is the teams best defenseman but options on scoring like James Neal and Jonathan Marchessault won’t really make a difference and who knows how good Marc Andre Fleury will do in Net.
30: Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks roster looks Washed up many old players with both Daniel and Henrik Sedin out of their prime the team lost Goalie Ryan Miller and have to know role with Jacob Markstrom. One good addition though was Sam Gagner he could score add around 20-30 points. The defense looks terrible too many injuries and Vancouver has Horrific contracts like Loui Erikson. The team’s best player is Bo Horvat no doubt racked 52 points last season and has lots of potentials.
29: Colorado Avalanche
The Colorado Avalanche were the worst team last season who put up a horrific 48 points. Colorado didn’t have a great offseason losing the first overall pick in the lottery draft, but they did end up with someone they wanted, Cale Makar who was picked 4th overall. Colorado lost Mikhail Grigorenko and Goalie Calvin Pickard it looks like Colorado could even have a worse year than last year.
28: New Jersey Devils. The Devil’s finished with 70 points last season and moving up to get the 1 overall pick in which they drafted Nico Hischer. Hischer won’t make a huge impact for New Jersey right now and the Devil’s have a terrible D core their best defenseman is Damon Severson which isn’t too bad but the Devil’s lost Jon Merill in the expansion draft and the D core is one of the worst in the league.
27: Arizona Coyotes. The Coyotes finished with 70 points last season and traded away their first round pick for Derek Stephan and Anti Rantta who will take over the goalie position for Mike Smith. Stephan racked up 57 points last season in New York who is looking to be the 1 center. Also, Arizona acquired Niklas Hjalmarsson who is going to bring great experience in the dressing room and help Oliver Ekman Larsson on the backend. Arizona still doesn’t have a good enough roster to really compete out West.
26: Carolina Hurricanes. The Hurricanes has an ok offseason giving Jaccob Slavin a 7-year deal and bringing back the former player and Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams. Williams can score and will add an offensive boost to Carolina. The defense is improving Jaccob Slavin, Justin Faulk and Noah Hanifin all could have break out years but the team doesn’t look good enough to compete yet.
25: Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings didn’t do much this offseason and things are looking worse everyone is getting older Niklas Kronwall and Jimmy Howard have massive contracts hurting the cap. Detroit did make an addition this offseason signing Trevor Daley but the team really won’t make the play even if Dylan Larkin has a great season.
24: Florida Panthers. The Panthers lost key players in the expansion draft such as Marchessault and trading Reilly Smith to Vegas. The Panthers have the same roster but they did sign winger Radim Vrbata who is going to replace Smith and hope that he can provide some offense for Florida The Defense is ok Aaron Ekblad is great Jason Demers is ok Keith Yandle is overpaid and not where he was 4 years ago and Goalie Roberto Luongo is getting older and worse on the ice.
23: Los Angeles King‘s. The King’s aren’t where they were 3 years ago winning the cup their roster has declined since Dustin Brown and Marian Gaborik are hurting the team Jonathan Quick is injury prone and isn’t really the spectacular goalie 3 years ago the team lost Brayden McNabb but hopefully Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty could do their best to get the King’s into the playoffs
22: Winnipeg Jets: The Winnipeg Jets are still a developing young team with Patrick Laine, Mark Scheifele, Nikolai Ehlers and Blake Wheeler leading the offense you never know what you can get the Defense is ok Dustin Byfuglien plays the game really hard and is a monster in the ice Jacob Trouba is decent and Hopefully Josh Morrisey can have his break out season and now Steve Mason in net is a bit of an upgrade but with Stars making moves this offseason it’s hard to picture Winnipeg in the playoffs.
21: Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers come into the 2017-18 season with high expectations Nolan Patrick looks like a future star and Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds will lead the offensive once again. The Flyers lost RW Brayden Shenn to a trade with the Blues and Brian Elliot is worse than Steve Mason so if anything I see the Flyers missing the playoffs again.
20: Buffalo Sabres. The Buffalo Sabres have slightly improved their roster for the 17-18 season adding former winger Jason Pominville and adding Defenseman Marco Scandella to help the Blue line. Jack Eichel looks like he’s about to have a break out season but I don’t see Buffalo making the playoffs any time soon.
19: Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning aren’t looking to great to start the season. One main reason is Steven Stamkos ok Steven isn’t hurt right now but if he gets hurt again which has happened for the past 3 seasons then this team has no chance. Tampa also traded LW Jonathan Drouin to Montreal for D Mikhail Sergachev. Sergachev is a great prospect but isn’t NHL ready yet and Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy hasn’t reached his full potential and Dan Girardi might help Victor Hedman on the Blue line if he doesn’t get hurt.
18 : New York Islanders. The Islanders look like they could improve in 2018 they acquired Jordan Eberle from Edmonton for Ryan Strome which will boost the offense beside John Tavares. The Defensive core looks ok Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuck will lead the D core and Joraslav Halak in the net is the worst option.
17: New York Rangers. The Rangers had a great offseason they signed one of the best offensive Defenseman in Kevin Shattenkirk got rid of Kevin Klein and Dan Girardi’s bad contracts and traded away Derek Stephan for Anthony DeAngelo who is only 22 and for the 7th overall pick which turned out to be Lias Anderson who is compared to a Nikolai Ehlers. Overall we predict that New York will make the playoffs in the second Wild card spot in the East.
16: Minnesota Wild. The Minnesota Wild had a decent off season. Minnesota acquired Marcus Foligno and Tyler Ennis to improve the top 9 forward group they lost Martin Hanzal who was horrific with the wild last year when he was acquired at the trade deadline, the Defense is still good even with out Scandella and Devan Dubnyk is still one of the league’s most underrated goalies. We predict that Minnesota will not make the playoffs.
15: Boston Bruins. The Boston Bruins finished 3rd in the Atlantic last season and losing in the first round to Ottawa. The Bruins added winger Drew Stafford to improve their top 9 forward group with top center Patrice Bergeron this teams offense looks great and should contend. The Defense is slowing down Zdeno Chara is getting older and so is goalie Tuukka Rask. The Bruins will be in their first full season with coach Bruce Cassidy. We have Boston in the first wild card spot.
14: Dallas Stars: The Stars missed the playoffs last year shocking the hockey world. The Stars made some great moves acquiring Marc Methot from Las Vegas, signing Martin Hanzal and acquiring Ben Bishop from the La King’s. Dallas has great offense Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza will lead the charge. The Defense needed help and they got Marc Methot also Ben Bishop will hopefully solve the new goalie problem and return back to his normal self between the pipes. We think that Dallas will make the Second Wild card.
13: Columbus Blue Jackets. The Jackets lost in 5 games in the first round of the playoffs to the Stanley Cup champions the Pittsburgh Penguins. Despite winning 16 games in a row Columbus doesn’t have that Franchise player you could debate about Sergei Bobrovsky but they don’t have what Great teams have Columbus did trade Brandon Saad back to Chicago to get Russian scorer Artemi Panarin. The Blue line looks great David Savard, Seth Jones and Zach Werenski will be a huge factor. Our predictions Columbus does make the first round of the playoffs.
12: Calgary Flames. The Calgary Flames got eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last year by the Ducks. The Flames made some good moves to be contenders Acquiring Travis Hamonick and goalie Mike Smith the offense is backed up by Johnny Gadreau and Sean Monahan and the Defense is great by still having Dougie Hamilton T.J Brodie and Mark Giordano this makes the Flames Easily Contenders. Our predictions Calgary makes the wild card.
11: Ottawa Senators. The Sens had one of their best years in franchise history making it to the conference final. The Sens didn’t really make a move this offseason as their group stays put. The Sens have great production offensively Kyle Turris showed that in the playoffs so did Jean Gabriel Pageau the Defensively core is a bit worse because the sens lost Methot in the expansion draft but Erik Karlsson is the best Defenman in the league and could help Ottawa to another playoff run. We predict that Ottawa will lose in the first round.
10: Toronto Maple Leafs. The Leafs finished in the second wild card spot and losing to the Washington Capitals in the first round. The leafs made some key moves this offseason by drafting Timothy Lilegren and signing future hall of famer Patrick Marleau. Marleau should play alongside Auston Matthews and William Nylander providing offense. As for the Blue line it still looks weak Morgan Reilly is the teams best defenseman and as for Fredrick Anse in net if he plays like he did last year the leafs have a great chance in the playoffs. We predict that the Leafs will make it to the Conference Final.
9: San Jose Sharks. The Sharks lost in the first round last year to the Oilers and there offseason hasn’t been great they resigned Joe Thornton but lost Patrick Marleau to Toronto. Once again Joe Pavelski and Logan Coture will lead the office as the Blue Line it’s very strong Brent Burns Jason Demers and Marc Edouard Vlasic will help and with Martin Jones still between the pipes we predict that San Jose will lose in the first round.
8: Montreal Canadiens. As for a disappointing first round loss in the playoffs last year the Canadians have stacked their team into the upcoming season. Adding Defensman Karl Alzner to pair up with Shea Weber is a great idea and trading for Jonathan Drouin to boost your offense is a great idea. And with Carey Price in net now your team looks very good. We predict that Montreal loses in the second round.
7: St Louis Blues. The Blues made some nice deals as trading away Jori Leterha for Brayden Schenn the offense gets a big boost adding to Vladimir Tarasenko and Colton Parayko is still developing and looking to have a break out year. Our predictions St Louis loses in the second round.
6: Washington Capitals. The Caps choked again last season losing in the second round to the Penguins. The Caps lost Justin Williams Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner but their core looks good enough to contend. Alex Ovechkin had a down year last season but looks like he wants a cup bad enough we predict Washington loses in the second round and Ovi is still without a ring.
5: Chicago Blackhawks. The hawks lost some key pieces losing Niklas Hjalmarsson and Artemi Panarin but the team signed former winger Patrick Sharp. Chicago has Patrick Kane and Johnathan Toews still as the franchise core.
4: Nashville Predators. The Preds had their best season in franchise history last season making it to the Stanley Cup finals and losing to Pittsburgh. The Preds lost James Neal but their offense still looks good enough with Ryan Johanson and Victor Arvidson. The Defense is the best in the league P.K Subban, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis and Roman Josi are outstanding and Pekka rinne is still one of the best goalies in the league. We predict Nashville to make the conference final.
3: Anaheim Ducks. The Ducks had a heart breaking season losing in 6 games in the conference final. The ducks still have the same core Hampus Lindholm and Cam Fowler Are the big guys on the Blue line and Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf are the franchise core we predict the ducks lose in the second round.
2: Edmonton Oilers. It’s hard to say whether the Oilers are the second best team in the league. The Oilers lost in 6 games to the ducks in the second round last year. The offense looks great after Conner McDavid’s 100 point season and MVP a year ago and Leon Draisatl’s 78 points but the Defense is still developing with guys like Oscar Klefbom and Adam Larsson. We predict the Oilers will lose in the Stanley Cup final
1. Pittsburgh Penguins: There’s no doubt why the Penguins are the best team in the league Sidney Crosby is the best player in the NHL and Evgeni Malkin behind him is the best duo we’ve seen since Jaromir Jagr and Mario Lemiux. On the Blue line Kris Letang Oli Matta and Brian Dumolin will keep the pucks out of the net and Goalie Matt Murray is due for a break out season. We predict that the Penguins will win The Stanley Cup.
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