Hey friends! It has been a while. This season I have decided to do a weekly NHL North Division Power rankings and it all starts with my predictions for the season. I’m so excited for the NHL season so let’s get right into it.
- Ottawa Senators
This Senators team has a lot of promising prospects and I think they will be fun to watch this year but I just don’t think they are quite good enough yet to climb out of the basement. I can’t wait to see Tim Stutzle play this year I loved him at the World Juniors. In net they may have improved but I’m not 100% sold on Matt Murray as a starter anymore.
- Vancouver Canucks
I think the Canucks lost too much over the offseason. Markstrom, Tanev, Stetcher, Toffoli all gone, with really just Braden Holtby and Travis Hamonic to fill any of the holes. Now, don’t get me wrong the Canucks still have a decent amount of talent on the team especially in their top 6 but I just feel like some bad contracts have stopped them from taking the next step. I do think the North Division will be tight and there could be just a couple of points separating the 6 seed from a playoff spot.
- Winnipeg Jets
I really like the top 6 on the Jets. It is one of the best in the league and I really like their goaltender but other than that I’m not a huge fan. Their D-core I would consider one of the worst in the league and I don’t see a lot of offense coming from the projected bottom 6. Add in some potential Laine drama and I just see this season being a step back for Winnipeg, just missing the playoffs.
- Edmonton Oilers
I don’t love Edmonton’s moves this offseason, they did nothing to get any better in net which I think is a huge problem but they have 2 of the top 5 forwards in the game and that covers a lot of problems. Adding Puljujarvi back into the mix and a full season from Kailer Yamamoto will definitely help this Oilers offense be even better and bringing in Barrie for the power play might make that more elite. What a thought.
- Montreal Canadiens
It’s no secret I’m a Habs fan but this is the most excited I’ve been for a Canadiens team in a long time. They got bigger, faster, and deeper in the offseason. If Josh Anderson can stay healthy I love his style of game, Toffoli was great last season so hopefully, that continues and they added depth on the blue line and in the net. Also excited to see if the young centers can take another step this year. Should be a fun team to watch.
- Calgary Flames
The Flames are deep upfront and the move of Elias Lindholm to the middle is one that I’ve been hoping for, for a while. Tkachuk and Lindholm have looked good as a pair and there is so many options for who to toss on the wing with them. It also takes offensive pressure off of Johnny and Sean Monahan who will both be looking for bounce-back seasons. I think replacing Hamonic with Tanev is a good move and if Juuso Valimaki can play like everyone in Calgary thinks he is capable of playing this should be a good hockey team. Oh yeah, and they have their first true #1 since Kipper retired.
- Toronto Maple Leafs
Yuck, this one hurts. I think Toronto got tougher for sure which wasn’t hard to do because they were the softest team in the league last year. I think they got older but the age brings real leadership and I think it is the best D-core they have had in a while. I’m a big Brodie fan and he will do wonders for that team. Jumbo should be great with Matthews and Marner although I wonder if he will be able to keep up with the 20-22 minutes a night the two younger forwards will be expected to play. I see Hyman being up with the two M’s a few times though-out a game. Anything less than first in the North should be considered a failure for the Leafs.
Well, predictions are rarely correct but I’ve put all my hockey knowledge into making the most accurate list I can. I welcome all arguments and hatred for this article. As always thanks for reading!