Another NHL season has arrived, and that means it's time to make predictions for which teams will make the playoffs, the Stanley Cup winner and the players who will earn the individual awards such as the Hart Trophy.
The Tampa Bay Lightning enter the new campaign as the two-time defending champions. They are attempting to become the first franchise since the New York Islanders in the early 1980s to win three consecutive Stanley Cup titles. The Islanders won four in a row from 1979-80 through 1982-83.
The Lightning will have plenty of competition, though, especially in their own division. In fact, four of the top seven teams in the latest Stanley Cup odds play in the Atlantic. They are the Lightning, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers. It's going to be awesome watching these teams battle for the three playoff spots from that division.
And, of course, the league has welcomed a 32nd team via expansion in the Seattle Kraken. The Kraken lost 4-3 to the Vegas Golden Knights in their first ever game Tuesday night.
Here are our predictions for the 2021-22 NHL season.
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Boston Bruins
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- New York Islanders
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Philadelphia Flyers
Eastern Conference Wild Cards
- Florida Panthers
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Colorado Avalanche
- Winnipeg Jets
- St. Louis Blues
- Vegas Golden Knights
- Edmonton Oilers
- Seattle Kraken
Western Conference Wild Cards
- Minnesota Wild
- Dallas Stars
- Boston Bruins defeat New York Islanders in seven games
- Colorado Avalanche defeat Vegas Golden Knights in six games
Stanley Cup Final
Avalanche defeat Bruins in six games (Nathan MacKinnon wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP)
- Hart Trophy (MVP): Nathan MacKinnon, C, Avalanche
- Art Ross Trophy (leading scorer): Connor McDavid, C, Oilers
- Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy (leading goal scorer): David Pastrnak, RW, Bruins
- Norris Trophy (best defenseman): Charlie McAvoy, Bruins
- Selke Trophy (best defensive forward): Aleksander Barkov, Panthers
- Vezina Trophy (best goaltender): Andrei Vasilevskiy, Lightning
- Calder Trophy (best rookie): Cole Caufield, RW, Canadiens
- Jack Adams Award (coach of the year): Barry Trotz, Islanders