Loading scores...
Hockey Daily Dose

NHL Predictions

by Michael Finewax
Updated On: January 13, 2021, 1:27 pm ET

The 2020-21 season is upon us as it begins Wednesday night with a five-game slate including three games on NBCSN.

Here are some of our predictions for the upcoming season. Scroll to the right to view all predictions.

  Michael Corey Ryan Joey Jeff Anna
Art Ross Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Nathan MacKinnon Nathan MacKinnon
Calder Alexis Lafreniere Igor Shesterkin Kirill Kaprizov Quinton Byfield Kirill Kaprizov Igor Shesterkin
Norris Rasmus Dahlin Victor Hedman Alex Pietrangelo Victor Hedman Cale Makar Victor Hedman
Hart Connor McDavid Nathan MacKinnon Connor McDavid Victor Hedman Connor McDavid Artemi Panarin
Best Fantasy Forward Connor McDavid Nathan MacKinnon Leon Draisaitl Connor McDavid Nathan MacKinnon Nathan MacKinnon
Best Fantasy Defenseman Roman Josi John Carlson John Carlson Roman Josi Cale Makar John Carlson
Best Fantasy Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy Andrei Vasilevskiy Andrei Vasilevskiy Andrei Vasilevskiy Ilya Samsonov Andrei Vasilevskiy
Biggest Surprise Juuso Valimaki Oskar Lindblom Kasperi Kapanen San Jose Kevin Fiala Charlie McAvoy
Biggest Bust Braden Holtby Braden Holtby Igor Shesterkin Pittsburgh Roman Josi Matt Murray


Art Ross Trophy

Joey: Connor McDavid

McDavid will regain his place at the top of the scoring charts after this shortened season. The Oilers captain will get to feast on the Ottawa Senators a lot and there’s no reason to think he can’t put up big numbers against some of the better Canadian teams in the league, too. McDavid posted a career-high 1.52 points-per-game last season and it’s not crazy to think he can improve on that number in 2021. It’s entirely possible that he hits the 90-point mark in a 56-game season.  

Calder Trophy

Anna: Igor Shesterkin

Shesterkin looked pretty good in the twelve games that he suited up for this past season. He had a 10-2 record during that stint with a .932 save percentage and 2.32 GAA. In his official rookie year I see him learning and developing into a solid goaltender and putting up a Calder worthy season.

Norris Trophy

Joey: Victor Hedman

Hedman still plays on a very talented Lightning team, but with Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov battling injuries, they’ll have to rely on him even more. He’s also coming off a terrific season and he was awarded the Conn Smythe trophy at the conclusion of the playoffs, so it seems like this Norris Trophy is kind of owed to him.  

Jeff: Cale Makar

At such a young age, Makar possesses the uncanny ability to dictate the tempo of play. He quarterbacks arguably the best power play in the NHL and he'll be able to rack up enough points to raise the eyebrows of enough voters. 

Hart Trophy

Anna: Artemi Panarin

Heading into this year the New York Rangers are making some shifts, and this could be just what Panarin needs to put up a strong performance this next season. He is a player that has such a positive impact on his teammates, so seeing him in the Hart conversation will not be a surprise.

Best Fantasy Forward

Michael: Connor McDavid

McDavid is the best player in the NHL and has been the last four seasons. He is still only 24 and would have hit the 100-point mark for the fourth straight season had COVID-19 not reared its ugly head. He still had 97 points in only 64 games and should continue his brilliance this season.

Best Fantasy Defenseman

Anna: John Carlson

Despite a lackluster playoff run last season, the Washington Capitals still have the ability to put up a strong season performance in this upcoming year and Carlson is an integral part of that. Last season he was a great defenseman to have on your fantasy roster and I predict another solid year for him again.

Editor’s Note: Drafting is only half the battle! Get an edge on your competition with our NHL Season Tools that are packed with rankings, projections, a trade evaluator, start/sit tools and much more. And don't forget to use promo code PUCK10 to get 10% off. Click here to learn more!

Best Fantasy Goalie

Joey: Andrei Vasilevskiy

Vasilevskiy is one of the few clear starting goaltenders in the NHL. He’s playing behind the defending Stanley Cup Champions and he’s one of the elite goaltenders in the league. The fact that he’s younger than a lot of the other top goalies should also help his fantasy production in a condensed schedule.   

JeffIlya Samsonov

The Stanley Cup hangover can be a real thing for the Lightning as they deal with the loss of Nikita Kucherov and a bizarre off-season where numerous players were made openly available. Andrei Vasilevskiy should still be the first goaltender off the board but I believe it will be Ilya Samsonov who finishes as the top fantasy goaltender. Henrik Lundqvist having to step aside due to a heart condition leaves Vitek Vanecek as the backup, giving Samsonov an opportunity to lead the league in games played.

Biggest Surprise

Corey: Oskar Lindblom

His return in the post-season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma was inspiring. It’s easy to forget that he had 11 goals and 18 points in 30 games with the Flyers last season. Lindblom could be a regular as a top-six forward for Philadelphia in 2020-21.

Biggest Bust

Ryan:Igor Shesterkin, Ilya Samsonov, and to a lesser extent Tristan Jarry - I like them, but inexperienced starting goaltenders in THAT division? It's going to be trial by fire.


Division Winners Michael Corey Ryan Joey Jeff Anna
North Toronto Toronto Edmonton Vancouver Winnipeg Toronto
East Boston Boston Philadelphia Philadelphia NY Islanders Boston
Central Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Nashville Dallas
West Colorado Colorado Vegas Colorado Colorado Colorado
Stanley Cup Winner Colorado Colorado Vegas Colorado Colorado Colorado
Stanley Cup Finalist Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Philadelphia Washington Toronto Boston
Michael Finewax

Michael Finewax is entering his 16th season as the Senior Hockey Writer and Editor for Rotoworld. You can follow him on Twitter @mfinewaxhockey.