NHL Predictions for 2016 – 2017

The NHL begins its 100th season this evening and hockey fans could not be more excited.  We have seen some last minute signings in Calgary and Tampa Bay, we’ve seen a number of waiver pickups and we are seeing a lot of young rookies crack opening night lineups (see Toronto, Winnipeg and Edmonton).  We’ve also seen a few PTO players crack opening lineups in Calgary (Kris Versteeg), Vancouver (Jack Skille) and in Los Angeles (Devin Setoguchi).  Which by the way the Hockey News has a great story on Setoguchi in their most recent issue.

Every year at the hockey fanatic we like to make some predictions for the upcoming season.  Here’s a look at a few of our last year’s NHL predictions:

2015-2016 Wacky NHL Predictions

2015-2016 Western Conference Predictions

2015-2016 Eastern Conference Predictions 

This year we are going to roll all of our predictions into one.

2016-2017 NHL Predictions

Well let’s get started with our division predictions.  Who will make the playoffs from each conference?

2016-2017 NHL Eastern Conference Predictions

Predicted Finish by Atlantic Division Teams

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning
  2. Montreal Canadiens
  3. Florida Panthers
  4. Ottawa Senators
  5. Boston Bruins
  6. Toronto Maple Leafs
  7. Detroit Red Wings
  8. Buffalo Sabres

Predicted Finish by Metropolitan Division Teams

  1. Washington Capitals
  2. New York Islanders
  3. Pittsburgh Penguins
  4. New York Rangers
  5. Philadelphia Flyers
  6. Columbus Blue Jackets
  7. New Jersey Devils
  8. Carolina Hurricanes

The eight teams making the playoffs from the Eastern conference this season:

  1. Tampa Bay Lightning
  2. Washington Capitals
  3. Montreal Canadiens
  4. Florida Panthers
  5. New York Islanders
  6. Pittsburgh Penguins
  7. New York Rangers
  8. Ottawa Senators

2016-2017 NHL Western Conference Predictions

Predicted Finish by Pacific Division Teams

  1. San Jose Sharks
  2. Los Angeles Kings
  3. Anaheim Ducks
  4. Calgary Flames
  5. Edmonton Oilers
  6. Arizona Coyotes
  7. Vancouver Canucks

Predicted Finish by Central Division Teams

  1. Dallas Stars
  2. Chicago Blackhawks
  3. Nashville Predators
  4. St. Louis Blues
  5. Winnipeg Jets
  6. Minnesota Wild
  7. Colorado Avalanche

The eight teams making the playoffs from the Western conference this season:

  1. Dallas Stars
  2. San Jose Sharks
  3. Chicago Blackhawks
  4. Los Angeles Kings
  5. Nashville Predators
  6. St. Louis Blues
  7. Anaheim Ducks
  8. Calgary Flames or Winnipeg Jets

Our predictions see as many as four Canadian teams making the playoffs this season.  Of course a bad couple of weeks and perhaps no Canadian teams make the playoffs.

NHL 100th Anniversary Season

Individual Player Predictions

Now lets take a look at some of the individual player predictions again separated by Conference.  Let’s begin with the Western Conference.

Western Conference Predictions

Most Exciting Player:  Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers

Top Point Producer: Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars (if he’s not healthy than Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks)

Top Goal Scorer:  Tyler Seguin – Dallas Stars

Top Defender: Brent Burns – San Jose Sharks

Top Goaltender:  Corey Crawford – Chicago Blackhawks

Top Rookie:  Dylan Strome – Arizona Coyotes

Player to Watch: PK Subban – Nashville Predators

Breakout Player: Mark Scheiffle – Winnipeg Jets

Darkhorse Player: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers

Most Improved Team:  Winnipeg Jets

Most Overrated Team:  Los Angeles Kings

First Team to Fire Their Coach:  Vancouver Canucks

Darkhorse Team:  Nashville Predators

Team that Will Win the West (Regular Season): Dallas Stars


Eastern Conference Predictions

Most Exciting Player:  John Tavares – New York Islanders

Top Point Producer: Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins (unless concussion keeps him out) then John Tavares – New York Islanders

Top Goal Scorer:  Steven Stankos – Tampa Bay Lightning

Top Defender: Shea Weber – Montreal Canadiens

Top Goaltender:  Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens

Top Rookie:  Auston Matthews – Toronto Maple Leafs

Player to Watch: Taylor Hall – New Jersey Devils

Breakout Player: Aleksander Barkov – Florida Panthers (NHL.com has a nice list of breakout players for the upcoming season.)

Darkhorse Player: TJ Oshie – Washington Capitals

Most Improved Team: Toronto Maple Leafs

Most Overrated Team:  Washington Capitals

First Team to Fire Their Coach: Carolina Hurricanes

Darkhorse Team:  Florida Panthers

Team that Will Win the East:  Tampa Bay Lightning