One prediction for every NHL team

Andrew Forsyth, Sports Writer

The NHL season is finally here! We’ve had about a week of hockey and we still have months more to go. I’ll be looking at every team in the league and will give a prediction of something that I think will happen this season. Going from A-Z, I will provide a prediction for each NHL team.

Anaheim Ducks
I believe the Ducks will be mediocre at best and will end up trading John Klingberg and John Gibson at the trade deadline for more assets to build their promising future.

Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes will not win more than 30 games and will have a historically bad season on their way to drafting Connor Bedard in the 2023 NHL draft.

Boston Bruins
The Bruins will have a rough start without some of their top stars but will eventually get it together and sneak into the playoffs where they will lose in the first round.

Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres will be in the playoff hunt right up until the end of the year and may even sneak into a wildcard spot. JJ Peterka will be a dark horse for the Calder Trophy.

Calgary Flames
The Flames will have a more consistent season after finally resetting their core. Markstrom will remain in form and Calgary will be a powerhouse in the West once again.

Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes will make the playoffs and probably be a top 5 team in the league. Although, without the firepower and offensive skill of Max Pacioretty, they’ll be packing before they have Lord Stanley in their grasp.

Chicago Blackhawks
The Blackhawks will clean house. Trading away the last pieces of past success in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, they’ll be right next to the Coyotes in the standings. They will set their eyes and hopes on the draft where hopefully they can select Connor Bedard.

Colorado Avalanche
The Avalanche will continue to be dominant on the forward front and on defense; goaltending remains a question mark. The 18 guys in front of the goalies will do enough to make the playoffs, and the Avalanche will most likely be defending their Cup into June.

Columbus Bluejackets
Columbus will be ok. The Metro is too stacked for me to argue for them making the playoffs. Gaudreau and Laine will have a great first year together, though.

Dallas Stars
Dallas will make the playoffs as the Central is very weak. However, they’ll face the same fate as last year’s with a close but not close enough first-round exit.

Detroit Red Wings
The Red Wings will make steps toward more success, although I do not trust the goaltending to be consistent enough to lead to a playoff berth. The Yzerplan will have to wait at least one more year. I also wouldn’t be shocked if Dylan Larkin is no longer a Red Wing next year.

Edmonton Oilers
The duo of McDavid and Draisaitl will deliver as per usual. Although I still struggle to trust they have enough depth to match up against the best of the best in the West, especially considering the not-so-great start for goaltender Jack Campbell.

Florida Panthers
With Aaron Ekblad out for the year now and their defensive core being anything but ideal, the panthers will have some struggles. Although I believe their offense will be just enough to bring them to playoffs, I doubt they have much success in the post-season.

Los Angeles Kings
With the acquisition of Kevin Fiala and the return of most of last year’s roster, including a healthy Drew Doughty, it is most likely a return to the playoffs for the Kings. The Kings could very well make some noise in the postseason if Jonathon Quick can return to form and the offense and special teams can rebound.

Minnesota Wild
The Wild will miss the playoffs. Goaltending has not looked good to start the season. Every main player in the core had a career year last year. It is impossible they replicate that again. The Wild are going to have a long, mediocre season.

Montreal Canadiens
Like Arizona and Chicago, Montreal will be looking for Connor Bedard this summer. In addition, I think Marty St. Louis will prove he is the coach of the future for this young team.

Nashville Predators
After seeing resurgences from Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene, the Predators seem to have a new window. Juuse Saros will continue to be shut down and will lead the Predators to another playoff birth. Hopefully, they don’t draw up against Colorado again.

New Jersey Devils
Honestly, I don’t know what to think of the Devils. I think Jack Hughes will have a huge season. Although I can’t trust the goaltending and I can’t guarantee playoffs until I have a larger sample size, I’d put them in the same tier as the Sabres. They could be in it to the end.

New York Islanders
I think the Islanders’ time has passed. Without a coach like Barry Trotz to guide the system, I don’t think they’re much of a threat. Could be time to rebuild again.

New York Rangers
The New York Rangers will make the playoffs. With the newfound experience of a deep run and the shutdown stats of Igor, this team is poised to take the next step. With some development of the young forwards and the continuation of elite play from veterans, this team will be thinking about the parade through the city streets.

Ottawa Senators
I think the Sens will be very fun to watch this year. Although I think we’re still a year or two away from them being back into the playoffs, this team could very well make a surprise run with the talent they have.

Philadelphia Flyers
The Flyers will be very, very bad. Locked down by anchor contracts and just lacking true prospects, they will have a rough season. However, it is an even year so they might make the playoffs. Can’t bet against John Tortorella, you know. Seriously though, they’re not going to be good. I see a chance at Connor Bedard in their future. Sorry, Gritty.

Pittsburgh Penguins
The Pens will make the playoffs and then either lose embarrassingly in the first round or Crosby will carry them to another Stanley Cup win. I honestly have no clue. You can never bet against Crosby. They’ll be playing in May either way, though.

San Jose Sharks
The Sharks are another team where former glory and hefty contracts are weighing them down. David Quinn is a bad coach; he does not play young kids. The Sharks need to play their young talent. Do you see the issue? The Sharks will be in the lottery hunt in June.

Seattle Kraken
The Kraken will look to build on what was a disappointing inaugural season. They’ll be a team in the middle. Not at the bottom of the league but also not a playoff team. They’ll be fun to watch, though.

St. Louis Blues
It is hard to say this team is a true contender due to inconsistencies at goaltender and sometimes streaky offense. I believe they’ll make the playoffs and maybe win a round. Although, I don’t see them going much farther than that. The future is locked up in Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou though.

Tampa Bay Lightning
When you win Cups you pay the Cup tax. Tampa was handing out 7-8 year deals like candy this past summer.  Insert the Cup tax. This seems to be the last dance type of year for Tampa. I see them making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, but I don’t know if they have the defensive depth to keep up with other teams this year. Ryan McDonagh was a huge part of that back-to-back cup roster.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs will do what the Leafs do best. Have a record-breaking regular season. Get every fan hyped for the playoffs. Then as is tradition, they will lose heartbreakingly to a team they had on the ropes for the prior two games. At least Matthews will win the Rocket Richard Trophy again. If only those goals counted in the playoffs. This is Dubas and Keefe’s last chance in my opinion.

Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks are 0-4 as of my writing this and every loss has come after choking multi-goal leads. Brutal showing by them so far. The Canucks will need to hit the hard reset button. Boeser, Horvat, and even Demko should be on the move this summer. I’d say JT Miller too, but that contract is an anchor for a guy who’s almost 30 already.

Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas will hopefully be and stay fully healthy this year. They’ve gone “all in” every year since their inaugural season success. After missing the playoffs for the first time in their franchise history, they look to bounce back into success. Jack Eichel, assuming he’s in form, should help to do that. Phil Kessel should be a good fit also. Vegas probably gets back to the postseason this year.

Washington Capitals
The Caps have been struggling with mediocrity ever since they finally won the cup in 2017. This year, I fear, will be no different. Nicklas Backstrom is not playing this year and I feel like there isn’t enough depth for this team. I imagine they make the playoffs but if Ovi wants one more cup the Caps are going to have to rebuild or retool.

Winnipeg Jets
Last but not least is the Winnipeg Jets. The Jets are in a strange spot in that while they have the goaltending and stars up front, their defense is just incredibly lacking in talent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mark Scheifele sent away in a trade this year before he hits UFA status this summer. I’m also not so sure I believe that Pierre Luc Dubois has a future in Winnipeg. They’ll be fine. Nothing too good but fine enough to be competitive.

All 32 teams were given a prediction- some good, some bad. The NHL is back and who isn’t psyched about it? I can’t wait to be proven wrong on literally all of these. Except for maybe the Arizona and Chicago predictions. Surely they’re gonna be bad right?