5 Predictions For The 2018-19 NHL Season

Anthony Faber, Editor

  1. Cup hangover for Ovi and the Caps

Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals finally got over the hump last year and defeated their rival the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2nd round. They went on to win the cup after beating the Lightning in the conference finals and defeating the Knights in a quick five-game series to give the “Great 8” the Capitals their first cup in franchise history. This year, however will be a different year for the Capitals, as they lost their head coach Barry Trotz, who took a coaching job with their division rivals, the Islanders. Not only will this team not repeat, they won’t even make it to the playoffs in a stacked conference with teams on the rise, such as the Hurricanes and the Devils. Washington has been one of the Eastern Conferences powerhouses for many years now, but their reign will come to an end this year.

  1. Mackinnon wins MVP

Last year Nathan Mackinnon took a team that was supposedly a bottom feeder and turned them into a dangerous team in the West. Mackinnon is a leader on his squad and is part of debatably the best first line in all of hockey. In the 2017-18 season, the former number 1 overall pick had a huge year, finishing with 39 goals and 58 assists, totaling up to 97 points. The scariest part about his 2017 season is that he missed close to 8 games. If he had played those games it is almost certain he would have cracked the 100 point mark. Mackinnon was a Hart Trophy finalist last year, but ultimately ended up losing to Taylor Hall. One thing these two had in common, aside from both of them having their career high in points, is that they both had early exits in the playoffs. So far this year the Avs are second in the league in points and the first line combinations of Mackinnon, Landeskog, and Rantanen have combined for 60% of all goals scored for their squad. This year is going to be another big one for Mackinnon and he will win his first Hart Trophy.

  1. Elias Pettersson beats out Dahlin for the Calder

Last year’s Calder race had world class talent such us winner Mat Barzal and runner-up Brock Boeser. This year the Canuck in the race will prevail over the favorited opponent. Elias Pettersson was selected by Vancouver with the fifth overall pick and has gotten off to a red hot start. Pettersson has already set a franchise record for being the youngest player to score 5 points in a game as he finished with a total of 2 goals and 3 assists in an OT win over the Avalanche. The Canucks are a rebuilding squad with a very bright future with Boeser and Pettersson at the head of the this team; they are going to be a dangerous team in the West for a long time.  

  1. No Tavares, No Problem

Over the offseason the New York Islanders lost star forward John Tavares via free agency. Tavares decided it would be best for him to return his hometown team the Toronto Maple Leafs where he would join young studs Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Although this was a big loss for the Isles, they made some big moves themselves, hiring Lou Lamoriello as GM and Barry Trotz as head coach. The Isles have been predicted to finish in the basement of the East, but early on they have shown flashes that they are a complete hockey team, getting the very best performances out of all players on the roster. They hold the 1st spot as now in the tough Metropolitan Division, which features the two previous Stanley Cup winners. The Islanders are not only looking to ride this hot start into a playoff spot, but they are looking to make a run at the cup which would be a great start for this new culture Islanders team.

  1. Jets win their first cup

The Stanley Cup: 34.5 lbs of greatness which will belong to the Winnipeg Jets for the first time in NHL history. This team is no longer a bottom feeder in the league; they are a young hungry team led by premier stars like Patrick Laine, Mark Scheifele, and Connor Hellebuyck. The team’s captain Blake Wheeler has been a member of the organization since 2011 and has been a leader on this squad. Last year, the veteran had the best year of his career, totaling 91 points over the course of the season. Mark Scheifele is always forgotten about when talking about great players in the league, although he has been a dominant force for his team ever since he stepped foot on the ice, scoring over 140 points over the last two years. Patrick Laine was picked 2nd overall in 2016 right after Auston Matthews. Laine was one of the team’s top scorers last year as he netted 44 goals along with 26 assists. This team would not be complete without their goalkeeper Connor Hellebuyck. Last year, Hellebuyck was outstanding in the regular season and the playoffs, winning the Venza trophy for best goalie, along with 44 games. This team was one step away last year before being defeated by the Knights in the conference finals. This year is going to be the year of the Jets.