Friday, October 28, 2016

Rookies! The Many rookies of the NHL


  Every player has a rookie season. Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and John Tavares were all once rookies. Today, I will list the rookie class of 2016-17. Some will play all their teams games. Some will be sent down to the AHL/Juniors. Also, some players are qualified as rookies but have played in the NHL shortly in the past. To make this list, you need to have your NHL debut so far this year. So, let's get into it.

 Anaheim Ducks- Joseph Cramorossa
 Arizona Coyotes- Dylan Strome, Lawson Crouse, Christian Dvorak and Jakub Chychrun
 Boston Bruins- Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen, Zane McIntyre and Brandon Carlo
 Buffalo Sabres- None
 Calgary Flames- Matthew Tkachuk
 Carolina Hurricanes- Sebastian Aho and Martin Frk
 Chicago Blackhawks- Tyler Motte, Nick Schmaltz, Gustav Forsling and Michal Kempny
 Colorado Avalanche- None
 Columbus Blue Jackets- Lukas Sedlak, Markus Nutivaara, Zach Werenski
 Dallas Stars- Justin Dowling, Gemel Smith
 Detroit Red Wings- None
 Edmonton Oilers- Jesse Puljujarvi, Matt Benning
 Florida Panthers- Denis Malgin, Kyle Rau and Shane Harper
 Los Angeles Kings- None
 Minnesota Wild- Joel Eriksson Ek
 Montreal Canadiens- Artturi Lehkonen and Mikhail Sergachev
 Nashville Predators- None
 New Jersey Devils- Yohann Auvitu
 New York Islanders- Matthew Barzal and Anthony Beauvillier
 New York Rangers- Pavel Buchnevich and Jimmy Vesey
 Ottawa Senators- Thomas Chabot
 Philadelphia Flyers- Roman Lyubimov, Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov
 Pittsburgh Penguins- None
 San Jose Sharks- Aaron Dell
 St. Louis Blues- None
 Tampa Bay Lightning- Brayden Point
 Toronto Maple Leafs- Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and Nikita Zaitsev
 Vancouver Canucks- Mike Zalewski and Troy Stetcher
 Washington Capitals- Zach Sanford
 Winnipeg Jets- Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine.

 Those are all the rookies, who have made their NHL debut so far this season. Auston Matthews leads all those rookies in points with 10, but both Matthews and Patrik Laine are part of a 4 way tie for most goals in the NHL so far. (Richard Panik and Alex Killorn are the other 2). If I missed out on anyone else, leave a comment below. But for now, so long.

 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Surprise! The NHL's biggest surprises so far


 When it comes to professional sports, surprises happen often so you might not even call them surprises. It is so early in the year that the top team only has 11 points but yet, all 30 teams have some surprises. So, surprise! The point of this post is the surprises, and here are the top 10 so far, so lets get into it.

   10. Montreal Canadians. If you lead the NHL in goals for per game and goals against per game, you know you're doing something right. That's the case in Montreal as they have a 3.83 goals scored per game and a 1.50 goals against per game. That's why they are 1st in the NHL with 11 points (5-0-1).

  9. Thomas Vanek, Gustav Nyquist and Mike Green. the 2 wingers and defenseman for Detroit are all having surprisingly good starts. they all have 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points.

 8. Andrew Ladd. The Islanders' winger signed a big deal in the off-season but he hasn't had a great start. He's had some chances but he has just 1 point, being an empty net assist.

 7. Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine. The first 2 overall picks in the draft have both had a solid start to their career. Matthews has 5 goals and 3 assists for 8 points while Laine has 4 goals and an assist for 5 points.

 6. Brandon Carlo. The 6.5 defenseman has been Boston's best so far with 2 points and a +7 rating in just 5 games.

  5. Jimmy Howard and Cam Talbot. Both these goalies aren't really supposed to be doing amazing. Howard has only played 2 games but leads qualifying goalies in GAA (0.50) and Sv% (.984). Talbot leads the league in wins (5) and got his only shutout in the Heritage Classic.

 4. Shea Weber. There's no question that Weber is a top defenseman. but after being traded for a fan favorite in P.K. Subban, there was a lot of pressure on Weber. So far, Weber has been amazing, scoring 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points and leading the NHL in +/- , being a +10.

  3. Jonathan Marchessault. The main reason the Panthers signed Marchessault was for offensive depth. Marchessault has been way more then depth, leading the team in points with 7 (3 goals and 4 assists).

 2. Artem Anisimov and Richard Panik. the 2 Chicago linemates have been amazing with Anisimov leading the league in points with 9 and Panik leading the league in goals with 6.

  








1. Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers. 2 of the 3 Canadian teams in the Pacific division, both the Canucks and Oilers were projected by many to not be a good team. That hasn't been the case at all with the Oilers being second in the league with 10 points and the Canucks tied for 3rd with 9 points.

 So, there are my top 10 surprises of the season so far. This was posted on 10/25 so it might not be the same date yoy are reading this. If you disagree, or have another surprise that wasn't on this list, write it in the comments below. So, for now, that's the end of the biggest surprises so far.


     

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Day In Hockey: 10/22


 In the 8th edition of a day in hockey, there was 12 NHL games. Here were the scores:
Maple Leafs 4 - Blackhawks 5; Rangers 4 -  Capitals 2; Canadians 4 - Bruins 2; Hurricanes 3 - Flyers 6; Lightning 4 - Senators 1; Avalanche 2 - Panthers 5;
Sharks 0 - Red Wings 3; Wild 1 - Devils 2; Penguins 1 - Predators 5;
Blue Jackets 3 - Stars 0; Canucks 3 - Kings 4; Blues 6 - Flames 4.
 Those were the scores.

 The 3 stars of the day were:

 3. Shane Harper. In just his 5th NHL game, Harper didn't just score his first NHL goal, Harper scored his first 2 goals to lead the Panthers to a 5-2 victory over the Avs.

2. Sergei Bobrovsky. The goalie of the Blue Jackets was able to find away to beat both Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn plus other weapons on the Stars team by recording a 32 save shutout.

1. David Perron. Perron was looking to impress the St. Louis management after signing with them in the off-season. Perron scored his first 3 goals as a Blue to lead them to a 6-4 win over Calgary.
 And those were your 3 stars of the day.
 There was quite a lot of news on Saturday mostly because of the Heritage Classic .(which the Oilers and Jets alumni game was Saturday and the real game is Sunday) Here are the other top headlines: Blackhawks defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk expected to miss a month. Coyotes goalie Mike Smith out week to week. Scott Stevens tears up watching Devils tribute (he's the assistant coach of the Wild after being a former captain for New Jersey). Martin Brodeur statue unveiled by Devils.
  And that will conclude the 8th edition of a day in hockey.


Friday, October 21, 2016

A Day in Hockey: 10/21


 In the 7th edition of a day in hockey, there were just 3 NHL games. Here are the scores:
Coyotes 2 - Islanders 3
Blackhawks 2 - Blue Jackets 3
Predators 3 - Red Wings 5
 Those were the scores.

 Here are your 3 stars of the day:
 3. Gustav Nyquist. The only forward star of the day, Nyquist's goal and an assist lead his 'Wings to a 5-3 victory.

 2. Zach Werenski. The rookie defenseman has taken a solid impact to the Blue Jackets team even though they were the last NHL team to win a game. Werenski's goal and assist helped the Jackets get that win, a 3-2 victory over Chicago.

 1. Johnny Boychuk. As a defenseman, Boychuk made an outstanding effort to get a breakaway, leading to a goal by Ryan Strome against his brother Dylan's Coyotes. Later in the game, when it's tied at 2 and the Coyotes have a powerplay, Boychuk's wicked slapper won the game for his Isles.
 And those were your 3 stars of the day.

There wasn't much news coming out of the day but you don't expect that when there is only 3 games. The top 2 headlines were:
 Ryan Strome wins first meeting of Strome brothers. Flyers' RW Dale Weise suspended 3 games for a blow to the head of Duck's defenseman Korbinian Holzer.

 And that will conclude the 7th edition of a day in hockey.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Day in Hockey: 10/18


 In the 6th edition of a day in hockey, there were 12 games. Here were the scores:
 Sharks 3 - Islanders 2; Avalanche 0 - Capitals 3; Ducks 1 - Devils 2; Penguins 0 - Canadians 4; Panthers 3 - Lightning 4; Coyotes 4 - Senators 7; Stars 2 - Predators 1; Kings 3 - Wild 6; Flyers 4 - Blackhawks 7; Sabres 3 - Flames 4; Hurricanes 2 - Oilers 3; Blues 1 - Canucks 2.

Here are your 3 stars of the day:
 3. T.J Oshie. Oshie's 2 goals helped power his Caps to a 3-0 shutout win over the Avs.
 2. Taylor Hall. After being acquired by New Jersey in the 2nd biggest trade of the off-season, the left winger scored his first 2 goals with the Devils in a 2-1 win.

1. Al Montoya. The Canadians backup has had to come through big for his team while Carey Price has a flu. Montoya did just that when he recorded a 36 save shutout vs. the reigning champs.

 And those were your 3 stars of the day

There was not as much news as you would expect coming out of a 12 game day but there was some. Here are the top headlines: Carey Price expects to play Thursday. Marian Hossa scores 500th career goal. G Jonathan Quick out indefinitely for Kings. First 2 overall picks Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine to faceoff on Wednesday.
 And that will conclude the 6th edition of a day in hockey.



Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Day in hockey: 10/17


 In the 5th edition of a day in hockey, there was 4 games. Here are the scores:
 Avalanche 4 - Penguins 3; Sharks 4 - Rangers 7; Senators 1 - Red Wings 5; Bruins 4 - Jets 1.

 Here are your 3 stars of the day:
 3. Darren Helm. Helm's 2 goals were all Detroit needed in a 5-1 win.
 2. Gabriel Landeskog. Against the reigning champs, Landeskog tied it up in the 3rd and won in OT for his Avs.
 1. Mike Green. Even though the defenseman had 30 goals one year, he never recorded a hatrick. That's what Green did last night against the Senators. Besides 3 goals, Green was a fantasy beast with 4 PIM as well.
 And those are your 3 stars of the day.
 There wasn't much news yesterday but there was some. The top headlines were:
 Lightning set to honor former captain and franchise goal-scoring leader Vincent Lecavalier. Braden Holtby's world cup mask sells for more than 27,000 on an auction. LW Jimmy Vesey scores first NHL goal.
 And that will conclude the 5th edition of a day in hockey.


Monday, October 17, 2016

A Day in Hockey: 10/16


 In the 4th edition of a day in hockey, there was 3 NHL games. Here are the scores:
 Ducks 2, Islanders 3; Sabres 6, Oilers 2; Hurricanes 3, Canucks 4.
 Those were the scores.
 The 3 stars of the day were:
 3. Markus Granlund. The Canucks center had both a goal and an assist when his team was down 3-0 to give them a 4-3 comeback win in OT.
 2. Brian Gionta. The captain of the Sabres had a pair of goals vs. Edmonton to lead his team to a 6-2 win.
 1. Ryan O'Reilly. Like his teammate Gionta, O'Reilly had 2 goals AND 2 assists to also help lead Buffalo to victory.

 And those were your 3 stars of the day.

 There was a fair amount of news coming out of a day with just 3 games. The top headlines are:
 Red Wings set for last home opener at Joe Louis Arena. Josh Bailey and Brandon Sutter get OT winners for their teams. Carey Price skates, won't play Tuesday. Maimonides Medical Center shows support for Islanders before their home opener by dressing its resident newborns in orange Islanders onesies.
 And that will conclude the 4th edition of a day in hockey.



Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Day in Hockey: 10/15




 In the third edition of a day in hockey, there were 13 NHL games. Here are the scores:
 Islanders 1, Capitals 2; Jets 3, Wild 4; Devils 2, Lightning 3; Bruins 1, Maple Leafs 4; Canadians 3, Senators 4; Red Wings 1, Panthers 4; Ducks 2, Penguins 3; Sharks 3, Blue Jackets 2; Rangers 2, Blues 3; Predators 3, Blackhawks 5; Flyers 3, Coyotes 4; Stars 5, Avalanche 6; Flames 1, Canucks 2.
 And those were the scores.
 Here are the 3 stars of the day:

 3. Daniel Winnik. The Capitals' 4th liner scored 2 goals to lead his Capitals to a 2-1 win.

 2. Richard Panik. Panik's hatrick led the Blackhawks to their first win of the season, a 5-3 victory over Nashville.

 1. Joe Colborne. In his Avalanche debut, Colborne recorded a hatrick to power the Avalanche a 6-5 win over Dallas. Head coach Jared Bednar got his first win as a head coach because of Colborne's goals.

 Those were your 3 stars of the day.

 In the NHL, there was a lot of news. First, Mitch Marner scores first NHL goal, and his mom misses it. Canuck Loui Eriksson, in his Canuck debut, scores in his own net. G Carter Hutton wins his Blues debut. Maple Leafs name top 100 players all-time, and retire 11 numbers, including Dave Keon, who was named no.1.

 And that's the end of the 3rd edition of a day in hockey.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Day in Hockey: 10/14


   In the second edition of a day in hockey, there was 3 NHL games. Here are the scores:
 Blackhawks 2, Predators 3; Oilers 5, Flames 3; Flyers 4, Kings 2.
 Here are the 3 stars of the day:
3. Ryan Johansen. To start his first full season with the Preds, Johansen recorded an assist on all 3 of the Predators goals to lead them to a 3-2 win.
 2. Sean Couturier. To open up the Flyers' season, Couturier's 2 goals were the difference in a 4-2 win.
 1. Connor McDavid. The Oilers' captain scored 2 goals and had an assist on Wednesday's game against the Flames. This time against the Flames, McDavid had a goal and 2 assists and now has a total of 3 goals and 3 assists (6 points) in 2 games.

 And those were your 3 stars of the day.
 There wasn't much news coming out of the day but P.K. Subban, who was acquired in the biggest trade of the off-season, scored in his Predators debut.
 And that's going to conclude the second edition of
a day in hockey

Friday, October 14, 2016

A day in hockey: 10/13


 In the first edition of a day in hockey, we had 9 NHL games. Here are the scores: Islanders 3, Rangers 5; Bruins 6, Blue Jackets 3; Canadians 4, Sabres 1; Panthers 2, Devils 1; Lightning 6, Red Wings 4; Jets 5, Hurricanes 4; Blues 3, Wild 2; Penguins 3, Capitals 2; Stars 4, Ducks 2.
 Here are the 3 stars of the day:
 3. Patrik Laine. In his NHL debut, on the powerplay, Laine from Alex Ovechkin's powerplay spot, shot one top shelf for his first of his career, like Ovechkin. He than registered his first NHL assists with 89 seconds to go on a game tier.
 2. Andrew Cogliano. In the Ducks' season opener, Cogliano scored both his teams goals but in the losing effort.
 1. Thomas Vanek. In his Red Wings debut, Vanek scored twice to show the Wings organization/fans what he brings to the team.

 So there are your three stars of the day.
 In the day's NHL news, C Rickard Rakell signed a 6 year deal with an average annual value of $3.8 million. Plus, LW Evander Kane out weeks with cracked ribs. Also, C Bryan Little out indefinitely with lower-body injury.
 So that's the end of the first edition of "a day in hockey"


 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Winnipeg Jets 2016-17 season preview


 The Winnipeg Jets' season last year was not a good one. They were the only non-competitive team in the Central division but in the end, the Jets won the draft lottery and had the 2nd overall pick in the draft. Their only notable acquisition in the off-season besides the draft was the signing of C/LW Shawn Matthias. Matthias will help on their bottom 6. Drafting RW Patrik Laine with the second pick can change their franchise around but not 100%.
     C Mark Scheifele, RW Blake Wheeler and C Bryan Little lead a solid offensive core. Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers lead a solid defensive core. Surprisingly, goalie Ondrej Pavelec was sent down meaning that Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson will be the goalies
     In the 2016 NHL draft, the Jets selected RW Patrik Laine with the 2nd overall pick and D Logan Stanley with the 19th overall pick. Laine can be a franchise right winger for the Jets and Stanley can be a top 4 defenseman.
  The Jets' projected lines look like this:

 Nikolaj Ehlers- Mark Scheifele- Blake Wheeler
 Kyle Connor- Bryan Little- Patrik Laine
 Shawn Matthias- Mathieu Perreault- Drew Stafford
 Brandon Tanev- Adam Lowry- Joel Armia

 On defense is:
 Toby Enstrom- Dustin Byfuglien
 Josh Morrissey- Tyler Myers
 Mark Stuart- Ben Chiarot

 In net is Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson.
 C Alexander Burmistrov, RW Chris Thorburn and D Paul Postma are scratched.
 Finally, for my prediction, the Winnipeg Jets, a team on the rise, will not make the playoffs in 2016-17.
 

Washington Capitals 2016-17 season preview


     The Washington Capitals are coming off a presidents trophy win last season but once again they flopped in the second round and didn't make the conference finals. Besides the playoffs, the year was amazing for them. As I already said, the Capitals won the presidents trophy for best team in the NHL for the regular season. Also, LW and captain Alex Ovechkin won the Maurice Richard trophy (most goals) again. Goalie Braden Holtby won the Vezina trophy (best goalie). Plus center Evgeny Kuznetsov had a breakout year leading the team in points with 77. In the off-season, their main loss was when forward Jason Chimera signed with the Islanders. They signed RW Brett Connolly and traded for C Lars Eller.
     Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, C Niklas Backstrom and RW T.J Oshie lead an amazing offense. John Carlson, Matt Niskanen and Karl Alzner lead a nice defensive core. Holtby is a top 3 goalie in the league but Philipp Grubauer isn't the greatest backup to have but he's okay.
     In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Capitals selected D Lucas Johansen with the 28th overall pick. With Karl Alzner's contract up this year, the Capitals went out and drafted another defenseman. Johansen will most likely be a top 4 defenseman in the future.
  The Capitals' projected lines look like this:

 Alex Ovechkin- Evgeny Kuznetsov- T.J. Oshie
 Marcus Johansson- Niklas Backstrom- Justin Williams
 Andre Burakovsky- Lars Eller- Zachary Sanford
 Daniel Winnik- Jay Beagle- Tom Wilson

 On defense is:
 Nate Schmidt- John Carlson
 Karl Alzner- Matt Niskanen
 Dmitry Orlov- Brooks Orpik

 In net is Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer.
 RW Brett Connolly and D Taylor Chorney are scratched.
 Finally, for my prediction, the Washington Capitals will make the playoffs in 2016-17.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Vancouver Canucks 2016-17 season preview


    The Vancouver Canucks were winners in the Loui Eriksson sweepstakes but the question is: did that really help them? Their 2 best players, Henrik and Daniel Sedin are both 36 and not getting younger. They traded away their top prospect (Jared McCann) and that's not helping a rebuilding team. Goalie Ryan Miller is also 36 and aging so 26 year old Jacob Markstrom is their future goalie.
      Defensemen Alex Edler, Chris Tanev and Erik Gudbranson lead a solid defensive core. Behind Eriksson and the Sedin's isn't much. Jake Virtanen is the only member with a super bright future on the team. Miller and Markstrom shouldn't be terrible but are not as good as some other tandems teams have.
     In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Canucks selected D Olli Juolevi with the 5th overall pick. Juolevi should be a solid d-man for Vancouver but they already have some good defensemen and passing up on LW Matthew Tkachuk is something they will come to regret.

 The Canucks' projected lines look like this:
   Daniel Sedin- Henrik Sedin- Loui Eriksson
   Markus Granlund- Brandon Sutter- Jannik Hansen
   Sven Baertsci- Bo Horvat- Jake Virtanen 
   Alexandre Burrows- Brendon Gaunce- Emerson Etem

 On defense is:
     Alexander Edler- Chris Tanev
     Ben Hutton- Erik Gudbranson
     Luca Sbisa- Phillip Larson

 In net is Ryan Miller and Jacob Markstrom.
 D Alex Biega, LW Derek Dorsett and Nikita Tryamkin are scratched.
  
     Finally, for my prediction, the Vancouver Canucks, a team on the decline, will not make the playoffs in 2016-17.

Toronto Maple Leafs 2016-17 season preview


 The Toronto Maple Leafs' off-season is one that Leafs' fans will remember. The signings of LW Matt Martin and D Roman Polak is not the big part. The big part was when the Leafs drafted C Auston Matthews with the first overall pick to be their franchise Center. They also finally got a legitimate starting goalie when they acquired Fredrick Anderson from the Ducks.  Both their goalies from last year, James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier are gone, Anderson and newly acquired G Jhonas Enroth will be the goalies.
     Youngsters Matthews, William Nylander and Mitch Marner are looking to have good rookie years. Veterans James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov lead an offense that mostly is depth. Anderson and Enroth should have good first years in Toronto.
      In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Maple Leafs selected C Auston Matthews with the first overall pick. Matthews impressed many at the world cup and he is going to be a franchise center for the Maple Leafs.
  
The Maple Leafs' projected lines look like this:
    Milan Michalek- Nazem Kadri- Leo Komarov
    James van Riemsdyk- Tyler Bozak- Mitchell Marner
    Zach Hyman- Auston Matthews- William Nylander
    Matt Martin- Peter Holland- Connor Brown
 
     On defense is:
      Morgan Rielly- Martin Marincin
      Jake Gardiner- Roman Polak
       Matt Hunwick- Connor Carrick

 In net is Fredrick Anderson and Jhonas Enroth.
 F Josh Leivo and D Nikita Zaitsev and F Seth Griffith are scratched. RW Joffrey Lupul and D Stephane Robidas are injured.
     Finally, for my prediction, the Toronto Maple Leafs, a team quickly on the rise, will not make the playoffs in 2016-17 but will have a bright future.
   

Tampa Bay Lightning 2016-17 season preview


     The Tampa Bay Lightning's biggest moves of the off-season by far was re-signing their players. Their face of the franchise, Steven Stamkos signed an 8 year deal to stay in the bay. LW Alex Killorn and RW Nikita Kucherov also re-signed with the club. The only real notable loss was when depth player Jonathan Marchessault signed with the Panthers. To replace him, they signed Michael Bournival to a one year deal.
      Stamkos, Kucherov, Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson lead a very potent offense that can score. Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman are the heads of a solid defensive core. Tampa Bay has 2 good goalies in Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy. Bishop is the older goalie even though he's 29 and he's entering a contract year so a possible trade could come.
     In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Lightning selected C Brett Howden with the 27th overall pick. With centers Stevan Stamkos and prospect Brayden Point, picking a center was questionable but Point and Howden are on the same WHL team (Moose Jaw) so the Lightning wanted some chemistry on the team.

The Lightning's projected lines look like this:
 Alex Killorn- Steven Stamkos- Jonathan Drouin
 Ondrej Palat- Tyler Johnson- Nikita Kucherov
 Vladislav Namestnikov- Valtteri Filppula- Ryan Callahan
  J.T. Brown- Brian Boyle- Brayden Point

 On defense is:
  Victor Hedman- Anton Stralman
   Jason Garrison- Andrej Sustr
   Brayden Coburn- Nikita Nesterov

 In net is Ben Bishop and Andrei Vasilevskiy.
 C Cedric Paquette and D Slater Koekkoek are scratched.
   Finally, for my prediction, the Tampa Bay Lightning, a team on the rise, will make the playoffs in 2016-17 and contend for the cup.

St. Louis Blues 2016-17 season preview


     The St. Louis Blues' off-season was about in the middle of the pack. Their captain, David Backes left for Boston and RW Troy Brouwer went to Calgary plus C Steve Ott went to Detroit. While the loss of Backes was hard to replace, the Blues signed David Perron to replace Brouwer and Landon Ferraro to replace Ott. During pre-season, the Blues acquired former first overall pick Nail Yakupov from the Oilers for practically nothing. Last year's Blues' had Jake Allen and Brian Elliot fighting for the starting job. When the Blues traded Elliot to the Flames, the Blues then signing Carter Hutton to replace Elliot as the backup.
     C Paul Stastny, LW Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko lead a very solid offense that can score. When your defensive core has Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, Jay Bouwmeester and Colton Parayko then you know it's amazing. The Blues' defense can shut down any team's offense whether it's Ovechkin's Capitals or Kane's Hawks, this defense is elite. In net is Jake Allen and Carter Hutton. Allen has shown to be a good goalie in the past and time will tell if he can be an actual starter.
     In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Blues selected C Tage Thompson with the 26th overall pick. The Blues had a bad feeling that they were going to lose Backes so they drafted another center. Thompson can turn out to be a solid player for the Blues in the future.
    The Blues' projected lines look like this:
   Alex Steen- Paul Stastny- Robby Fabbri
   Vladimir Tarasenko- Jori Lehtera- David Perron
    Dmitrij Jaskin- Patrik Berglund- Nail Yakupov
    Scottie Upshall- Kyle Brodziak- Ryan Reaves

 On defense is:
    Jay Bouwmeester- Alex Pietrangelo
    Carl Gunnnarson- Kevin Shattenkirk
    Joel Edmundson- Colton Parayko

   In net is Jake Allen and Carter Hutton.
     LW Magnus Paajarvi, RW Ty Rattie and D Robert Bortuzzo are scratched and Jaden Schwartz is injured.
 Finally, for my prediction, the St. Louis Blues, a good team on the rise, will make the playoffs in 2016-17.
   

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

San Jose Sharks 2016-17 season preview


     The reigning Western conference champions failed to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup finals, but now they are better with the acquisitions of LW Mikkel Boedker and D David Schlemko. Boedker adds more scoring to an already filthy top 6. Schlemko adds more defensive depth after they lost Roman Polak (TOR) and Matt Tennyson (CAR). Backup goalie James Reimer signed with Florida, so Aaron Dell will get the chance to be the backup.
     C/RW Joe Pavelski, C Joe Thornton, C Logan Couture, and LW Patrick Marleau lead an offense that shouldn't have trouble scoring goals. Brent (chewbacca) Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic lead a solid defense. Goalie Martin Jones' playoff run last season showed people that he's an elite goaltender. Time will tell how Aaron Dell plays in a backup role for someone who hasn't played in the NHL yet.
     The Sharks didn't have a first round pick in the 2016 NHL draft because they traded it to Boston to acquire Jones.
  The Sharks' projected lines look like this:
 
 Tomas Hertl- Logan Couture- Joe Pavelski
 Mikkel Boedker- Joe Thornton- Joonas Donskoi
 Patrick Marleau- Tommy Wingels- Joel Ward
 Melker Karlsson- Chris Tierney- Matthew Nieto

 On defense is:
 Paul Martin- Brent Burns
 Marc-Edouard Vlasic- Justin Braun
 Brendon Dillon- David Schlemko
 In net is Martin Jones and Aaron Dell. LW Michael Haley and D Dylan DeMelo are scratched.
    
     Finally, for my prediction, the San Jose Sharks, a team with both elite old and young players, will make the playoffs in 2016-17.

Pittsburgh Penguins 2016-17 season preview


 
The reigning Stanley Cup champions didn't change up their team too much in the off-season. And really, if you just won the Cup, would you do anything? Their roster is amazing and they are poised for another cup run.
     The face of the NHL, C Sidney Crosby is starting the year on the IR (injured reserve) due to a concussion but with RWs Patrick Hornqvist and Phil Kessel plus C Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins shouldn't struggle too much. Defenseman Kris Letang leads a solid defensive core. Pittsburgh's "problem" is that they have 2 elite goalies. Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray have both proven to be really good. Murray was diagnosed with a broken hand during the world cup so Fleury will be the starter. The Penguins didn't have a 3rd goalie because Jeff Zatkoff signed with the Kings so when Montreal placed Mike Condon on waivers, Pittsburgh picked him up to be a temporary backup.
 The Penguins didn't have a first round pick in the 2016 NHL draft because they traded it to Toronto to acquire Phil Kessel. (Toronto then traded it to Anaheim).
 The Penguins' projected lines look like this:
 Conor Sheary- Evgeni Malkin- Patric Hornqvist
 Carl Hagelin- Nick Bonino- Phil Kessel
 Chris Kunitz- Bryan Rust- Scott Wilson
 Tom Kuhnhackl- Matt Cullen- Eric Fehr
 On defense is:
 Brian Dumoulin- Kris Letang
 Olli Maata- Trevor Daley
 Justin Schultz- Derrick Pouliot
 In net is Marc-Andre Fleury and Mike Condon. Ian Cole is scratched and C Sidney Crosby and G Matt Murray are injured.
 Finally, for my prediction, the Pittsburgh Penguins, a winning team, will make the playoffs in 2016-17. 

Philadelphia Flyers 2016-17 season preview


 The Philadelphia Flyers weren't a huge team this off-season but they made some moves. They lost forwards Sam Gagner (CBJ) and Ryan White (ARI) but replaced them with the signings of Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon. Both are solid penalty killers with Gordon being an amazing faceoff man and Weise can also add some scoring to the table. When defenseman Evgeny Medvedev signed with the KHL, the Flyers didn't need to sign anybody because former first round pick Ivan Provorov is going to make the team.      
     Forwards Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds lead a solid offense. Forward Travis Konecny, 19, is looking to have a dominate rookie season playing with Voracek. Also, Calder finalist (best rookie) and powerplay specialist Shayne Gostisbehere leads a defense that can use work. Provorov, also 19,  adds youth to an aging defensive core. Goalies Michal Neuvirth and Steve Mason are both in their prime at age 28 and are solid goalies.
     In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Flyers selected C German Rubstov with the 22nd overall pick. Rubstov can be a solid second line center behind Claude Giroux or he can be moved to the wing.
 The Flyers projected lines look like this:

 Brayden Schenn (Supended)- Claude Giroux- Wayne Simmonds
 Travis Konecny- Sean Couturier- Jakub Voracek
 Michael Raffl- Pierre-Edouard Bellmare- Dale Weise
 Chris VandeVelde- Nick Cousins- Matt Read

On defense is:
 Shayne Gostisbehere- Andrew MacDonald
 Ivan Provorov- Radko Gudas (Suspended)
 Brandon Manning- Mark Streit
 Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth are in net. D Nick Schultz and F Boyd Gordon are scratched and F Scott Laughton and D Michael Del Zotto are injured.

     Finally, for my prediction, the Philadelphia Flyers, a team slowly on the rise, will make the playoffs in 2016-17.
 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Ottawa Senators 2016-17 season preview


 The Ottawa Senators were involved in the NHL's 3rd biggest trade in the off-season when they sent C Mika Zibanejad to the Rangers in exchange for C Derick Brassard. Brassard is a better player right now but Zibanejad should have a better future than Brassard being the younger player. Besides that, not much happened. The only notable player they lost was defenseman Patrick Wiercoich who signed a 2 year deal with Colorado. They also added C Chris Kelly, who signed a one year deal.
     Defenseman Erik Karlsson is definitely the most offensive defenseman in the league and arguably the best all-around defenseman in the league. C Kyle Turris, RW Bobby Ryan, LW Mike Hoffman and RW Mark Stone lead a potent offense which should not have trouble scoring this year. Behind Karlsson, Dion Phaneuf, Mark Methot and Cody Ceci are all solid defensemen. Goaltenders Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond are aging which means that Ottawa needs to win now.
    In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, before the New Jersey Devils were about to select someone with the 11th overall pick, Ottawa then traded the 12th overall pick (which was theirs) and a third round pick for the 11th pick. Ottawa then drafted C Logan Brown with the 11th pick. Brown's a big center (6.6) and can go along with some of Ottawa's wingers.
 The Senators' projected lines look like this:

 Mike Hoffman- Kyle Turris- Bobby Ryan
 Ryan Dzingel- Derick Brassard- Mark Stone
 Jean-Gabriel Pageau- Zack Smith- Curtis Lazar
 Matt Puempel- Chris Kelly- Chris Neil

On defense is:
 Dion Phaneuf- Erik Karlsson
 Marc Methot- Cody Ceci
 Thomas Chabot- Chris Wideman
 In net is Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond. C Tom Pyatt, C Phil Varone and D Mark Borowiecki are scratched and LW Clarke MacArthur is injured.

  Finally for my prediction, the Ottawa Senators, a win now team but a team on the rise will not make the playoffs in 2016-17.

     

New York Rangers 2016-17 season preview


The New York Rangers were involved in the NHL's 3rd biggest trade this off-season when they sent C Derick Brassard to Ottawa in exchange for C Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad only had a few less points last year than Brassard and is much younger. The Rangers also acquired former Hobey Baker winner (best college hockey player) Jimmy Vesey when Vesey signed an entry level deal with the Rangers in August. They acquired depth players in defenseman Adam Clendening and Nick Holden. They also acquired forwards Michael Grabner, Josh Jooris and Brandon Pirri.
      RW Kevin Hayes, LW Chris Kreider, C J.T. Miller and C/LW Oscar Lindberg are all looking to have solid years this year. Also, LW Rick Nash is looking to have a rebound year after scoring 42 goals in 2014-15 and only getting 15 last year. Captain Ryan McDonagh, Dan Giradi, Marc Staal and Kevin Klein lead an aging defensive core. Goalie Henrik Lundqvist is still a top 5 goalie but at age 34 the question is if he can still perform like a top 5 goalie. Backup Antti Raanta is in his second season with the Rangers after a decent first year. The Rangers did not have a first round pick in the 2016 NHL draft.

The Rangers' projected lines look like this:
 Chris Kreider- Derek Stepan- Mats Zuccarello
 J.T. Miller- Mika Zibanejad- Rick Nash
 Jimmy Vesey- Kevin Hayes- Jesper Fast
 Josh Jooris- Oscar Lindberg- Michael Grabner

 On defense is:
 Ryan McDonagh- Dan Girardi
 Marc Staal- Kevin Klein
 Nick Holden- Dylan McIlrath
 Henrik Lundqist and Antti Raanta are in net. F Brandon Pirri and D Adam Clendening are scratched.

     Finally, for my prediction, the New York Rangers, a win now team with an uncertain future, will make the playoffs in 2016-17.

New York Islanders 2016-17 season preview (updated)


 The New York Islanders' off-season was like no other. They lost 3 major free agents in C Frans Nielson (DET), RW Kyle Okposo (BUF) and LW Matt Martin (TOR). To replace them, the Isles signed LW Andrew Ladd to a 7 year deal and LW Jason Chimera to a 2 year deal. RW P.A. Parenteau returns to the Isles on a one year deal. Ladd might be a left winger but he's still a solid replacement for Okposo. Chimera is a solid replacement for Martin on the infamous 4th line with Casey Cizikas and Cal Clutterbuck. To replace Nielson, the Isles will need Ryan Strome to have a bounce-back year or C Matthew Barzal to have a good rookie season. LW Anthony Beauvillier is also making a push to make the team this year and prospects Michael Dal Colle and Josh Ho-Sang are still coming up in the system.
     Defenseman Ryan Pulock is looking to have a nice full season after playing a little of last season. Defenseman Brian Strait went to Winnipeg so the spot for Pulock is open. The Isles also acquired D Dennis Seidenberg. Captain John Tavares remains as one of the league's best players and Nick Leddy and Johnny Boychuk lead a solid defensive core. The goaltending is a little shaky with Thomas Greiss and Jaroslav Halak fighting for a starting spot. In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Islanders selected LW Kieffer Bellows with the 19th overall pick. Bellows adds scoring and a little bit of grit to a future Islanders' lineup. Bellows should play with either Matthew Barzal, Ryan Strome or Brock Nelson in the future.
The Islanders' projected lines look like this:
 Andrew Ladd- John Tavares- Ryan Strome
 Anders Lee- Brock Nelson- Josh Bailey
 Nikolay Kulemin- Matthew Barzal- Anthony Beauvillier
 Jason Chimera- Casey Cizikas- Cal Clutterbuck

On defense is:
 Nick Leddy- Johnny Boychuk
 Calvin de Haan- Travis Hamonic
 Thomas Hickey- Ryan Pulock
 Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss are in net.

D Dennis Seidenberg, C Alan Quine and C Shane Prince are scratched and Mikhail Grabovski is injured.  Plus after 9 games G Jean-Francois Berube will be called up if Beauvillier and Barzal are sent back to juniors.
 Finally, for my prediction, the New York Islanders, a team slowly on the rise, will make the playoffs in 2016-17.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

New Jersey Devils 2016-17 season preview

     The New Jersey Devils were involved in a huge trade this off-season when they acquired LW Taylor Hall in exchange for only defenseman Adam Larsson. Larsson was a solid defenseman for New Jersey but Hall's impact offensively should boost this New Jersey team. New Jersey had a lot of contracts up this year but the players they didn't sign were not that important. The notable ones are the losses of Bobby Farnham (MTL), Jordin Tootoo (CHI), and Stephen Gionta (PTO w/ NYI). Patrick Elias and Tyler Kennedy are all still available in free agency. RW Vernon Fiddler was signed to be a fourth liner. They also signed defensemen Ben Lovejoy (3 years), Kyle Quincey (1 year) and Brandon Gormley (1 year) for depth.
     Captain Andy Greene and youngster Damon Severson lead a defensive core which can always be better. Hall, RW Kyle Palmieri and C Adam Henrique can make a pretty filthy line.  New Jersey's all-time point leader Patrik Elias remains unsigned but might come back at age 41. Cory Schneider is undoubtedly a top 5 goalie while Keith Kinkaid and Scott Wedgewood will fight for a backup spot.
     In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Devils selected C Michael McLeod with the 12th overall pick. They decided to move back a spot after trading the 11th pick to Ottawa for the 12th overall pick and a third rounder. By doing that, they missed out on C Logan Brown, who I think will have a better future but McLeod will be pretty solid soon.
The Devils' projected lines look like this:

 Taylor Hall- Adam Henrique- Beau Bennett
 Michael Cammalleri- Travis Zajac- Kyle Palmieri
 Reid Boucher- Pavel Zacha- Devante Smith-Pelly
 Sergey Kalinin- Jacob Josefson- Vernon Fiddler

On defense is:
      Andy Greene- Damon Severson
      John Moore- Steven Santini
      Kyle Quincey- Ben Lovejoy
     Cory Schneider and Keith Kinkaid are in net. G Scott Wedgewood, LW Luke Gazdic and D Jon Merill are scratched and C Marc Savard is injured.
 Finally, for my prediction, the New Jersey Devils, a team slowly on the rise will not make the playoffs in 2016-17.

Nashville Predators 2016-17 season preview


 
     The Nashville Predators made a very surprising move in the off-season when they traded their captain D Shea Weber to Montreal in exchange for d-man P.K. Subban. Subban is younger and has a better contract than Weber. Subban's skill with the puck is unreal but the loss of Weber is big. Nashville's only other departures were when C Paul Gaustad and D Barret Jackman both announced their retirement. Also, backup goalie Carter Hutton went to St. Louis. Depth defenseman Yannick Weber (who oddly enough, took Shea Weber's no.6), Matt Irwin and Matthew Carle were signed to one year deals.
     Behind Subban, the defensive core is really strong. Roman Josi is turning into an elite defenseman and Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm are nice top 4 defensemen to have. RW Filip Forsberg, C Ryan Johansen and LW James Neal are all legitimate first liners but might not play together a lot. G Pekka Rinne is 34 and not getting younger. With no Carter Hutton, Marek Mazanec and Juuse Saros will fight for a backup spot. In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Predators selected D Dante Fabbro with the 17th overall pick. It's questionable to pick a defenseman when your oldest defenseman is 27 but they have a fair amount of young forwards too.
The Predators' projected lines look like this:

  Filip Forsberg- Ryan Johansen- Craig Smith
  James Neal- Mike Fisher- Calle Jarnkrok
  Colin Wilson- Mike Ribeiro- Viktor Arvidsson
  Pontas Aberg- Colton Sissons- Mikka Salomaki

On defense:
 Roman Josi- P.K Subban
 Mattias Ekholm- Ryan Ellis
 Anthony Bitetto- Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne and Marek Mazanec are in net. D Matthew Carle, F Austin Watson and G Juuse Saros are scratched.
     Finally, for my prediction, the Nashville Predators, a team on the rise, will make the playoffs AND win the Stanley Cup in 2016-17.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Montreal Canadiens 2016-17 season preview


    The Montreal Canadians made a big splash in the off-season when they were possible losers of the biggest move this off-season trading d-man P.K. Subban to Nashville in exchange for D Shea Weber. Weber is older and has a way bigger contract. But Weber is amazing defensively but can't match Subban's offensive talent. Also, RW Alexander Radulov is back in the NHL after playing in the KHL. Depth player Chris Terry comes in to replace Michael Bournival, who went to Tampa Bay. They lost defensemen Victor Bartley (MIN) and Tom Gilbert (LAK) but signed D Zach Redmond for a replacement. LW Daniel Carr is looking to have a breakout year after having a nice rookie season last year. Goalie Carey Price was hurt almost all of last season but everyone still knows he's the best goalie in the game. Backup Ben Scrivens left for the KHL so Montreal brought in Al Montoya to back Price up. Captain LW Max Pacioretty has shown to be an elite player. On draft day, the Canadians traded LW/C Lars Eller to the Capitals and in a separate trade acquired RW Andrew Shaw. Shaw is a nice replacement for Eller and would fit in well along side Brendan Gallagher. In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Canadians selected D Mikhail Sergachev with the 9th overall pick. The Canadians need a guy like Sergachev because besides Weber, Montreal's defense is pretty abysmal. The Canadians' projected lines look like this:
 Max Pacioretty- Tomas Plekanec- Alexander Radulov
 Brendan Gallagher- Alex Galchenyuk- Andrew Shaw
 Daniel Carr- David Desharnais- Sven Andrighetto
 Paul Byron- Phillip Danault- Michael McCarron
 On defense is;
 Jeff Petry- Shea Weber
 Andrei Markov- Nathan Beaulieu
 Alexei Emelin- Zach Redmond
 Carey Price and Al Montoya are in net. LW Artturi Lehkonen, LW Brian Flynn and D Greg Pateryn are scratched.
 Finally, the Montreal Canadians, a team who are clearly nothing without their goalie, will make the playoffs if Carey Price can stay healthy.

Minnesota Wild 2016-17 season preview


 If you look at the Minnesota Wild's off-season they didn't do too much. They did sign C/LW Eric Staal. But in Staal's 20 game run with the Rangers last season, he only had 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists) and he's not the 100 point player he was 10 years ago. They also signed D Victor Bartley but he'll be lucky to make the team. Justin Fontaine left and is now on a PTO with Dallas. Chris Stewart is back after being with Minnesota for a part of 2014-15 then playing with Anaheim for 2015-16.  Former first round pick Joel Eriksson Ek has a chance at making the team this year. Defenseman Ryan Suter leads a relatively young defensive core but Suter isn't young but is still a very good defenseman. In net is Devan Dubnyk but the question is who will be backing him up. They re-signed Darcy Kuemper but they also signed Alex Stalock. Personally, I think they will dress Kuemper on opening night but new head coach Bruce Boudreau will decide. In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, Minnesota drafted C Luke Kunin with the 15th overall pick. With captain Mikko Koivu at age 32 and at the end of his prime, Kunin is another center behind Eriksson Ek and Mikael Grandlund.The Wild's projected lines look like this:
 Zach Parise- Eric Staal- Nino Niederreiter
 Mikael Grandlund- Mikko Koivu- Charlie Coyle
 Jason Zucker- Erik Haula- Jason Pominville
 Zac Dalpe- Joel Eriksson Ek- Chris Stewart
 On defense is:
 Ryan Suter- Jared Spurgeon
 Marco Scandella- Jonas Brodin
 Mike Reilly- Matthew Dumba
 Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper are in net. D Nate Prosser, D Christian Folin and G Alex Stalock are scratched.
 Finally, for my prediction, the Minnesota Wild, a contending team, will make the playoffs in 2016-17.

Los Angeles Kings 2016-17 season preview


 The Los Angeles Kings made a lot of signings this off-season. But they did not make a major signing, which isn't so bad since they already have all-stars Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter and Jonathan Quick. Even though they didn't sign a big free agent, they lost one when Milan Lucic left for Edmonton this off-season. They lost forward Kris Versteeg (who's on PTO with EDM) but replaced him with the signing of Teddy Purcell. They also lost defensemen Jamie McBain (ARI), Luke Schenn (ARI) and Jeff Schultz (ANA). They did sign C Michael Latta, D Zach Trotman and D Tom Gilbert. C Anze Kopitar is undoubtedly a top 5 center in the game and D Drew Doughty won the Norris trophy for best defenseman. In net is Jonathan Quick who is always in the running for the Vezina trophy for best goaltender. After backup goalie Jhonas Enroth went to Toronto, the Kings signed G Jeff Zatkoff after he won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins. The Kings didn't have a first round pick in the 2016 NHL draft after trading it away. The Kings' projected lines look like this:
 Tanner Pearson- Anze Kopitar- Dustin Brown
 Marian Gaborik(hurt)- Jeff Carter- Tyler Toffoli
 Teddy Purcell- Nic Dowd-  Dwight King
 Kyle Cliffard- Andy Andreoff- Trevor Lewis
 On defense is :
 Alec Martinez- Drew Doughty
 Jake Muzzin- Zach Trotman
 Brayden McNabb- Matt Greene
 Jonathan Quick and Jeff Zatkoff are in net. Michael Latta and Tom Gilbert are scratched.
 For my prediction, the Los Angeles Kings, a powerhouse in this decade, will make the playoffs and go to the conference finals.

 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Florida Panthers 2016-17 season preview


 The Florida Panthers team from their last game of 2015-16 to today is totally different. They lost forwards Jiri Hudler (DAL), Teddy Purcell (LAK), Quinton Howden (WPG) and Dave Bolland (ARI). They added Jared McCann, Jonathan Marchessault and Colton Sceviour to fill in those spots. Defensemen Dmitry Kulikov (BUF), Brian Campbell (CHI) and Erik Gudbranson (VAN) are all gone and Keith Yandle and Jason Demers are in. A questionable move was signing G James Reimer to a 5 year deal. Reimer will backup up Roberto Luongo who at age 37 will slowly decline. Reimer was signed to replace Al Montoya, who went to Montreal but Reimer is definitely an upgrade for Florida. Florida's superstar Aaron Ekblad, is young (20) and is an amazing defenseman especially for his age. Also, the ageless wonder Jaromir Jagr is returning again this year and we still wonder how long he can play for. In the first round of the 2016 NHL draft, the Panthers selected C Henrik Borgstrom with the 23rd overall pick. It's odd that they picked a center when they have Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad and Vincent Trocheck all age 24 and below. A notable thing that Florida did this off-season was change logos. The question is will the new logo mean success? The Panthers' projected lines look like this:
 Jonathan Huberdeau- Aleksander Barkov- Jaromir Jagr
 Jussi Jokinen- Vincent Trocheck- Reilly Smith
 Jonathan Marchessault- Jared McCann- Logan Shaw
 Shawn Thornton- Derek MacKenzie- Colton Sceviour
 On defense is:
 Keith Yandle- Aaron Ekblad
 Jason Demers- Alex Peteovic
 Mark Pysyk- Michael Matheson
 Roberto Luongo and James Reimer are in net. Steven Kampfer and Jakub Kindl are scratched. Nick Bjugstad is injured.
 For my prediction, a new logo means success for Florida and they will make the playoffs in 2016-17.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Edmonton Oilers season preview



Like all of the NHL teams, the Edmonton Oilers saw free agency as a way to improve their team. But unlike some teams, Edmonton was thinking bigger. That's why they signed LW Milan Lucic to a 7 year deal. Lucic is a perfect scoring/tough guy to go along with the newly-named captain Connor McDavid. Lucic can't only protect McDavid but he can score too. Lucic only has to drive to the net to get a pass from McDavid and score. The Oilers made a questionable trade in the offseason when they traded LW Taylor Hall to the Devils in exchange for only D Adam Larsson. The Oilers did badly need a guy like Larsson but they could've gotten a lot more besides Larsson. The depth in their defensive core was hurt when Nikita Nikitin (KHL) and Adam Clendening (NYR) both left. They signed D Mark Fraser but he's not going to really fill those spots. They signed depth forward Taylor Beck and F Kris Versteeg is on a tryout to improve offensive depth but Edmonton doesn't need that too much. Goalie Cam Talbot isn't good enough to be a starter but Edmonton has him playing as their starter. They signed backup Jonas Gustavsson to a one year deal. In the 2016 NHL draft, the Oilers selected RW Jesse Puljujarvi with the 4th overall pick. While the Oilers could have used D Olli Juolevi, Puljujarvi is a steal at no. 4. While playing with McDavid and Lucic is uncertain, this kid has a future playing with C Leon Draisaitl. The Oilers projected lines look like this:
Milan Lucic- Connor McDavid- Jordan Eberle
Benoit Pouliot- Leon Draisaitl- Nail Yakupov
Patrick Maroon- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins- Jesse Puljujarvi
Anton Lander- Mark Letestu- Zack Kassian
On defense is:
 Oscar Kleftbom- Adam Larsson
 Andrej Sekera- Darnell Nurse
 Griffen Reinhart- Brandon Davidson
   Cam Talbot and Jonas Gustavsson are in net. LW Tyler Pitlick and D Mark Fayne are scratched. C Matt Hendricks and D Andrew Ference are injured.
   Finally, for my prediction, the Edmonton Oilers, a team on the rise, won't make the playoffs in 2016-17.

Detroit Red Wings 2016-17 season preview


 It is never easy to lose a franchise icon, but that's what happened when C Pavel Datsyuk announced that he will play the remainder of his career in the KHL. Even if Datsyuk makes a return to the NHL, Arizona will be his home due to the Red Wings' trading Datsyuk's contract away at the draft. Captain Henrik Zetterberg is still playing but at age 35 there' a big question if he can still produce in his last years. Besides Datsyuk, Detroit didn't lose too much. Brad Richards retired but they signed Steve Ott to replace him. D Kyle Quincey went to New Jersey but they didn't seem to be in an urge to find another defenseman. Datsyuk's "replacement" was Frans Nielson who signed a deal to be the team's second line center behind either Zetterberg or Dylan Larkin. When Minnesota bought out LW Thomas Vanek, the Red Wings signed him to a one year deal to possibly be a third line winger. The defensive core is shaky led by an aging Niklas Kronwall. They re-signed Danny DeKeyser who may play on the top pairing. In net is Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard. It's still questionable who will take over as the starting goalie but it seems like Mrazek will be the starter. In the Datsyuk trade, Detroit moved back from having the 16th overall pick in the NHL draft to the 20th. They then drafted D Dennis Cholowski. Detroit needed a defenseman and they got one in Cholowski. The Red Wings' projected lines look like this:
 Justin Abdelkader- Dylan Larkin- Tomas Tatar
 Henrik Zetterberg- Frans Nielson- Gustav Nyquist
 Thomas Vanek- Darren Helm- Riley Sheahan
 Teemu Pulkkinen- Steve Ott- Luke Glendening
 On defense is:
 Niklas Kronwall- Danny DeKeyser
 Jonathan Ericsson- Mike Green
 Brendan Smith- Alexey Marchenko
 In net is Petr Mrazek and Jimmy Howard.  Drew Miller is scratched. Johan Franzen, Tomas Jurco and Joe Vitale are injured.
 Finally, for my prediction, the Detroit Red Wings, a team that has been successful for the last 25 years, will not make it to the playoffs in 2016-17.