With each NHL season comes expectations for teams and players across the league. Those being the favourites to win the Stanley Cup and individual awards like the Hart and Calder Trophy. For myself, I thought it would be good to put out my three bold predictions for this year’s season.
Calgary wins the Stanley Cup
I know what you’re all thinking, how are the Calgary Flames going to win the Stanley Cup? Their odds are currently at +3500 to win the Cup, making them the perfect dark horse team. I have them as a sleeper to win it all because of the offseason they had with two significant additions from the Canucks in Jacob Markströmn and Christopher Tanev. With the offseason additions, I feel that the Flames will make some noise in the north division and make their way through the postseason with their star goaltending and high powered offence. The bottom line is that it will come down to their star players like Gaudreau and Monahan playing lights out for them to have success in the regular season and postseason. Which I think are destined for a break-out season despite only playing 56 games.
Dylan Cozens takes home the Calder Trophy
Despite all the hype for Alexis Lafrenière, Kirill Kaprizov and Igor Shesterkin, I think the “workhouse from Whitehorse” Dylan Cozens will win the Calder trophy this season. For starters, he had a breakout performance at this year’s World Juniors. Tallying eight goals and eight assists in seven games finishing the tournament second in points behind Trevor Zegras. I feel that he will have an equally successful campaign in his rookie season with Buffalo this season. Second, Cozens has tallied a goal and an assist in his first four games. Compared to other rookies like Lafrenière who hasn’t registered any so far. Now I know it’s still early, but I have a strong feeling that Cozens will be awarded rookie of the year at the end of this season.
Elias Pettersson wins the Hart Trophy
Elias Pettersson is destined to have a great season and will take home the Hart Trophy. It may seem a bit bold to pick Pettersson but I’m not here to pick favourites. The fact of the matter is Pettersson has had two solid seasons tallying exactly 66 points in his first two years. As well as the fact that Pettersson’s game has much improved since his rookie campaign. I have a strong feeling that this will be his year. Although the Canucks haven’t had the best of luck in terms of finishing high in the standings, I believe this season he will step up and help elevate Vancouver to a playoff spot and win the Hart Trophy. Plus, Pettersson’s performance in last year’s playoffs saw him tally seven goals and eleven assists in 17 games, helping the Canucks win a few playoff games. Regardless, stats aside I truly think that it’s Pettersson’s year to take home the MVP.