Here they are. My final predictions for the 2016-2017 NHL season. Remember, top three teams in each division make the playoffs and the (*) represents the two wild card teams in each conference. Look smarter in front of your friends with these predictions.

Atlantic Division 

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

Final Thoughts: The Lightning and Panthers are the clear cream of the crop in the division. After that, things become interesting. A healthy Carey Price propels the Canadiens back into the playoffs, the Bruins secure a wild card spot, the Red Wings just miss out, the Sabres make a strong push but ultimately fall short, and the Leafs easily finish above the poor Senators.

Metropolitan Division

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

Final Thoughts: Like the Atlantic, the Metropolitan features two clear top teams in Washington and Pittsburgh. The Islanders, Rangers, and Flyers will compete for the final division playoff spot and a wild card spot. The Hurricanes hang in there while the Devils and Blue Jackets get beat up on.

Central Division

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

Final Thoughts: The hardest division in sports. I think the top four it pretty set, but the order can certainly change. I’m going with the Predators just edging the Stars thanks to their defense and goaltending, the Blackhawks and Blues will be neck and neck, but neither misses out on the playoffs. Even the Jets, Avs, and Wild will compete for the final wild card spot. No real bottom feeders in this division.

Pacific Division

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

Final Thoughts: I’d be shocked if the three LA teams didn’t finish 1-3 in the division. The Coyotes and Oilers will be competitive, but still too young and inexperienced to make that playoff push. The Flames finish well above the the lowly Canucks.

Eastern Conference Finals

Lightning over Capitals

Western Conference Finals

Predators over Sharks

Stanley Cup Finals

Lightning over Predators

Final Thoughts: I don’t feel confident about any of this, but I did pick the Penguins vs. the Ducks in the Cup Finals last year and was only a few hundred miles off. The Lightning are going to put it all together sooner or later, so why not now? The Predators have the most talented defense in the league and they’ll finally put it all together this year. Think of the Predators as the Lightning of a few seasons ago. A strong team that falls just short, but retains all of their elite talent to make multiple runs in the upcoming seasons.


Hart Trophy (MVP): Steven Stamkos

Art Ross Trophy (Top Scorer): Connor McDavid

Norris Trophy (Top Defenseman): P.K. Subban

Vezina Trophy (Top Goaltender): Carey Price

Calder Trophy (Top Rookie): Auston Matthews

Adams Trophy (Top Coach): Peter Laviolette