2016 NHL Predictions

2016 NHL Predictions

Atlantic:
Tampa Bay Lightning
Florida Panthers
Detroit Red Wings
Montreal Canadiens (Makes Playoffs)
Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Buffalo Sabres

Metropolitan:
Washington Capitals
Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Rangers
Columbus Blue Jackets (Makes Playoffs)
New York Islanders
Carolina Hurricanes
Philadelphia Flyers
New Jersey Devils

Central:
Minnesota Wild
Dallas Stars
Chicago Blackhawks
St. Louis Blues
Colorado Avalanche (Makes Playoffs)
Nashville Predators
Winnipeg Jets

Pacific:
Los Angeles Kings
Anaheim Ducks
San Jose Sharks
Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Vancouver Canucks
Arizona Coyotes

Playoffs:

East: Pittsburgh Penguins over Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Los Angeles Kings over Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup: Los Angeles Kings over Pittsburgh Penguins

Hart: Zach Parise
Art Ross: Sidney Crosby
Norris: Drew Doughty
Adams: Barry Trotz

Panthers decision

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The Florida Panthers have won the draft lottery for the first time since 2003 when they then traded the pick. The Panthers have made the playoffs just once since 2000 which is incredibly woeful but the team is filled with young talent and of course the number one pick in this years draft. There are a “big 3” as far as top prospects this year in Sam Bennett, Aaron Ekblad, and Sam Reinhart which is quite different from last year when Nathan MacKinnon was the clear and consensus top choice. According to our friends at capgeek.com the Panthers have just about 30 Million dollars until they reach the salary cap ceiling. They are also very likely to compliance buyout Ed Jovonaski and potentially yet doubtfully 1 of Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky, or Tomas Fleishmann. New owner Vinny Viola a prominent New York businessman has stated he is willing to spend to the cap and he wants to win.

General Manager Dale Tallon has stated that he wants to sign 2 defenseman and most likely 3 forwards. This is a very weak free agency class when it comes to defenseman with the biggest names out there being Markov, Niskanen, and Zidlicky. Ultimately though i think that Dale will draft the best available player rather than most needed. I think you combine that with the success of Huberdeau and Barkov the pick will likely be a forward. The Panthers have depth at the center position though which both Bennett and Reinhart play not to mention they also have interest in Maple Leafs UFA Dave Bolland. Of the two forwards, according to draft experts they say Sam Bennett will likely be able to switch to left wing which the Panthers do have a need there. In the end I strongly believe that the pick will come down to Sam Bennett or Aaron Ekblad. I also think that the Panthers will not move this pick unless its for a young controllable player such as Jeff Skinner or Evander Kane. I really don’t see the Panthers trading down either. So…

With the 1st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft the Florida Panthers select Sam BennettĀ