Predictions on breakout NHL stars, Avs’ Cup chances, more

Opening night time of the 2022-23 NHL season is on Oct. 11, with a doubleheader slated to be broadcast via ESPN: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers at 7:30 ET, adopted via Vegas Golden Knights at Los Angeles Kings at 10 ET.

Although now we have discovered so much about all 32 groups all through the preseason, some lingering questions stay. We’ve collected a panel of our newshounds and analysts to take on 5 of the largest:

  • What participant will take a bounce to stardom?

  • Which rookie are you maximum excited to observe?

  • What has to occur for the Avs to copy?

  • Which group will disappoint?

  • Which group will probably be a nice wonder?

How to observe the 2022-23 NHL season on ESPN networks — together with 103 unique video games and over 1,050 video games on NHL Power Play on ESPN+.

What participant will take a bounce to stardom this season?

Ryan S. Clark, NHL reporter: Moritz Seider made a soar closing season, scoring 52 issues in 82 video games en path to successful the Calder Trophy. It’s conceivable he may just lift his profile even more with every other standout season and probably draw in some Norris Trophy attention.

Leah Hextall, NHL broadcaster: Fresh off a four-year, $31 million deal, Jason Robertson is motivated and has the power to copy and construct on his 40-plus objective season in Dallas. He’s set to be a celebrity in Dallas and a family hockey title.

Victoria Matiash, NHL analyst: I do not imagine now we have noticed anything else close to what Lucas Raymond is in a position to but. He leveled out a little bit closing April, suggesting the fuel tank neared empty after a complete 82-game season. The 20-year-old will probably be higher ready, or even more productive, thru his moment excursion on a Detroit height line with heart Dylan Larkin.

Arda Öcal, NHL broadcaster: Jack Hughes. He had some candy highlight-reel targets closing season, together with throwing his stick into the group after an additional time winner. In phrases of on-ice flash, he and Trevor Zegras appear to be minimize from the similar fabric, and I’m right here for it all.

Kristen Shilton, NHL reporter: Cole Caufield. The Canadiens’ teenager got here to existence overdue closing season underneath Martin St. Louis. And there is a large alternative up for grabs in Montreal’s lineup. Caufield has excellent fingers across the web and a super shot; he may just gentle it up this season for a group that wishes it.

Greg Wyshynski, NHL reporter: Tim Stützle has been centering Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat all through the preseason for the Ottawa Senators, which I consider is a sexy excellent spot if you are Tim Stützle. He had 58 issues in 79 video games closing season. This line is usually a multiplier.

Which rookie are you maximum excited to observe?

Clark: Matty Beniers scoring 9 issues in his first 10 video games closing season has created expectancies he will have to problem for the Calder Trophy. Now this is a subject of the way he appears over a complete 82-game season.

Hextall: Jake Sanderson. The University of North Dakota product is the entirety you need in an NHL defenseman. He’s an elite skater, strikes the puck, makes excellent selections and is mature past his years.

Matiash: Cole Perfetti. Tucked within the Jets’ height six, the No. 10 total select from 2020 goes to hit 65 issues. Goodness is aware of that group may just use this sort of spice up — productively and emotionally.

Öcal: Other than Shane Wright vs. the Habs, I’d love to peer how Juraj Slafkovsky slots into that Montreal lineup. Does he get started the season there, and does he make a right away affect? He’s indisputably were given the dimensions and fingers, along side plenty of self assurance, although he is slightly inconsistent every now and then (as anticipated of a rookie).

Shilton: Mason McTavish. The Anaheim Ducks freshman confirmed off on the World Juniors in August, incomes MVP honors whilst main Canada to gold with 8 targets and 17 issues. He’ll carry top-end talent, velocity and creativity to a emerging Ducks’ squad.

Wyshynski: A large number of the newcomers indexed right here sound very thrilling, however do any of them dangle the very destiny in their group of their gentle gloves? Logan Thompson may just rather well decide whether or not or no longer the Vegas Golden Knights make the playoffs, with beginning goalie Robin Lehner out for the season.

What has to occur for the Avs to copy — and the way most probably do you assume it’s to occur?



Cale Makar displays on his offseason after successful the Stanley Cup and what the Avalanche are hoping to succeed in this season.

Clark: Finding a constant second-line heart. Nazem Kadri‘s departure leaves a hollow the group believes will also be stuffed internally. If so, then, it solves a significant fear. If no longer, they might be pressed to uncover the answer somewhere else. Whoever it’s, they are going to play a very important position within the Avs’ probabilities for a consecutive identify.

Hextall: To repeat, the Avalanche wish to select up the place the group left off and most significantly keep wholesome — which takes slightly success. But the window to win is huge open, and it seems like the Avs can have a excellent shot. Oh, and Nathan MacKinnon hasn’t settled down as a result of he gained — now he desires more.

Matiash: One of Pavel Francouz or Alexandar Georgiev has to run with the starter’s gig in web. Someone — J.T. Compher or Alex Newhook or any individual else — has to relatively substitute Nazem Kadri at second-line heart. I do not believe both occurs.

Öcal: The Avs did not win the Stanley Cup on account of goaltending. But they gained. Now that Darcy Kuemper is long past — simply the fourth time in NHL historical past a beginning goalie who gained the Cup went to every other group that offseason — they have got Pavel Francouz and Alexandar Georgiev. If the goaltending will also be excellent — no longer stellar, simply excellent — the group will probably be in a positive place to make every other Cup run.

Shilton: Colorado wishes Newhook to grab a second-line heart process and Georgiev to go into the most efficient segment of his occupation. The Avalanche don’t have any reason why to be complacent in a different way. With the precise retooling, Colorado has a super probability at going back-to-back.

Wyshynski: It’s a little bit cliché, however finding that in the past insatiable starvation to win. It’s something to make use of years of motivation as gasoline for a Stanley Cup championship run. It’s every other to conjure that want for a moment instantly Cup. Sidney Crosby did it. Victor Hedman did it. Can Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar do it?

Which group is possibly to disappoint?

Clark: The Winnipeg Jets. They have the skill to problem for a minimum of a wild-card berth. But the similar factor might be mentioned concerning the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights, who additionally overlooked the postseason closing 12 months. It’s conceivable the Jets may just get again into the playoffs. But additionally it is believable they may omit out taking into consideration the Western Conference perceived to get more potent.

Hextall: The Boston Bruins. Early-season accidents will supply a difficult process for brand spanking new head trainer Jim Montgomery. First-line wing Brad Marchand, No. 1 defensemen Charlie McAvoy and height 4 defenseman Matt Grzelcyk will all omit the hole months. The B’s will probably be aggressive, however no longer a contender.

Matiash: The Washington Capitals. Too outdated and/or too banged up. Alex Ovechkin will ranking, and beginner Darcy Kuemper will scouse borrow a couple of, however neither will do sufficient of both to emerge from what is shaping as much as be a fair more difficult Metropolitan Division this season.

Öcal: One of the Pittsburgh Penguins or Washington Capitals. It appears like this type of two groups would possibly no longer make the postseason, which might be a disgrace for lots of long-time hockey enthusiasts as a result of Sid and Ovi carried the superstar energy of this league for a few years. But with most of the similar faces, specifically the “band is back together” vibe in Pittsburgh, one has to wonder whether Father Time will catch up and if legacy will make room within the postseason for more lively early life. But good day, if there are two guys that would simply turn out any individual improper …

Shilton: The Minnesota Wild. Did they do anything else to strengthen upon closing season’s end? There’s skill in Minnesota evidently, however status pat hardly bodes smartly within the NHL. It turns out like different groups may just blow proper via the Wild.

Wyshynski: The Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have Bruce Boudreau, a Vezina Trophy-caliber goalie in Thatcher Demko and a powerful selection of offensive avid gamers. But I do not like their protection. I’m no longer bought on their intensity, and there are a minimum of 4 groups higher than they’re within the department. Plus, there is a bizarre dysfunctionality in that group, as Boudreau’s offseason negotiation signified.

Which group is possibly to wonder in a favorable manner?

Clark: The Ottawa Senators. Getting Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux additional strengthens their top-six choices with two productive avid gamers. Jake Sanderson might be the newest homegrown skill to constitute what makes the Sens’ plans so promising. But Cam Talbot‘s damage does lift questions on how they are going to set up in web to begin the season.

Hextall: The Detroit Red Wings. GM Steve Yzerman went to paintings in loose company signing David Perron, Andrew Copp, Dominik Kubalik, Ben Chiarot and Olli Maatta, to call a couple of. He discovered an answer in web, buying and selling for and signing Ville Husso, who performed smartly for St. Louis. Add this to Detroit’s younger stars and lets see a large step ahead via the Wings underneath new head trainer Derek Lalonde.

Matiash: The Columbus Blue Jackets. Youngsters Kent Johnson and Cole Sillinger are going to make a better affect faster than anticipated. The underrated addition of Erik Gudbranson is helping toughen the blue line, and whilst he is only one participant, Johnny Gaudreau is set as dynamic an addition as they arrive.

Öcal: The New York Islanders. Last season will turn out to be a sequence of unlucky occasions. One in their foundational avid gamers, Mathew Barzal, is now inked long-term. Ilya Sorokin is poised to say his highlight as a height goaltender within the league. This group has what it takes to turn out that closing season was once an anomaly and remind the league why they made two instantly convention finals.

Shilton: The Buffalo Sabres. There’s an actual sense of optimism round that rising team, from Tage Thompson to Rasmus Dahlin to Alex Tuch. The addition of Eric Comrie in web was once a extremely underrated offseason transfer. It turns out sure the Sabres may not be a very easy out this season.

Wyshynski: The New Jersey Devils. The Devils will take the plunge to the playoffs if new assistant trainer Andrew Brunette fixes the facility play, they after all get competent goaltending, and they are not overwhelmed via accidents to height avid gamers like Jack Hughes once more. I feel all of that occurs for a tender and proficient group.

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