The NHL preseason is winding down, and the regular season is just around the corner. Teams are making their final cuts and getting ready for the long grind ahead.
There are a lot of storylines to watch this season, including:
- Can the Colorado Avalanche repeat as Stanley Cup champions? The Avalanche are the defending champs, but they lost some key players in the offseason, including Nazem Kadri and Josh Manson. It will be interesting to see if they can reload and make another run at the title.
- Will Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers finally make a deep playoff run? McDavid is one of the best players in the NHL, but he has yet to lead the Oilers to a Stanley Cup Final. This year’s team looks like it has the potential to go deep, but it will need to stay healthy and get some timely goaltending.
- Can the New York Rangers take the next step? The Rangers made a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Final last season, but they were eliminated by the Tampa Bay Lightning. They have a young and talented roster, and they will be looking to make even more noise this season.
In addition to these storylines, there are a number of young players who are poised for breakout seasons. Some of the names to watch include:
- Connor Bedard: Bedard is the consensus No. 1 pick in the upcoming NHL Draft, and he is expected to make an immediate impact in the NHL. He is a dynamic offensive player with a knack for scoring goals.
- Owen Power: Power is another top prospect who is expected to make his NHL debut this season. He is a big and mobile defenseman with a lot of upside.
- Matvei Michkov: Michkov is a Russian forward who is considered to be one of the best prospects in the world. He is a skilled scorer with a quick release.
The 2023-24 NHL season is shaping up to be an exciting one. There are a number of teams that could compete for the Stanley Cup, and there are a number of young players who are ready to make their mark on the league.
My predictions for the season:
- Stanley Cup champion: Colorado Avalanche
- Hart Trophy winner (MVP): Connor McDavid
- Norris Trophy winner (best defenseman): Cale Makar
- Vezina Trophy winner (best goaltender): Andrei Vasilevskiy
- Calder Trophy winner (best rookie): Connor Bedard