With 2023 coming to a close, we thought it would be a good time to go back through the pages of and take a look at the four bold predictions this writer made back in September. 

There were a couple we’re happy with, and the other two…well, we’ll come clean and admit when we were wrong. But let’s look at the whole piece, prediction-by-prediction, and break down the details.

Scheifele’s current salary of $6.125 million gets bumped up to $8.5 million beginning next season and lasting through the 2030-31 campaign when he’ll be 38 years old. But considering Scheifele is on a pace to beat his offensive totals last season, the Jets were fortunate to convince him to stick around without boosting his salary cap hit to $10 million per year or higher.

The wait is over. NHL hockey is back. After a long and fairly quiet summer in the NHL, all 32 teams are geared up for another crack at the Stanley Cup. 

This was one of the calmer offseasons in recent years. The Kings and Penguins made the biggest moves of the summer, as Los Angeles landed Pierre-Luc Dubois in a deal with Winnipeg, while Pittsburgh brought in three-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson in a trade with San Jose. 

As the season begins, there are plenty of intriguing storylines. How will Connor Bedard's rookie season go? Just how much will the Bruins regress without Patrice Bergeron? And just how dominant of a season will we see out of superstar Connor McDavid?

The Sporting News dives into its predictions for the upcoming NHL season, including award selections and a Stanley Cup Final pick. 

The Atlantic is going to be chaotic this season. The four playoff teams from last year are all expected to be contenders again, plus the Senators, Sabres and Red Wings are looking to break through their rebuilds. 

The Maple Leafs look to be the strongest out of the group, adding skill and sandpaper up front with Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi. The Panthers will be rolling out almost the same crew that made it to the finals last season. After their record-setting campaign last year, the Bruins were going to regress, with or without Patrice Bergeron, but they still have a talented defensive group and excellent goaltending. 

The loss of Andrei Vasilevskiy to start the season is massive for the Lightning, who already have depth concerns at both forward and defense. I think we see the Bolts finally miss out on the postseason this year. 

Out of Detroit, Ottawa and Buffalo, I'm only sold on the Sabres. It's a team that has gotten better and better over the last two seasons and I am a huge believer in Devon Levi. I still have questions about the Senators' blue line, and while the Red Wings will be competitive, I don't see them being better than the other teams.

About the only guarantee in this division is the Canadiens finishing last. Otherwise, it's completely wide open. 

At the top, you have the Hurricanes and Devils. Carolina was dominant yet again last year, relying on depth and structure to win the division, and the same recipe will be in place this year. The Devils took a major step forward last season, as Jack Hughes emerged as a legit superstar. The goaltending needs to be figured out, but there's no team more exciting than New Jersey in this division. 

On their own is the Rangers, who I think will pull away from the Penguins-Islanders-Capitals cluster, but won't catch the Devils or Hurricanes. Once again, it'll be how far Igor Shesterkin takes the team. 

I see the Penguins, Islanders and Capitals all in a similar spot to last season. All three will contend for the playoffs, but only one breaks through. Pittsburgh's move to land Erik Karlsson is nice on paper, but he is due to regress coming off a career year. New York will be reliant on Ilya Sorokin and Washington has to bank on an older roster staying healthy. 

Wrapping up the division will be the Blue Jackets and Flyers. Philadelphia will be a competitive squad, but new GM Danny Briere should be selling this season. 



You Might Be Interested In