The end results, granted, don’t always look like much work went into preseason predictions. And in the parity-filled NHL, they’re almost an exercise in futility. A few injuries or a goalie going cold can change the course of an entire season.
But preseason predictions are irresistible, at least for me, to read. It’s fascinating to see what people think and why they think it. In picking division winners and playoff qualifiers, I try to mix in analytics as well the opinions of those in hockey who are much smarter than myself.
So with that in mind, here is my predicted order of finish for each division, with a comment on each team from an NHL source with their observation.