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The Cannon staff predicts the 2021-22 NHL season

Share your own picks in the comments!

Seattle Kraken v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

The 2021-22 NHL season officially kicked off last night, and the Columbus Blue Jackets take the ice tomorrow. That means it’s time for our annual preseason picks. Will we be embarrassingly wrong with some of these picks? Probably! But we’ve never let that stop us.


No homer picks here, as none of us have the Blue Jackets making the playoffs. I’ll be most happy to be wrong about this one. Only one of us has the Jackets finishing in last place, however.

We also voted 5-2 in favor of the Jackets finishing over 76.5 points.

There are two clear favorites to win Columbus’s division: the New York Islanders and Carolina Hurricanes. They seem most guaranteed to make the postseason, while the rest could easily fall out due to some glaring flaws.


It’s tough to bet against the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning, but they lost a number of important depth players this off-season, and the Toronto Maple Leafs and Florida Panthers appear to be as strong as they were last season.

Poor Buffalo :(


Our only unanimous division champ is the Colorado Avalanche. The Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild, and St. Louis Blues are popular picks to battle it out for spots 2-4.

Poor Arizona :(


A nearly unanimous vote for the Vegas Golden Knights, with one vote for the Edmonton Oilers. A wide range of confidence in the expansion Seattle Kraken, from third to sixth place. I think they won’t be that good, but the division as a whole is super weak, so they could back into a spot in the top three.

The Los Angeles Kings are a popular pick to break through into the playoffs, though I feel less confident in that pick in the wake of future star Quinton Byfield’s ankle injury.

Final Four

The Islanders have reached the third round in the last two seasons, and most of us think they’ll make it three in a row, with two sending them into the Stanley Cup Final. The Avs are a unanimous pick to reach the Western Conference Final, with five having them finally reaching the Cup Final.

The Avs then lead with three votes as the champ, with two votes for the Golden Knights and one each for the Islanders and the Lightning.


The plurality like our old friend Artemi Panarin, Defending winner Connor McDavid has two votes.


Fresh off a massive contract extension, Colorado’s Cale Makar is the pick to finally win the trophy that affirms what he already is: the league’s best defenseman.


Two homer votes for Elvis Merzlikins as well as 2019 winner Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Here is the full chart of votes. Share your own picks in the comments!

2021-22 Cannon staff predictions

. PD MrSwift13 William Chase r.bules Dalerrific JKinCLE BurkusCircus52
. PD MrSwift13 William Chase r.bules Dalerrific JKinCLE BurkusCircus52
Metro 1 NY Islanders NY Islanders NY Islanders Carolina NY Islanders Carolina Carolina
Metro 2 Carolina Carolina Carolina NY Islanders Carolina NY Islanders NY Islanders
Metro 3 Washington Washington NY Rangers NY Rangers Washington Pittsburgh Washington
Metro 4 NY Rangers Pittsburgh Washington Pittsburgh NY Rangers NY Rangers Pittsburgh
Metro 5 Pittsburgh NY Rangers Pittsburgh Washington Pittsburgh New Jersey NY Rangers
Metro 6 Philadelphia Philadelphia Columbus Columbus Philadelphia Washington Philadelphia
Metro 7 Columbus New Jersey Philadelphia Philadelphia Columbus Columbus Columbus
Metro 8 New Jersey Columbus New Jersey New Jersey New Jersey Philadelphia New Jersey
Atlantic 1 Toronto Toronto Tampa Bay Toronto Tampa Bay Florida Tampa Bay
Atlantic 2 Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Florida Tampa Bay Florida Tampa Toronto
Atlantic 3 Florida Florida Toronto Florida Toronto Boston Florida
Atlantic 4 Boston Boston Boston Boston Boston Toronto Boston
Atlantic 5 Montreal Montreal Detroit Montreal Montreal Ottawa Montreal
Atlantic 6 Detroit Detroit Montreal Ottawa Ottawa Montreal Ottawa
Atlantic 7 Ottawa Ottawa Ottawa Detroit Detroit Detroit Detroit
Atlantic 8 Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
Central 1 Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado
Central 2 Winnipeg Winnipeg St. Louis Winnipeg Winnipeg Minnesota St. Louis
Central 3 Minnesota Minnesota Winnipeg St. Louis St. Louis Winnipeg Dallas
Central 4 St. Louis St. Louis Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Chicago Winnipeg
Central 5 Dallas Dallas Chicago Dallas Dallas St. Louis Minnesota
Central 6 Chicago Chicago Nashville Nashville Chicago Nashville Chicago
Central 7 Nashville Nashville Dallas Chicago Nashville Dallas Nashville
Central 8 Arizona Arizona Arizona Arizona Arizona Arizona Arizona
Pacific 1 Vegas Vegas Vegas Vegas Vegas Edmonton Vegas
Pacific 2 Edmonton Edmonton Los Angeles Los Angeles Edmonton Las Vegas Edmonton
Pacific 3 Los Angeles Seattle Edmonton Edmonton Calgary Vancouver Seattle
Pacific 4 Vancouver Los Angeles Seattle Seattle Vancouver Calgary Calgary
Pacific 5 Seattle Vancouver Calgary Vancouver Los Angeles Seattle Vancouver
Pacific 6 Calgary Calgary Vancouver Calgary Seattle Los Angeles Los Angeles
Pacific 7 Anaheim San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose
Pacific 8 San Jose Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim Anaheim
ECF TBL over NYI FLA over NYI NYI over TBL NYI over TBL FLA over NYI FLA over CAR TBL over NYI
WCF VGK over COL COL over VGK VGK over COL COL over VGK COL over EDM COL over VGK COL over VGK
Stanley Cup VGK over TBL COL over FLA VGK over NYI NYI over COL COL over FLA COL over FLA TBL over COL
Hart Panarin Matthews Panarin Panarin McDavid McDavid Point
Norris Pietrangelo Makar Makar Makar Makar Fox Heiskanen
Vezina Lehner Hellebyuck Vasilievsky Merzlikins Vasilievsky Merzlikins Grubauer
CBJ O/U 76.5 Over Under Over Over Over Over Under