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The Cannon Staff predicts the 2022-23 NHL season

Share your own picks in the comments!

Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL season officially started over the weekend with a pair of games in Prague between the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks, and the primetime debut will be tomorrow night, with an ESPN double-header featuring the Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers and Vegas Golden Knights at the Los Angeles Kings. With that in mind, it’s time for us to unveil our annual NHL season predictions.

For some fun, you can revisit last year’s, where yours truly did accurately predict that Tampa and Colorado would reach the conference finals, but also thought they’d be joined by Vegas and the Islanders, both of whom missed the playoffs entirely. Woops!

We of course make no guarantees as to the accuracy. If you want to join in, post your own predictions in the comments!


The Carolina Hurricanes are the consensus pick. Our Columbus Blue Jackets fall between fifth and seventh, so likely falling short of the playoffs again. That being said, four of five of us have the Jackets exceeding an over/under of 80.5 points. MrSwift is the dissenter, and he also went with under 76.5 last season.


It’s a battle between Toronto and Florida for the top spot, with Tampa lurking behind. Josh is the exception, with Ottawa in the playoffs and Toronto fifth. He must not trust the goalie situation, and I can’t say I blame him.


Colorado is our second unanimous division champ. The most interesting race in this division is which of Arizona or Chicago tanks harder in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes.


Another two-team race at the top featuring the Battle of Alberta. I’m the lowest on Vegas, and like Toronto it comes down to an uncertain situation in goal. Last year, Seattle was picked as high as third or fourth. This time, they’re stuck in sixth or seventh, even after adding some firepower up front in Oliver Bjorkstrand, Andre Burakovsky, and rookie center Matty Beniers and Shane Wright.

Final Four

Lots of love for Carolina and Toronto in the East, and Colorado vs. either Alberta team in the West.

For the Stanley Cup, we have two votes each for Carolina and Colorado, and one for Tampa to regain their crown.


Unanimous decision for Connor McDavid. My thinking is that based on his performance in the playoff, he’s mad about anyone suggesting that Auston Matthews was better. I love when an already outstanding player feels they have something more to prove.


Just two votes for Cale Makar to repeat. I think he’ll still be the best defenseman in the league, but I expect voters to go with a different name just to mix it up. I think Slavin is a dark horse because he’s already great defensively, and can put up more points if he’s playing with Brent Burns.


No homer votes this year! Weird. Two votes for Shesterkin to repeat, though last season will be tough for him to match.


I don’t usually include this award because rookies can be hard to predict. This season, however, I wanted to see who thought a Jackets prospect (specifically, Kent Johnson) could win it. Just Burkus took the bait.

2022-23 Cannon staff predictions

. PD MrSwift13 Dalerrific JKinCLE BurkusCircus52
. PD MrSwift13 Dalerrific JKinCLE BurkusCircus52
Metro 1 Carolina Carolina Carolina Carolina Carolina
Metro 2 NY Rangers NY Rangers NY Rangers Washington NY Rangers
Metro 3 Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Washington NY Rangers Pittsburgh
Metro 4 Washington Washington New Jersey Pittsburgh NY ISLANDERS
Metro 5 New Jersey New Jersey Pittsburgh Columbus Columbus
Metro 6 Columbus NY Islanders Columbus New Jersey Washington
Metro 7 NY Islanders Columbus NY Islanders NY Islanders New Jersey
Metro 8 Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia
Atlantic 1 Florida Toronto Toronto Florida Toronto
Atlantic 2 Tampa Bay Florida Florida Tampa Bay Tampa Bay
Atlantic 3 Toronto Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Ottawa Florida
Atlantic 4 Ottawa Boston Boston Boston BOSTON
Atlantic 5 Boston Detroit Ottawa Toronto Ottawa
Atlantic 6 Detroit Ottawa Detroit Detroit Detroit
Atlantic 7 Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
Atlantic 8 Montreal Montreal Montreal Montreal Montreal
Central 1 Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado Colorado
Central 2 St. Louis St. Louis St Louis Minnesota St. Louis
Central 3 Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Nashville Nashville
Central 4 Dallas Dallas Nashville Dallas MINNESOTA
Central 5 Nashville Nashville Winnipeg St.louis Dallas
Central 6 Winnipeg Winnipeg Dallas Winnipeg Winnipeg
Central 7 Arizona Arizona Arizona Chicago Chicago
Central 8 Chicago Chicago Chicago Arizona Arizona
Pacific 1 Calgary Edmonton Edmonton Calgary Calgary
Pacific 2 Edmonton Calgary Calgary Edmonton Edmonton
Pacific 3 Vancouver Vegas Los Angeles Vegas Los Angeles
Pacific 4 Los Angeles Los Angeles Vegas Los Angeles VEGAS
Pacific 5 Vegas Vancouver Vancouver Vancouver Vancouver
Pacific 6 Seattle Anaheim Seattle Anaheim Anaheim
Pacific 7 Anaheim Seattle Anaheim Seattle Seattle
Pacific 8 San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose San Jose
ECF Carolina over Toronto Toronto over Carolina Toronto over NYR Carolina over Florida Tampa over Carolina
WCF Colorado over Edmonton Colorado over Edmonton Colorado over Calgary Calgary over Colorado Calgary over Colorado
Stanley Cup Carolina over Colorado Colorado over Toronto Colorado over Toronto Carolina over Calgary Tampa over Calgary
Hart Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid Connor McDavid
Norris Jaccob Slavin Victor Hedman Cale Makar Roman Josi Cale Makar
Vezina Jacob Markstrom Frederick Andersen Igor Shesterkin Igor Shesterkin Jusse Saros
Calder Matty Beniers Matty Beniers Matty Beniers Mason McTavish Kent Johnson
CBJ O/U 80.5 Over Under Over Over Over