Leon Draisaitl

10 bold predictions for the 2022-23 NHL season

Home » NHL » NHL preseason predictions 2022-23: 10 bold predictions for 2022-23

The NHL season begins October 7, and what better way to get ready for the start than to look at the boldest NHL preseason predictions 2022-23?

NHL preseason predictions 2022-23

Last year ended with the Colorado Avalanche capturing their third championship in franchise history with a 4-2 series victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Looking at the preseason Stanley Cup odds, the Avalanche are +450 at FanDuel to go back-to-back, which are the best odds in the league. It is no surprise to see them as the favorite, as they should sit atop everyone’s NHL preseason power rankings entering the year.

Other teams to watch out for this season according to the betting odds are the Toronto Maple Leafs (+1000), Florida Panthers (+1100), Carolina Hurricanes (+1000), and the Tampa Bay Lightning (+1200).

With the movement of many great players around the league in the offseason and more than a handful of teams capable of going all the way, the 2022-23 NHL season will be full of surprises. To help build the excitement for the upcoming season, here are 10 bold NHL predictions for 2023.

The Hurricanes win the Presidents’ Trophy

The Carolina Hurricanes finished last season with a record of 54-20-8, which was good for first in the Metropolitan Division. This year, I see them doing even better as I predict they will win the Presidents’ Trophy (most points in the regular season).


The Hurricanes added more weapons in the offseason to further plant themselves as Stanley Cup contenders. Although they lost Vincent Trocheck, they picked up Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty to elevate the roster from a year ago.

Carolina was just one game away from the Eastern Conference Finals last season, and that was without starting goaltender Frederik Andersen. I believe this team is motivated more than ever after that loss and will prove it right out of the gate this season.

Flyers finish dead last

It is going to be a long year in Philadelphia for Flyers fans this season.

The team finished with a record of 25-46-11 last season, which was the fourth worst in the league. Travis Konecny, the team’s leading scorer last year, finished with just 52 points. The Flyers lack elite talent and do not have anyone to rely on to produce on any given night.

With no significant changes made in the offseason, I believe John Tortorella’s Flyers are the furthest team from a playoff spot and will finish at the bottom of the standings.


The Golden Knights miss out on the postseason

The Vegas Golden Knights missed the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 2021-22. Despite being -270 to make the postseason according to FanDuel, I see Vegas failing to qualify for a second straight year.

I believe that Jack Eichel is a key piece for the team this season if healthy, but I do not think he moves the needle as much as others believe he does.

Max Pacioretty and Evgenii Dadonov are substantial losses for the team, as they scored 19 and 20 goals last season respectively. The biggest loss comes at the hands of Robin Lehner though, who is expected to miss the entire season due to injury. Without their starting goaltender, I have a hard time believing Vegas will be good enough to make the postseason.

The Maple Leafs (finally) get out of the first round

As far as my predictions go, this may be the boldest of the bunch. The Toronto Maple Leafs have failed to win a playoff series since 2004. They are 0-7 in playoff rounds since. I believe the curse finally ends this year.

After losing in seven games to the eventual Eastern Conferences champions, Toronto stuck with their core during the offseason and are definitely a top-five team heading into the regular season. If one of Matt Murray or Ilya Samsonov is able to step up in goal for the Maple Leafs, it will take some additional pressure off of the offense.

The team is tired of making excuses and will be motivated more than ever to finally put an end to their lack of playoff success.

At least five Canadian teams make the playoffs

Last season, only three of the seven Canadian teams made the playoffs. This year, I predict that at least five will make the postseason.

The obvious picks include the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and Edmonton Oilers. In addition to those three, I believe the Canucks will make a big enough jump to vault into a playoff spot.

The fifth team is what makes this such a bold prediction. I see the potential where the Winnipeg Jets and/or the Ottawa Senators make the playoffs. With the Senators trending upwards with some big moves in the offseason, they have a better chance of the two to make the postseason.

Oilers win the Western Conference

Sticking with Canadian teams, I have the Edmonton Oilers coming out of the Western Conference.

The Oilers are the best team in their division entering the season. Yes, the team got swept by the Avalanche in the playoffs last year, but that team had below-average goaltending. Now with Jack Campbell as the starter, Edmonton fans should expect a big year from the team.

Although the Avalanche are the favorites entering the year, I give the Oilers the best shot of knocking them out in the postseason on their way to a Stanley Cup Final.

Lightning does not strike again

Tampa Bay has made the Stanley Cup Final three years in a row, yet I believe they will fail to get out of the second round this season.

The Lightning have the experience and talent to get it done again, but there are other teams in the Eastern Conference who have improved and are hungry to put an end to their reign at the top.

The Maple Leafs were one game away from ending Tampa’s season last year and I would not be surprised if they were to knock the Lightning out in the first or second round this season.

The Penguins have a disappointing season

It looked as though the window for the Penguins was closing, but with Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang resigning in the offseason, the team is hoping the window can remain open for a little while longer.

I believe Pittsburgh’s chances of winning a Stanley Cup with Sidney Crosby and Malkin are over. The core of the team is getting older, and they have not won a playoff round since 2018.

Although expectations are for them to get in, I predict a disappointing, playoff-less season for the Penguins that will shake up the outlook of the team moving forward.

Leon Draisaitl takes home the Rocket Richard

The Maurice Richard Trophy, which goes to the leading goal scorer in the regular season, will finally end up in Leon Draisaitl’s possession this year.

Since the 2018-19 season, Draisaitl is second in goal scoring in the entire league, behind only Auston Matthews. Last season, Draisaitl finished with a career-high 55 goals, and I think he improves on that goal total this season.

For my NHL preseason predictions 2022-23, I have him finishing with anywhere between 55-60 goals, which will be enough to secure his first Maurice Richard Trophy.

Draisaitl is +450 to win the Rocket Richardsign-up to FanDuel Sportsbook for up to $1000 in free bets

The Kings are crowned Pacific Division champions

The Kings surprised many last season with how well they played against the Edmonton Oilers in the playoffs.

Although they ended up losing the series in seven games, the Kings showed glimpses of a great team with a bright future. Now with the addition of Kevin Fiala, along with getting a healthy Drew Doughty back, this team has enough to compete with the top teams in the league.

I believe the future is now for this young squad as they will take a giant leap in finishing first in the Pacific Division.

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