Sportsnet NHL Insider predictions for 2017-18 season

Auston Matthews discusses the team’s expectations being high heading into this season, meanwhile Patrick Marleau and Lou Lamoriello talk about what makes #34 special on and off the ice.

The NHL season is here.

We’ve assembled a panel of Sportsnet NHL Insiders to take a shot at predicting the unpredictable.

From the Stanley Cup winner to how many Canadian teams will be playing for the Stanley Cup in April, to how many points Connor McDavid and goals Auston Matthews will put up, the following are our Insiders’ predictions for the 2017-18 NHL season.

Stanley Cup winner:

Chris Johnston: Tampa Bay Lightning
Iain MacIntyre: Edmonton Oilers
John Shannon: Pittsburgh Penguins
Mark Spector: Edmonton Oilers
Eric Engels: Dallas Stars
Luke Fox: Tampa Bay Lightning
Daren Millard: Washington Capitals
David Amber: Tampa Bay Lightning
Eric Francis: Minnesota Wild
Gord Stellick: Washington Capitals
Nick Kypreos: Columbus Blue Jackets
Jeff Marek: Nashville Predators
Kristina Rutherford: Tampa Bay Lightning
Sean McIndoe: Pittsburgh Penguins
Doug MacLean: Tampa Bay Lightning
Rory Boylen: Anaheim Ducks

East Champion

Chris Johnston: Tampa Bay Lightning
Iain MacIntyre: Pittsburgh Penguins
John Shannon: Pittsburgh Penguins
Mark Spector: Tampa Bay Lightning
Eric Engels: Tampa Bay Lightning
Luke Fox: Tampa Bay Lightning
Daren Millard: Washington Capitals
David Amber: Tampa Bay Lightning
Eric Francis: Tampa Bay Lightning
Gord Stellick: Washington Capitals
Nick Kypreos: Columbus Blue Jackets
Jeff Marek: Tampa Bay Lightning
Kristina Rutherford: Tampa Bay Lightning
Sean McIndoe: Pittsburgh Penguins
Doug MacLean: Tampa Bay Lightning
Rory Boylen: Tampa Bay Lightning

West Champion

Chris Johnston: Edmonton Oilers
Iain MacIntyre: Edmonton Oilers
John Shannon: Chicago Blackhawks
Mark Spector: Edmonton Oilers
Eric Engels: Dallas Stars
Luke Fox: Anaheim Ducks
Daren Millard: Edmonton Oilers
David Amber: Edmonton Oilers
Eric Francis: Minnesota Wild
Gord Stellick: Anaheim Ducks
Nick Kypreos: Anaheim Ducks
Jeff Marek: Nashville Predators
Kristina Rutherford: Nashville Predators
Sean McIndoe: Edmonton Oilers
Doug MacLean: Edmonton Oilers
Rory Boylen: Anaheim Ducks

Team likely to exceed expectations

Chris Johnston: Winnipeg Jets
Iain MacIntyre: Dallas Stars
John Shannon: Carolina Hurricanes
Mark Spector: Dallas Stars
Eric Engels: Winnipeg Jets
Luke Fox: Carolina Hurricanes
Daren Millard: Washington Capitals
David Amber: Winnipeg Jets
Eric Francis: Dallas Stars
Gord Stellick: Buffalo Sabres
Nick Kypreos: Carolina Hurricanes
Jeff Marek: Arizona Coyotes
Kristina Rutherford: Ottawa Senators
Sean McIndoe: Carolina Hurricanes
Doug MacLean: Carolina Hurricanes
Rory Boylen: Carolina Hurricanes

Team likely to disappoint

Chris Johnston: Ottawa Senators
Iain MacIntyre: Nashville Predators
John Shannon: St. Louis Blues
Mark Spector: Calgary Flames
Eric Engels: New York Rangers
Luke Fox: Montreal Canadiens
Daren Millard: Nashville Predators
David Amber: Boston Bruins
Eric Francis: Edmonton Oilers
Gord Stellick: Ottawa Senators
Nick Kypreos: Montreal Canadiens
Jeff Marek: Ottawa Senators
Kristina Rutherford: Calgary Flames
Sean McIndoe: Nashville Predators
Doug MacLean: San Jose Sharks
Rory Boylen: NY Rangers

Canadian team with highest point total

Chris Johnston: Calgary Flames
Iain MacIntyre: Edmonton Oilers
John Shannon: Edmonton Oilers
Mark Spector: Edmonton Oilers
Eric Engels: Edmonton Oilers
Luke Fox: Calgary Flames
Daren Millard: Edmonton Oilers
David Amber: Edmonton Oilers
Eric Francis: Calgary Flames
Gord Stellick: Edmonton Oilers
Nick Kypreos: Edmonton Oilers
Jeff Marek: Edmonton Oilers
Kristina Rutherford: Toronto Maple Leafs
Sean McIndoe: Edmonton Oilers
Doug MacLean: Edmonton Oilers
Rory Boylen: Calgary Flames

No. of Canadian teams in the playoffs:

Chris Johnston: 5
Iain MacIntyre: 3
John Shannon: 5
Mark Spector: 3
Eric Engels: 6
Luke Fox: 5
Daren Millard: 5
David Amber: 5
Eric Francis: 5
Gord Stellick: 5
Nick Kypreos: 5
Jeff Marek: 5
Kristina Rutherford: 5
Sean McIndoe: 4
Doug MacLean: 5
Rory Boylen: 4

Hart winner:

Chris Johnston: Connor McDavid
Iain MacIntyre: Connor McDavid
John Shannon: Connor McDavid
Mark Spector: Connor McDavid
Eric Engels: Sidney Crosby
Luke Fox: Connor McDavid
Daren Millard: Connor McDavid
David Amber: Connor McDavid
Eric Francis: Connor McDavid
Gord Stellick: Connor McDavid
Nick Kypreos: Sergei Bobrovsky
Jeff Marek: Connor McDavid
Kristina Rutherford: Connor McDavid
Sean McIndoe: Connor McDavid
Doug MacLean: Connor McDavid
Rory Boylen: Connor McDavid

Art Ross winner:

Chris Johnston: Connor McDavid
Iain MacIntyre: Connor McDavid
John Shannon: Connor McDavid
Mark Spector: Connor McDavid
Eric Engels: Connor McDavid
Luke Fox: Connor McDavid
Daren Millard: Connor McDavid
David Amber: Connor McDavid
Eric Francis: Connor McDavid
Gord Stellick: Connor McDavid
Nick Kypreos: Connor McDavid
Jeff Marek: Jack Eichel
Kristina Rutherford: Connor McDavid
Sean McIndoe: Connor McDavid
Doug MacLean: Connor McDavid
Rory Boylen: Connor McDavid

Calder winner:

Chris Johnston: Nico Hischier
Iain MacIntyre: Clayton Keller
John Shannon: Tyson Jost
Mark Spector: Mikhail Sergachev
Eric Engels: Alex DeBrincat
Luke Fox: Clayton Keller
David Amber: Josh Ho-Sang
Eric Francis: Brock Boeser
Gord Stellick: Charlie McAvoy
Nick Kypreos: Josh Ho-Sang
Jeff Marek: Nico Hischier
Kristina Rutherford: Charlie McAvoy
Sean McIndoe: Clayton Keller
Doug MacLean: Nico Hischier
Rory Boylen: Clayton Keller

Norris winner:

Chris Johnston: Victor Hedman
Iain MacIntyre: Victor Hedman
John Shannon: Drew Doughty
Mark Spector: Victor Hedman
Eric Engels: Brent Burns
Luke Fox: Erik Karlsson
Daren Millard: Erik Karlsson
David Amber: Victor Hedman
Eric Francis: Brent Burns
Gord Stellick: Victor Hedman
Nick Kypreos: Erik Karlsson
Jeff Marek: Victor Hedman
Kristina Rutherford: Erik Karlsson
Sean McIndoe: Victor Hedman
Doug MacLean: Erik Karlsson
Rory Boylen: Victor Hedman

Vezina winner:

Chris Johnston: Matt Murray
Iain MacIntyre: Carey Price
John Shannon: Carey Price
Mark Spector: Cam Talbot
Eric Engels: Carey Price
Luke Fox: Cam Talbot
Daren Millard: Braden Holtby
David Amber: Ben Bishop
Eric Francis: Matt Murray
Gord Stellick: Braden Holtby
Nick Kypreos: Sergei Bobrovsky
Jeff Marek: Matt Murray
Kristina Rutherford: Braden Holtby
Sean McIndoe: Braden Holtby
Doug MacLean: Matt Murray
Rory Boylen: Devan Dubnyk

Jack Adams winner:

Chris Johnston: Bill Peters
Iain MacIntyre: Ken Hitchcock
John Shannon: Bill Peters
Mark Spector: Todd McLellan
Eric Engels: Todd McLellan
Luke Fox: Bill Peters
Daren Millard: Paul Maurice
David Amber: Jon Cooper
Eric Francis: Ken Hitchcock
Gord Stellick: Jon Cooper
Nick Kypreos: Bill Peters
Jeff Marek: Mike Babcock
Kristina Rutherford: Mike Babcock
Sean McIndoe: Joel Quenneville
Doug MacLean: Todd MacLellan
Rory Boylen: Bruce Boudreau

Coach in the hottest seat:

Chris Johnston: Joel Quenneville
Iain MacIntyre: Paul Maurice
John Shannon: Barry Trotz
Mark Spector: Paul Maurice
Eric Engels: Paul Maurice
Luke Fox: Paul Maurice
David Amber: Jared Bednar
Eric Francis: Paul Maurice
Gord Stellick: Paul Maurice
Nick Kypreos: Paul Maurice
Jeff Marek: Jeff Blashill
Sean McIndoe: Jared Bednar
Doug MacLean: Paul Maurice
Rory Boylen: Barry Trotz

GM on the hottest seat:

Chris Johnston: Chuck Fletcher
Iain MacIntyre: Ken Holland
John Shannon: Jim Benning
Mark Spector: Jim Benning
Eric Engels: Marc Bergevin
Luke Fox: Garth Snow
Daren Millard: Marc Bergevin
David Amber: Garth Snow
Eric Francis: Marc Bergevin
Gord Stellick: Jim Benning
Nick Kypreos: Kevin Cheveldayoff
Jeff Marek: Chuck Fletcher
Kristina Rutherford: Marc Bergevin
Sean McIndoe: Garth Snow
Doug MacLean: Marc Bergevin
Rory Boylen: Garth Snow

After the trade deadline John Tavares will be a member of the ___________:

Chris Johnston: New York Islanders
Iain MacIntyre: New York Islanders
Mark Spector: New York Islanders
Eric Engels: Montreal Canadiens
Luke Fox: Tampa Bay Lightning
Daren Millard: New York Islanders
David Amber: New York Islanders
Eric Francis: Toronto Maple Leafs
Gord Stellick: New York Islanders
Nick Kypreos: New York Islanders
Jeff Marek: New York Islanders
Kristina Rutherford: New York Islanders
Sean McIndoe: New York Islanders
Doug MacLean: New York Islanders
Rory Boylen: New York Islanders

Matt Duchene will finish the season as a member of the _____________:

Chris Johnston: Columbus Blue Jackets
Iain MacIntyre: Montreal Canadiens
Mark Spector: Calgary Flames
Eric Engels: Carolina Hurricanes
Luke Fox: Carolina Hurricanes
Daren Millard: New York Islanders
David Amber: Carolina Hurricanes
Eric Francis: Ottawa Senators
Gord Stellick: Carolina Hurricanes
Nick Kypreos: Columbus Blue Jackets
Jeff Marek: Columbus Blue Jackets
Kristina Rutherford: Columbus Blue Jackets
Sean McIndoe: Columbus Blue Jackets
Doug MacLean: Montreal Canadiens
Rory Boylen: Columbus Blue Jackets

Jonathan Drouin will score __ points for the Canadiens (assuming 75 GP):

Chris Johnston: 62
Iain MacIntyre: 66
Mark Spector: 60
Eric Engels: 66
Luke Fox: 62
Daren Millard: 70
David Amber: 60
Eric Francis: 65
Gord Stellick: 56
Nick Kypreos: 75
Jeff Marek: 70
Kristina Rutherford: 68
Sean McIndoe: 65
Doug MacLean: 70
Rory Boylen: 61

Auston Matthews will score __ goals for the Maple Leafs (assuming 75 GP):

Chris Johnston: 44
Iain MacIntyre: 32
Mark Spector: 40
Eric Engels: 38
Luke Fox: 39
Daren Millard: 48
David Amber: 38
Eric Francis: 45
Gord Stellick: 37
Nick Kypreos: 47
Jeff Marek: 35
Kristina Rutherford: 45
Sean McIndoe: 35
Doug MacLean: 42
Rory Boylen: 39


Connor McDavid will score ___ points in 2017-18 (assuming 75 GP):

Chris Johnston: 111
Iain MacIntyre: 108
Mark Spector: 110
Eric Engels: 97
Luke Fox: 97
Daren Millard: 115
David Amber: 110
Eric Francis: 110
Gord Stellick: 103
Nick Kypreos: 124
Jeff Marek: 115
Kristina Rutherford: 105
Sean McIndoe: 115
Doug MacLean: 110
Rory Boylen: 120