NHL predictions 2019-20: Final standings, playoff projections, Stanley Cup picks

Sporting News

It's the best time of year. Hope springs eternal in the NHL with the 2019-20 season set to begin on Oct. 2.

Officially, the slate has been wiped clean and all 31 teams are now set to travel, on what they hope, is a road painted in silver with the Stanley Cup at the end. But that road is a long, twisting, curving one with never-ending potholes. It is one that eventually splits where only one can take the road less traveled — one that less than 100 teams have taken — one that ends in a championship.

This road will also carry the best and brightest in the league with a select few standing above the rest.

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Who will go the distance down these paths is still be determined, but our Sporting News hockey experts attempted to look into the future and see who will make all the difference.

NHL predictions for 2019-20

Jackie Spiegel

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

1. New Jersey Devils

1. Boston Bruins

2. Tampa Bay Lightning

2. Washington Capitals

2. New York Rangers

3. Florida Panthers

3. Carolina Hurricanes

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Colorado Avalanche*

1. Calgary Flames

1. Winnipeg Jets

2. Dallas Stars

2. San Jose Sharks

2. Vancouver Canucks

3. St. Louis Blues

3. Vegas Golden Knights

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Toronto Maple Leafs

Western Conference champ

Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup champ

Toronto Maple Leafs

Conn Smythe winner

John Tavares

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Connor McDavid

Vezina Trophy

Ben Bishop

Art Ross Trophy

Auston Matthews

Rocket Richard Trophy

Alex Ovechkin

Norris Trophy

Morgan Rielly

Calder Trophy

Kaapo Kakko

Brandon Schlager

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning*

1. Washington Capitals

1. Florida Panthers

2. Boston Bruins

2. Carolina Hurricanes

2. Philadelphia Flyers

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Colorado Avalanche

1. Vegas Golden Knights

1. Winnipeg Jets

2. Nashville Predators

2. Calgary Flames

2. Dallas Stars

3. St. Louis Blues

3. San Jose Sharks

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe winner

Steven Stamkos

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Nathan MacKinnon

Vezina Trophy

Frederik Andersen

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

David Pastrnak

Norris Trophy

Erik Karlsson

Calder Trophy

Jack Hughes

Sammi Silber

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

1. New York Rangers

1. Florida Panthers

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Washington Capitals

2. Ottawa Senators

3. Boston Bruins

3. New Jersey Devils

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Winnipeg Jets

1. San Jose Sharks*

1. Arizona Coyotes

2. Dallas Stars

2. Calgary Flames

2. Vancouver Canucks

3. Nashville Predators

3. Vegas Golden Knights

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Washington Capitals

Western Conference champ

San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup champ

Washington Capitals

Conn Smythe winner

Braden Holtby

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Connor McDavid

Vezina Trophy

Sergei Bobrovsky

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

Alex Ovechkin

Norris Trophy

Erik Karlsson

Calder Trophy

Kaapo Kakko

Sean Farrell

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning*

1. Washington Capitals

1. Florida Panthers

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

2. Montreal Canadiens

3. Boston Bruins

3. Carolina Hurricanes

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Colorado Avalanche

1. Calgary Flames

1. St. Louis Blues

2. Dallas Stars

2. Vegas Golden Knights

2. Arizona Coyotes

3. Nashville Predators

3. San Jose Sharks

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

Colorado Avalanche

Stanley Cup champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe winner

Nikita Kucherov

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Connor McDavid

Vezina Trophy

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

Connor McDavid

Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman

Calder Trophy

Jack Hughes

nikita-kucherov-lightning-072219-getty-ftr.jpeg
nikita-kucherov-lightning-072219-getty-ftr.jpeg

Steve Kournianos

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning*

1. Carolina Hurricanes

1. Boston Bruins

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Washington Capitals

2. New York Islanders

3. Montreal Canadiens

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Nashville Predators

1. Calgary Flames

1. St. Louis Blues

2. Winnipeg Jets

2. Vegas Golden Knights

2. Chicago Blackhawks

3. Colorado Avalanche

3. San Jose Sharks

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Toronto Maple Leafs

Western Conference champ

Winnipeg Jets

Stanley Cup champ

Winnipeg Jets

Conn Smythe winner

Mark Scheifele

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Connor McDavid

Vezina Trophy

Frederik Andersen

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

Nikita Kucherov

Norris Trophy

Morgan Rielly

Calder Trophy

Kaapo Kakko

Dave McCarthy

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning*

1. Washington Capitals

1. Boston Bruins

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. New York Rangers

2. New Jersey Devils

3. Florida Panthers

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Colorado Avalanche

1. Calgary Flames

1. Dallas Stars

2. St. Louis Blues

2. San Jose Sharks

2. Chicago Blackhawks

3. Nashville Predators

3. Vegas Golden Knights

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

Colorado Avalanche

Stanley Cup champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe winner

Steven Stamkos

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Nathan MacKinnon

Vezina Trophy

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

Auston Matthews

Norris Trophy

Morgan Rielly

Calder Trophy

Jack Hughes

Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko
Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko

Mike Murphy

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning*

1. Washington Capitals

1. Florida Panthers

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

2. Montreal Canadiens

3. Boston Bruins

3. Columbus Blue Jackets

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Dallas Stars

1. Calgary Flames

1. Colorado Avalanche

2. St. Louis Blues

2. San Jose Sharks

2. Winnipeg Jets

3. Nashville Predators

3. Vegas Golden Knights

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe winner

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Connor McDavid

Vezina Trophy

Ben Bishop

Art Ross Trophy

Nikita Kucherov

Rocket Richard Trophy

Leon Draisaitl

Norris Trophy

Brent Burns

Calder Trophy

Kaapo Kakko

Murray Pam

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning*

1. Washington Capitals

1. Florida Panthers

2. Boston Bruins

2. Carolina Hurricanes

2. New York Islanders

3. Toronto Maple Leafs

3. Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Nashville Predators

1. Calgary Flames

1. Colorado Avalanche

2. St. Louis Blues

2. Vegas Golden Knights

2. Winnipeg Jets

3. Dallas Stars

3. San Jose Sharks

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

Vegas Golden Knights

Stanley Cup champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe winner

Brayden Point

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Connor McDavid

Vezina Trophy

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Art Ross Trophy

Nikita Kucherov

Rocket Richard Trophy

Auston Matthews

Norris Trophy

Erik Karlsson

Calder Trophy

Kaapo Kakko

Ryan Pike

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

1. Washington Capitals

1. Carolina Hurricanes

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

2. Florida Panthers

3. Boston Bruins

3. New York Islanders

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Colorado Avalanche

1. Vegas Golden Knights

1. Nashville Predators

2. St. Louis Blues

2. San Jose Sharks

2. Dallas Stars

3. Winnipeg Jets

3. Calgary Flames

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

Colorado Avalanche

Stanley Cup champ

Colorado Avalanche

Conn Smythe winner

Nathan MacKinnon

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Nathan MacKinnon

Vezina Trophy

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

Alex Ovechkin

Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman

Calder Trophy

Adam Fox

connor-mcdavid-oilers-072219-getty-ftr.jpeg
connor-mcdavid-oilers-072219-getty-ftr.jpeg

Lyle Richardson

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning

1. Washington Capitals

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Boston Bruins

2. Carolina Hurricanes

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

3. Florida Panthers

3. New Jersey Devils

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Colorado Avalanche

1. Calgary Flames

1. St. Louis Blues

2. Nashville Predators

2. Vegas Golden Knights

2. Winnipeg Jets

3. Dallas Stars

3. San Jose Sharks

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

Nashville Predators

Stanley Cup champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe winner

Victor Hedman

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Nathan MacKinnon

Vezina Trophy

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

Alex Ovechkin

Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman

Calder Trophy

Cale Makar

Jace Mallory

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning*

1. Washington Capitals

1. Montreal Canadiens

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Pittsburgh Penguins

2. Florida Panthers

3. Boston Bruins

3. New York Rangers

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Dallas Stars

1. Vegas Golden Knights

1. Nashville Predators

2. St. Louis Blues

2. Calgary Flames

2. Arizona Coyotes

3. Colorado Avalanche

3. San Jose Sharks

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe winner

Nikita Kucherov

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Johnny Gaudreau

Vezina Trophy

Ben Bishop

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

Alex Ovechkin

Norris Trophy

Miro Heiskanen

Calder Trophy

Kaapo Kakko

Tommy McArdle

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

Metropolitan Division

Wild cards

1. Tampa Bay Lightning*

1. Washington Capitals

1. Pittsburgh Penguins

2. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Carolina Hurricanes

2. Florida Panthers

3. Boston Bruins

3. New York Islanders

Western Conference

Central Division

Pacific Division

Wild cards

1. Nashville Predators

1. Calgary Flames

1. Dallas Stars

2. Colorado Avalanche

2. San Jose Sharks

2. Arizona Coyotes

3. St. Louis Blues

3. Vegas Golden Knights

*Presidents' Trophy winner

Playoffs

Series

Winner

Eastern Conference champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference champ

Calgary Flames

Stanley Cup champ

Tampa Bay Lightning

Conn Smythe winner

Awards

Award

Winner

Hart Trophy

Connor McDavid

Vezina Trophy

Darcy Kuemper

Art Ross Trophy

Connor McDavid

Rocket Richard Trophy

Alex Ovechkin

Norris Trophy

Morgan Rielly

Calder Trophy

Jack Hughes

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