The Edmonton Oilers kick off the 2017-2018 season tonight down at Rogers Place against the division rival Calgary Flames. What a great way to start the season! Here are my season predictions:
- Patrick Maroon continues to impress playing with Connor McDavid and pots 30 goals. The Oilers extend his contract with a reason $9 Million over two years.
- Mcdavid leads the league in points again and cracks 110 points.
- Leon Draisaitl is still a STUD and lives up to his contract. Draisaitl finishes top 10 in scoring and finishes with 75 points.
- Milan Lucic does what Milan Lucic does. He get’s 50-55 points, beats a few people up and is a leader in the room. His speed is still average and he keeps up just fine. Negative Nancy’s still bitch and complain about his contract.
- This is the year Ryan Nugent-Hopkins turns the corner. He gets his faceoffs up to 50% and reaches the 50 point mark.
- Kailer Yamamoto plays the first couple/few games before heading upstairs to watch the next couple/few. He is sent back to Junior where he dominates, leads the way at the U20 tournament. He then leads the way on a long spring playoff run.
- Drake Caggiula disappoints. He moves up and down the line up having a few good games along the way. No one outside on Edmonton even knows who he is at the end of the season.
- Ryan Strome is ok. Fans expect more from even though they shouldn’t. Strome gets 20 goals and 45 points.
- Jussi Jokinen provides a good veteran presence and turns out to be a bargain. He gets 17 goals and 40 points. He also wins two games in a shootout.
- Jujhar Khaira can’t make the jump at the N.H.L. level. He has a few good games but is in and out of the line up all season. He ends up on waivers and is claimed by another team.
- Mark Letestu takes a small step backwards but still is very useful. The coaches dial back his PP time but he still is great on faceoffs.
- Zack Kassian has another solid season, banging bodies and scoring a few beauty goals with those silky hands.
- Oscar Klefbom is awesome and actually gets noticed outside of Edmonton. He makes the All Star game and ends the season with 45 points.
- Adam Larsson is exactly like last season except he chips in a few more assists.
- Kris Russell is useful and the analytics community still can not see it.
- Matt Benning underperforms up until Christmas. He is forced up in the line up and is over his head. After Andres Sekera is back Benning is back to his useful self as a third pairing defenceman.
- Darnell Nurse takes a big step forward. He finally figures out that less is more. He also beats up a few more people this season.
- Eric Gryba is Eric Gryba.
- Cam Talbot plays fewer games and is solid. He is not a top 5 N.H.L. goalie but still provides solid goaltending with almost every start.
- Laurent Brossoit gets into a few more games. He struggles with some but by years end he is a solid back up goalie.
- Andres Sekera comes back earlier than expected and obviously struggles at first. Fans get on him because that is what fans do. He rounds into form just in time for a long playoff run.
- Anton Slepyshev comes back and is a very solid bottom two lines player. He pots 15 goals.
- The Oilers trade a draft pick and prospect at the deadline for a second pairing defenceman.
- The Oilers lose in the Stanley Cup Finals.
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