With the All-Star break upon us, I thought it would be a good time to see how my preseason bold predictions are faring just past the midway point. On Monday, I’ll be back with an update to my hold/stream list. Let’s get to it!
1) Nikolaj Ehlers puts a Reinhart from last season, scoring 30+ goals and is over a point per game, both for the first time in his career. I’ll go as far to say Ehlers has 35+ goals.
Well this is disappointing. Ehlers was immediately injured so big goal totals certainly aren’t in play. He is over a point per game to this point, but I can’t really take a victory lap on a per-game basis until he plays more than 16 games. If Ehlers stays healthy the rest of the way and he’s above a point per game, I’ll consider it a partial victory.
2) Elias Pettersson scores 45+ goals. I think this is the year Pettersson jumps into superstardom.
Well, I do think Pettersson has elevated into superstardom. He’s going to obliterate his previous career high in assists and points. He should set a new career high in goals, as he’s on pace for 36 and his high was 32 last year. So while he’s off pace for 45+, it can’t be completely ruled out with a hot streak. Vancouver’s power play is so good that Pettersson could go on a tear.
3) Shea Theodore is a Norris Trophy finalist.
Another case ruined by injury. Theodore was just outside the top five in GSVA when he was injured, but to be fair, Theodore would have had a really hard time cracking the top trio of Fox, Karlsson, and Dahlin. Theodore has disappointed in fantasy so far, but he did finish with a massive second half last season. I think it can happen again.
4) All 8 Eastern Conference playoff teams from last season make the playoffs again.
This is looking very unlikely because of the Devils. I was one season off on predicting them to make the playoffs! I did say in this blurb that I expected Boston to be one of the best teams in the league when healthy, so at least it’s something. But barring a massive Devils collapse, we’re looking at 6-7 repeat teams in the Eastern playoffs.
5) Cole Sillinger centers the first line in Columbus by mid-season, finishing with 55+ points.
Sillinger has 7 points in 46 games. This is as far off as I’ve ever been with a prediction. Woof. Sometimes you just have to take the L and face the music.
6) The New Jersey Devils go from a bottom five power play in the league to a top five power play this season.
Despite the rise that the Devils have made, their power play is only 18th in the league. They’re 4.8% from the top five, so it’s not particularly close. A big finish could get them into the bottom of the top ten, but that’s about it. At least I finished the blurb by saying “I love Dougie Hamilton to bounce back, and Hughes should be an elite playmaker with the man advantage.” Not a total loss. And that’s me quoting me copying what Grey does!
7) Connor Hellebuyck wins the Vezina.
Well, this would be a hell of a hit. Hellebuyck, who was +2000 to win in the preseason, would definitely be a finalist right now. I suspect Ullmark would win, but there’s plenty of time for that to change. There’s a real chance that this comes down to the wire. Talk about a sweat!
8) Calen Addison runs the Minnesota first power play unit all season, recording 20+ PPP and stays a hold in 12’ers the entire year.
Well, Addison has been on the top unit almost the entire season, and he’s going to blow past 20 PPP, as he already has 17. The problem is that despite that, he hasn’t been a clear hold all season. You can argue he’s been a hold for PPP, but at the same time, he’s contributing nothing else. The PIM haven’t translated from the minors, he’s -15, and barely over a shot per game. In a vacuum, Addison is probably not a hold in 12’ers, but he can be as a specialist.
9) The Flyers and Blackhawks have nobody worth owning in 12’ers at the end of the season.
Well, it looks like 1/2 will happen. I have zero interest in anyone on Chicago, even Kane right now. If he’s traded, then they’re bare bones. On the other hand, Philly has a few guys. Konecny has been incredible, Hayes has been solid, and Hart has provided enough to be a third goalie. I could see Hayes and Hart dropping off to where they aren’t holds in 12’ers, but I can’t see that happening at all with Konecny.
10) Rasmus Dahlin is a top five fantasy defenseman.
Well, I’ll be damned, the best came last. Everything has gone right for Dahlin, to the point where he’s lapping the field as the #1 overall defenseman. Barring an injury, this looks like a slam dunk winner. Homerism at its finest!
As mentioned above, I’ll be back Monday with an updated hold/stream list before the action picks up again early next week. As always, feel free to ask any questions, leave any comments, or give any suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!