I hope everyone was able to emerge victorious in their leagues this year. Sorry for the delay in these posts, but we had some issues on the site. Anyways, over the rest of this week, I’m going to recap the season with a review of my bold predictions and my preseason rankings to see what I got right, what I got wrong, and what I can learn from it for going forward. Once this week is over, I’ll be gone for a few months, with a post or two in the summer coming after the draft and free agency. You’ll still be able to reach me on Twitter @RazzballViz, or in a comments section that remains unlocked. Anyways, let’s look at my preseason bold predictions (you can check that post out here)!
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.
This didn’t go well. Ehlers spent half of the season injured, and for some reason, Bowness played Ehlers for the least amount of TOI in his career. My assumption was a new coach would realize what they had in Ehlers and give him a big role, but naturally that did not happen. I would not be surprised if Ehlers had a big playoffs since it appears he’ll get that role now, leading to a possible Jets upset over Vegas, but this prediction was simply wrong.
2) Elias Pettersson scores 45+ goals.
I really wish I said 100+ points like I originally was going to. Kuzmenko helped a lot as I had hoped, and Pettersson did jump into superstardom as I said he would in the post. However, he only ended up with 39 goals, a career high, but not quite to what I expected. Pettersson has cemented himself as a second round pick in drafts next year, and possibly a first rounder depending on format.
3) Shea Theodore is a Norris Trophy finalist.
Fail. Theodore was very good defensively this year, and his offense was fine, but he was never in the conversation, especially because of injury time missed.
4) All 8 Eastern Conference playoff teams from last season make the playoffs again.
This didn’t have much chance early on because of how good the Devils were doing. It looked like they would take the Capitals’ spot so there would be 7/8, but the Penguins had an epic choke job, allowing the Islanders to get back in. The one part that I did get correct was I expected Boston to be one of the best teams in the league when healthy. Too bad that was also kind of wrong since they had one of the best regular seasons ever!
5) Cole Sillinger centers the first line in Columbus by mid-season, finishing with 55+ points.
Oh boy. Sillinger had 11 points. Columbus was atrocious. Johnson was much better than Sillinger. I’m not giving up on him, especially with a new coach, but this couldn’t be more wrong.
6) The New Jersey Devils go from a bottom five power play in the league to a top five power play this season.
The Devils made a big jump overall, but their PP only ended up in 13th overall. I was correct on Dougie having a huge bounce back, and Hughes jumping into superstardom, but it didn’t quite happen with their power play.
7) Connor Hellebuyck wins the Vezina.
Hellebuyck played at a Vezina level this season. I know Elliotte Friedman said that he would get his vote. That said, I don’t expect him to win. I think it will go to Ullmark, and I’m not sure who else will be a finalist between Sorokin, Saros, and Hellebuyck. He’s showed that last season was the fluke, and he belongs among the league’s best.
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.
This was looking like a winner for about half of the season, but then Addison started to get scratched. He did end up with 18 PPP in 62 games, which is kind of a win, but he wasn’t a hold down the stretch.
9) The Flyers and Blackhawks have nobody worth owning in 12’ers at the end of the season.
We’re finishing much stronger than we started. You could argue that Konecny was still a hold, but he would be the only player between the two teams. Philly did put up way more of a fight than I expected, but it wasn’t much for fantasy. The Blackhawks were the epic disaster that I expected.
10) Rasmus Dahlin is a top five fantasy defenseman.
Finishing with a bang! Dahlin went coast to coast as a top five defensemen, spending most of the season as the #1 overall defensemen but ended up #2 overall (behind Montour of all people). Going into next season, I plan on Dahlin being my #2 overall defensemen behind Makar. The all-around contributions of Dahlin are truly elite, and he should continue to grow. Amazingly, he just turned 23 years old! Here’s to hoping he can lead my Sabres back into the playoffs next year.
That’s all for now guys. Feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below. Hopefully you can enjoy some of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, take care!