We’re almost there. First, we talked about the lottery teams and how they should feel about the result of Phase I of the NHL Draft Lottery. Then, we broke down the Eastern Conference play-in teams. Next? Let’s move on to the Western Conference.
Edmonton Oilers (37-25-9) – As much as I would like to say your first overall pick luck is going to run out, can we really be sure of that? I think the Oilers will take the Blackhawks, but hey it’s been at least a year since the Oilers had the first overall pick. You should finally feel good about your hockey team instead of your draft lottery luck.
Chicago Blackhawks (32-30-8) – As the tides turn and the young Oilers emerge and the better team over the aging Blackhawks, will Father Time give the Blackhawks one last hoorah? I can’t see it. You should feel the rebuild years closing in on you.
Nashville Predators (35-26-8) – You are a couple years away from being the Blackhawks. You still have a good team, but your best years might be behind you. Can you still win? Do you need to rebuild? Does anyone know the answers? The good thing is that you can hope for both this year. Win and you’re in, lose and you have a chance for the first overall pick. I would feel as though the Hockey Gods are about to decide your future.
Arizona Coyotes (33-29-8) – You have Taylor Hall and a chance at the first overall pick. I would feel confident, almost cocky as to your chances at landing your next big star.
Vancouver Canucks (36-27-6) – You’ve got Pettersson, Boeser, Horvat, Quinn Hughes, and Markstrom in net. Adding Lafreniere would be the cherry on top, but I think there is enough here to make a run. I would feel ripped off that the NHL passed on Vancouver as a host city, but excited about the team this year.
Minnesota Wild (35-27-7) – It’s been a tough couple of years for the Wild. Always good enough to make the playoffs but never good enough to make a run. Maybe a franchise player is what you need at this point. I would feel like winning the play-in round is actually a bad omen and the team can’t improve without a solid first round pick.
Calgary Flames (36-27-7) – You’ve got a good team and you’re on the brink of success. Actually, as a hockey fan I just want to see the Battle of Alberta in a playoff series. And you should too. You should feel hopeful for the prospect of playing Edmonton in the playoffs.
Stay tuned for the final part of the series as we take a deeper look at the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.