NHL season predictions: Avalanche, Golden Knights make cases for Stanley Cup


There will either be a first-time Stanley Cup winner or the end of a 19-year drought.

At least that’s what the USA TODAY Network NHL experts revealed in their 2021 season predictions.

Two panelists selected the Colorado Avalanche to win the Stanley Cup, and the other two picked the Vegas Golden Knights. The Avs last won in 2001, while Vegas has made the playoffs in its first three years, reaching the Final in 2018.

The Tampa Bay Lightning will make a second consecutive Stanley Cup appearance for two experts, while the Toronto Maple Leafs and Carolina Hurricanes will also make it to the final series.

The Hart Trophy votes for MVP are split among Nathan MacKinnon (Avalanche) with two votes, Brayden Point (Lightning) and Connor McDavid (Edmonton Oilers). The Calder Trophy race for rookie of the year could be wide open with Kirill Kaprizov (Wild), Tim Stützle (Senators), Alexis Lafrenière (Rangers) and Igor Shestyorkin (Rangers) getting votes.

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Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen hope to power the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup championship.Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen hope to power the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup championship.
Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen hope to power the Colorado Avalanche to a Stanley Cup championship.

USA TODAY Sports’ picks include division winners, the semifinalists, the Final matchup, Cup winner and individual award winners.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL season 2021 predictions: Avalanche, Golden Knights make Cup cases

Source: Yahoo Sports

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