The Torch’s NHL Predictions: Edmonton to win Stanley Cup


The Torch predicts that Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid will lead his team to the hoisting of the Stanley Cup while winning the Hart Trophy for himself in the process.

Hockey fans UNITE! The NHL is back in full swing as the Colorado Avalanche look to defend their possession of Lord Stanley’s Cup after a long, blockbuster-filled offseason. Stars such as Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Campbell, and Jonathan Huberdeau all found new homes this summer, and it seems like the Stanley Cup in 2022 is as open-for-business as it has ever been before, so here are The Torch’s season predictions for 2022.

Stanley Cup: Edmonton Oilers over Boston Bruins – One of the main issues with Edmonton last season was their lack of consistent goaltending. Despite Mike Smith activating beast-mode in the playoffs, Edmonton knew they could not rely on a 40-year-old to be their long-term answer between the pipes. 

Enter Jack Campbell, who was a legitimate Vezina trophy candidate in the first half of last season before plummeting towards the end. Both the Oilers and The Torch are betting they get the best out of Campbell, and become the team in the Western Conference that no one wants to face. 

The Calgary Flames deserve an honorable mention, for they turned young studs Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau via trade into proven veteran Jonathan Huberdeau, stable defensemen Mackenzie Weegar, and surging forward Nazem Kadri, who is coming off a career-high 87-point season while gaining Stanley Cup experience with the Colorado Avalanche. It would not come as a surprise if the Flames made it out of the West, but The Torch is rolling with Edmonton. 

In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins are scorching hot to begin the year and they appear to be the team to beat. Boston added depth this offseason which means they will be less reliant on their core group of stars to carry the weight of the team on their shoulders. That core group: David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand are all playing at a ridiculous level to open the season, looking nearly unstoppable, and the rest of the team is stepping up behind them. 

Linus Ullmark has been rock solid in the net, and at the time of this writing, Hampus Lindholm is second in the league in plus/minus. It’s a long season, of course, but this Boston team looks like it could make serious noise in the postseason, and what a story it would be if it ends up being the last hoorah for their veteran core.

Hart Trophy (MVP) / Ted Lindsay Award (Most Outstanding Player): Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers – Auston Matthews stole these awards from McDavid last year, so McDavid is extra motivated to steal them back this year. Connor McDavid is the best ice hockey player on planet Earth right now, and he’s going to put on a show in 2022-23. 

Vezina Trophy (Best Goalie): Jacob Markstrom, Calgary Flames – While there are so many deserving candidates for the Vezina this season, Jacob Markstrom is the one who may get the most publicity if the Flames make a deep playoff run, which they very well could. Markstrom was outstanding last season finishing with a .922 save percentage and a 2.22 goals against average. Of course, Igor Shesterkin could reap the same benefits from a deep playoff run of his own, but he won it last year, so Markstrom is our pick. 

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman): Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche – Reigning Norris Trophy winner Makar is the people’s heavy favorite to repeat, and he just may. One main challenger to his throne is the Dallas Stars’ Miro Heiskanen, a young player many NHL experts believe is primed for a breakout season. Makar, though, is not a boring enough pick yet to not be the odds-on favorite. 

Calder Trophy (Best Rookie): Shane Wright, C, Seattle Kraken – The Kraken have two candidates for the Calder this season in Shane Wright and Matty Beniers, and while Beniers is certainly the more popular pick among NHL experts on the internet, The Torch will take a lottery ticket on Wright, who slid to the Kraken as the fourth overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft. Wright appeared to be the consensus number one overall pick before he slid to four, and with high expectations such as those on a team that is in desperate need of an offensive spark, so why not Shane Wright?

Jack Adams Award (Best Coach): Jim Montgomery, Boston Bruins – The NHL world was flooded with confusion when the Bruins fired former coach Bruce Cassidy this offseason, which makes for an even better story if Jim Montgomery comes in and leads these Bruins all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals in his first season behind the bench. Not to mention that this would make a great redemption story from his time in Dallas where he struggled with alcohol abuse, and he’s a voter’s dream nominee.