Elliotte Friedman believes in the Edmonton Oilers as a Stanley Cup contender, or, maybe, even the favourite.
Sportsnet’s NHL insider Friedman was part of an NHL panel of 20 journalists tasked with picking a myriad of predictions for the NHL season.
And he thinks it’s going to be a big year in Edmonton.
“Colorado and Tampa is too boring, so I’m going with…Edmonton and Carolina,” Friedman wrote in Sportsnet’s annual NHL predictions article as to his Stanley Cup finalists.
And when asked to pick a Cup winner, Friedman stuck with the Oilers.
Revenge for the 2006 Stanley Cup Final, maybe?
Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino was the only other one of Sportsnet’s 20 panellists to also pick the Oilers to win the Stanley Cup, but he wasn’t the only expert to show some love.
An even 10 analysts picked the Calgary Flames to win the Pacific Division (including Friedman, actually), with the other ten (including Cosentino) picking the Oilers.
Outside of the two Edmonton picks for the Cup, the other contenders were Colorado (nine), Tampa Bay (three), Carolina (three) and the New York Rangers (two).
Meanwhile, former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Gord Stellick picked, well, the Leafs to win it all, but we’ll excuse him for being a little bit biased in that choice.
15 of 20 writers picked Connor McDavid for the Hart Trophy, while 19 of 20 writers — everyone except Ryan Dixon — picked McDavid to win the Art Ross as the NHL’s top scorer.
Meanwhile, Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft got six votes as the Jack Adams winner for the NHL’s top head coach next season.
Edmonton got as close to the Stanley Cup last season as they have in 16 years, making it all the way to the Western Conference Final before being swept in four games by the eventual winners in the Colorado Avalanche.
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