Fearless Forecasts 2016

Rick Roos


Rick Roos is back with his annual Fearless Forecasts – 10 bold predictions for you to seriously ponder (or maybe snicker at)…


Last year saw me resurrect a former DobberHockey staple by making ten Fearless Forecasts for the 2015-16 campaign; and I’m back to put on my prognosticator’s cap for 2016-17!


But before I get into the actual forecasts, let me reinforce a few important things. First, inasmuch as these are fearless forecasts, they’re meant to be truly bold yet also at least remotely plausible. Also, in making this list I’ll share some information and thoughts that will hopefully be relevant to all poolies; so even if you’re not big into predictions, this nevertheless should be worth a read. And lastly, these forecasts assume that the skaters involved will each play 75+ games and none of the netminders will suffer a major injury. With all that out of the way, here we go!



1) There will be at least eight “35/35” players this season


In the last five full seasons, there have been only four (2014-15 and 2015-16) or five (2013-14, 2011-12, 2010-11) instances of players who had both 35 goals and 35 assists in the same season. But I think 2016-17 offers a “perfect storm” or sorts in that there are still enough proven veterans who have the talent and the opportunity to hit both marks, plus younger players ready to take things to the next level. Who am I predicting will hit both marks? I think it will be eight (or maybe more!) from this list: Patrick Kane, Jamie Benn, Sidney Crosby, John Tavares, Johnny Gaudreau, Aleksander Barkov, Sean Monahan, Mark Scheifele, Tyler Seguin, Steven Stamkos, Alex Galchenyuk, Joe Pavelski, and Nikita Kucherov.



2) Neither Shea Weber nor Roman Josi will finish within the top 10 in defenseman scoring


At least one of these two has finished in the top ten in defensemen points each of the last four seasons, and within the top six in each of the past three; so this would represent a stark change from the norm. But they were so intertwined in Nashville (skating together for 89% of their 5×5 shifts in 2015-16, 92% in 2014-15) that they might be lost enough without each other for their totals to drop outside of the top ten. Beyond that, Weber will be playing under the microscope in Montreal while Josi will be contending with the continued emergence of Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis, not to mention some guy named <