The Journey: Next In Line – The Central Division

Brayden Olafson


As promised, I’ve returned with the second edition of the “Next in Line” mini-series that was proposed earlier in October, beginning in the Western Conference with the Pacific Division. Admittedly, I had initially (and foolishly), planned on completing this content in a single edition of the Journey, before realizing that it would have evolved into an enormous piece. 

With each passing day and week, the dynamics of both the NHL and the AHL seem to shift – more drastically so this early in the season. It makes for an acute investigation, which is a point that I wanted to drive home as a disclaimer in the first edition of this series. 

As we did last month, prior to beginning the discussion of teams in the Central Division, I thought it would be valuable to review my outstanding choices from the Pacific and the Atlantic and how they’ve fared… after all, what value do predictions have without context?

*Anaheim was featured in the first edition of this mini-series (October 8), however, at the time that the last article (October 26) was written, Anaheim had not yet made any recalls. 

** Nicolas Petan has been recalled to the Leafs since the last edition of this series was published, however, at the time of publishing he was already on the Leafs’ roster and has simply bounced down and back.

Again, as a caveat, I’ve done my best to merge the perspectives of “Fantasy Relevance” and the nuanced reality of an organization's internal transactions. For this reason, there’s a fair amount of red shown above, indicating that my predictions weren’t spot-on in terms of the FIRST player who was actually recalled to their respective NHL squad. As mentioned in past edition, however, the goal of this series is to present the names and details of the next players to be recalled who retain some level of relevance as fantasy futures. In the cases of Dominik Tominato and Dylan McIlrath, I maintain that my predictions could still essentially be fulfilled, however, in the cases of Lawrence Pilut and Jonathan Davidsson, I concede defeat.&nb