The NHL season starts in exactly one month from today. It is crazy how fast the offseason went. It felt like just yesterday the Pittsburgh Penguins were hoisting the Stanley Cup Trophy for the second consecutive. Soon, they are going to have to defend it once again.
Everyone usually likes to talk about possible MVP candidates for each sport. Here are my top five candidates to possibly win the award.
5. Sergei Bobrovsky, Goalie, Columbus Blue Jackets: Bobrovsky is the backbone of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Without him, they are just an below average to average team at best. He was one of the MVP candidates last year for a reason. Bobrovsky was consistent on the ice night in and night out. His record was 41-17-5 with a .931 save percentage and a 2.06 GAA, along with seven shutouts. He will probably put up near the same numbers this season and lead the Blue Jackets back to the postseason.
4. Filip Forsberg, Forward, Nashville Predators: Forsberg got off to a really slow start last season and near the ends of the season, he went on a hot streak. Because of the expectations for Nashville this upcoming season, I think he will rise to the occasion from the start of the season to the end. Forsberg scored 31 goals and had 27 assists last season. It wouldn’t surprise me if he scored 40 to 45 goals this season and record 30 to 35 assists as well.
3. Auston Matthews, Center, Toronto Maple Leafs: For some strange reason, I see Matthews scoring 100 points this season and I don’t know why. At age 19, he is ready to take his game to another level just like Connor McDavid did. Matthews scored 40 goals and recorded 29 assists last season. I think he is going to need more assists in order for him to be considered an MVP candidate, but I think the Maple Leafs would absolutely miss his presence if Matthews ever got hurt.
2. Sidney Crosby, Center, Pittsburgh Penguins: As long as the Sidney Crosby is competing at a high level and not being off the ice because of concussion problems, he will be considered an MVP candidate for probably the rest of his career. He missed the first few games last season because of a concussion, but Crosby somehow led the league in goals with 44. He also recorded 45 assists and Crosby is a magician passing the puck.
1. Connor McDavid, Center, Edmonton Oilers: McDavid cracked the 100-point mark for the first time in his career and he is only 20 years old. He has a bright future ahead of him and McDavid will be racking up stats for the next 10 to 15 years. McDavid scored 30 goals and recorded 70 assists last season. McDavid was healthy all of last season after he missed most of his rookie campaign with an collarbone injury. It is possible McDavid could reach 120 points this season. I think he will score more goals. If McDavid were to reach that mark, it would be the first time that has happened in the NHL since the 2006-2007 season when Sidney Crosby recorded 120 points in his second season with the Pittsburgh Penguins (36 goals 84 assists).