Edmonton Elite Hockey League

EEHL Forums


You are not connected. Please login or register

EEHL 2015/16 Preview

Go down  Message [Page 1 of 1]

1 EEHL 2015/16 Preview on Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:43 pm

The West

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Division: Central
General Manager: Viran Walker
Head Coach: Joel Quenneville

Depth Chart
Kane – Toews – Eberle
Taresenko – Johanssen – Smith-Pelly
Abdelkator – Hertl – Telegin
Wilson – Lander – Letang

McDonagh – Staal
Ekman-Larsson – Gudas
Smith – Klein

Rinne – Mason

Last Year: Another stellar season, another Western conference title and unfortunately another Stanley Cup disappointment. The Hawks didn’t skip a beat after the previous season’s strong showing and rolled through the West yet again en route to a rematch with the Wings. Despite a fantastic series to finish off the EEHL season, the Hawks weren’t able to gain revenge for the previous season’s loss and will be going into the new season looking for another chance to hoist the most prestigious trophy.

Season Outlook: No reason to expect a step backwards for the Hawks this year with Toews, Eblere, McDonagh and Rinne leading the way. The Coyotes are challenging them for Western supremacy but have to prove themselves in the playoffs before they can start to think of over taking Chicago. Third time may just be the charm for this group.

Our Prediction: 1st in the Central, 1st in the West

PHOENIX COYOTES

Division: Pacific
General Manager: David Spang
Head Coach: Garry Valk

Depth Chart
Hopkins – Malkin – Kane
Kreider – Seguin – Setoguchi
Foligno – Weiss – Caron
Santorelli – Lewis – Samuelsson

Kulikov – Sekera
Brodie – Vatanen
Hejda – Jones

Bishop – Tokarski

Last Year: A record setting regular season failed to translate into playoff success as Ben Bishop could only carry the team so far. Bishop led the team to 65 wins while posting a 1.82 GAA in the regular season. Backup Martin Brodeur was solid in limited minutes as well. Offensively the team couldn’t match the production their goalies gave them in the postseason though and the one goal wins turned into one goal losses which also meant the offseason focus was an easy one for GM Dave Spang.

Season Outlook: Part of the dramatic 4 way deal during the offseason, the Coyotes brought Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on board as part of their effort to increase their scoring. This gives them a top line to rival any team in the league as he’ll join Evgeni Malkin and Patrick Kane to form a lethal top trio. Tyler Seguin looks to take the next step in his development, leading fellow up and coming forward Chris Kreider and veteran Devin Setoguchi on what could be a very promising second line.

The blue line has already shown that they can take care of business in their own end and it will be imperative that they start to contribute more offensively. The re-acquisition of Seth Jones should certainly help in this department as will the development of the other young D on the squad.

It should also help that returning head coach Garry Valk got to be involved in the full offseason program with the team after being brought in shortly after the start of the regular season last year.

Our Prediction: 1st in the Pacific, 2nd in the West

The East

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Division: Metropolitan
General Manager: Mike Sawaryn
Head Coach: Mike Sawaryn

Depth Chart
Ovechkin – Backes – Bowman
Connolly – Galchenyuk – Laughton
Calvert – Peverly – Gallagher
Forsberg – Bjugstad – Beach

Subban – Schultz
Karlsson – Oleksiak
Brodin – DeKeyser

Markstrom – Campbell

Last Year: Like his colleague in Montreal, 2nd year GM and rookie coach Mike Sawaryn not only showed that he could handle both job roles, he excelled, leading the Flyers back to the Eastern finals in his first year behind the bench. On the ice, all Alexander Ovechkin did as an encore to his record setting 102 goals in the 13/14 season was to shatter that mark, lighting the lamp 140 times last season. He wasn’t the only one upping his game though as many of the Flyers increased their offensive production. Whether it was Bowman scoring 50 himself, Backes eclipsing the 100 assist mark or P.K. Subban nearly registering 100 points on the season, the entire Flyers team was a danger to score at any moment.

Even in the playoffs with Ovechkin injured, the rest of the team rose to the occasion, pushing the Red Wings to the brink before eventually falling in the Eastern finals. Unheralded Matt Calvert nearly won a pair of games through his production alone after injuries ahead of him on the depth chart gave him a chance to shine. The Flyers are hoping performances like that will carry over into the new season.

Season Outlook: With the young talent starting to move up the roster and improved depth at all levels, the Flyers look to take a step forward this year. We saw the offense start to balance out last year with Bowman and the defensive group all improving their point totals so opposing teams can’t rely on trying to triple team Oveckin into submission. It’s a tough road in the East but it would be surprising if they’re not in the Eastern finals for a third straight season.

Our Prediction: 1st in the Metropolitan, 2nd in the East

OTTAWA SENATORS

Division: Atlantic
General Manager: Kevin Krause
Head Coach: Paul MacLean

Depth Chart
Landeskog – Crosby – Voracek
Umberger – Huberdeau – Perron
McGinn – Vermette – Iginla
Hartikainen – LaPierre – Boyes

Shattenkirk – Hjalmarsson
Stone – Faulk
Ceci – Fayne

Varlamov – DiPietro

Last Year: First year GM Kevin Krause revamped the Sens heavily early last season. This ended up with them having a great season by most teams standards, the only problem was, they were playing in the Atlantic. Forced to open on the road against the Canadiens, the Sens were never able to wrest control of the series away from Montreal. While each game was a battle to the last second, often quite literally, in the end it was an early playoff departure for Ottawa.

Season Outlook: The competition won’t get any easier this year, but with a full offseason to continue to restructure the lineup, GM Krause has the Sens poised to challenge the Canadiens and Wings for divisional supremacy. Featuring the best player in the world and arguably a top 6 up front that can rival any team in the league, it will be up to the blue line and the goaltenders to prove that this team can take the next step.

Our Prediction: 3rd in the Atlantic, 4th in the East

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Division: Atlantic
General Manager: Mike Tokunaga
Head Coach: Mike Tokunaga

Depth Chart
Scheifele – Giroux – Tavares
Coyle – Dubinsky – Hall
Halischuk – Stoll – Saad
Glennie – Kelly – Brown

Doughty – Murray
Gudbranson – Hamonic
Braun – Cuma

Hackett – Pavelec

Last Year: The interim tag came and went as did any concern about whether Tokunaga was not only able to succeed as a rookie coach, but to also juggle the responsibilities of being GM and coach in just his second professional season. While injuries limited some major contributors, John Tavares never missed a beat, breaking team record after team record en route to leading the league in points (187) and becoming one of just three players to score 100 or more goals in a season (119).

The Canadiens were once again a Stanley Cup contender, but again met their demise against the eventual Cup winning Red Wings. In a tight series that saw almost exclusively one goal differences, the Tavaresless Habs gave the Wings all they could handle, but in the end it just wasn't quite enough.

Season Outlook: A few tweaks to the roster sees the addition of Taylor Hall and a likely sharing of the scoring responsibility between the top two lines. The Habs have a lot of scoring depth up front and while they certainly hope to stay healthy, they're well stocked to deal with injuries. They'll be on the doorstep again this season looking to topple Detroit.

Our Prediction: 2nd in the Atlantic, 3rd in the East

DETROIT RED WINGS

Division: Atlantic
General Manager: Travis Elkin
Head Coach: Mike Babcock

Depth Chart
MacKinnon – Bergeron – Yakupov
Hemsky – Duchene – Wood
Fasth – Arniel – Andersson
Morin – Sobotka – Roussel

Hamilton – Hedman
Bogosian – Josi
Larsson – Despres

Allen – Cannata

Last Year: Detroit continued to show the same dominance they had in the 2013-2014 season, as they won their second consecutive President's Trophy.  Stamkos and Bergeron had fantastic years which saw them challenging for the League scoring title, and a number of Red Wings brought home hardware as Stamkos was recognized at the League's best player, with Hedman being recognized at the League's best Defenseman, and Jones finished with the best GAA.

Detroit faced some tough games, but persevered against tough opponents in the Canadiens, Flyers, and Blackhawks to capture their second consecutive Stanley Cup.

Season Outlook: Detroit seeks to win their third straight Stanley Cup, but have to overcome a few large question marks to get a chance this season.  Turning over two top scorers in Stamkos and Hall, the league's best goaltender in Jones, and depth in the middle in Kesler and Monahan, will be a difficult task.  However, the talent replacing them in MacKinnon and Duchene should help them out.  Jake Allen remains the biggest question.  Can a rookie goaltender perform in the pressure situations he will be faced with, especially when his backup is also a rookie?

The talent and experience on the Red Wings cannot be denied, however, and a three-peat should be well within reach.

Our Prediction: 1st in the Atlantic, 1st in the East

View user profile

2 Re: EEHL 2015/16 Preview on Tue Apr 29, 2014 7:47 pm

Nice job Travis!

View user profile

3 Re: EEHL 2015/16 Preview on Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:04 pm

Nikle

avatar
Commissioner
and Mr. Tokunaga!

View user profile

4 Re: EEHL 2015/16 Preview on Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:34 pm

Sweet. Great job mike and Travis.

View user profile

5 Re: EEHL 2015/16 Preview on Thu May 01, 2014 2:08 pm

Awesome stuff guys!

View user profile

Sponsored content


Back to top  Message [Page 1 of 1]

Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum