Bold predictions, awards and Stanley Cup picks for the 2022-23 NHL season

Wouldn't it be nice to have a crystal ball? I mean, sure, it would take a lot of the drama and excitement we've come to expect from hockey, but it would also reduce the pain associated with our favorite NHL teams breaking our hearts.

After a summer full of blockbuster trades, a few free-agent signings that could shape up the landscape of both conferences, and a rookie class that should be expected by and large to produce immediately, we can't wait to board the rollercoaster ride that this new campaign ought to provide.

Yahoo Sports NHL writers Arun Srinivasan, Kyle Cantlon, Olivier Neven, Thomas Williams, Christine Gosselin, Ian Kennedy and Anthony Petrielli are here to provide their expert predictions on the hottest topics ahead of what should be an electrifying 2022-23 season.

Patrick Kane, Cale Makar and Kirill Kaprizov will be among the three most intriguing players to watch in the NHL this season. (Getty Images)

Which Jonathan will have the better season: Gaudreau or Huberdeau?

Arun: Huberdeau. They're both dead-even as players, but the Flames' new playmaker will have better linemates and an opportunity to make an impact on a contending team, while Johnny Hockey signed up for tons of delicious but empty calories on a bottom-feeding Blue Jackets squad.

Kyle: Huberdeau

Olivier: Huberdeau. He'll fit right in to the Flames' offence and pick up where he left off last season, while Gaudreau may have to carry a lot of the offensive weight himself for the Blue Jackets.

Thomas: Huberdeau

Christine: Huberdeau. He has a chip on his shoulder and it will be his driving force.

Ian: Huberdeau

Anthony: Huberdeau

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Which team will Patrick Kane finish the season with?

Arun: Blackhawks. Kane will command a return that contending teams won't be willing to pay.

Kyle: Kings

Olivier: Rangers. New York has a couple of young pieces they could give up in a deal for Kane to reunite him with best friend Artemi Panarin in the Big Apple.

Thomas: Oilers

Christine: Rangers

Ian: Sabres

Anthony: Rangers

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Which team do you think will cause the most drama?

Arun: Flyers, by some distance. Philadelphia will hemorrhage goals this season largely because its right side of the blue line contains three of the worst defenders in the NHL, in Tony DeAngelo, Justin Braun and Rasmus Ristolainen, while Ryan Ellis is expected to miss the entire season due to a back injury. John Tortorella is a stickler for defensive details and he's combative even on his good days, so it could get ugly between the bombastic head coach and his players. Sean Couturier, one of the best defensive-minded forwards in the league will also be out indefinitely due to a herniated disc and the void in leadership, combined with Tortorella's outdated methods of player management and a rabid, vocal fan base should make the Flyers a train wreck you can't look away from.

Kyle: Coyotes. I believe they have arguably the worst roster in the league, combined with the usual myriad off off-ice issues that could render team moral essentially non-existent. Going to be a long year in the desert.

Olivier: Coyotes. With rumors swirling around players being unhappy about their new makeshift home arena, and tons of losing to come in the next few months, Arizona's locker room may turn into a cesspool of negativity in no time.

Thomas: With a load of players who have high expectations and a locker room teetering on collapse, it has to be the Winnipeg Jets.

Christine: Coyotes. Players are not going to be happy with the arena situation and will want out ASAP.

Ian: Oilers. From re-signing Evander Kane to bringing in Jake Virtanen on a PTO, the Oilers went all in on the drama during the offseason. Couple that with what might be in store for president Bob Nicholson, trade rumors and cap woes and this could be a wild year for the Oilers.

Anthony: Chicago Blackhawks. Really bad team with an owner that makes headlines for all the wrong reasons. They'll also likely be selling off two of their biggest stars in decades.

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Who will be the breakout player of the year?

Arun: Bowen Byram

Kyle: Owen Power

Olivier: Alex Newhook

Thomas: Matt Boldy

Christine: Bowen Byram

Ian: Filip Zadina

Anthony: Seth Jarvis

Who will be the first coach fired?

Arun: Peter Laviolette

Kyle: Lindy Ruff

Olivier: Dave Hakstol

Thomas: Dave Hakstol

Christine: Dave Hakstol

Ian: Peter Laviolette

Anthony: Lindy Ruff

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Who will win the Presidents' Trophy?

Arun: Avalanche

Kyle: Oilers

Olivier: Avalanche

Thomas: Hurricanes

Christine: Maple Leafs

Ian: Avalanche

Anthony: Hurricanes

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Who will finish in last place?

Arun: Flyers

Kyle: Blackhawks

Olivier: Coyotes

Thomas: Coyotes

Christine: Blackhawks

Ian: Coyotes

Anthony: Coyotes

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What's your hottest take entering the year?

Arun: Auston Matthews joined the 60-goal club last season en route to Hart Trophy honors. This year, Matthews will repeat again, and will be joined by Connor McDavid, Kirill Kaprizov and Alexander Ovechkin. Matthews is the best goal-scorer alive and though Ovechkin is getting older, he went for 50 easily last year and we'll bet on some better power-play luck this year. McDavid went nuclear during the playoffs and is in line for another tour de force performance, while Kaprizov only seems to get better and is unstoppable in open spaces. We don't like exclusivity, let the floodgates open!

Kyle: The Red Wings will sneak into the playoffs.

Olivier: The Ottawa Senators will make the playoffs, likely in lieu of the Boston Bruins.

Thomas: With their prospects improving and significant additions this summer, the Los Angeles Kings will compete for the Pacific Division title.

Christine: The Senators clinch a playoff spot and face the Maple Leafs in the first round.

Ian: Shane Wright will have more points this season than either Juraj Slafkovsky and Logan Cooley, showing he was far and away the best prospect in the 2022 draft despite going fourth overall.

Anthony: The Islanders are a solid playoff team. No 13-game road trip to start the season and they have a deep roster when healthy.

Who will win the Rocket Richard Trophy?

Arun: Auston Matthews

Kyle: Leon Draisaitl

Olivier: Auston Matthews

Thomas: Auston Matthews

Christine: Auston Matthews

Ian: Auston Matthews

Anthony: Auston Matthews

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Who will win the Vezina Trophy?

Arun: Andrei Vasilevskiy

Kyle: Andrei Vasilevskiy

Olivier: Juuse Saros

Thomas: Jacob Markstrom

Christine: Igor Shesterkin

Ian: Jacob Markstrom

Anthony: Jake Oettinger

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Who will win the Norris Trophy?

Arun: Miro Heiskanen

Kyle: Cale Makar

Olivier: Cale Makar

Thomas: Cale Makar

Christine: Cale Makar

Ian: Cale Makar

Anthony: Cale Makar

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Who will win the Calder Trophy?

Arun: Matty Beniers

Kyle: Owen Power

Olivier: Matty Beniers

Thomas: Matty Beniers

Christine: Matty Beniers

Ian: Matty Beniers

Anthony: Matty Beniers

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Who will win the Art Ross Trophy?

Arun: Connor McDavid

Kyle: Nathan MacKinnon

Olivier: Connor McDavid

Thomas: Kirill Kaprizov

Christine: Connor McDavid

Ian: Connor McDavid

Anthony: Connor McDavid

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Who will win the Hart Trophy?

Arun: Kirill Kaprizov

Kyle: Leon Draisaitl

Olivier: Cale Makar

Thomas: Cale Makar

Christine: Kirill Kaprizov

Ian: Connor McDavid

Anthony: Connor McDavid

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Stanley Cup prediction

Arun: Avalanche defeat Penguins

Kyle: Oilers defeat Lightning

Olivier: Flames defeat Rangers

Thomas: Flames defeat Hurricanes

Christine: Hurricanes defeat Avalanche

Ian: Avalanche defeat Maple Leafs

Anthony: Golden Knights defeat Rangers

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