Get ready for opening night with a look at each team’s roster, the fresh faces and what the lineup could mean for the season ahead.
Well, no more sleeps to go. The NHL season is upon us. The league announced the opening-day rosters for each team Wednesday morning. Here they are, along with one player who might have surprised people and what it all means when the puck drops.
FORWARDS: Jared Boll, Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Getzlaf, Derek Grant, Ondrej Kase, Josh Manson, Corey Perry, Rickard Rakell, Dennis Rasmussen, Nick Ritchie, Logan Shaw, Jakob Silfverberg, Antoine Vermette, Chris Wagner
DEFENSEMEN: Francois Beauchemin, Kevin Bieksa, Cam Fowler, Korbinian Holzer, Josh Manson, Jaycob Megna, Brandon Montour
GOALIES: Reto Berra, John Gibson
INJURED: Patrick Eaves, RW; Ryan Kesler, C; Hampus Lindholm, D; Ryan Miller, G; Sami Vatanen, D
Where did this guy come from?: After three seasons in the minors, defenseman Jaycob Megna was signed to a two-year contract extension over the summer and gives the Ducks some depth on defense while they wait for Hampus Lindholm and Sami Vatanen to return.
What does it all mean?: The Ducks will be hard-pressed to win their sixth straight Pacific Division title in the regular season, but this veteran-laden group will be measured by its success (or lack of it) in the playoffs.
FORWARDS: Nick Cousins, Lawson Crouse, Max Domi, Christian Dvorak, Anthony Duclair, Christian Fischer, Clayton Keller, Jordan Martinook, Brendan Perlini, Brad Richardson, Tobias Rieder, Derek Stepan, Dylan Strome
DEFENSEMEN: Adam Clendening, Kevin Connauton, Jason Demers, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Alex Goligoski, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Luke Schenn
GOALIES: Louis Dominigue, Antti Raanta
INJURED: David Bolland, C; Jakob Chychrun, D
SUSPENDED: Zac Rinaldo, LW
Where did this guy come from?: In what was one of the more under-the-radar trades on draft day Nick Cousins and prospect Merrick Madsen were dealt by the Flyers to the Coyotes for prospect Brendan Warren and a draft pick.
What does it all mean?: The Coyotes have as good a roster as they’ve had in years, now it’s up to the youth they’ve stockpiled to start achieving things as NHL players.
FORWARDS: Noel Acciari, David Backes, Matt Beleskey, Patrice Bergeron, Anders Bjork, Jake DeBrusk, David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, Brad Marchand, Riley Nash, David Pastrnak, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano
DEFENSEMEN: Brandon Carlo, Zdeno Chara, Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Paul Postma
GOALIES: Anton Khudobin, Tuukka Rask
INJURED: Austin Czarnik, RW; Emil Johansson, D; Torey Krug, D
Where did this guy come from?: Anders Bjork played the right side on the top line with Patrice Bergeron at center and Brad Marchand at left wing, but could be moved to the left side of the second line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak. And despite his name, he’s from Wisconsin, not Sweden.
What does it all mean?: Not much has changed from the roster that ended in the first round of the playoffs last spring and the one the Bruins will put on the ice to start this season. Is it good enough to contend in the Atlantic Division?
FORWARDS: Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons, Seth Griffith, Jacob Josefson, Evander Kane, Johan Larsson, Matt Moulson, Jordan Nolan, Kyle Okposo, Ryan O’Reilly, Jason Pominville, Benoit Pouliot, Sam Reinhart
DEFENSEMEN: Nathan Beaulieu, Zach Bogosian, Josh Gorges, Jake McCabe, Rasmus Ristolainen, Marco Scandella, Matt Tennyson
GOALIES: Chad Johnson, Robin Lehner
INJURED: Justin Falk, D; Evan Rodrigues, C
Where did this guy come from?: Shortly after going to the KHL final and winning the bronze medal with Russia at the World Championship, 24-year-old defenseman Victor Antipin signed a one-year deal with the Sabres. Antipin projects as a top-six defenseman with room to grow.
What does it all mean?: With a new coach and GM, the Sabres hope they’re finally back on track to becoming a contending team. In order to do that, the Sabres will have to make big improvements in almost every facet of the game.
FORWARDS: Mikael Backlund, Sam Bennett, Troy Brouwer, Michael Ferland, Michael Frolik, Johnny Gaudreau, Tanner Glass, Garnet Hathaway, Freddie Hamilton, Curtis Lazar, Sean Monahan, Matt Stajan, Matthew Tkachuk, Kris Versteeg
DEFENSEMEN: Matt Bartkowski, TJ Brodie, Mark Giordano, Dougie Hamilton, Travis Hamonic, Brett Kulak, Michael Stone
GOALIES: Eddie Lack, Mike Smith
INJURED: Marek Hrivik, C; Daniel Pribyl, C
Where did this guy come from?: In a league where enforcers are being phased out, the Flames invited Tanner Glass on a pro tryout and he beat out Luke Gazdic for the job of enforcer/good all-round team guy/guy who orders the post-game pizza because he’s a healthy scratch.
What does it all mean: Future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr hasn’t been listed on the roster, which means they’ll have to drop one more player to make room for him. It’s a clear indication the Flames are going for it in 2017-18.
FORWARDS: Sebastien Aho, Josh Jooris, Janne Kuokkanen, Marcus Kruger, Elias Lindholm, Brock McGinn, Martin Necas, Joakim Nordstrom, Derek Ryan, Jeff Skinner, Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen, Justin Williams
DEFENSEMEN: Klas Dahlbeck, Justin Faulk, Haydn Fleury, Noah Hanifin, Brett Pesce, Jaccob Slavin, Trevor van Riemsdyk
GOALIES: Scott Darling, Cam Ward
INJURED: Lee Stempniak, RW
Where did this guy come from?: After scoring at a point-per-game pace for the London Knights last season, Janne Kuokkanen appeared in one playoff game for the Hurricanes’ American League affiliate last season. He’s a smart player who has the ability to create offensively.
What does it all mean?: The Hurricanes are setting themselves up for a bright future. Whether that promise is realized this season in a very competitive Metropolitan Division or down the road remains to be seen.
FORWARDS: Artem Anisimov, Lance Bouma, Ryan Hartman, John Hayden, Patrick Kane, Tanner Kero, Richard Panik, Brandon Saad, Nick Schmaltz, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, Tommy Wingels
DEFENSEMEN: Duncan Keith, Michal Kempny, Connor Murphy, Jordan Oesterle, Jan Rutta, Brent Seabrook
GOALIES: Anton Forsberg, Corey Crawford
INJURED: Marian Hossa, RW; Nathan Noel, C; Michal Rozsival, D; Luc Snuggerud, D; Jordin Tootoo, RW
Where did this guy come from?: The Blackhawks once again dipped into the European free agent pool when they signed 27-year-old defenseman Jan Rutta to a one-year deal over the summer. Rutta is an offense-minded rearguard who has played his entire career at home in the Czech Republic and is a low-risk signing for a team that needs to watch its pennies.
What does it all mean?: The Blackhawks sent Alex DeBrincat to the minors, but he’ll be back up with the team once they can sort out their salary cap issues and get the space they need by putting Marian Hossa on the long-term injury list. The salary cap machinations continue in Chicago and will for the foreseeable future. GM Stan Bowman has been absolutely masterful in his manipulation of the cap and that will continue, too.
FORWARDS: Sven Andrighetto, Joe Colborne, Blake Comeau, J.T. Compher, Matt Duchene, Erik Johnson, Tyson Jost, Alexander Kerfoot, Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Nieto, Mikko Rantanen, Carl Soderberg, Colin Wilson, Nail Yakupov
DEFENSEMEN: Mark Barberio, Tyson Barrie, Chris Bigras, Erik Johnson, Andrei Mironov, Patrik Nemeth, Nikita Zadorov
GOALIES: Jonathan Bernier, Semyon Varlamov
INJURED: Sergei Boikov, D; A.J. Greer, LW
Where did this guy come from?: The Avalanche plucked Alexander Kerfoot from the college free agent ranks, signing the Harvard graduate to a two-year deal over the summer. A Hobey Baker finalist, Kerfoot is viewed as a potential playmaking centerman.
What does it all mean?: The Avalanche are better, but not much. And they play in the most competitive division in the league. The lottery awaits.
COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS
FORWARDS: Josh Anderson, Cam Atkinson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Matt Calvert, Zac Dalpe, Brandon Dubinsky, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nick Foligno, Markus Hannikainen, Sonny Milano, Artemi Panarin, Lukas Sedlak, Alexander Wennberg
DEFENSEMEN: Gabriel Carlsson, Scott Harrington, Seth Jones, Jack Johnson, Ryan Murray, Markus Nutivaara, David Savard, Zach Werenski
GOALIES: Sergey Bobrovsky, Joonas Korpisalo
INJURED: Boone Jenner, C; Jordan Schroeder, RW; Sam Vigneault, C
Where did this guy come from?: Fans in Columbus have been hearing a lot about the team’s first-round choice in 2014 and have seen him in a couple of short stints. But at the age of 21, it appears Sonny Milano has gained the work ethic to match his incredible skill level, so much so that he may finally be ready for full-time NHL work.
What does it all mean?: With a couple of veterans injured, the Blue Jackets have kept some of their young forwards, including 2016 first-round Pierre-Luc Dubois. But it will likely be the vets that carry this team.
FORWARDS: Jamie Benn, Adam Cracknell, Radek Faksa, Martin Hanzal, Mattias Jarnmark, Tyler Pitlick, Alexander Radulov, Brett Ritchie, Antoine Roussel, Tyler Seguin, Devin Shore, Gemel Smith
DEFENSEMEN: Dan Hamhuis, Julius Honka, Stephen Johns, John Klingberg, Esa Lindell, Marc Methot, Jamie Oleksiak, Greg Pateryn
GOALIES: Ben Bishop, Kari Lehtonen
Where did this guy come from?: Gemel Smith is a hard-working checking forward with limited offensive upside potential who appeared in 17 games for the Stars last season.
What does it all mean?: There’s probably not a team with more to prove this season than the Stars, who will almost certainly tighten up defensively under Ken Hitchcock and (they hope) get better goaltending from Ben Bishop.
DETROIT RED WINGS
FORWARDS: Justin Abdelkader, David Booth, Martin Frk, Luke Glendening, Darren Helm, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Henrik Zetterberg
DEFENSEMEN: Trevor Daley, Danny DeKeyser, Jonathan Ericsson, Mike Green, Nick Jensen, Xavier Ouellet, Luke Witkowski
INJURED: Tyler Bertuzzi, LW; Johan Franzen, LW; Matt Lorito, LW; Evgeni Svechnikov, RW; Eric Tangradi, LW
GOALIES: Jimmy Howard, Petr Mrazek
Where did this guy come from?: The Red Wings placed Martin Frk on waivers early last season, then reclaimed him when the Carolina Hurricanes did the same thing. He considered signing in Europe, but re-signed with the Red Wings when he was told he’d get a legitimate chance to crack the roster.
What does it all mean?: The Red Wings begin a new era in a brand new rink, but how long will it be before the Little Caesars Arena hosts an NHL playoff game? Probably not in Year 1.
FORWARDS: Drake Caggiula, Leon Draisaitl, Jussi Jokinen, Zack Kassian, Jujha Khaira, Mark Letestu, Milan Lucic, Patrick Maroon, Connor McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkings, Iiro Pakarinen, Ryan Strome, Kailer Yamamoto
DEFENSEMEN: Yohann Auvitu, Matt Benning, Eric Gryba, Oscar Klefbom, Darnell Nurse, Kris Russell
GOALIES: Laurent Brossoit, Cam Talbot
INJURED: Brian Ferlin, RW; Andrej Sekera, D; Ryan Stanton, D
Where did this guy come from?: With Andrej Sekera out for the first couple of months, former Devils prospect Yohann Auvitu will get a chance to become one of the Oilers’ bottom-pair defensemen.
What does it all mean?: The Oilers think they have a legitimate Stanley Cup contender this season and they’re right.
FORWARDS: Aleksander Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Connor Brickley, Evgenii Dadanov, Michael Haley, Jonathan Huberdeau, Derek MacKenzie, Denis Malgin, Jared McCann, Jamie McGinn, Colton Sceviour, Owen Tippett, Vincent Trocheck, Radim Vrbata
DEFENSEMEN: Aaron Ekblad, Mike Matheson, Ian McCoshen, Alex Petrovic, Mark Pysyk, MacKenzie Weegar, Keith Yandle
GOALIES: Roberto Luongo, James Reimer
Where did this guy come from?: MacKenzie Weegar appeared in three games for the Panthers last season and was signed to a one-year, two-way contract extension over the summer. He provides the Panthers with some blueline depth.
What does it all mean?: The fact that Owen Tippett cracked the roster is an indication the Panthers are looking for all the goals they lost over the summer. It’s tough to get a handle on this team’s identity, one that will emerge as the season progresses.
LOS ANGELES KINGS
FORWARDS: Andy Andreoff, Jonny Brodzinski, Dustin Brown, Michael Cammalleri, Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford, Nic Dowd, Alex Iafallo, Adrian Kempe, Anze Kopitar, Trevor Lewis, Tanner Pearson, Nick Shore, Tyler Toffoli
DEFENSEMEN: Drew Doughty, Oscar Fantenberg, Christian Folin, Derek Forbort, Kurtis MacDermid, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin
GOALIES: Darcy Kuemper, Jonathan Quick
INJURED: Marian Gaborik, LW; Austin Wagner, LW
Where did this guy come from?: The Kings plucked two players from the free-agent ranks this summer, center Alex Iafallo from the college ranks and defenseman Oscar Fantenberg from the KHL. There is talk that the high-scoring Iafallo will start the season on the Kings’ top line.
What does it all mean?: The Kings continue to cling to the notion that they’re still an elite team in the NHL. They’ll need big seasons from a lot of veterans to return to that status.
FORWARDS: Charlie Coyle, Matt Cullen, Tyler Ennis, Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus Foligno, Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu, Nino Niederreiter, Zach Parise, Eric Staal, Chris Stewart, Jason Zucker
DEFENSEMEN: Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba, Gustav Olofsson, Kyle Quincey, Mike Reilly, Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Suter
GOALIES: Devan Dubnyk, Alex Stalock
Where did this guy come from: After suffering a couple of injuries earlier in his career, defenseman Gustav Olofsson filled in admirably on the blueline last season when the Wild had some injuries on the blueline and has earned a chance to gain a permanent spot this season.
What does it all mean?: The Wild were hit hard by the expansion draft and traded away several core players, but this is a group that remains promising. Consistency has eluded the Wild in recent years and that’s something they’ll seek this season.
FORWARDS: Paul Byron, Phillip Danault, Jacob De La Rose, Jonathan Drouin, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Ales Hemsky, Charles Hudon, Artturi Lehkonen, Torrey Mitchell, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Andrew Shaw
DEFENSEMEN: Karl Alzner, Jordie Benn, Brandon Davidson. Victor Mete, Joe Morrow, Jeff Petry, Mark Streit, Shea Weber
INJURED: Jeremiah Addison, LW; Noah Juulsen, D, David Schlemko, D
Where did this guy come from?: Defenseman Victor Mete could go back for a fourth year with the London Knights, but was so impressive in training camp that he earned an opening-night spot. I watched this kid in midget hockey and you could tell then that he was an NHL-level skater.
What does it all mean?: The projections for this team are all over the place. Few would be surprised to see them win the Atlantic Division again, but it wouldn’t be a knock-me-over-with-a-feather development if these guys were in the battle of their lives for a playoff spot.
FORWARDS: Pontus Aberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Nick Bonino, Kevin Fiala, Filip Forsberg, Scott Hartnell, Calle Jarnkrok, Ryan Johansen, Cody McLeod, Miikka Salomaki, Colton Sissons, Craig Smith, Austin Watson
DEFENSEMEN: Anthony Bitetto, Mattias Ekholm, Alexei Emelin, Samuel Girard, Matt Irwin, Roman Josi, P.K. Subban, Yannick Weber
GOALIES: Pekka Rinne, Juuse Saros
INJURED: Ryan Ellis, D
Where did this guy come from?: Just what the Predators need, another outstanding offensive defenseman. Samuel Girard certainly fills that bill and will get some time in Nashville before being returned to junior hockey.
What does it all mean?: Ryan Ellis likely won’t be back until early 2018, which will hurt, but with the exception of Nick Bonino, this is pretty much a carbon copy of the group that went to the Stanley Cup final. Much is expected.
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
FORWARDS: Jesper Bratt, Blake Coleman, Brian Gibbons, Taylor Hall, Jimmy Hayes, Adam Henrique, Nico Hischier, Marcus Johansson, Stefan Noesen, Kyle Palmieri, Drew Stafford, Miles Wood, Pavel Zacha
DEFENSEMEN: Will Butcher, Andy Greene, Ben Lovejoy, John Moore, Mirco Mueller, Dalton Prout, Steven Santini, Damon Severson
GOALIES: Keith Kinkaid, Cory Schneider
INJURED: Brian Boyle, C; Michael McLeod, C; Travis Zajac, C
Where did this guy come from?: He’ll almost certainly make his way to the London Knights before long, but 19-year-old Jesper Bratt starts the season with the Devils while they deal with some key injuries at forward.
What does it all mean?: The Devils are building and it will be interesting to see what Nico Hischier and Taylor Hall can accomplish together this season. But they’re still a ways away from being a contender.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
FORWARDS: Josh Bailey, Mathew Barzal, Anthony Beauvillier, Jason Chimera, Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, Jordan Eberle, Joshua Ho-Sang, Nikolai Kulemin, Andrew Ladd, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, John Tavares
DEFENSEMEN: Johnny Boychuk, Calvin de Haan, Thomas Hickey, Nick Leddy, Scott Mayfield, Ryan Pulock, Dennis Seidenberg
GOALIES: Thomas Greiss, Jaroslav Halak
INJURED: Shane Prince, LW; Alan Quine, C
Where did this guy come from?: Mathew Barzal is not exactly an unknown quantity, but he’s one of the few new faces on the Islanders. The playmaking center has put up big numbers at every level to this point.
What does it all mean?: The Islanders went from a playoff team to one that is mucking around a very tough division. The John Tavares soap opera will hang over this team until his status is resolved one way or another.
NEW YORK RANGERS
FORWARDS: Pavel Buchnevich, Paul Carey, Filip Chytil, David Desharnais, Micheal Grabner, Kevin Hayes, Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Rick Nash, Jimmy Vesey, Mika Zibanejad, Mats Zucarello
DEFENSEMEN: Anthony DeAngelo, Nick Holden, Steven Kampfer, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk, Brady Skjei, Brendan Smith, Marc Staal
GOALIES: Henrik Lundqvist, Ondrej Pavelec
INJURED: Jesper Fast, RW
Where did this guy come from?: Filip Chytil, a player the Rangers picked 21st overall in June, earned a spot in the opening-night lineup as a third-line center. He’ll be the first 18-year-old to appear in a Rangers’ season opener since Manny Malhotra in 1998. He could be going back to the Czech Republic after a nine-game stint.
What does it all mean?: The Rangers are getting younger and staying competitive in a difficult division, but much of their fate will rest on veteran goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who will try to bounce back from the worst statistical season of his career.
FORWARDS: Derick Brassard, Logan Brown, Alexandre Burrows, Ryan Dzingel, Alex Formenton, Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Tom Pyatt, Bobby Ryan, Zach Smith, Mark Stone, Nate Thompson, Kyle Turris
DEFENSEMEN: Mark Borowiecki, Cody Ceci, Fredrik Claesson, Erik Karlsson, Johnny Oduya, Dion Phaneuf, Chris Wideman
GOALIES: Craig Anderson, Mike Condon
INJURED: Clarke MacArthur, LW; Colin White C
Where did this guy come from?: Two years ago, Alex Formenton was an 11th-round pick in the Ontario League draft and now he’s on the Senators’ season-opening roster as an 18-year-old. As much as they tried, the Senators simply could not ignore Formenton’s speed.
What does it all mean?: The fact that Erik Karlsson is on the roster and not on the injured list is huge for the Senators. He likely won’t start the season, but he’s not far off. And this team is going to go as far as he takes it.
FORWARDS: Sean Couturier, Valtteri Filppula, Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Jori Lehtera, Taylor Leier, Nolan Patrick, Michael Raffl, Travis Sanheim, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Jordan Weal, Dale Weise
DEFENSEMEN: Shayne Gostisbehere, Radko Gudas, Robert Hagg, Andrew MacDonald, Brandon Manning, Samuel Morin, Ivan Provorov
GOALIES: Brian Elliott, Michal Neuvirth
INJURED: Cole Bardreau, RW; Colin McDonald, RW; Anthony Stolarz, G
Where did this guy come from?: No real new face here, but defenseman Robert Hagg and left winger Taylor Leier will be trying to stick after a couple of seasons in the minors.
What does it all mean?: So are the Flyers the team that won 10 games in a row last season or the one that failed to make the playoffs? Consistency will be the key for this group.
FORWARDS: Josh Archibald, Sidney Crosby, Jake Guentzel, Carl Hagelin, Phil Kessel, Tom Kuhnhackl, Evgeni Malkin, Greg McKegg, Ryan Reaves, Carter Rowney, Bryan Rust, Conor Sheary, Scott Wilson
DEFENSEMEN: Ian Cole, Brian Dumoulin, Matt Hunwick, Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Chad Ruhwedel, Justin Schultz
INJURED: Patric Hornqvist, RW
Where did this guy come from?: The well-travelled Greg McKegg has landed in the right spot, signing a one-year deal with the Penguins over the summer. He could emerge as their third-line center.
What does it all mean?: The Penguins were ravaged by forced defections over the summer, but the core of the league’s two-time champion remains intact. Nobody would be surprised if they made it a third.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
FORWARDS: Ivan Barbashev, Kyle Brodziak, Dmitrij Jaskin, Wade Megan, Magnus Paajarvi, Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Sobotka, Paul Stastny, Oskar Sundqvist, Vladimir Tarasenko, Tage Thompson, Chris Thorburn, Scottie Upshall
DEFENSEMEN: Robert Bortuzzo, Vince Dunn, Joel Edmundson, Carl Gunnarson, Colton Parayko, Alex Pietrangelo, Nate Prosser
GOALIES: Jake Allen, Carter Hutton
INJURED: Patrik Berglund, C; Jay Bouwmeester, D; Robby Fabbri, LW; Klim Kostin, RW; Luke Opilka, G; Zach Sanford, LW; Alex Steen, LW
Where did this guy come from?: Wade Megan had no history of being a big scorer, then broke out with 33 goals and 66 points in the American League last season. With all the Blues’ injuries, the 27-year-old will get a chance.
What does it all mean?: There was no team that the off-season and pre-season was more cruel to than the Blues. They start the season with a ton of injuries, but should contend in the Central once they get healthy.
SAN JOSE SHARKS
FORWARDS: Mikkel Boedker, Ryan Carpenter, Rourke Chartier, Logan Couture, Joonas, Barclay Goodrow, Jannik Hansen, Tomas Hertl, Melker Karlsson, Kevin Labanc, Timo Meier, Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Chris Tierney, Joel Ward
DEFENSEMEN: Justin Braun, Brent Burns, Dylan DeMelo, Brenden Dillon, Tim Heed, Paul Martin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
GOALIES: Martin Jones, Aaron Dell
Where did this guy come from?: A forward-turned-defenseman, Tim Heed was originally drafted by Anaheim in 2010 and signed with the Sharks as a free agent last season. After a boffo, point-per-game showing in the minors last season, the undersized, 26-year-old Swede has found a home on San Jose’s blueline. Are we looking at another Brian Rafalski here?
What does it all mean?: The Sharks have managed to integrate some youth into their veteran-laden roster, but this is still a team whose window is closing.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
FORWARDS: J.T. Brown, Ryan Callahan, Gabriel Dumont, Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson, Alex Killorn, Nikita Kucherov, Chris Kunitz, Vladislav Namestnikov, Ondrj Palat, Cedric Paquette, Brayden Point, Steven Stamkos
DEFENSEMEN: Braydon Coburn, Jake Dotchin, Dan Girardi, Victor Hedman, Slater Koekkoek, Mikhail Sergachev, Anton Stralman, Andrej Sustr
GOALIES: Peter Budaj, Andrei Vasilevskiy
INJURED: Michael Bournival, C; Erik Condra, LW; Dominik Masin, D; Jonne Tammela, C; Carter Verhaeghe, C
Where did this guy come from?: We got nothin’. This is a veteran team that is pushing for a Stanley Cup and with the exception of Mikhail Sergachev, who came over in the Jonathan Drouin trade and won a job in training camp, it’s all familiar faces.
What does it all mean?: Watch for this Lightning team to come out hungry and play with a lot more desperation than it did last season.
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS
FORWARDS: Tyler Bozak, Connor Brown, Eric Fehr, Zach Hyman, Nazem Kadri, Leo Komarov, Josh Leivo, Patrick Marleau, Mitch Marner, Matt Martin, Auston Matthews, Dominic Moore, William Nylander, James van Riemsdyk
DEFENSEMEN: Andreas Borgman, Connor Carrick, Jake Gardiner, Ron Hainsey, Martin Marincin, Morgan Rielly, Nikita Zaitsev
GOALIES: Frederik Andersen, Curtis McElhinny
INJURED: Nathan Horton, RW; Joffrey Lupul, LW
Where did this guy come from?: Andreas Borgman signed as a free agent over the summer and the 22-year-old Swede impressed with his physical, abrasive play in training camp. Coach Mike Babcock became a fan of a player who adds some snarl to the blueline.
What does it all mean?: The Leafs are as young and promising as they’ve been in a generation. They have a lot of cap room to add to this group if it sees a legitimate Stanley Cup opportunity on the immediate horizon.
FORWARDS: Sven Baertschi, Brock Boeser, Alexander Burmistrov, Derek Dorsett, Loui Eriksson, Sam Gagner, Markus Granlund, Bo Horvat, Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin, Brandon Sutter, Thomas Vanek, Jake Virtanen
DEFENSEMEN: Alex Biega, Michael Del Zotto, Alexander Edler, Erik Gudbranson, Ben Hutton, Derrick Pouliot, Troy Stetcher, Chris Tanev
GOALIES: Jacob Markstrom, Anders Nilsson
INJURED: Cole Cassels, C; Brendan Gaunce, C
Where did this guy come from?: Five years after he was drafted eighth overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins, defenseman Derrick Pouliot will try to become an NHL regular.
What does it all mean?: There still seems to be a reticence in Vancouver to admit this team is in a rebuild, but it is.
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
FORWARDS: Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, William Carrier, Cody Eakin, Erik Haula, William Karlsson, Brendan Leipsic, Oscar Lindberg, Jonathan Marchessault, Tomas Nosek, David Perron, Reilly Smith
DEFENSEMEN: Deryk Engelland, Jason Garrison, Brad Hunt, Brayden McNabb, Jon Merill, Colin Miller, Griffin Reinhart, Nate Schmidt
GOALIES: Marc-Andre Fleury, Malcolm Subban
INJURED: David Clarkson, RW; Reid Duke, C; Mikhail Grabovski, C; James Neal, RW; Clayton Stoner, D
Where did this guy come from?: The Golden Knights stole Malcolm Subban from the Bruins on waivers just before the season.
What does it all mean?: Will the Golden Knights be the worst team in the NHL this season? I had my doubts before, but when you look at this roster, it’s hard to argue they won’t.
FORWARDS: Nicklas Backstrom, Jay Beagle, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Tyler Graovac, Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, Devante Smith-Pelly, Chandler Stephenson, Jakub Vrana, Nathan Walker.
DEFENSEMEN: John Carlson, Taylor Chorney, Christian Djoos, Aaron Ness, Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov, Brooks Orpik
GOALIES: Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer
SUSPENDED: Tom Wilson, RW
Where did this guy come from?: How about Australia. Nathan Walker is poised to become the first Australian-born player in NHL history.
What does it all mean?: The Capitals lost a fair bit of experience in the off-season and expectations will not be as high on them in 2017-18. Perhaps that’s what they need.
FORWARDS: Joel Armia, Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Nikolaj Ehlers, Patrik Laine, Bryan Little, Adam Lowry, Shawn Matthias, Mathieu Perreault, Nic Petan, Mark Scheifele, Brandon Tanev, Blake Wheeler
DEFENSEMEN: Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Chiarot, Tobias Enstrom, Dmitry Kulikov, Josh Morrisey, Tyler Myers, Tucker Poolman, Jacob Trouba
GOALIES: Connor Hellebuyck, Steve Mason
INJURED: Matt Hendricks, C
Where did this guy come from?: Late-bloomer Tucker Poolman was skating with the fourth defense pairing, which will probably delay his debut. But his time will come.
What does it all mean?: The Jets are still trying to crack the code and took some interesting steps in the off-season to get an edge. This is a team on the verge of doing something special, we’re just not sure when that will be.
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