TL;DR Central: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next Article: Pacific Division tomorrow (June 6th) at 8 Long read, feel free to stop or skip to your team. Also, the Central was tough so... cut me break. Metro: https://www.leaguegaming.com/forums/index.php?threads/s30-metropolitan-preseason-rankings.274247/ Atlantic: https://www.leaguegaming.com/forums/index.php?threads/s30-atlantic-preseason-rankings.274264/ The Central Division 1. Chicago Blackhawks Notable: Returning Players Forwards: @King Saffy and @Krejci l46l are back for the Hawks as two-thirds of a 3rd line that won 17 games last season, likely adding @Merle as their center. The forward group has @Sejje 19 returning with @Kopi and @STlCK as additions to the top 6 along with @TVK @l5l Dangle l3l and @Easy Macaroni . Maybe not as good as the group last year, but for summer season they've got 3 solid lines and that'll be pretty hard to beat. Defense: @lF0Xl @Duganator III and @Cyantologist (albeit on a bigger price tag) are all back and on nice contracts which allowed them to spend money on some RDs. @xRICKOSHAY who struggled last season on the Islanders, but improved greatly on the Golden Knights. @Bomb2r for 4 million seems like a lot, but he's had good seasons in the past and many have said bidding for defenseman was weak. @Johnson x 92 is a nice pickup for a 3rd pair d leaving the d-corps looking really good with something like Fox-Rick, Cyantologist-Bomb2r, Duganator-Johnson. Goalies: One more returning player in @RoaringViper who has his name on the William M Jennings trophy from last season, and it looks like he'll be the starter this time around. @l Vezina l 1 has had a long hiatus from LG, but he (or any call up) will probably just need to make the first save to have success. Key Offseason Moves: Contract extensions for @Krejci l46l for 750k and @lF0Xl for 1.5 million Key Bids: @xRICKOSHAY for 7.5 million, @Bomb2r for 4 million, @Easy Macaroni for 4 million Potential Steals: Hard to say the best one won't be @Merle if this 3rd line can replicate the success the previous Hawk's 3rd line has, but @lF0Xl is a 1st line defenseman (and Norris finalist) for 1.5 million. Anywhere close to his previous season and this will definitely be their best contract. 2. Colorado Avalanche Notable: Returning Players Forwards: The top line of @Hxndry @Givemedings16 and @Unwxsted is probably one of the best lines in the league, but @Hxndry is unavailable for almost all of the first 3 weeks and availability might break them up a bit. Even then, they have some good returning players in @Tenacious RD @Daddy Kaneee and @Rockxt 97 all of which had 15+ wins and 45+ points, though @Rockxt 97 will likely have to step into a bigger role on the team. @mferra32 and @l Mr Kaner l (who I haven't seen on LG since Owen Sound S26 where we choked in the playoffs @donnybrah @Dualtz ) are both on good contracts and I'd imagine both will put up plenty of points this year. Defense: A bunch of guys are back from last season including @Swibz @Colonel20 @Ragey23 and @DurkRiot (on a new contract), and like with the forwards, should have good chemistry because all the guys are pretty known to eachother. Add in @Beta Dreams and @Some Pylon as the 2nd and 3rd LDs and that's a similar d-corps to the one that the Cup Finalists had last season. Goalies: The next Vezina winner is here in @Big Tony 16 ; all I've heard is that he's the next big thing between the pipes. @I KiLLTarTED I is likely the backup based on price tag and that might suit him well. He's a bit inconsistent, but has the ability to stand on his head, and hopefully won't see as many high-danger scoring chances this season compared to previous seasons. Key Offseason Moves: Contract extensions to @Ragey23 for 2.75 million and @Daddy Kaneee for 1 million Key Bids: @DurkRiot for 7 million, @Hxndry for 6.25 million, @Beta Dreams for 3 million, @Big Tony 16 for 1.25 million Potential Steals: Biggest steal would probably be @l Mr Kaner l . He's probably going to play with either @mferra32 or @Daddy Kaneee at center and get some favorable matchups, as long as the LW has a pulse he should be able to score. 3. Dallas Stars Notable: Forward Depth Forwards: Not much to say besides this forward group is solid all the way through. @Schlemko x 17 @Berube 18 @Riven2513 at LW, @Stewkos @Eatchy at C, @Gilleh @J a IMI e S x22 at RW are all top 6 players, and @Weldxr would be successful on a 3rd line. The biggest question mark is if @ImxMrxSoLoDoLo switching to a new position in C for summer season, but for 500k and a 3C that's not really a big risk. Defense: @Ay Dindu Nuffin has 19+ wins both seasons on NHL 18 and will be the Stars top defesenman. After that, it gets interesting. @Awe 2 is the 2nd highest paid, but hasn't played LG in awhile so it's tough to say what we should expect. @JaguarJeff13 and @Caminator66 would be an ok 3rd pair, so @xTOMMYxWINGELSx and @Darslow would slot in as top 4 which could be an issue. Then again, only a few teams have great defensive depth this season. Goalies: @l Thomps l was the backup on a Washington Capitals team that didn't really excel at anything last season, but a 0.790 save percentage isn't bad (though the GAA was definitely on the high end). Just have to wait and see if he steps into this new role. Key Offseason Moves: Acquiring @J a IMI e S x22 and @Weldxr via trade from the Devils, adding @Gilleh as GM Key Bids: @Ay Dindu Nuffin for 6.5 million, @Stewkos for 5 million, @Eatchy for 4 million Potential Steals: If @Darslow can step into a top 4 role and perform, then maybe that's the Star's best bid. @Stewkos for 5 million is great, too, for a 1C, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he'll have solid numbers this season. 4. Minnesota Wild Notable: Defense Forwards: There are a few guys on the Wild who can create some offense. I doubt anyone needs to be told about @Sbass19 or @Xx LoL xX 9 and @JJ-Finesse- has 83 goals over his last two seasons. After that, there are a lot of guy who are good depth players, but will have to step up their game. @gundamfreedomx is back for his 1st season on NHL 18. @C0TES and @WolfxI29I were just ok their previous season, @Zincyyyy was did a little better, but @ArMoRCoR13 has struggled some on the new game. @mfricha was 13-0-2 in the last 15 games of his regular season, but he's on a new team that may need these kind of performances from him right away. Not the deepest forward group in the division. Defense: And here we see where the spent some money. @DDW4 is back after leading defensemen in points last season. @Ky Dotty after quitting midway through S27, but should be able to fit in well with these forwards. @BacKLuND x 22 is a veteran back on Minnesota where he had one of his best seasons, though under different management. Some good depth pickups in @l Remiasz l9l and @Daga Booo who has been underwhelming since being drafted, but I'd expect to be ok out of the gate. Goalies: @l Murray x 30 l is going to do well here with who he will have in front of him, and I can testify he's pretty solid in net on this game. @How lts Dunne has taken a bit of a break from goaltending in LG, so we'll probably have to wait and see how he is. Key Offseason Moves: @Xx LoL xX 9 moves to owner, @Sbass19 is added as GM, @WolfxI29I is resigned for 1 million Key Bids: @JJ-Finesse- for 7 million, @Ky Dotty for 5 million, @BacKLuND x 22 for 3 million Potential Steals: Someone has to step up for the Wild if they're going to make the playoffs. Any of the forwards 1.5 or under could end up being great value, and personally my money is on @mfricha especially if he can get 15 or more wins this year. 5. Winnipeg Jets Notable: Big Contracts Forwards: Two guys got paid by the Jets in @SpIooosh and @zPxcman who may be centered by @l Sakic l which should be more than competitive. If @Soapy412 and @Meestah Don are on the third with @R0tes , they should be able to secure a decent amount of wins. The big question seems to be if this second line of @SCARFACE959 @flyers2844 and @Schwatz I83I are going to be able to mesh and win against tough lines. I wouldn't doubt them, personally. Defense: The previous Lady Byng winner @Landy Byng gets a huge contract after having 20 wins and a nice +45 last season. The former Calder winner @GrizzeIite is still on his 2.5 million contract, maybe he'll be worth that this season (<3). @lVl e w T w 0 switched to D and a bit of a surprise in dropping 4.5 million on @C4NADA lead to some question marks, but both guys are pretty skilled. The depth guys in @ST33LRAIN0341 and @N i n o 27x , if they aren't being sent down because I can never tell, are about average or maybe a little better. Goalies: @drally20 is the best, that is all. @Endosmoke69 is another goalie who is super inconsistent, if he can find any level of consistency he could be one of the better backups in the league. Key Offseason Moves: A GM arrives in Winnipeg and his name is @Schwatz I83I , @GrizzeIite is acquired from the Kings Key Bids: @zPxcman for 7 million, @SpIooosh for 6 million, @Landy Byng for 5.5 million, @C4NADA for 4.5 million Potential Steals: If that line of @Soapy412 @R0tes @Meestah Don can hammer home some wins, could be any of them looking at a great contract value-wise. 6. Saint Louis Blues Notable: Offseason Moves Forwards: The Blues went big and grabbed @mR Hit DaT to likely play with @Tendy and @OFs on the top line which looks pretty formidable. Longtime linemates (at least it feels that way) in @RoWsKi and @Mr SaWse hopefully get chemistry with @tuclwoB and have another solid season. The line of @YeLLa iL @OBxOBrien and @Gucci Giveaways could be good or it could be awful, and we won't know until we see them. Always good to have a lockerroom glue guy like @Gucci Giveaways , though #grit. Defense: My owner last year plays center all season and doesn't bother to tell anyone he's really a 4.5 million defenseman, really cool @l Stastny26 l . @NlKx5 (maybe?) and @Odieeeeee should be perfect for the top line of forwards, expect them to win a lot of games. @I TeMoZ I had some hype around him when he was drafted, but hasn't shown very much since then. Maybe this is his breakout season? @Volt x and @Nxgi could be good if they can be more consistent than in the past. Goalies: @Tolvanen l11l is the clear cut starter, and after last season, we should expect him to perform. Key Offseason Moves: @Tendy is added as GM, @Odieeeeee and @OFs are acquired from the San Jose Sharks, @NlKx5 @RoWsKi and @Mr SaWse are acquired from the Edmonton Oilers, @Gucci Giveaways is acquired from the Blue Jackets Key Bids: @mR Hit DaT for 8 million, @l Stastny26 l for 4.5 milliion, @Volt x for 2 million, @Tolvanen l11l for 1.5 million Potential Steals: I want to say the @RoWsKi @Mr SaWse contracts will continue to look good if they can continue to take on good competition and win. 7. Seattle Kraken 8. Nashville Predators Notable: Offseason Moves Forwards: They already have two lines with an element of chemistry in @NINETY ElGHT @jared2112 and @jackD00P who should all improve (especially @jackD00P go look at his last season) on their previous seasons. The line of @P3k1ng DuK @TacTic MaRio @DailySpitz features two guys that were on a line in Utica together. Some big money got dropped on a veteran in @hatemakerr and a trade for @justlax10 who had two impactful seasons on his draft contract in New Jersey to fill out the other line. Defense: Everybody's eyes get drawn to one thing when they see this roster... how did they acquire both @iTz x Luigi x (Calder winner) and @l T Nicholls l (All star) from the Oilers in the same trade? No idea, but they have chemistry from playing together last season which is almost the most important thing in this game. @daveydonuts522 and @TKOxHelocentric add some great depth to the defense, both veterans of the league. Oh, and they acquire @goonderk for 7.5 million in bidding. Goalies: @l Wall x 31 l is the starter and has been pretty good the previous two seasons having a 0.8 save percentage over that period. @Dekeeee is likely the backup and let's leave it at that. Key Offseason Moves: Acquired @iTz x Luigi x and @l T Nicholls l from Florida, acquired @daveydonuts522 @T9 GaLaRnEaUx19 and @justlax10 from Tampa Bay, acquired @jared2112 from Anaheim, acquired @Bushook from Colorado Key Bids: @hatemakerr for 7.5 million, @goonderk for 7.5 million, @TKOxHelocentric for 2 million, @l Wall x 31 l for 1.5 million Potential Steals: One of @P3k1ng DuK @TacTic MaRio @DailySpitz or @Bushook is going to have to produce and whoever does better won't be ridiculed in the team chat for the whole season.