2018-19 NHL season preview: Predictions, rankings and more

The Capitals are set to defend the Stanley Cup as the 2018-19 season opens. AP Photo/John Locher

Get ready for the upcoming hockey season with team-by-team previews, bold predictions, position rankings, prospect tips, fantasy nuggets and more.

Top stories

NHL Power Rankings: Final preseason edition Here's how our panel stacks up all 31 NHL teams, plus a reason for optimism for every fan base.

NHL now and later poll: The best players, teams now and in four years We collected votes from 50-plus players, coaches and execs on the top players and teams in 2018-19 -- and four years from now.

Top 25 under-25 players Who are the NHL's best under the age of 25? We rank the top 25, including a pair of Columbus blueliners.

The Uni Watch NHL season preview A new NHL season is here, and we have every color change, patch and stripe -- and the welcome return of the third jersey.

Atlantic Division previews

Boston Bruins

After an early playoff exit last spring, can the Bruins make one more Stanley Cup run with their veteran core intact? Read more.

Buffalo Sabres

Long-suffering Sabres fans are ready for another playoff run. Is this the season they get one? Read more.

Detroit Red Wings

As Detroit begins the process of turning over its roster, how seriously will it contend for a playoff spot? Read more.

Florida Panthers

Aleksander Barkov & Co. are a trendy pick to make a big leap this season. Read more.

Montreal Canadiens

The Canadiens are on the road back to contention following some big summer moves. How will they do this season? Read more.

Ottawa Senators

The Senators appear poised for a long rebuild. What should be expected out of them in 2018-19? Read more.

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning are a popular pick to represent the East in the Stanley Cup Final. Here's how they get there. Read more.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto made waves with the John Tavares signing this summer. Will that lead to a Stanley Cup this season? Read more.

Metropolitan Division previews

Carolina Hurricanes

Rod Brind'Amour takes over behind the bench, with big changes in the lineup as well. How will it all work out? Read more.

Columbus Blue Jackets

With Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky entering contract years, how far can Columbus go? Read more.

New Jersey Devils

The Devils were one of the surprise playoff teams in 2017-18. Can they take another big step forward this season? Read more.

New York Islanders

It's Year One AT (after Tavares), but the cupboard isn't completely bare for new head coach Barry Trotz. Read more.

New York Rangers

The rebuild has begun in earnest. What should be expected out of the Blueshirts this season? Read more.

Philadelphia Flyers

Their new mascot broke the internet. What about the on-ice product? Read more.

Pittsburgh Penguins

An uncharacteristically early playoff exit ended the 2017-18 season for Pittsburgh. Will the Pens get back on track this season? Read more.

Washington Capitals

After a long-awaited Stanley Cup victory, what will the Capitals do for an encore? Read more.

Central Division previews

Chicago Blackhawks

The stars remain, but can the Blackhawks rekindle the fire that drove them to dynasty status earlier this decade? Read more.

Colorado Avalanche

The Avalanche went from worst in the NHL to the playoffs in one year. What should we expect in 2018-19? Read more.

Dallas Stars

New head coach Jim Montgomery takes over a team that features one of the most dangerous top lines in the league. Read more.

Minnesota Wild

A similar roster to last season's hopes for better results. Here's what to expect from Zach Parise & Co. Read more.

Nashville Predators

After a Presidents' Trophy in 2017-18, the Predators are after a bigger prize this season. Read more.

St. Louis Blues

After a flurry of offseason moves, the Blues have become a trendy pick to make some noise in 2018-19. Read more.

Winnipeg Jets

After a trip to the Western Conference finals last season, the Jets enter 2018-19 as one of the top favorites for the Stanley Cup. Read more.

Pacific Division previews

Anaheim Ducks

With an aging veteran core and one of the NHL's best defense groups, the Ducks look to make a big push in 2018-19. Read more.

Arizona Coyotes

After years of building a great collection of young talent, is this finally the Coyotes' time to break through? Read more.

Calgary Flames

The summer brought a new coach and some new players. Can the Flames get over the hump this season? Read more.

Edmonton Oilers

A rough 2017-18 season for the Oilers marred a gem of a campaign by Connor McDavid. Can the team reverse fortunes this season? Read more.

Los Angeles Kings

Ilya Kovalchuk joins a dynamite veteran core that has Stanley Cups on its résumé. Can they win another this season? Read more.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks made the splash of the summer in trading for Erik Karlsson, in the hopes he can drive them to a Stanley Cup. Read more.

Vancouver Canucks

It's the first season without the Sedin Twins in Vancouver. Where should expectations be set? Read more.

Vegas Golden Knights

The Golden Knights couldn't have done much better in their inaugural campaign. What do they have in store for an encore? Read more.

Team rankings by position group

Ranking all 31 NHL teams by their forwards

Which teams have the best collection of talent up front? We rank them 1-31 here, led by the Lightning. Read more.

Sharks top rankings of all 31 NHL teams' defense groups

The Erik Karlsson trade caused a seismic shift in the defensive landscape in the NHL. Where do all 31 teams rank? Read more.

Ranking all 31 NHL teams by their goalie tandems

Which team has the best netminders in the league? We rank them from 1 (Predators) to 31 (Hurricanes). Read more.

Post-regulation power index: NHL teams best set up to win in overtime, shootout

We rank all 31 teams on their ability to win the game after the end of the third period, with the Lightning coming in at No. 1. Read more.

NHL mascot rankings: Gritty's big debut

The Flyers' first mascot since the 1970s broke the internet. Find out where he lands among every team's plush personnel. Read more.

Prospect reports

Impact prospects for the 2018-19 season

Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin tops the list of players poised to make waves this season. Read more.

Ranking all 31 NHL prospect pipelines

Buffalo, Vancouver lead the league in rising young talent. Read more.

Team-by-team prospect overviews