Central Division

Let me start by saying I have no idea what these GM’s plan to use as line combinations. I have just listed players by position and ignored line fits and defensive pairings. It’s just to get a rough idea of what the team has in order to come up with a best guess at the seasons standings come April 2024



1. Colorado Avalanche (Pat Padula)

LW                                                       C                               RW

Alex Iafallo                              Nathan Mackinnon       Mikko Rantanen

Evander Kane                          Sebastian Aho             Valeri Nichushkin

Alex Newhook                         Roope Hintz                 Warren Foegele

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare     J.T. Compher               Rocco Grimaldi


Marc-Edouard Vlasic       Erik Karlsson

Jordie Benn                       Tyson Barrie

Brett Kulak                        Justin Faulk

Brendan Smith


Ilya Samsonov

Stuart Skinner

Frederik Andersen


Pat has inherited a cup winning calibre team in the Avs after the former GM Bryce stepped down. Not much change has happened to the team in the off-season so Pat is going to keep the band together and take another run at a cup. The big unknown here is how Pat will handle the STHS strategies and lines, this could be a big factor in where he finishes in this division.


2. Dallas Stars (Junya Kato)



LW                                         C                          RW

Jaden Schwartz     Mark Scheifele    Jesper Bratt

Steven Stamkos    Elias Lindholm     Tyler Tiffoli

Nicholas Paul        Shawn Element   Jeff Skinner

Jimmy Vesey         Matt Alfaro         Michael Amadio


Dmitry Orlov      Aaron Ekblad

Neal Poink          Brett Pesce

Cam Fowler       Mark Friedman


Igor Shesterkin


Zachary Fucale


The Stars have continually put forward a strong roster and that looks to be the case again this year. He's got some good depth on the wings and is rolling with one of the top goalies. It should be a good fight for the top of the division.



3. Minnesota Wild (Al Wehr)

        LW                       C                         RW

Kirill Kaprizov      Kevin Hayes     Mats Zuccarello

Kevin Fiala            Adam Lowry    Joel Farabee

Tomas Tatar        Eric Staal           Mikael Granlund

Danton Heinen    Tyler Johnson   David Perron

Dominic Toninato   Noel Acciari


Trevor Van Riemsdyk     Seth Jones

Jack Johnson    Alex Carrier

Erik Brannstrom   Adam Pelech

Haydn Fleury     Colin Miller


Joonas Korpisalo

Semyon Varlamov


Al's roster is currently sitting at 24 pro players, so he'll have to make a cut prior to the regular season starting. His goalies are rated well, he has really good depth on the back end. The center group leaves a little to be desired, but they're by no means weak. 




4. St. Louis Blues (Eric Dolegowski)

     LW                               C                               RW

Filip Forsberg          Logan Couture       Jake Guentzel

Anders Lee               Teddy Blueger       Tyler Motte

Brandon Hagel         Nic Dowd              Justin Addamo

Valtteri Puustinen   Eetu Luostarinen   Lauri Pajuniemi

Luke Henman


Mario Ferraro      Noah Dobson

Brad Hunt        Quinn Schmiemann

Danila Zhuravlyov   Derek Forbort


Tristan Jarry

Michael Houser


Two seasons removed now from his cup win and his roster is looking weaker than the previous two years. Jarry has decent ratings though and he's got some sneaky good depth on the wings. Eric should be in the fight for a wildcard spot in the Central.



5. Nashville Predators (Tyler Sheddon)


LW                                   C                        RW

Clayton Keller      Anze Kopitar      Rickard Rakell

Anton Lundell      Tyler Seguin      Martin Necas

Gustav Nyquist     Lars Eller           Mattias Janmark

Gage Goncalves    Dakota Joshua   Josh Leivo

Kyle Clifford


Jakob Chychrun    John Klingberg

Ben Chiarot           John Carlson

Erik Gudbranson   Marco Scandella

Riese Zmolek       Robbie Russo


Filip Gustavsson

Ville Husso


The Kopitar signing was great for Sheds and really rounds out his top 6 forward group nicely. Gustavsson rated quite well after his breaking out last season with the Wild and should keep Sheds in the thick of things this year hunting for a playoff birth.


6. Chicago Blackhawks (David Yee)

LW                                            C                               RW

Dominik Kubalik         Andrew Copp           Jordan Kyrou

Arthur Kaliyev        Frederick Gaudreau    Filip Zadina

Miles Wood            Andrew Poturalski       Christian Fischer

Parker Kelly                Connor Dewar           Philip Tomasino


Jaccob Slavin          Esa Lindell

Quinn Hughes     Nikita Zaitsev

Darnell Nurse     Jake Walman

Joshua Brown


Sergei Bobrovsky

Philipp Grubauer


I'm not sure if David is going rebuild with this roster or if he's just been trying to re-tool on the fly. Either way it looks like he's kind of inbetween both right now. Strong goaltending and a solid defence will keep the Blackhawks from the bottom of the division and the weak forward group will keep him from the playoffs.


7. Winnipeg Jets (Jordan Hansford)

LW                                   C                                   RW

William Nylander    Jack Eichel             Mitchell Marner

Jonathan Drouin    Mikhail Maltsev    Patric Hornqvist

Liam O’Brien          Logan Brown        Yegor Chinakhov

Garnet Hathaway   Aleksi Heponiemi   Josh Bailey

Carl Grundstrom


TJ Brodie       Matt Dumba

Travis Dermott   Jeremy Lauzon

Thomas Harley    Jake Bean

Arber Xhekaj     Philip Broberg (RFA)


Samuel Montembeault

Joseph Woll


Ivan Prosvetov


Is Doc tanking for Bedard? I think that's kind of the goal here even though he boasts one of the top lines in the sim with Nylander/Eichel/Marner. Once Broberg signs he's going to have to make a cut as the roster is at 23 players currently. It's probably Bailey going to the waiver draft where he is unlikely to be snagged.


8. Arizona Coyotes (Joel Mierau)

LW                                      C                          RW

Mason McTavish    Nick Suzuki       Mason Appleton

Peyton Krebs          Barrett Hayton   Trey Fix-Wolansky

Klim Kostin            Ryan Johansen     Ryan Reeves

Matt Nieto          Kevin Stenlund       Philipp Kurashev


Roman Josi          K’Andre Miller

Adam Boqvist    Jacob Bryson

Calvin De Haan   Henri Jokiharju

Vincent Desharnais


Carter Hart


Mackenzie Blackwood


There's good young pieces here and lots to like going forward. Hart had a better 2022-23 than 2021-22 season and is trending in the right direction, whether this continues is highly dependant on the Flyers team infront of him.


Central Standings Guess:

1. Colorado Avalanche - 118 points

2. Dallas Stars - 95 points

3. Minnesota Wild - 94 points

4. St. Louis Blues - 89 points

5. Nashville Predators - 87 points

6. Chicago Blackhawks - 83 points

7. Winnipeg Jets - 79 points

8. Arizona Coyotes - 74 points



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