2021 NHL season picks: Stanley Cup, division winners and awards

The puck drops on the 2020-21 NHL season this week, a season that will be unique in a great many ways: new divisions, a new playoff format, ads on helmets and much more.

But we’re looking way ahead, answering the big questions: Who will win the Stanley Cup? Who are the favorites for all the major awards? Who will win each of those new divisions?

Here are our picks:

East Division

Here are the teams competing in this division: Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals.

Sean Allen: Flyers
Ben Arledge: Flyers
Pierre Becquey: Penguins
Sachin Chandan: Flyers
Linda Cohn: Bruins
Dimitri Filipovic: Penguins
Emily Kaplan: Flyers
Tim Kavanagh: Flyers
Don La Greca: Bruins
Victoria Matiash: Capitals
Barry Melrose: Flyers
Arda Ocal: Bruins
Chris Peters: Flyers
Greg Wyshynski: Capitals

Top pick: Flyers (seven votes).

North Division

This all-Canadian division includes: Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Winnipeg Jets

Sean Allen: Jets
Ben Arledge: Maple Leafs
Pierre Becquey: Maple Leafs
Sachin Chandan: Oilers
Linda Cohn: Oilers
Dimitri Filipovic: Maple Leafs
Emily Kaplan: Maple Leafs
Tim Kavanagh: Jets
Don La Greca: Maple Leafs
Victoria Matiash: Maple Leafs
Barry Melrose: Flames
Arda Ocal: Maple Leafs
Chris Peters: Maple Leafs
Greg Wyshynski: Maple Leafs

Top pick: Maple Leafs (nine votes).

Central Division

It’s a bit of a hodge-podge in this newly revamped group: Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning

Sean Allen: Lightning
Ben Arledge: Lightning
Pierre Becquey: Lightning
Sachin Chandan: Lightning
Linda Cohn: Lightning
Dimitri Filipovic: Hurricanes
Emily Kaplan: Lightning
Tim Kavanagh: Hurricanes
Don La Greca: Lightning
Victoria Matiash: Lightning
Barry Melrose: Hurricanes
Arda Ocal: Hurricanes
Chris Peters: Hurricanes
Greg Wyshynski: Lightning

Top pick: Lightning (nine votes).

West Division

With the Canadian clubs all staying above the border, the remaining Pacific teams inherited some new friends from the Central: Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues, Vegas Golden Knights

Sean Allen: Golden Knights
Ben Arledge: Avalanche
Pierre Becquey: Golden Knights
Sachin Chandan: Avalanche
Linda Cohn: Golden Knights
Dimitri Filipovic: Avalanche
Emily Kaplan: Avalanche
Tim Kavanagh: Golden Knights
Don La Greca: Avalanche
Victoria Matiash: Avalanche
Barry Melrose: Avalanche
Arda Ocal: Avalanche
Chris Peters: Avalanche
Greg Wyshynski: Golden Knights

Top pick: Avalanche (nine votes).

Stanley Cup champion

The new playoff format — where the final four is re-seeded by regular season points percentage — could yield some “dream matchups” in the Cup Final. Here are our picks for the eventual champ:

Sean Allen: Avalanche
Ben Arledge: Golden Knights
Pierre Becquey: Maple Leafs
Sachin Chandan: Bruins
Linda Cohn: Golden Knights
Dimitri Filipovic: Avalanche
Emily Kaplan: Capitals
Tim Kavanagh: Golden Knights
Don La Greca: Avalanche
Victoria Matiash: Avalanche
Barry Melrose: Avalanche
Arda Ocal: Maple Leafs
Chris Peters: Golden Knights
Greg Wyshynski: Maple Leafs

Top pick: Avalanche (five votes).

Hart Trophy (MVP)

Sean Allen: Carter Hart, Flyers
Ben Arledge: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Pierre Becquey: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Sachin Chandan: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Linda Cohn: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Dimitri Filipovic: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Emily Kaplan: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Tim Kavanagh: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Don La Greca: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Victoria Matiash: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Barry Melrose: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Arda Ocal: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Chris Peters: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Greg Wyshynski: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs

Top pick: Nathan MacKinnon (eight votes).

Art Ross Trophy (scoring title)

Sean Allen: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Ben Arledge: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Pierre Becquey: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Sachin Chandan: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Linda Cohn: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Dimitri Filipovic: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Emily Kaplan: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Tim Kavanagh: Leon Draisaitl, Oilers
Don La Greca: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Victoria Matiash: Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche
Barry Melrose: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Arda Ocal: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Chris Peters: Connor McDavid, Oilers
Greg Wyshynski: Connor McDavid, Oilers

Top pick: Connor McDavid (11 votes).

Rocket Richard Trophy (goal-scoring title)

Sean Allen: Steven Stamkos, Lightning
Ben Arledge: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Pierre Becquey: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Sachin Chandan: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Linda Cohn: Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Dimitri Filipovic: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Emily Kaplan: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Tim Kavanagh: Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Don La Greca: Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Victoria Matiash: Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Barry Melrose: Leon Draisaitl, Oilers
Arda Ocal: Alex Ovechkin, Capitals
Chris Peters: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Greg Wyshynski: Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs

Top pick: Auston Matthews (seven votes).

Norris Trophy (top defenseman)

Sean Allen: Alex Pietrangelo, Golden Knights
Ben Arledge: Seth Jones, Blue Jackets
Pierre Becquey: Victor Hedman, Lightning
Sachin Chandan: John Carlson, Capitals
Linda Cohn: Victor Hedman, Lightning
Dimitri Filipovic: Dougie Hamilton, Hurricanes
Emily Kaplan: Victor Hedman, Lightning
Tim Kavanagh: Miro Heiskanen, Stars
Don La Greca: John Carlson, Capitals
Victoria Matiash: Victor Hedman, Lightning
Barry Melrose: Shea Theodore, Golden Knights
Arda Ocal: Charlie McAvoy, Bruins
Chris Peters: Seth Jones, Blue Jackets
Greg Wyshynski: Victor Hedman, Lightning

Top pick: Victor Hedman (five votes).

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)

Note: The NHL GMs vote for this award.

Sean Allen: Carter Hart, Flyers
Ben Arledge: Carter Hart, Flyers
Pierre Becquey: Tuukka Rask, Bruins
Sachin Chandan: Carter Hart, Flyers
Linda Cohn: Robin Lehner, Golden Knights
Dimitri Filipovic: Robin Lehner, Golden Knights
Emily Kaplan: Tuukka Rask, Bruins
Tim Kavanagh: Carter Hart, Flyers
Don La Greca: Ilya Samsonov, Capitals
Victoria Matiash: Carter Hart, Flyers
Barry Melrose: Carter Hart, Flyers
Arda Ocal: Igor Shesterkin, Rangers
Chris Peters: Carter Hart, Flyers
Greg Wyshynski: Carter Hart, Flyers

Top pick: Carter Hart (eight votes).

Calder Trophy (top rookie)

Sean Allen: Kirill Kaprizov, Wild
Ben Arledge: Kirill Kaprizov, Wild
Pierre Becquey: Alexis Lafreniere, Rangers
Sachin Chandan: Tim Stuzle, Senators
Linda Cohn: Igor Shesterkin, Rangers
Dimitri Filipovic: Kirill Kaprizov, Wild
Emily Kaplan: Igor Shesterkin, Rangers
Tim Kavanagh: Igor Shesterkin, Rangers
Don La Greca: Ilya Sorokin, Islanders
Victoria Matiash: Kirill Kaprizov, Wild
Barry Melrose: Alexis Lafreniere, Rangers
Arda Ocal: Alexis Lafreniere, Rangers
Chris Peters: Igor Shesterkin, Rangers
Greg Wyshynski: Kirill Kaprizov, Wild

Top pick: Kirill Kaprizov (five votes).

Jack Adams Award (top coach)

Note: This award is voted on by the National Hockey League Broadcasters Association at the end of the regular season.

Sean Allen: Peter DeBoer, Golden Knights
Ben Arledge: Travis Green, Canucks
Pierre Becquey: Peter DeBoer, Golden Knights
Sachin Chandan: Claude Julien, Canadiens
Linda Cohn: Jared Bednar, Avalanche
Dimitri Filipovic: Rod Brind’Amour, Hurricanes
Emily Kaplan: Ralph Krueger, Sabres
Tim Kavanagh: Rod Brind’Amour, Hurricanes
Don La Greca: David Quinn, Rangers
Victoria Matiash: Ralph Krueger, Sabres
Barry Melrose: Jared Bednar, Avalanche
Arda Ocal: Travis Green, Canucks
Chris Peters: Jared Bednar, Avalanche
Greg Wyshynski: Peter Laviolette, Capitals

Top pick: Jared Bednar (three votes).

Our panel: Sean Allen, NHL fantasy columnist; Ben Arledge, associate editor; Pierre Becquey, deputy editor; Sachin Chandan, fantasy hockey editor; Linda Cohn, SportsCenter anchor, “In the Crease” host; Dimitri Filipovic, NHL writer; Emily Kaplan, national NHL reporter; Tim Kavanagh, senior editor; Don La Greca, ESPN Radio host; Victoria Matiash, NHL fantasy columnist; Barry Melrose, NHL analyst; Arda Ocal, ESPN writer; Chris Peters, NHL prospects writer; Greg Wyshynski, senior NHL writer.

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