2022-23 NHL season preview, predictions, where to watch, schedule, date, key players and more

by Christina S. Brown
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We eventually arrived. The NHL regular season has begun after a long offseason filled with NHL draft intrigue, a stunning signing, and a blockbuster transaction.

The NHL is bringing its talent overseas and starting the season in Europe as the NHL Global Series kicks off the season. Following that, it will be a few days until the action begins in North America.

The avalanches are the defending Stanley Cup winners and the odds-on favorite to win the NHL’s most cherished trophy this season. Despite losing major players such as Andre Burakovsky and Nazem Kadri, they should be one of the strongest teams this season. Their Cup-raising ceremony is one of the season’s first major events.

The regular season begins in North America on Tuesday, and the league’s stars will soon be out in full force. This year will see established elite performers continuing to produce at a high level and fresh faces rising to the top.

Several players made their debuts last season. Cale Makar’s outstanding play has elevated him to the league’s top five scorers. Igor Shesterkin stunned the goaltending world, challenging Andrei Vasilevskiy for the title of best goaltender. Others, like as Jonathan Huberdeau, Matthew Tkachuk, and Johnny Gaudreau, had breakout seasons, scoring more than 100 points each.

This season will be no different, as certain players will shine again. Before that happens, we look at all of the NHL players heading into this season to see who the best of the best are.

Here’s a look at the opening week of the NHL season.

How to watch Live the NHL regular season:

In the United States, select NHL games will be accessible to stream on ESPN.com, the ESPN App, or with an ESPN+ subscription. This season, ESPN+ subscribers will have access to 1,050-plus out-of-market games.

On ESPN, ESPN+, Hulu, and ABC, fans may watch up to 103 unique games.

When does the NHL season 2022-23 begin?

The NHL season begins on Friday, October 7.

The NHL season concludes on Thursday, April 13.

The NHL’s 2022-23 season will begin in Europe, with the Sharks and Predators playing two games as part of the NHL Global Series. The games will take place on October 7 and 8 at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic. It is the NHL’s first trip outside of North America since 2019.

The regular season will come to an end on Thursday, April 13, with 15 games scheduled.

What games will be in 1st Week?

While the Global Series marks the formal start of the regular season, the first games in North America will be played on October 11th, with two games broadcast exclusively on ESPN.

In a repeat of the Eastern Conference Final, the Rangers take on the Lightning. Later that evening, the Kings will play the Golden Knights in a Pacific Division clash.

TNT will air a doubleheader the next night on its channel. The Bruins will face the Capitals in D.C., while the Avalanche will be able to raise their Stanley Cup banner when they host the Blackhawks.

The following is the national television schedule for the first week of games.

DateMatchupTimeTV Channel
Tuesday, Oct. 11Lightning vs Rangers7:30 p.m.ESPN
Tuesday, Oct. 11Golden Knights vs Kings10 p.m.ESPN
Wednesday, Oct. 12Bruins vs Capitals7 p.m.TNT
Wednesday, Oct. 12Blackhawks vs Avalanche9:30 p.m.TNT

 

What is the price of ESPN+?

ESPN+ monthly subscriptions start at $9.99 per month, with an annual subscription costing $99.99.

How to watch NHL games without a cable subscription

In 2022, ESPN and ABC will once again carry NHL games. National broadcasts will be available to watch on ESPN’s website and app and the streaming platforms listed below.

Those without cable who want to watch the NHL can sign up for ESPN+ and watch games live. This season, ESPN+ subscribers will have access to 1,050-plus out-of-market games.

Streaming optionIs a cable subscription needed?Free?CostFree trial?
ESPN+NoNo$9.99/monthNo
ESPN.com/ESPN AppYesYes
fuboTVNoNo$64.99/monthYes
DIRECTV STREAMNoNo$69.99/monthYes
Hulu Plus Live TVNoNo$64.99/monthYes
Sling TVNoNo$35/monthYes
YouTube TVNoNo$64.99/monthYes

How many games NHL 2022-23 Regular season will be there?

All clubs will play the regular 82-game calendar, which includes at least two games against every team in the league as well as many clashes versus divisional opponents.

What exactly are the NHL divisions?

The NHL has returned to its traditional division structure. The divisional structure is the same as it was the previous year when the Kraken joined the league and was assigned to the Pacific Division.

AtlanticMetropolitanCentralPacific
Boston BruinsCarolina HurricanesArizona CoyotesAnaheim Ducks
Buffalo SabresColumbus Blue JacketsChicago BlackhawksCalgary Flames
Detroit Red WingsNew Jersey DevilsColorado AvalancheEdmonton Oilers
Florida PanthersNew York IslandersDallas StarsLos Angeles Kings
Montreal CanadiensNew York RangersMinnesota WildSan Jose Sharks
Ottawa SenatorsPhiladelphia FlyersNashville PredatorsSeattle Kraken
Tampa Bay LightningPittsburgh PenguinsSt. Louis BluesVancouver Canucks
Toronto Maple LeafsWashington CapitalsWinnipeg JetsVegas Golden Knights

NHL 2022-23 season schedule:

While the Sharks and Predators are kicking off the season’s official start, the first North American game is not until October 11 with a doubleheader. The Rangers take on the Lightning in a rematch of the Eastern Conference Final, while the Kings host the Golden Knights.

This is how the first week of the NHL season looks.

Tuesday, Oct. 11

MatchupTime (ET)
Lightning at Rangers7:30 p.m.
Golden Knights at Kings10 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 12

MatchupTime (ET)
Bruins at Capitals7 p.m.
Blue Jackets at Hurricanes7 p.m.
Maple Leafs at Canadiens7 p.m.
Blackhawks at Avalanche9:30 p.m.
Krake at Ducks10 p.m.
Canucks at Oilers10 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 13

MatchupTime (ET)
Senators at Sabres7 p.m.
Devils at Flyers7 p.m.
Coyotes at Penguins7 p.m.
Panthers at Islanders7:30 p.m.
Capitals at Maple Leafs7:30 p.m.
Rangers at Wild8 p.m.
Stars at Predators8:30 p.m.
Avalanche at Flames9:30 p.m.
Blackhawks at Golden Knights10 p.m.
Kraken at Kings10:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14

MatchupTime (ET)
Lightning at Blue Jackets7 p.m.
Canadiens at Red Wings7 p.m.
Rangers at Jets8 p.m.
Hurricanes at Sharks10:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 15

MatchupTime (ET)
Panthers at Sabres1 p.m.
Canucks at Flyers4 p.m.
Coyotes at Bruins7 p.m.
Red Wings at Devils7 p.m.
Lightning at Penguins7 p.m.
Senators at Maple Leafs7 p.m.
Canadiens at Capitals7 p.m.
Ducks at Islanders7:30 p.m.
Predators at Stars8 p.m.
Kings at Wild8 p.m.
Blue Jackets at Blues8 p.m.
Flames at Oilers10 p.m.
Golden Knights at Kraken10 p.m.
Blackhawks at Sharks10:30 p.m.

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Dates to remember for the 2022-23 NHL season:

Czech Republic in the NHL Global Series
Dates: October 7 and 8 Venue: O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic
Sharks against Predators

Finland hosts the NHL Global Series.
Dates: November 4 and 5 Venue: Nokia Arena, Tampere, Finland
Winter Classic: Avalanche vs. Blue Jackets

The date is January 2nd, and the location is Fenway Park in Boston.
All-Star Weekend Matchups: Bruins vs. Penguins
Dates: February 3 and 4 Venue: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Fla. Series
Date: February 18 Venue: Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, N.C.
Hurricanes vs. Capitals trade deadline 2022-23
3rd of March
3 p.m. ET in 2023 Dates: June 28 and 29, 2019 Location: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.

Top 10 NHL players for the 2022-23 season:

1. Connor McDavid, C, Edmonton Oilers

McDavid joins the 2022-23 season fresh off his second consecutive Art Ross Trophy triumph and fourth overall. He’s aiming for 100 points for the third year in a row and the seventh time in his NHL career. McDavid is the best player in the planet right now, so it’s no wonder he’s at the top of this list.

2. Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews, C

McDavid may be the best player, but Matthews is now the top goal-scorer. He’s won back-to-back Rocket Richard Trophies, becoming the first player since Steven Stamkos in 2011-12 to score 60 goals in a single season. Matthews’ devastating shot release makes him a threat from any position on the ice.

3. Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon, C

Finally, MacKinnon is a Stanley Cup champion, having helped lead the Avalanche to victory. Despite appearing in only 65 games, MacKinnon scored 88 points for Colorado. He has the hands, the quickness, the shot, and most importantly, the enthusiasm. MacKinnon is a complete player who is one of the most thrilling to watch.

4. Avalanche’s Cale Makar

Regarding Makar and the top spot on this list, there isn’t much to dispute. At the age of 23, the Avalanche defenseman has won the Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy, the Norris Trophy, and the Calder Trophy. He is one of the best skaters in the NHL, allowing him to be an exceptional player in all three zones. It will be a pleasure to see Makar’s entire career.

5. Leon Draisaitl, C, Edmonton Oilers

While McDavid receives a lot of attention in Edmonton, he has a tremendously good center playing behind him in Draisaitl. McDavid initiates many of the plays that Draisaitl finishes, particularly the power play. Last season, the German scored 50 goals for the second time in his career and tied his career high of 110 points. He’d be the starting center on practically any other team in the league.

6. Nikita Kucherov, Lightning RW

Kucherov has the abilities, stats, and hardware to back up his position at the top of our list – two Stanley Cups, a Hart Trophy, a Ted Lindsay, and an Art Ross Trophy. Kucherov led the squad in scoring in both of Tampa Bay’s Cup victories in 2020 and 2021. Injuries held Kucherov out of the whole 2020-21 regular season and nearly half of last year’s campaign, but he’s shown to be a formidable offensive weapon when fully healthy.

7. Sidney Crosby, Penguins

Don’t let anyone mislead you: Crosby still has it. He may not be winning trophies like he used to, but he is still one of the finest centers in the league. Despite missing 13 games due to injury, Pittsburgh’s captain scored 84 points last season. Crosby and the Penguins are hoping to win another Stanley Cup with the core group after re-signing Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang.

8. Lightning’s Victor Hedman, D

Hedman has long been regarded as the league’s best defenseman, but Makar’s performance last season vaulted him ahead of the Swede. Despite this, the Lightning blue liner is one of the finest in the game, having won the Norris Trophy and been one among the three finalists for six consecutive seasons. His stature makes him difficult to play against, particularly along the wall, and he has a good passing ability. Hedman is coming off a breakout year in which he set new career highs in goals (20), assists (65), and points (65). (85).

9. Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin, LW

Auston Matthews is closing in on the best goal scorer award, but Ovechkin deserves it as long as he is still in the league. His wrist and slap shots make him a threat from anywhere on the ice. The 37-year-old has shown no signs of slowing down, scoring 50 goals for the ninth time in his career last season. The Great 8 has a serious chance of breaking Wayne Gretzky’s career goal record, with Ovechkin needing 114 more goals to do so.

10. Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy

While Rangers fans may disagree, Vasilevskiy is the league’s finest goalie. No one has consistently put up great numbers like the Russian, who at 28 years old already has two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe, and a Vezina. He has a 39-18-5 record with a 2.49 GAA and.916 SV%. It was his third season in a row with a GAA under 2.50 and his sixth consecutive year with an SV% above.915. “The Big Cat” continues to deliver for the Lightning year after year.

The NHL 2022-23 Season Predictions:

DIVISION CENTRAL

1. Avalanche: As is customary for Cup winners, the Avalanche’s subsequent summer salary-cap constraint cost them numerous vital contributors, including Nazem Kadri, Darcy Kuemper, and Andre Burakovsky. Evan Rodrigues and new starting goaltender Alexandar Georgiev aren’t exact replacements, but the Avalanche still have too many top players to be concerned.

Nathan MacKinnon (currently under contract through 2031), Gabriel Landeskog, and Mikko Rantanen are three of the league’s finest forwards, Valeri Nichushkin and Artturi Lehkonen are two of the league’s greatest defensive forwards, and defenseman Cale Makar may be the best player in the league, period. Few, if any, teams can match that.

2. Minnesota Wild: They broke into the NHL’s top tier last season, placing second in the West with 113 points, and a very similar club will return in 2022-23.

Kirill Kaprizov has established himself as a superstar, Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno are perennial Selke Trophy contenders, youngsters Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi are poised to explode, the defense is well-rounded across all six members, and the ageless Marc-Andre Fleury remains a solid starting goalie. Their only issue is that they are in the same division as the Avalanche.

3. Stars: A coaching change from Rick Bowness to Pete DeBoer is likely to result in the Stars adopting a more offensive attitude. Given how good rookie goalie Jake Oettinger appears to be in the coming years, that’s probably a wise move.

Up front, finding output from players other than the top line, which featured Jason Robertson, Roope Hintz, and Joe Pavelski last season, will be critical. Miro Heiskanen will have to bear a heavier job on defense now that John Klingberg has joined the Ducks.

4. Blues (wild card): Nine forwards scoring 20 goals for the 2021-22 Blues was a stunning feat, displaying what is perhaps the league’s strongest offensive depth. Eight of them will return in 2022-23, with top prospect Jake Neighbours potentially taking David Perron’s spot.

The Blues’ weak points are on defense, where Colton Parayko, Torey Krug, and Justin Faulk look more like second-pair players than first-pair players, and in goal, where now-departed Ville Husso carried Jordan Binnington last season.

5. Jets: Bowness has joined the Jets, and he made an immediate impact, removing Blake Wheeler as captain with two years remaining on his contract.

That contentious decision highlights the organization’s growing dissatisfaction with the core, which includes Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Kyle Connor, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Pierre-Luc Dubois, defenseman Josh Morrissey, and goalie Connor Hellebuyck forwards. Following a poor 89-point finish last season, this season seems like a watershed moment in the Jets’ long-term trajectory.

6. Predators: For years, the Predators have been an above-average, difficult-to-play-against team, regardless of which players come and leave.

After a turbulent offseason in 2021 made no effect, the team altered little this summer, with Nino Niederreiter being the only prominent addition. Although excellent defenseman Roman Josi and exceptional goalkeeper Jusse Saros are mainstays, the forward corps leaves much to be desired and may be in due for some negative regression after exceeding expectations last season. Could the Predators finally experience inconsistency this season?

7. Coyotes: Between the Coyotes and the Hawks, the team that finishes seventh in the Central this season could be one of the worst in NHL history if it is not the worst in its division.

The Coyotes are bringing back roughly the same dreadful group they used last season, a lineup headed by Nick Schmaltz and Clayton Keller and now without Phil Kessel.

8. Chicago Blackhawks: Out-tanking, the Coyotes, may be difficult if Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews remain on the team for the entire season. But make no mistake: the supporting cast is depressing. Scoring goals may prove difficult for this team.

The Hawks’ new goaltender combo of Petr Mrazek and Alex Stalock will also make a significant difference in the battle for last place.

DIVISION OF THE PACIFIC (playoff teams in bold)

Seven Pacific clubs might make the playoffs, but none are a lock. The most intriguing question in the division is whether the Golden Knights can reverse their downward trend, but the rising Ducks and Bruce Boudreau-revitalized Canucks are fun Cinderella contenders. However, the two Alberta teams certainly have the most star power.

1. The Oilers

2. Fireworks

3. Ducks

4. The Canucks

Golden Knights (5)

6. Kings

7. The Kraken

Sharks (nine)

DIVISION METROPOLITAN

The Hurricanes appear to be the overwhelming favorites, but they have yet to demonstrate that they can carry their recent regular-season domination into the playoffs. It will be intriguing to see how the older cores of the Capitals, Penguins, and Islanders fare against one another, as well as Johnny Gaudreau’s influence (or lack thereof) on the Blue Jackets.

1. Tropical cyclones

2. The Rangers

3. Capitalization

four. penguins

5. Demons

Blue Jackets (6)

Islanders 7

Flyers (nine)

DIVISION OF THE ATLANTIC

The Senators are the most improved club this season, thanks to the additions of Alex DeBrincat and Claude Giroux. However, they will face a stacked field of competitors. The Atlantic may host five of the NHL’s top eleven teams. Surely, the Maple Leafs, who have the finest roster on paper of the bunch, will make a postseason run one of these years, right?

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

2. Thunderstorm

Panthers 3

4. The Bruins

Senators 5

The Red Wings

Sabres 7

Canadiens (Canadians)

FINALS OF THE CONFERENCE

West: The Avalanche defeat the Flames.

East: The Maple Leafs beat the Rangers.

FINAL OF THE STANLEY CUP

The Maple Leafs defeat the Avalanche.

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