It wouldn't be September without some really early and probably very wrong NHL season standings predictions. Some of the writers from NoHuddleSports' NHL page have given their full season predictions and they're bold, honest, and predicted way too early.
Best Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
In my opinion the Toronto Maple Leafs were already the closest to a Stanley Cup title before all of the John Tavares news. Once they landed Tavares, this only pushed them further into Stanley Cup talk. They've all but won the division and in my eyes are a solid pick to be having a parade in June.
Worst Team: Ottawa Senators
The Senators have been collapsing ever since their terribly heartbreaking double overtime loss to the Penguins in the 2017 Eastern Conference Final. It has all been downhill since then. From a goal away from the Final to most likely finishing last without a (most likely) first overall pick and (most likely) Erik Karlsson.
Most Improved Team: Buffalo Sabres
Anytime you get to pick first overall in an NHL Draft and obtain a player like Rasmus Dahlin, you've already made more improvement than most. Add Jeff Skinner into the mix without losing a whole lot and you have a winning mentality. The Sabres won't make the playoffs but they'll certainly be much better than in prior years.
Best Team: Winnipeg Jets
The Jets will be the best NHL team this season as they only got better from last season with the experience they now hone. Losing only Paul Stastny to free agency on a stacked offensive team like this will be miniscule in their quest to be the best team overall with their equally stacked defense consisting of Tyler Myers, Dustin Byfuglien and Jacob Trouba and while it may not stack up to the Predators defense, with an offense like that they could get those extra four points needed to best them.
Worst Team: New York Islanders
The Islanders will end up finishing in dead last after losing John Tavares, failing to solidify their starting goaltender and even solidify their defense. They have a lackluster roster which will fail to best the other team for a 60-minute matchup. The best part of next season which will heed their progress of being truly the worst with no outcome at all next season will be another year of Matt Barzal coupled with the first year of Barry Trotz.
Most Improved Team: Buffalo Sabres
With the addition of Jeff Skinner, Carter Hutton, Rasmus Dahlin, Conor Sheary and a hopefully healthy Jack Eichel, look for the Buffalo Sabres to ice one of the most improved rosters across the NHL. The Sabres will no longer appear as a laughing stock to the fans of the NHL as well as their fans. The team will compete and fight for a playoff spot in a weak Atlantic Division vying for their first playoff berth in eight years.
Best Team: Tampa Bay Lightning
I still think Tampa Bay is the best team in the league, they have a great balance of offense and defense. I thought they were going to the cup last year and I feel the same about them this year.
Worst Team: Vancouver Canucks
It was a toss-up between the Islanders and Canucks but I am going with Vancouver here since they were near the bottom of the standings and managed to get worse this year. Ottawa and Montreal look like they will be a mess this season also.
Most Improved Team: Arizona Coyotes
I'm going Arizona here, last year they failed to follow up on a successful '16-17 season and I think that was a fluke. I think the Coyotes will be in contention all year long.