NHL 2021 Season Divisional Overview: Central Division

NHL 2021 Season Divisional Breakdown!

Hello everyone and welcome back to the NHL 2021 season! The puck drops on January 13, 2021! We at DFS Army are very excited to get this season underway and I’m going to do a simple overview of the new divisions for this year, along with key transactions from the teams! Sign up for DFS Army using the promo code “MDELL” to save 20% off your membership for LIFE. Get in before the new year because prices may be going up! Before we get into it, go on over to my Twitter account and give me a follow @mdellagnese14.

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Now, let’s get to the Central Division!

We will start by keying on the big transactions that the teams have acquired and I will list the Draft Picks the teams have acquired via trade this offseason along with some key losses from each team!

Carolina Hurricanes (38-25-5) (+2000 to win Cup)

Draft Picks Acquired: 5th-round (2020) *note the draft already did happen!

Players Acquired

Jesper Fast: After spending his first 7 years with the Rangers, Fast signed a 3-year deal with the Hurricanes in October. Last year, Fast was able to score 12 goals and added 17 hits for the Rangers, and had an incredible 125 hits over 69 games. He will likely be in the bottom 6 but is a physical player and can see some PP time as well.

Key Losses

Justin Williams: Williams retired at the end of last season. He didn’t do much in terms of offense last year, but was such a good locker room guy and did provide a spark late for them. He will be missed as that veteran presence for the Canes this year.

Sami Vatanen: Vatanen is still an unrestricted Free Agent as I write this article, but he did play a vital role for the Canes last season on the blue line. He scored 5 goals and had 18 assists in just 47 games after missing some time due to injury. He added 80 blocks and 50 hits for the Canes. When healthy, he made an impact on this team on the ice.

Chicago Blackhawks (32-30-8) (+6000 to win Cup)

Players Acquired

Brandon Pirri: Pirri spent time with the Knights the last few years, but he didn’t really produce or play that much. Appearing in only 16 games he had just 2 assists and 24 SOG. He should get a spot on the active roster for the Hawks though and when he plays a bunch, he can produce.

Nikita Zadorov: Traded from Colorado is a physical defenseman that the Hawks need. He won’t produce much on offense, but he did have over 150 hits in each of his last 4 seasons.

Mattias Janmark: Played a middle-six role for the Stars and now is coming to Chicago. If he can avoid injuries, he will make an impact for the Blackhawks. Over his first 4 years in the league, he has scored over 20 points in each of the seasons and had a high of 19 goals back in 2017-18.

Lucas Wallmark: Likely will center the 3rd or 4th line for the Hawks this year played 67 games between the Hurricanes and Panthers last season, scoring 12 goals and adding 13 assists. He didn’t shoot all that much with just 84, but he did have 131 SOG in 2018-19.

Carl Soderberg: Was big for me in DFS last year towards the end with Arizona. He scored 17 goals and had 18 assists for them and likely will be on the 2nd or 3rd line for Chicago this year. He also was a force on the power play for Arizona last year, tallying 11 powerplay points in 70 games.

Key Losses

Ollie Maatta: Defense guy they lost this year after trading him over to Los Angeles. Again, he didn’t do much in terms of scoring, but he added 110 blocks and 119 hits. Over his 7 year career, he has had over 100 blocks in 5 of those years.

Corey Crawford: Signed a 2-year deal with the Devils in October, so the Hawks are going to rely on youngster Collin Delia and likely back up Malcolm Subban in the goal. When healthy, Crawford was great in Chicago over the last 10 seasons. He recorded a 260-162-53 W/L record with a 2.45 GAA and .918 save%.

Columbus Blue Jackets (32-22-15) (+5500 to win Cup)

Draft Picks Acquired: 5th-round (2021), 3rd-round (2020)

Players Acquired

Max Domi: Acquired in the Canadiens trade for Josh Anderson back in October. Pretty big gain for them to add to their top line. Domi fell off last year after tallying 72 points with the Habs last year. He still scored 17 goals and had 27 assists with 179 SOG. He is a very streaky DFS play but should be able to produce here for CBJ.

Mikko Koivu: Has played his whole 15-year career in Minnesota and now signed with the Blue Jackets this year. He’s aging but should be able to produce in this offense. He hasn’t played a ton over the last 2 seasons playing just 48 and 55 games. Before that though, he did play 80+ games in the 3 seasons prior. When he plays he can be productive with 3 45 point seasons in his last 5. Likely will garner a middle-six spot for the Blue Jackets.

Key Losses

Josh Anderson: Anderson was hurt much of last year, but when he was healthy he was producing for Columbus. In 2018-19, he played in all 82 games and had 47 points. This will be a big loss for them, but adding Domi is a solid upgrade.

Detroit Red Wings (17-49-5) (+30000 to win Stanley Cup)

Draft Picks Acquired: 2nd-round (2021)

Players Acquired

Thomas Greiss: Greiss is a massive upgrade from Howard as he has won the Jennings trophy in 2018-19. Greiss split time with the Islanders but still recorded 31 games last year and 43 the year before. Over the last 2 years with the Islanders, Greiss has an amazing record of 67-39-6 while having over a .913 sv% each of those two years. He likely will start splitting time with Bernier, but he should be able to win an everyday role rather quickly.

Marc Staal: Really is just going to add some veteran presence for the rebuilding Red Wings. He won’t produce much offensively but does play a ton of ice time and has 13 years of experience.

Bobby Ryan: After having some personal issues last year, Ryan came back and scored 5 goals in 24 games for the Senators. He has been productive in the past and now will bring 13 years of experience to this young Red Wings team. When healthy and playing well, he will shoot for 30+ point seasons. He is physical and did record 4 straight 30 goal seasons back in his first few years.

Vladislav Namestnikov: Namestriker as we call him here at DFS Army. He was pretty solid last year with 3 different teams. He did have 17 goals last year and 14 assists in 65 games. Namestnikov should be able to provide a nice addition in scoring and should make an impact on the power play as well.

Troy Stetcher: Should play a ton of minutes for DET this year after just seeing 15:21 ATOI last year with Vancouver. He won’t do much on the offensive end, but did end last year with a 10 +/-.

Key Losses

Jimmy Howard: Writing this here because it will cause them to change their goalie situation. It is a bit sad for DFS purposes because he was always a target to stack against. He was awful last year in 27 games posting a 2-23-2 record.

Florida Panthers (35-26-8) (+3500 to win the Cup)

Draft Picks Acquired: 5th-round (2020)

Players Acquired

Patric Hornqvist: Will be a wonderful addition to the Panthers, especially on the power-play as he loves to hound the goalie in front of the net. After losing Hoffman and Dadonov, Hornqvist should see a top-6 role, plus his time on the powerplay. He did have 17 goals and 15 assists last year on 168 SOG for the Penguins.

Vinny Hinostroza: Signed a one-year deal this year after getting just 22 points with Arizona last year. It’s hard to see where he will play for Florida, but if he happens to get a top-6 role he could get closer to scoring his career-high 39 points that he did in 2018-19.

Anthony Duclair: Probably their biggest signing this offseason and should help this offense. He did score 23 goals last year for the Senators and should provide some good offense for Florida this year.

Carter Verhaeghe: Will have his time to shine here in Florida after signing a 2-year deal. He was in the minors for Tampa Bay for 4 seasons, but finally got some playing time last year and scored 9 goals over 52 games. In the postseason he added 2 assists for them. He should be able to play more for Florida as they have lost some key pieces.

Key Losses

Evgenii Dadonov: BIG loss for the Panthers here. He was great last year with 25 goals and 22 assists in 69 games. Dadonov was amazing on the power-play and should provide a great boost to the Senators team. He has scored 25 goals in each of his last 3 seasons for Florida.

Mike Hoffman: ANOTHER HUGE loss for the Panthers as they didn’t want to overpay for him. Questionable move for GM Bill Zito though as he has scored over 20 goals in each of his last 6 seasons and has tallied over 50 points in 5 of those 6 seasons. Will be a big loss in the top 6 and on the powerplay. In 2 years with Florida, he tallied 65 goals and 64 assists over 151 games.

Mike Matheson: Matheson was a good defender for the Panthers last year, but getting Hornqvist in return is a solid trade. Matheson has played all 5 years with the Panthers and now goes to Pittsburgh. He has had 20 points in each of his last 3 seasons with Florida and before last season had over 100 blocks in 3 straight years. Normally some good value in DFS especially since he can get a ton of blocks.

Erik Haula: Was big on the PP last year having 8 points, but really is just a salary dump for the Panthers as he only had 22 points in 48 games for Florida and Carolina last year.

Dallas Stars (37-24-8) (+2500 to win the Cup)

Dallas has not had a big offseason, but they also didn’t lose many players either and should still be able to put up a good record this year in the Central Division. They really only had 1 notable loss and did not sign any notable players as of now.

Players Acquired

No Key additions

Key Losses

They did lose Corey Perry to FA this year, but he hasn’t really been productive over the last couple of seasons as he’s starting to get older. He could make an impact for his new club though.

Nashville Predators (35-26-8) (+2700 to win Cup)

Draft Picks Acquired: 4th-round (2021), 4th-round (2020)

Players Acquired

Luke Kunin: Acquired from a trade with the Wild earlier this offseason should provide a spark to their bottom lines. He has improved each of his 3 years with Minnesota and tallied 15 goals with 16 assists last year with the Wild.

Nick Cousins: A good sign for them and upgrade from Turris and Bonino. He had 25 points last year with Vegas and Montreal and also added 5 assists for Vegas in the playoffs. Should see a second-line role here for the Preds.

Erik Haula: Was big on the PP last year having 8 points, but really is just a salary dump for the Panthers as he only had 22 points in 48 games for Florida and Carolina last year.

Key Losses

Kyle Turris: I think this will be good for Turris as he will be able to play with McDavid and Draisitl in Edmonton. He did have 31 points last year but was not able to really get things going. Over his career, he scores about a point every other game, so they will lose some production.

Craig Smith: Was big at times for them last season and now is with the Bruins. He had 31 points last year (18 G, 13 A) and was good on the power-play for them. He was solid value for DFS for this Nashville team and now will look to get more time with Boston.

Tampa Bay Lightning (43-21-6) (+800 to win the Cup)

Players Acquired

No surprise here, the Bolts didn’t add anyone that will make a big impact for their team, but they may want to look as Nikita Kucherov is going to miss this year after undergoing surgery. They didn’t have much money to sign anyone though, so that will be quite hard for them to sign anyone now.

Key Losses

Nikita Kucherov: Kucherov underwent hip surgery and he will miss the entire season. When he gets put on long-term IR, they will be able to clear some cap space to sign someone to replace him though. It looks like Killorn will take over his spot on the 2nd line. Huge loss for them as he scored 85 points last year and added 34 in the playoffs.

Kevin Shattenkirk: Played pretty well for the Bolts last season as he had 8 goals and 26 assists with a 22 +/-. He played well in the playoffs, but now he goes to the Ducks where he will get a top-four role on their defense.

But wait there’s more! (Keep scrolling)

These teams will play each other a boatload of times this year! It’ll be an exciting season! In my next article, I will be outlining the final division, the WESTERN DIVISION! Be sure to check out dfsarmy.com and use the promo code MDELL to save 20% on your subscription.

I have added Stanley Cup Odds next to the team names, this is the perfect thing to look for when trying to bet futures. Our guys over at Sports Bet Army have been crushing it in all sports over the course of 2020! Why not start off your 2021 year much better than the 2020 year was? Sign up today and use the code MDELL to save 20% for life!

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