2019-20 NHL picks: Stanley Cup, division winners and awards

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The puck drops on the 2019-20 NHL season on Wednesday night, including the St. Louis Blues raising their championship banner and the San Jose Sharks visiting the Vegas Golden Knights for a renewal of their budding rivalry.

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? Here are our picks:

Jump ahead:
Atlantic | Metro | Central | Pacific | Cup
Hart | Ross | Norris | Vezina | Calder | Adams

Atlantic Division

This division is a pretty clear split between a trio of elite teams (Tampa Bay, Boston and Toronto), three teams that need another year or so (Ottawa, Detroit and Buffalo) and a couple teams that could go either way (Montreal and Florida).

Sean Allen: Toronto Maple Leafs
Ben Arledge: Tampa Bay Lightning
Pierre Becquey: Tampa Bay Lightning
John Buccigross: Toronto Maple Leafs
Sachin Chandan: Tampa Bay Lightning
Linda Cohn: Tampa Bay Lightning
Aimee Crawford: Tampa Bay Lightning
Rick DiPietro: Tampa Bay Lightning
Dimitri Filipovic: Toronto Maple Leafs
Emily Kaplan: Tampa Bay Lightning
Tim Kavanagh: Toronto Maple Leafs
Don La Greca: Tampa Bay Lightning
Vince Masi: Tampa Bay Lightning
Victoria Matiash: Tampa Bay Lightning
Barry Melrose: Tampa Bay Lightning
Chris Peters: Tampa Bay Lightning
Greg Wyshynski: Toronto Maple Leafs

Top pick: Lightning (12 votes).

Metro Division

This division is expected to be a bit of a cluster this season, and that's reflected in the variety of teams that our panelists picked to win the crown:

Sean Allen: Pittsburgh Penguins
Ben Arledge: Washington Capitals
Pierre Becquey: Pittsburgh Penguins
John Buccigross: Washington Capitals
Sachin Chandan: Carolina Hurricanes
Linda Cohn: Washington Capitals
Aimee Crawford: New Jersey Devils
Rick DiPietro: Washington Capitals
Dimitri Filipovic: Carolina Hurricanes
Emily Kaplan: Washington Capitals
Tim Kavanagh: Washington Capitals
Don La Greca: Washington Capitals
Vince Masi: Carolina Hurricanes
Victoria Matiash: Washington Capitals
Barry Melrose: Washington Capitals
Chris Peters: Washington Capitals
Greg Wyshynski: Washington Capitals

Top pick: Capitals (11 votes).

Central Division

This has been the toughest division in many recent seasons, and 2019-20 appears to be no different. Who emerges from this meat grinder?

Sean Allen: Winnipeg Jets
Ben Arledge: Colorado Avalanche
Pierre Becquey: St. Louis Blues
John Buccigross: Colorado Avalanche
Sachin Chandan: Colorado Avalanche
Linda Cohn: Dallas Stars
Aimee Crawford: Colorado Avalanche
Rick DiPietro: Dallas Stars
Dimitri Filipovic: Nashville Predators
Emily Kaplan: Nashville Predators
Tim Kavanagh: Nashville Predators
Don La Greca: Dallas Stars
Vince Masi: Nashville Predators
Victoria Matiash: Dallas Stars
Barry Melrose: Colorado Avalanche
Chris Peters: Colorado Avalanche
Greg Wyshynski: Nashville Predators

Top pick: Avalanche (six votes).

Pacific Division

Much like the Atlantic, the Pacific has some clear haves (Vegas, San Jose, Calgary), have-nots (Edmonton, Los Angeles, Anaheim) and a pair of mystery teams (Arizona, Vancouver).

Sean Allen: Vegas Golden Knights
Ben Arledge: Vegas Golden Knights
Pierre Becquey: Vegas Golden Knights
John Buccigross: Calgary Flames
Sachin Chandan: Calgary Flames
Linda Cohn: San Jose Sharks
Aimee Crawford: Calgary Flames
Rick DiPietro: Vegas Golden Knights
Dimitri Filipovic: Vegas Golden Knights
Emily Kaplan: Vegas Golden Knights
Tim Kavanagh: Vegas Golden Knights
Don La Greca: San Jose Sharks
Vince Masi: Vegas Golden Knights
Victoria Matiash: Vegas Golden Knights
Barry Melrose: Vegas Golden Knights
Chris Peters: Vegas Golden Knights
Greg Wyshynski: Vegas Golden Knights

Top pick: Golden Knights (12 votes).

Stanley Cup Final

Any of the 16 teams in the Stanley Cup playoffs has a chance to win, as recent teams have made the final or won the Cup after clinching in the season's final weeks. Who do our panelists see winning it all?

Sean Allen: Maple Leafs over Jets
Ben Arledge: Lightning over Avalanche
Pierre Becquey: Lightning over Golden Knights
John Buccigross: Flames over Maple Leafs
Sachin Chandan: Golden Knights over Lightning
Linda Cohn: Lightning over Stars
Aimee Crawford: Lightning over Avalanche
Rick DiPietro: Lightning over Golden Knights
Dimitri Filipovic: Lightning over Golden Knights
Emily Kaplan: Capitals over Predators
Tim Kavanagh: Predators over Bruins
Don La Greca: Lightning over Stars
Vince Masi: Golden Knights over Hurricanes
Victoria Matiash: Golden Knights over Lightning
Barry Melrose: Golden Knights over Bruins
Chris Peters: Lightning over Golden Knights
Greg Wyshynski: Maple Leafs over Golden Knights

Top Cup winner pick: Lighning (eight votes).

Hart Trophy (MVP)

Does the MVP's team need to qualify for the playoffs? That's the great debate, and seems to influence some of our panelists' picks here:

Sean Allen: John Tavares
Ben Arledge: Nathan MacKinnon
Pierre Becquey: Sidney Crosby
John Buccigross: Nathan MacKinnon
Sachin Chandan: Nathan MacKinnon
Linda Cohn: Nikita Kucherov
Aimee Crawford: Connor McDavid
Rick DiPietro: Nathan MacKinnon
Dimitri Filipovic: Auston Matthews
Emily Kaplan: Connor McDavid
Tim Kavanagh: Nathan MacKinnon
Don La Greca: Connor McDavid
Vince Masi: Nathan MacKinnon
Victoria Matiash: Connor McDavid
Barry Melrose: Nathan MacKinnon
Chris Peters: Mark Stone
Greg Wyshynski: Sidney Crosby

Top pick: Nathan MacKinnon (seven votes).

Art Ross Trophy (scoring title)

This is purely our best prediction of who will have the most statistical success.

Sean Allen: Nathan MacKinnon
Ben Arledge: Nikita Kucherov
Pierre Becquey: Nikita Kucherov
John Buccigross: Connor McDavid
Sachin Chandan: Nathan MacKinnon
Linda Cohn: Connor McDavid
Aimee Crawford: Nikita Kucherov
Rick DiPietro: Connor McDavid
Dimitri Filipovic: Connor McDavid
Emily Kaplan: Connor McDavid
Tim Kavanagh: Connor McDavid
Don La Greca: Connor McDavid
Vince Masi: Nikita Kucherov
Victoria Matiash: Connor McDavid
Barry Melrose: Nikita Kucherov
Chris Peters: Connor McDavid
Greg Wyshynski: Connor McDavid

Top pick: Connor McDavid (10 votes).

Norris Trophy (top defenseman)

Though the definition of what makes a top defenseman has changed over the years, there's no doubt that any team would want these players roaming their blue line:

Sean Allen: Erik Karlsson
Ben Arledge: Morgan Rielly
Pierre Becquey: Brent Burns
John Buccigross: Cale Makar
Sachin Chandan: Brent Burns
Linda Cohn: Victor Hedman
Aimee Crawford: Morgan Rielly
Rick DiPietro: Morgan Rielly
Dimitri Filipovic: Roman Josi
Emily Kaplan: Seth Jones
Tim Kavanagh: Roman Josi
Don La Greca: Miro Heiskanen
Vince Masi: Brent Burns
Victoria Matiash: John Carlson
Barry Melrose: Victor Hedman
Chris Peters: Seth Jones
Greg Wyshynski: Victor Hedman

Top pick: Brent Burns, Victor Hedman, Morgan Rielly (three votes each).

Vezina Trophy (top goaltender)

Although the GMs are the ones voting for the Vezina, everyone's entitled to their opinion!

Sean Allen: Connor Hellebuyck
Ben Arledge: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Pierre Becquey: Ben Bishop
John Buccigross: Frederik Andersen
Sachin Chandan: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Linda Cohn: Ben Bishop
Aimee Crawford: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Rick DiPietro: Andrei Vasilevskiy
Dimitri Filipovic: Marc-Andre Fleury
Emily Kaplan: Frederik Andersen
Tim Kavanagh: Ben Bishop
Don La Greca: Sergei Bobrovsky
Vince Masi: Frederik Andersen
Victoria Matiash: Frederik Andersen
Barry Melrose: Carey Price
Chris Peters: Pekka Rinne
Greg Wyshynski: Frederik Andersen

Top pick: Frederik Andersen (five votes).

Calder Trophy (top rookie)

It's looking like a three-horse race for the rookie crown this season, with No. 1 draft pick Jack Hughes, No. 2 pick Kaapo Kakko and Chris Peters' No. 1 prospect Cale Makar.

Sean Allen: Jack Hughes
Ben Arledge: Kaapo Kakko
Pierre Becquey: Jack Hughes
John Buccigross: Cale Makar
Sachin Chandan: Cale Makar
Linda Cohn: Jack Hughes
Aimee Crawford: Jack Hughes
Rick DiPietro: Kaapo Kakko
Dimitri Filipovic: Cale Makar
Emily Kaplan: Kaapo Kakko
Tim Kavanagh: Kaapo Kakko
Don La Greca: Jack Hughes
Vince Masi: Cale Makar
Victoria Matiash: Jack Hughes
Barry Melrose: Jack Hughes
Chris Peters: Cale Makar
Greg Wyshynski: Cale Makar

Top pick: Jack Hughes (seven votes).

Jack Adams (top coach)

The Jack Adams generally goes to the coach whose team exceeds expectations the most, as evidenced by Barry Trotz winning for last season's revitalization of the Islanders.

Sean Allen: Mike Babcock
Ben Arledge: Jared Bednar
Pierre Becquey: Gerard Gallant
John Buccigross: Jared Bednar
Sachin Chandan: Jon Cooper
Linda Cohn: Joel Quenneville
Aimee Crawford: John Hynes
Rick DiPietro: Joel Quenneville
Dimitri Filipovic: Rod Brind'Amour
Emily Kaplan: John Hynes
Tim Kavanagh: John Hynes
Don La Greca: Joel Quenneville
Vince Masi: John Hynes
Victoria Matiash: Jim Montgomery
Barry Melrose: Jim Montgomery
Chris Peters: Jared Bednar
Greg Wyshynski: Joel Quenneville

Top pick: Joel Quenneville (four votes).

Our panel: Sean Allen, NHL fantasy columnist; Ben Arledge, associate editor; Pierre Becquey, deputy editor; John Buccigross, SportsCenter anchor, "In the Crease" host; Sachin Chandan, fantasy hockey editor; Linda Cohn, SportsCenter anchor, "In the Crease" host; Aimee Crawford, senior editor; Rick DiPietro, ESPN Radio host, NHL analyst; Dimitri Filipovic, NHL writer; Emily Kaplan, national NHL reporter; Tim Kavanagh, general editor; Don La Greca, ESPN Radio host; Vince Masi, Sports & Information research specialist; Victoria Matiash, NHL fantasy columnist; Barry Melrose, NHL analyst; Chris Peters, NHL prospects writer; Greg Wyshynski, senior NHL writer.