People are really overrating the no D thing. They were doing completely fine with their forwards before they all started getting injured. As long as their healthy if their forwards are playing as the are expected to potential wise they will be fine and definitely well out of the lottery.
Edmonton is giving up 2.83 goals per game, Chicago is at 2.82, they are in the playoffs, Philadelphia is just above with 2.74, they are in the playoffs.
Edmonton is scoring 2.52 goals a game and thats 23rd in the league. If their forwards are so stacked then why are they that low in scoring? They will be completely fine with Yakupov.
It would help them a lot if they had more defensemen that could get the puck out of the zone and to the forwards. They're good on the power play. Also, the first line is good enough to carry the puck themselves and they start in the offensive zone quite often anyway. The other lines aren't generally good enough to do that without D support though. Hence minimal scoring from the others.
Think they could potentially compete for a playoff spot anyway. Although I thought the same last year.
How about we answer this in September, there will be significant changes in Edmonton this offseason unlike past offseasons, i'll bet anything on that.
The way the roster looks now, of course they won't make the playoffs and will likely be closer to the lottery (bottom 5) than the playoffs but changes are a comin'.
I will take a leap of faith and say they are in playoff contention till the very end, but just miss. There's just too much talent in their forward ranks and I think Whitney will have a bounce back year, giving them a half decent top 4. I expect management to finally try adding some better pieces too, possibly making some trades... They will have a ton of assets after this draft. Call me foolish for believing they will be significantly better but I see Hall, Eberle and RNH exploding next year, with guys like Lander, Hartikainen and MPS all taking huge steps forward in development.
Remember a couple of their young stars missed time with injury.
Unlike the Pens or even the Caps, missing a couple of top players is pretty difficult for a team to make up for. I'm thinking they're they have a season like the Avs did this year. Right in the playoff mix.