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Early analytical projection has Canucks as NHL’s top team alongside Oilers in 2024-25

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
6 days ago
If the 2024-25 regular season plays out according to the latest projections from the popular NHL analytics account “JFresh Hockey,” the Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers will tie for the most points in the Pacific Division — and the entire league.
JFresh — AKA Jack Fraser, who writes for EP Rinkside in addition to maintaining his NHL analytics model — posted his first 2024-25 standings prediction to social media early on Friday morning.
The projection, which combines the expected individual player impacts and special teams performances of each of the NHL’s 32 clubs, sees the Canucks and Oilers tying for the spot in the league with 111 points each.
The Canucks won the Pacific Division in 2023-24 with 109 points in 82 games, enough to finish sixth in the NHL (five points behind the league-leading New York Rangers). The Oilers, meanwhile, finished second in the Pacific with 104 points.
Prior to the 2023-24 season, JFresh predicted that the Oilers would win the Pacific with 107 points, while the Canucks would finish fifth — behind Edmonton, Vegas, Calgary and Seattle — with 93. Vancouver ended up shooting out of the gate with sky-high shooting and save percentages before eventually settling in and playing sound hockey down the stretch, narrowly holding off the Oilers for the division title.
Despite having some of the greatest players in NHL history at various points over the last four decades, the Oilers haven’t won a division title since 1987, when they captured their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy. They reached the Stanley Cup Final this past season but lost to the Florida Panthers in seven games.
Conversely, the Canucks have won plenty of division titles in their 54-year history, including five straight from 2009 to 2013, but have never managed to win the Stanley Cup. They took on the Oilers in Round 2 of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, taking a 3-2 series lead before losing the following two games to end their season.
JFresh published his projections on Friday before the Oilers traded forward Ryan McLeod to the Vancouver Canucks for prospect Matt Savoie. It’s unclear the extent to which that deal would diminish the Oilers’ hopes of unseating the Canucks as division champions, particularly if Savoie does not play in the NHL this season.
The Canucks have been busy already this summer, signing Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Derek Forbort, Vincent Desharnais, and Kiefer Sherwood in free agency while also re-signing Filip Hronek, Dakota Joshua, Tyler Myers, and Teddy Blueger.

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