The Pittsburgh Penguins will not three-peat as Stanley Cup champions, if the full-season simulation from EA Sports NHL 18 is correct.
EA Sports predicted the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Stanley Cup after defeating the Edmonton Oilers in the Stanley Cup Final. The Penguins are projected to win the Presidents' Trophy for the first time since 1992-93, but lose to the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Final. The game predicts the Oilers to defeat the Minnesota Wild in the Western Conference Final.
NHL 18 projects the Oilers to reach the Cup Final thanks to a huge season from center Connor McDavid, who will win the Hart and Art Ross trophies, and the Ted Lindsay Award for the second straight season. It also predicts Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov will win the Maurice Richard Trophy as the League's top regular-season goal scorer, as well as the Conn Smythe Trophy for MVP of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Boston Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron is projected to repeat as Selke Trophy winner for best defensive forward, which would be his fifth time winning the award, Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is predicted to earn his third Norris Trophy and Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price is projected to win the Vezina Trophy for the second time.
The simulation for NHL 17 accurately predicted the Nashville Predators to win the Western Conference. The game had the Predators defeating the Canadiens in the Cup Final; in reality, they lost to the Penguins in six games.