Sterling Predictions Revisited, Part 1: Leading Scorers and the Trade Deadline

The staff re-visits just how right, or wrong, we got it in our pre-season predictions.

As I've written before on this site, I am a firm believer in putting your predictions on the record, and then going back to check whether you were right. It's an important exercise in staying humble, among other things. Everyone is (often) wrong, and it's good to be reminded of that. In that spirit, I present the first part of our Sterling Predictions Revisited feature, where we learn just how right, or wrong, we were.

The first question we'll be covering is on the topic of leading scorers:

Last year, Brady Tkachuk led the Sens with 67 total points and Josh Norris was the team’s Richard Trophy winner with 35 goals. This year, the top six is loaded to the gills with talent thanks to the additions of Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat. Who leads the team in total points? Who pots the most goals? And as a bonus: who racks up the most power play points?

The general consensus among the staff was that one of Tim Stützle or Alex DeBrincat was going to lead the team in scoring, with the former garnering five votes and the latter three (only Nada picked a different candidate, opting for Claude Giroux). So while DeBrincat had a moderately disappointing season from a production perspective, what a thing to say about a 27 goal, 66 point campaign, Stützle exceeded all of our expectations and flew to career highs in goals (39), assists (51), and points (90). Where DeBrincat didn't disappoint, however, was in his poweplay producion where he led the team with 30 points. If you were looking for reasons to be optimistic about a DeBincat breakout next season, a return to form at 5v5 (alongside a fully healthy Josh Norris) could be just the ticket.

Our second question pertained to the Sens' strategy at the trade deadline:

In recent years, the assumption at the start of the season has always been that the Sens would be looking to off-load veterans at the trade deadline for picks or prospects since they would be long out of the play-off race. This year, the situation could be very different. This question is a two-parter: 1) Will the Sens be buyers or sellers at the deadline? and 2) What type of player will they be looking to add (or sell)?

We need to acknowledge Spencer as the Nostradamus that he is in calling the Jakob Chychrun trade. Looking back on it from our current vantage, the trade can seem inevitable but in the pre-season it was anything but! Over the course of the year, the noise around a potential trade to the Sens intensified, but you would have still gotten long odds on the deal actually materializing in October when we first made these predictions. Everyone else on staff was wrong: we either thought they would tinker at the edges with depth additions, or trade a few expiring UFAs if they were out of the play-off race. Dorion: you fooled us all again, well eveyone except Spencer.

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