NHL Predictions: Picking Each Team's MVP for the 2013 NHL Season

Tom Urtz Jr.@@TomUrtzJrContributor IJanuary 10, 2013

NHL Predictions: Picking Each Team's MVP for the 2013 NHL Season

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    The NHL's Board of Governors ratified the proposed on Wednesday, and with a Jan.19 start of the season closely approaching, players like Henrik Lundqvist, Evgeni Malkin and Jonathan Quick will look to be their team's MVP for the 2013 season.

    Each NHL team arguably lives and dies on the back of one key player who leads the team through thick and thin. These players are the MVP, and they play a huge role for their team.

    Each player in the NHL is capable of being a hero and backbone, but here are the players that will be their team's MVP during the 2013 NHL season.

Anaheim Ducks: Corey Perry

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    Corey Perry is a former Hart Trophy winner, and he is a player who is used to having to carry the load for his team.

    Perry is in a contract year so you can expect the future UFA winger to put the Anaheim Ducks on his back in hopes of making a lengthy playoff run.

    The Ducks' winger will be the team's leading scorer when the year is over, and he will be Anaheim's MVP of 2013.

Boston Bruins: Tyler Seguin

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    Tyler Seguin is a young player who will take the next step in 2013. He is an elite-forward with great scoring and play making abilities that will allow him to lead the Bruins in scoring for 2013.

    Seguin has continued to grow as a player, and he will be ready to compete from the get-go after playing in the NLA in Switzerland.

    The Bruins' forward is a player who can be a game-changer, and Seguin will lead them to greatness during the season.

Buffalo Sabres: Ryan Miller

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    Ryan Miller is going to be the Buffalo Sabres' MVP of 2013, and Miller will likely contend for the Vezina Trophy.

    The former-Vezina winner and Olympic silver medalist had a down year in 2011-12 after being bumped by Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins.

    After an extended offseason of training and rest, Miller will be ready to prove why he is one of the league's best netminders, and he will lead the Sabres to the playoffs.

Calgary Flames: Jarome Iginla

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    Jarome Iginla is a veteran leader for the Calgary Flames, and a player who has gone through a work stoppage before. Iginla is the most senior member of the club, and his experience and skills will benefit him and his team during the truncated season.

    Iginla may be 35, but this rugged-scorer still has a lot in the tank.

Carolina Hurricanes: Cam Ward

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    The Carolina Hurricanes will have an improved offense in 2013, but Cam Ward will be the backbone of Canes in their quest to make the playoffs.

    Ward entered the league as an unknown in 2005-06 and he came through in the clutch during the playoffs and he led the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup title after coming in relief.

    In 2013 the Hurricanes offense will score more goals and that will allow Ward to steal more games for the team as a potential Vezina candidate.

Chicago Blackhawks: Jonathan Toews

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    Jonathan Toews missed 23 games last season with the Chicago Blackhawks after sustaining a concussion, and the lengthy lockout helped give the captain time to recover and prepare for the upcoming season.

    Toews is a player who is one of the league's best leaders, and his example motivates his teammates to be better players.

    Chicago will be successful in 2013, and Toews will be leading the way as the team MVP.

Colorado Avalanche: Gabriel Landeskog

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    Gabriel Landeskog is the new captain of the Colorado Avalanche and the reigning Calder Trophy winner is a player who represents the future of the Avs.

    In 2013, Landeskog will be in his second season with the team, and his teammates will look to him as an example to model their game after.

    He is a young player with tons of two-way skills, and he will be crucial for the Avs in their pursuit of making the playoffs.

Columbus Blue Jackets: R.J. Umberger

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    R.J. Umberger should become the next captain of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the most senior player, and he will likely be the team's top scorer.

    Umberger is a hard working player, and even though the Blue Jackets won't be a playoff team, he will be the MVP as the team's best player.

Dallas Stars: Jamie Benn

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    Jamie Benn is a player who could be a future captain of the Dallas Stars, and he is a sniper who is emerging as one of the league's most accurate shooters.

    Benn is still an RFA, but there is no reason to think he won't be with Dallas this season. Look for Benn to have a solid offensive year as he leads the team in scoring, and he leads the Stars to the playoffs.

Detroit Red Wings: Henrik Zetterberg

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    Henrik Zetterberg is expected to be the new captain of the Detroit Red Wings, and he is a player who is expected to lead the team in scoring.

    Zetterberg is an extremely talented two-way player who will embrace his leadership role with the Red Wings, and he is a player who will be the backbone of the team.

    Detroit is going to go through a transition period sans Nicklas Lidstrom, but Zetterberg will be a calming influence who will help the team in 2013.

Edmonton Oilers: Jordan Eberle

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    Jordan Eberle was the AHL's leading scorer before the lockout ended, and he is in great shape to start the NHL regular season.

    Eberle is a player who was one of the league's top scorers in 2011-12, and there is no reason to think he won't be successful in 2013.

    He has the best chance of leading the Oilers' as their best player in 2013, and he will be looked at to be a prime contributor for Edmonton.

Florida Panthers: Brian Campbell

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    Brian Campbell won the NHL's Lady Byng Trophy last season as the league's most gentlemanly player, and he also was one of the league's top offensive defenders.

    He was the Florida Panthers' top defender on the blue line and in 2013 he will be looked at as a veteran leader to help guide the team through a shortened season.

    If Soupy can play as well as he did last season in 2013, the Panthers can thrive in the Southeast Division.

Los Angeles Kings: Jonathan Quick

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    Jonathan Quick was the Los Angeles Kings' backbone in 2011-12, and he will look to do the same in 2013. Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the league's playoff MVP, and he is a player who came through in the clutch.

    Quick was arguably the MVP of the Kings last season, and there is no reason why he won't be up to the task this season.

Minnesota Wild: Mikko Koivu

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    Mikko Koivu is the captain of the Minnesota Wild, and he will look forward to having a solid 2013 season after recovering from injury.

    Koivu is a player who leads by example and he is one of the Wild's top offensive forwards.

    In 2013, Koivu will lead the Wild with his two-way play and he will put the team on his back en route to a playoff appearance.

Montreal Canadiens: Max Pacioretty

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    Max Pacioretty is a player who could be a future captain of the Montreal Canadiens, and he has led by example for the Habs over the past few season.

    Pacioretty is a skilled scorer, a solid two-way forward and a player who is one of the best on the Canadiens' roster.

    Although Carey Price could play a predominant role for Montreal in 2013, Pacioretty will be the team''s most important and valuable player.

Nashville Predators: Pekka Rinne

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    Pekka Rinne has been a Vezina finalist for the Nashville Predators during the past few seasons, and in a shortened season he will be more important than ever for the Preds. 

    Rinne has been a workhorse-netminder for Nashville and in the postseason he has run out of steam.

    In a shortened season, Rinne can be a backbone for Nashville, and he will still have enough gas to stay strong and consistent during the playoffs.

New Jersey Devils: Ilya Kovalchuk

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    Even though there are rumors that "Kaptain Kovy" could stay in the KHL for the rest of the season, there are approximately 100 million reasons for Ilya Kovalchuk to return.

    Kovy is one of the league's top snipers and he is one of the most enigmatic players currently in the NHL. Kovalchuk will be the heart and lifeblood of the New Jersey Devils when he returns, and he will be the team's MVP.

New York Islanders: John Tavares

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    One day John Tavares will be the New York Islanders' captain, and he already is the team's best player and one of the rising stars in the NHL.

    Tavares will soon be joined by budding stars like Ryan Strome and Griffin Reinhart who will make the Islanders a talented and exciting team to watch.

    In the interim, Tavares will continue to be one of the league's top players and scorers in 2013.

New York Rangers: Henrik Lundqvist

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    Henrik Lundqvist won the Vezina in 2011-12 as the league's top netminder, and he also was one of the NHL's Hart Trophy finalists.

    Lundqvist is a player who always puts the New York Rangers on his back, and he can take them to incredible heights in 2013.

    The Rangers' roster will feature an increase in scoring because of Rick Nash, but Lundqvist will continue to be the team's most valuable player.

Ottawa Senators: Erik Karlsson

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    Forwards like Jason Spezza come through year after year for the Ottawa Senators, but the team is going to need Erik Karlsson to have another sensational season on the blue line in 2013.

    Karlsson won the Norris Trophy last season, and he was the league's top offensive defender. The Senators offense can either be very good with Karlsson or it could struggle if he struggles.

    It is more likely for Karlsson to succeed, and for that reason he will be the team's MVP.

Philadelphia Flyers: Claude Giroux

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    The Philadelphia Flyers' star center Claude Giroux is going to be a pillar of strength for the team in 2013. He is coming off an amazing 2011-12 campaign, and he is going to need to put up points in 2013.

    Giroux is going to be the Flyers' top scorer this season, and the team will go as far as they can take him during the upcoming season.

Phoenix Coyotes: Mike Smith

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    Mike Smith finished fourth in Vezina Trophy voting in 2011-12, and he had a sensational season.

    Smith is going to have to be at the top of his game during a shortened season if Phoenix wants to make a similar playoff run.

    Phoenix lost Ray Whitney during the offseason so Smith will need to elevate his game to help compensate for the Coyotes losing their top scorer.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Evgeni Malkin

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    Sidney Crosby will be back for Pittsburgh in 2013, but Evgeni Malkin is the reigning MVP of the league, and he has a good chance at repeating that in 2013.

    Malkin has been playing in the KHL and he is a player who will be a dominant force for the Penguins in 2013.

    He has the size, speed and finesse to take control and he will play a bigger role than captain Crosby in 2013.

St.Louis Blues: Alex Pietrangelo

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    Alex Pietrangelo is one of the rising stars on defense in the NHL, and he will be a very important member of the St.Louis Blues in 2013.

    He will be the Blues' No. 1 defender, and he will be expected to anchor the blue line. 

    That is going to be a big responsibility for the youngster but he has the skills and ability to be a backbone for the Blues and their MVP in 2013.

San Jose Sharks: Joe Pavelski

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    Joe Pavelski is a young forward who has been a member of the San Jose Sharks for a few seasons now, and 2013 could be a nice year for the winger/center.

    Pavelski is going to be a future leader for the team, and he could be one of the team's top scorers in 2013.

    The overall state of the Sharks' roster is not getting any younger so look for Pavelski to lead the team in 2013 as they attempt to finally win a Stanley Cup.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Steven Stamkos

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    Steven Stamkos is one of the NHL's top players, and he is the Tampa Bay Lightning's most valuable player.

    The team's offense sits on Stamkos' sleek and agile shoulders just like a puck on the blade of his stick before Stammer winds up for a slap shot.

    In 2013 Tampa will look to make a return to the playoff picture, and Stamkos will play a big role no matter the outcome.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Phil Kessel

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs roster could change if Roberto Luongo is traded from Vancouver, but Phil Kessel should be the team's MVP again in 2013.

    Kessel had a great 82-point campaign in 2011-12, and it was an 18-point increase from the previous year.

    The Leafs will look to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2004-05 lockout, and Kessel should be their top offensive producer, and best player during the truncated 2013 season.

Vancouver Canucks: Cory Schneider

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    Cory Schneider is slated to be the top goalie in Vancouver, and he is going to be one of the team's top players.

    The goaltending position is one of the most important in hockey, and in a shortened season every game will count double.

    Schneider has been a solid goaltender in the past and he is going to prove he is one of the top goaltenders in 2013.

    Vancouver can go far in 2013, and Schneider will be the team's MVP and backbone.

Washington Capitals: Alex Ovechkin

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    Alex Ovechkin is going to have a bounce back year under new bench boss Adam Oates, because Oates was a player who was offensive-minded during his career.

    Oates was a PP-specialist with many teams, and he will be able to put Ovechkin is a position to succeed in 2013.

    With Ovechkin being utilized in roles suited for him, Ovie will be the team's best player and he will have a chance to contend for the Rocket Richard Trophy.

Winnipeg Jets: Evander Kane

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    Evander Kane is a talented goal scorer and this could be a dynamite year for the youngster. Kane has amazing speed, creativity and he has a great shot that will enable him to be a future 40-goal scorer.

    Winnipeg added a former top center in Olli Jokinen, and the veteran may be able to have a positive influence on Kane in 2013. Nonetheless, Kane should lead the team in scoring in 2013, and he will be their most valuable player.