It may have felt like an eternity, but the NLL season is finally here! It’s time to make my playoff picks for the 2022-23 season. Below I list my projected standings and each team’s percentage chance of making the playoffs.
Projected West Standings
1. San Diego Seals 90%
The Seals are loaded, barring injuries or a change in the size of the goal, the Seals are almost a lock to make the playoffs.
2. Colorado Mammoth 80%
The Mammoth are still loaded and Dillon Ward is still the best goalie on the planet. There could be a championship hangover, but there is too much talent for the Mammoth to not make the playoffs.
3. Panther City 65%
Panther City is the sneaky pick in the west to make the playoffs. If they can improve from last year (which on paper they should), Panther City might not be such a surprise come the end of the year.
4. Las Vegas Desert Dogs 50%
Vegas has put together a very solid roster this offseason and will definitely be competitive. What gets Vegas over the top and into the playoffs is the unique home field advantage that they might have (aka the Vegas flu) this season.
5. Calgary Roughnecks 50%
Calgary has lost a lot the past two off-seasons, but they will still be a pesky team. I don’t see Calgary making the playoffs, but they proved many people wrong last year.
6. Vancouver Warriors 40%
The Warriors will have their moments of success. But with how competitive the West Conference will be, Vancouver will most likely find themselves on the outside looking in.
7. Saskatchewan Rush – 20%
Barring a miracle season, the Rush will be looking toward the 2023 draft and their plethora of picks.
Projected East Standings
1. Buffalo Bandits 90%
Just like the Seals, there is too much talent on this team to not make the playoffs (barring injuries).
2. Toronto Rock 90%
The Rock will be one of the league’s best teams and will easily be in the championship conversation once the playoffs start.
3. Halifax Thunderbirds 65%
After struggling with team chemistry last season, the Thunderbirds will hopefully figure it out and regain some of that 2020 form.
4. Georgia Swarm 65%
As stated before, if Lyle Thompson is healthy he will have a huge impact this season which should all but guarantee a playoff appearance. If Thompson continues to struggle with injuries, Georgia might miss the NLL playoffs once again.
5. Philadelphia Wings 65%
The Wings improved this offseason offensively and should in playoff contention. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the East Conference shakes out (outside of Buffalo and Toronto).
6. New York Riptide 50%
Year two of Jeff Teat will be entertaining to watch. The Riptide will definitely be in contention. The East playoff race will be very close the the Riptide ride the line of that bubble.
7. Rochester Knighthawks 40%
The Knighthawks will show improvement compared to last season and could be a pesky team playing in a lot of close games, but Rochester will probably be watching the NLL playoffs from home this season.
8. Albany Firewolves 30%
Albany definitely has focused on getting younger this offseason, and will probably go through several growing pains. They will be competing with Saskatchewan for the No.1 pick this season.