Every season I pick the Oilers to finish in 6th. This year is no exception. Why?
For one thing, they seem to have a real coach. As a long time bandwagon Rangers fan, I was able to witness Renney as he turned around the most moribund Rags team imaginable. After MacT"s gay shopteacher kitch, plus Quinn's basically non-coaching, the team will respond wonderfully to the discipline imposed by a real head coach.
Secondly, Tambellini has addressed many of the glaring weaknesses in the team. O'Sullivan, Nilsson, and Moreau plus Pisani being gone provide addition by subtraction. In the case of Pisani, the Hawks get a pretty good player with major health issues. As for the others, none of them should even be playing in the NHL.
Finally, the rookies. Call me old fashioned, but the history of hockey has taught me that when you have rookies of this calibre, they have every chance of barnstorming their way right out of the starting gate. See the 1970's Buffalo Sabres, or early 80's Oilers for proof of this theory.
Of course they might end up in the lottery. I haven't been right predicting this team since DOS was the buzzword in computing.