The NHL season has seen strange turns, including a multi-day break over Christmas due to many teams having a significant number of players out due to covid protocols. With the season almost halfway over, it is time to look at the teams with the best odds to win Lord Stanley come season end.
All odds are from BetMGM Sportsbook. Before making any NHL Futures wager, be sure to shop around for the best odds.
Colorado Avalanche (39-10-4) +400
Colorado is starting to look like the team that everyone remembered as the betting favorite to end last season. They struggled some early in the season but have gotten hot as of late.
The Avalanche have gone 7-2-1 in their previous ten games, so they are starting to look like the team everyone thought they would be. They also boast a high-powered offense that leads the league in scoring with 213 goals.
Tampa Bay Lightning (34-11-6) +750
Thanks to deep playoff runs, the Lightning have played a lot of hockey in the last few seasons. The question is, do they have another deep run in them? Much of the top half of their roster remains the same, but the lower half has changed significantly.
They have the star power to make a run, but it might depend on their depth players. If these players prove to be a step up from previous teams, the Lightning could make another deep playoff run. If not, Tampa Bay may not be able to get over the hump.
Florida Panthers (35-13-5) +800
The Panthers should be considered legitimate contenders when considering possible teams who could win it all. Last year, the Panthers were a top team and played for much of it without Aaron Ekblad, their top defenseman.
With Ekblad back and the addition of Buffalo forward Sam Reinhart, the Panthers have been one of the better teams in the NHL this season. The goalie position has been a question mark at times but so far so good this season as Sergei Bobrovsky has played very well, boasting a 26-6-3 record, and a .915 save percentage.
Vegas Golden Knights (29-20-4) +850
The Knights have gone from NHL expansion darling to a legitimate year-to-year contender. This season though, they have been bit by the injury bug a little bit.
The Knights are a very deep and very skilled team, though. If Vegas can get healthy, they could make another run at a title as they did in their first year in the league.
Toronto Maple Leafs (34-14-4) +900
The Maple Leafs have not made it out of the first round of playoffs since 2004. In that time, we have seen them blow series leads and seen the defense let them down. Is this year any different?
Toronto is having another solid regular season but will that change their playoff fortune? It remains to be seen, but perhaps if it wasn’t for recent history, they might have even better odds.
Carolina Hurricanes (37-11-4) +1200
Last year, the Hurricanes put it all together by finishing 36-12-8 in the Covid season. Carolina also had an outstanding expected goal share finishing fourth with an even rate. The Hurricanes even won their first-round playoff series over the favored Nashville Predators.
Unfortunately, they ran into the Lightning in the second round, which ended one of their best seasons in a long time. With a very deep and skilled team, they are continuing to build on last year’s momentum. Don’t be surprised if they make an even deeper playoff run this season.
Pittsburgh Penguins (33-14-8) +1600
The Penguins looked like they may be fizzling out with their aging roster, yet they have surprised many this season. Pittsburgh is very similar to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA, a veteran squad who many feel will be a tough out come playoff time.
With stars like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh can take down any opponent in a seven-game series. The Pens are currently holding down the 2nd place spot in the Metro division behind the Carolina Hurricanes.
Minnesota Wild (31-16-3) +1800
The Wild have been an average to good team the last few years. This season has been a different story, though.
As a rookie, Kirill Kaprizov has perhaps elevated their ceiling. The Russian has elite finishing ability, and he is a big reason why Minnesota is in third place in the Central Division. The Wild could be a sleeper come playoff time.
Boston Bruins (31-17-4) +2200
The Bruins made lots of changes this offseason but everything has worked out well so far. Their top two lines are capable of going up against anyone in the NHL on both sides of the ice.
Lately, though, Boston has been grinding out games as the offense hasn’t quite gelled yet with the new pieces. If they can get the offense going, though, they could be destined for a deep playoff run.
Washington Capitals (28-17-9) +3000
For as long as they have Alexander Ovechkin, the Capitals will be a contender. This year is no different. With the team right up against the salary cap, they are looking for one more run before significant changes will be forced this summer.
The veteran group appears to be on track. The Caps are top five in goal differential and are currently 4th in the Metropolitan Division.