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NHL · 2 months ago

Stanley Cup Futures Board Foreshadows Exciting NHL Season

Grant White

Grant White

Stanley Cup Futures Board Foreshadows Exciting NHL Season

We are approaching the most magical time of year. The puck is about to drop on the NHL’s regular season, signaling the start of the sports equinox, when all four major professional leagues are in action.

It’s easy to get lost in the romance of fall baseball or the excitement of the NFL, but our vision is set squarely on the start of the NHL. 

Ahead of opening night, teams are brimming with optimism. With nearly two-thirds of the league priced at +5000 or lower, that parity is also reflected in the Stanley Cup futures board. Which heavyweights have a legitimate chance at claiming this year’s trophy, and which unsuspecting underdogs can swing above their weight class?

The Usual Suspects

You’ll find the same old teams at the top of the futures board. The Colorado Avalanche enter the year as the Cup favorites; however, their position atop the board isn’t as pronounced as usual. At +850, Colorado is priced just ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes at +900. 

Similarly, there is a trio of teams behind the frontrunners, all priced at +1100. The Edmonton Oilers have been criticized for not making the most of the Connor McDavid-Leon Draisaitl era. As implied by their betting price, bettors expect them to turn the tide with a deep playoff run this season. They are joined by the New Jersey Devils as top-five teams in the Stanley Cup futures rankings. 

Of course, the upper echelon wouldn’t be complete without the Toronto Maple Leafs. The perennial playoff disappointments round out the top contenders, joining the Oilers and Devils as +1100 favorites.

Atlantic Division Contenders

Beyond the top five lies a bevy of title contenders, hoping to surprise come playoff time. 

Among those are the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, and Florida Panthers, all priced at +2000 or lower. As you may have noticed, the Atlantic Division is well-represented near the top of the table. The Bolts, B’s, Panthers, and Leafs are among the top ten favorites, highlighting the expected parity within that division. 

Western Conference Powerhouses

However, several Western Conference teams are poised for a deep run come April. The defending Stanley Cup Champion Vegas Golden Knights are hovering around the +1300 mark, in line with the Dallas Stars. As we saw last spring, both teams have an intriguing offensive lineup and defensive structure tailormade for a playoff run.

Likewise, the Los Angeles Kings were Pacific Division frontrunners until the final few weeks of the 2022-23 season. With a similar roster, they should have no problem competing with the top teams in the West. 

Free For All

Whatever happens among the remaining teams is anyone’s guess. But as you may infer from the futures board, people are buying into just about every other team. 

The Pittsburgh Penguins lead a group of ten teams priced from +2200 to +5000. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin may have lost some jump, but they haven’t lost any of their competitive edge. Pens fans hope the franchise can close the book on the dynasty with one last kick at the cup. 

There’s also a Canadian log jam near the middle of the board. The Calgary Flames, Ottawa Senators, Winnipeg Jets, and Vancouver Canucks are within close proximity to one another, priced between +3000 to +5000. Although there is a bit of a gap between squads, these prices reveal that Canadian hockey fans are unrelenting in their support of their local teams. 


It may be tempting, but don’t write off the last ten teams on the board.

The Detroit Red Wings fall in this category, and we’ve all witnessed the magic that Steve Yzerman brings to the rink. Detroit had moments of brilliance last year, and with several key offseason acquisitions, the Red Wings could be a true dark horse in Stanley Cup futures betting.

Lastly, a generational talent like Connor Bedard single-handedly changes the outlook of a franchise. They could easily surpass their implied expectations if he plays up to his usual caliber, and the Chicago Blackhawks can lure Patrick Kane back into the fold. The Blackhawks are tied for the longest odds on the board, but a few early-season wins could quickly move them up the standings. 

Too Close to Call

With meaningful hockey yet to be played, it’s too close to call how this season will unfold. Further, that uncertainty is priced into the Stanley Cup futures board. 

Teams will continue to jockey for position throughout the season, and there’s no telling where anyone lands until the playoff matchups are set.

Even then, anything could happen. 

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