The NHL season is in a bit of an awkward stage. They extended their Holiday Break on both ends due to COVID outbreaks across the league. While there are no games to break down, now seems like a great time to look at the NHL Team Futures Markets.
We’re a third of the way into the season and teams have had more than enough time to figure things out. Some teams have. Some teams haven’t. Mind you, however, that there are still at least 50 games to be played for most teams, assuming the NHL finishes out the full 82-game schedule. There is plenty of time for things to change and teams to regress to the expectations.
Nevertheless, we’re looking at one team in each division to target here at the Holiday Break. We’re mostly looking at teams with longer odds, but one team, in particular, is still worth it at their short odds. Let’s get right into the NHL Futures at the Holiday Break!
NHL Futures: Atlantic Division
Boston Bruins +2000 to win Atlantic
The Bruins entered the season on a similar enough level to the teams currently above them in the standings. The Lightning and Maple Leafs were (and are) the favorites with the up-and-coming Panthers proving that they are for real so far this season. The Bruins, however, haven’t found their stride in the 2021-22 season.
But that could change soon.
According to MoneyPuck, the Bruins’ Goals Differential Above Expected is one of the lowest in the league at -10.91. They’ve allowed as many goals as expected but have scored 10 fewer. That’s bound to regress with the talent on this Boston team.
Boston was +380 to win the division before the season behind Toronto (+195) and Tampa Bay (+210). After a slow start riddled by injuries and bad luck, the Bruins all the way up to +2000 on DraftKings. That’s an implied probability of just 4.76%, less than 1-in-20 –– the Bruins are better than that.
Mind you, the Lightning (44 points), Maple Leafs (42), and Panthers (40) are well ahead of the Bruins, who have 30 points in four fewer games than the top two. It’s a long way to go, but it’s not impossible by any means. If they win three of those games, they’re only eight points back. They’re a good veteran team that could be getting their longtime goalie back soon.
Backing the Bruins at +2000 to win the Atlantic Division is a good look at the Holiday Break. They’re also +1500 to win the Stanley Cup on WynnBET if that’s more up your alley.
NHL Futures: Central Division
Minnesota Wild +400 to win Central
The Wild are another surprise team this year, but perhaps we should’ve been more prepared for it after they had a .670 P% last season and pushed the Golden Knights to seven games in the playoffs. They entered the season at +650 to win the division and are down to +400 (or lower) now –– and for good reason. They have the most points (40 in 30 games) in the Central and are tied with the Avalanche in P% (.667).
Minnesota has been getting contributions from up and down the lineup with seven players having 20+ points through 30 games (or less). Four different forwards have already scored 11+ goals with a few more in the high single digits. This is a team that just keeps coming and they have Cam Talbot (15-7-1, .914 SV%) solid between the pipes.
Colorado is still the clear favorite in the Central, but Darcy Kuemper hasn’t filled the hole left by Philip Grubauer. Kuemper has a .907 SV% and Colorado has a .897 SV% overall. Goaltending can make or break a team and it might break the Avalanche. If it does, the Wild –– and your Wild to win Central ticket –– will benefit.
NHL Futures: Metropolitan Division
New York Rangers +500 to win Metropolitan
The Rangers have been one of the surprising teams this season and their odds to win the Metropolitan Division have somehow gotten worse from +480 pre-season to +500 now.
New York has 42 points in 30 games, good for third-most points and the second-best point percentage in the Metropolitan. In fact, the Blueshirt’s .700 P% is tied for the third-best in the league.
One of the biggest reasons to believe in the Rangers is in the crease. Henrik Lundqvist left New York just a few years ago and the Rangers already have another top goalie. Igor Shesterkin is 13-3-2 this season with a 2.05 goals-against average and league-best .937 save percentage. Shesterkin has dealt with injuries, however, so Alexandar Georgiev is holding it down with a 5-3-2 record, 2.87 GAA, and .902 SV%.
If the Rangers’ best players continue to be their best players with the depth pieces picking it up, Shesterkin could lead the Rangers to the Metropolitan Division crown (+500 on DraftKings) and quite possibly the Stanley Cup (+2500 on WynnBET).
NHL Futures: Pacific Division
Vegas Golden Knights +110 to win Pacific
The Golden Knights should be the clear favorites in this division. They have the most points with 40 in 32 games and are behind only the Flames in point percentage. They’ve done all this while missing key players throughout the first few months and were finally getting healthy before the extended Holiday Break.
Max Pacioretty has missed 17 games. Mark Stone missed 13 thus far. William Karlsson and Alec Martinez have also missed significant time. Still, the Golden Knights are proving to be one of the deepest teams in the league. It helps to have a goalie like Robin Lehner, but even he isn’t playing particularly well with a 3.03 GAA and .905 SV% in 24 starts.
Oh yeah, Vegas also has Jack Eichel waiting in the wings. Once he’s healthy in the coming weeks (or months) the Golden Knights will take their game to the next level –– which is scary considering the level they’re at while dealing with these injuries.
The Golden Knights were -160 to win the Pacific Division before the season and you can get them at +110 at DraftKings. Vegas is also a contender to win the Western Conference (+350) and Stanley Cup (+750), both lines via WynnBET.