New Jersey To Win the Stanley Cup (50/1)
With the way the Devils are building, this number is just way too long. They’ve added Dougie Hamilton, a perennial Norris candidate and someone that generates a ton of offense from the back end while being great in his own ice. They’ve added Tomas Tatar, who’s a fantastic top six winger that can drive possession on any line. The youth is also getting better. Jack Hughes, former first overall pick, is likely to take the next step into becoming the offensive juggernaut that he has the potential to become. Nico Hischier, another former first overall pick, is finally fully healthy and should take the lead on the non-Hughes scoring line. Alex Holtz, another first round pick, is looking like a formidable top nine winger with top line potential. He has a darling hockey IQ and an amazing shot to boot. Jesper Bratt remains one of the most underrated players in the league and should be a staple on one of the two scoring lines. I can see this number getting cut in half after the first fifteen games. Put a little spice on it while it’s still a lottery ticket.
Artemi Panarin To Win the Hart Trophy (12/1)
There are few players in the league that can compete with Connor McDavid in terms of scoring and Panarin is probably the longest of the bunch. Another team that has shown a bunch of growth over the offseason, Panarin should have zero problems reaching 90 points. If guys like Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, and Filip Chytil all take strides, then this can only help Panarin’s scoring numbers. In the end though, this is McDavid’s award to lose so I’m not throwing the house on it.
Lucas Raymond To Win the Calder Trophy (25/1)
All eyes are on Trevor Zegras this year as the clear favorite to win the Calder, but I think this race will become a lot closer over the course of the season. The dark horse I want to put my stake on is the Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond. His upside is like that of Zegras, but he hasn’t had a partial NHL season to make it known to the world. With Jakub Vrana hitting the IR for the next four months (minimum), a wing scoring role has just opened up. If Raymond can mesh with Dylan Larkin, then this number will be 10/1 before you know it. Take advantage.
Juuse Saros To Win the Vezina Trophy (40/1)
Now we’re getting something nice. The Vezina Trophy is fairly up in the air this year, with Andrei Vasilevskiy as the 7/2 favorite. Saros, however, is a legitimate top five goaltender in the league so this mid range number makes zero sense to me. While the Predators are certainly an average team, Vezinas can be acquired on average teams. He was 6th last year in voting and should really give us a quality opportunity to cash one.
New York Islanders UNDER 99.5 Points (+115)
The Islanders are in the toughest division in the league and are not even one of the favorites to win it. While they are a deep, defensive team that should make the playoffs, I cannot see them getting triple digit points this year.
Edmonton Oilers To NOT Make the Playoffs (+275)
Having two of the top three to five players in the world on your team makes this puzzling for the most casual fans out there, but the Oilers are one of the most mismanaged teams in the entire sports world. I don’t know enough about other sports and their management to compare them but they’ve made extremely questionable moves this off-season. The first was acquiring an extremely washed Duncan Keith. Was Keith an absolute stud a decade ago? Of course. Keith is that 2001 Jeep Wrangler with 375k miles you see on Craigslist: it might look badass but it’s a bump in the road from imploding and will perform horribly before it happens. A washed old man logging important defensive minutes for your team is no bueno. The second thing they did was trade Ethan Bear, a quality top four defensiveman, for Warren Foegele. Foegele is not a bad player whatsoever. He can permeate in the middle six of most teams with a strong forecheck and good defensive instincts. But he is way more replaceable than a top four defensiveman like Ethan Bear, who had some of the best possession numbers for the Oilers last year. Lastly, they did not address their lack of depth. This team’s obsession of finding players that can play with McDavid is quite funny, as if he was struggling to score last season. They needed another quality piece to play on the third line and they did not succeed.