The 2021 NHL is upon us, which means it’s time to start diving into the futures market. In today’s piece, I’m gonna give my favorite Stanley Cup future bets. There are a few teams down the board that have a legit shot at winning it all.
FAVORITE I LOVE:
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS +800
Photo From USA TODAY
Vegas and Colorado are the only two teams in the West that I see having a real shot at hoisting the cup this summer. We get to see these two go head to head eight times this year, including a game at Lake Tahoe. Their prices are similar, but the Avs have the shortest price in the entire league. There’s a few reasons why I give the edge to Vegas.
The Golden Knights have one of the best goaltending duos in the entire NHL, which is something that will be crucial in this shortened NHL season. Teams are playing more games per week, and will be forced to rely on their second stringer more often. For Vegas, that’s a future Hall of Famer by the name of Marc-Andre Fleury. The duo of Fleury and Lehner will surely steal wins for Vegas, and the benefit in playing in a rather weak division will set Vegas up for playoff success.
Vegas also made quite possibly the biggest free agent splash this offseason by signing longtime Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. This addition will help tighten up the backend against lethal offenses like the Avs.
The Golden Knights didn’t lose any key pieces on offense. They return the bulk of their forwards and make space for potential young stars such as Cody Glass. Vegas may not get the added benefit of home ice this year, but I don’t think it’ll make a difference in their play and point total. If you’re looking for a team at the top of the board, the Golden Knights are that team.
VALUE PICK I LOVE:
CAROLINA HURRICANES +1800
Photo From Forbes
I was fortunate enough to snag the Hurricanes a couple months ago when their price was around +2600. Although they have picked up some steam, I still think there’s value in them at 18/1. The Hurricanes are going to compete for four playoff spots with Tampa Bay, Nashville, Dallas, Columbus, and Florida. Sorry Blackhawks and Red Wings fans, I don’t see either of you making the playoffs this season.
Most people think this division is a two horse race between Tampa and Carolina, giving a decent edge in Tampa’s favor. Carolina’s young core has now been playing together and gaining chemistry over the past few seasons. Aho, Teravainen, and Svechnikov are all 60+ point players in a normal regular season. Having three forwards of that caliber immediately puts the Canes into conversation for the best scoring offense. Throw Dougie Hamilton and Jaccob Slavin onto the ice, and this looks like a Stanley Cup roster to me.
I’ll admit it, their biggest question mark is in net. Can Petr Mrazek step up and be that guy? Or will it be James Reimer who takes over? Either way, one of them will have to improve if they want to win it all. Even with their mediocre play last year, the Canes were able to make some waves and turn heads in the playoff bubble.
I truly think the Canes can hang with Tampa, which may present some beautiful hedging opportunities if they can advance to this season’s “Final Four”.
LONGSHOT WORTH A SPRINKLE:
Winnipeg Jets +5000
Photo From NHL.com
No, I don’t think the Jets have a chance at the cup. But I do think they can make it to the top four of the Canadian division. Combine a playoff opportunity with the potential timing of Connor Hellebuyck playing his best goaltending of the season, and the Jets could sneak their way into becoming the Canadian Division’s champs. If this happens, we will be able to hedge very effectively. People seem to forget that Winnipeg still has offensive talents such as Blake Wheeler, Mark Scheifele, Patrik Laine, Nikolaj Ehlers, and Kyle Connor. Add in offseason depth acquisitions such as Paul Stastny and Nate Thompson, and you have yourself a pretty decent roster. Their defense is a worry, but this team can score at will when healthy, and their Vezina winner in net can steal a game at any time. They had a first round exit last season, but that was partially due to them losing Scheifele in Game 1 vs Calgary.