The 2023-24 NHL regular season begins Tuesday, and top NHL sportsbooks have released betting odds for multiple futures wagers. The Carolina Hurricanes at +950 odds are the top favorite to win the Stanley Cup this season. The Colorado Avalanche aren’t far behind at +1000, with the New Jersey Devils (+1050), Edmonton Oilers (+1100), and Toronto Maple Leafs (+1100) rounding out the top five.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at the many futures bets available for this NHL season, including odds on conference winners and NHL playoff odds.
Top Stanley Cup favorites
Last season’s Stanley Cup final came down to a battered and bruised Florida Panthers team struggling to keep pace with the Vegas Golden Knights, who won it all in five games. This season, oddsmakers expect the pecking order to look a little different after a busy offseason for some of the league’s top teams.
The ’Canes made it as far as the Eastern Conference final last season before losing in a 4-0 sweep to the Panthers. The series was closer than that final tally makes it seem, and Carolina improved its roster with offseason signings. The team inked forward Dmitry Orlov, who was maybe the top free agent available. It also agreed to a contract extension with Sebastian Aho and doubled down on the goaltending duo of Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen.
New Jersey Devils
This young team surprised some people last season by eliminating the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs before falling to Carolina. Expectations are higher this year, however, as the squad enters with the benefit of some added maturity and experience. Jack Hughes is among the top six MVP candidates, and the club is hoping for a big year out of goaltender Vitek Vanecek.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs won their first playoff series since 2004 in the first round of the postseason last season, only to turn around and lose to the Panthers in five games in the next round. The team still has a solid core of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares, but it also added some attitude by signing Ryan Reaves, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Max Domi. The hope is that bulking up the team’s brawn and brawlability will be the key to advancing further into this season’s playoffs.
New York Rangers
The Rangers expected to do a lot better in last season’s playoffs than a first-round elimination at the hands of their rivals in New Jersey in a heated seven-game series. The team still has top players at every position group, with goaltender Igor Shesterkin among the top favorites to win the Vezina Trophy and Adam Fox in the running for the Norris Trophy.
The Bruins broke NHL records with their regular season play and entered the postseason with the most wins in the league. That made it even more disappointing to go out in the first round of the playoffs against a wild card team like the Panthers, even if Florida did go on to win the conference title. The bad news is that Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci are both gone, meaning the team will have to lean even harder on Vezina Trophy-winning goaltender Linus Ullmark.
The Avalanche made a surprisingly early exit from the playoffs after losing in the first round to the upstart Seattle Kraken, but the 2022 Stanley Cup champs look like a serious contender again this season. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen are both MVP candidates, and Cale Makar opens the season as the favorite to win the Norris Trophy for the league’s top defenseman. Colorado also signed several new forwards to add some depth to its attack and inject some fresh blood into its roster.
Any team that has both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl is a threat to go all the way. The addition of Mattias Ekholm instantly improved the team’s fortunes last season, and the Oilers proved to be the toughest test that the eventual Cup-winning Golden Knights faced in the postseason. There’s a sense of now-or-never for the McDavid-Draisaitl duo, with both among the top five in MVP odds to start the year.
Vegas Golden Knights
It’s a bit of a shock to see the Knights so far down the odds board, especially since this team is largely unchanged from the one that hoisted the Cup last season. Adin Hill at goaltender was a pleasant surprise when the Knights needed him last season, and Jack Eichel will be a focal point of the offense again this season.
This team still seems like a work in progress, but things appear to be moving in the right direction after the offseason signing of Matt Duchene. Dallas made it all the way to the Western Conference final last season. Goaltender Jake Oettinger had nights of pure brilliance in net but also some performances he’d likely rather forget. The Stars will be hoping for more consistency this year.
NHL conference futures odds
Last season, the Bruins finished with the best record in the league, and sportsbooks expected them to be the top team vying for the conference title. That ended with a first-round loss to the Panthers, who went on to win the conference with a gutsy playoff run. This year it’s the Hurricanes who open the season as the top favorite to win in the east, with the Devils and Rangers not far behind.
It’s a tight leaderboard in the west, with the Avalanche, Oilers, and defending champion Golden Knights all bunched at the top. Sportsbooks expect the Stars to be in the hunt as well, with the Los Angeles Kings also part of the conversation after playing the Oilers close in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
NHL division winner odds
NHL awards odds
The NHL has four main awards that it gives out at the end of each season to recognize excellence across position groups and in different categories. Here are current betting lines on all those awards from top sportsbooks.
Connor McDavid won the MVP (also known as the Hart Trophy) last season for a second time in three years and a third time overall. He enters this season as a heavy favorite to make it two in a row, though his teammate Leon Draisaitl is also in the conversation, along with Nathan MacKinnon, who has yet to win the award, and Auston Matthews, who won it for the 2021-22 season.
Vezina Trophy odds
This award for the league’s top goaltender went to Bruins net-minder Linus Ullmark last season. Igor Shesterkin, who won it before that, is a favorite to claim it for a second time this season, and sportsbooks also expect Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros to be in the running. The last player to win more than one Vezina Trophy was Sergei Bobrovsky, in 2016-17.
Norris Trophy odds
This award for the league’s top defenseman went to the San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson last season. Karlsson is now on the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the odds have him as something of a longshot to pull off a repeat performance. Instead, 2021-22 winner Cale Makar is the favorite to take home the award, with Adam Fox and Rasmus Dahlin also near the top of the board.
Rookie of the year odds
The Calder Trophy goes to the NHL’s top rookie, and Connor Bedard has generated all the buzz for it so far. Bedard was the first overall pick in this year’s draft and has already garnered attention for his smooth puck-handling and offensive output in preseason play. The big question is whether the Chicago Blackhawks will be able to provide the support elsewhere on the ice to let him shine.