The 2022-23 NHL season will begin on Oct. 7, when the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks compete in a two-game Global Series in Prague, Czech Republic. Four days later, the regular season will begin in North America with a doubleheader featuring the New York Rangers vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning and the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche vs. the Chicago Blackhawks.
With preseason action already underway after a busy offseason, bettors are furiously handicapping futures odds and season-long props for teams across the league.
A team from hockey-mad Canada hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since the Montreal Canadiens in 1993, but there are three teams north of the border — Toronto Maple Leafs (+1000), Edmonton Oilers (+1500), and Calgary Flames (+1600) — that have relatively short odds to accomplish the feat this year.
Let’s take a look at the odds, and some props, for all seven Canadian NHL teams.
All odds courtesy of FanDuel.
Stanley Cup odds: +10000
Regular season points over/under: 72.5
To make playoffs: +1100
Conference winner: +7500
Division winner: +10000
The Canadiens are projected to be downright awful this year. In fact, the Habs are +500 to have the worst record in the NHL, behind only the Blackhawks (+300) and Arizona Coyotes (+250).
And there’s major incentive to finish last in the NHL this year in order to have the best odds of drafting Vancouver-born Connor Bedard, who’s considered a generational talent, next summer. Having back-to-back first overall picks in the draft would certainly accelerate Montreal’s rebuild after the team selected hulking Slovak winger Juraj Slafkovský last year.
Franchise goalie Carey Price is likely out for the season because of lingering issues with his surgically repaired knee, which means Jake Allen will be the primary starter in the crease this year. Allen was limited by injuries last year, posting a 9-20 record with a 3.30 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in 35 games.
Montreal’s success this season will largely depend on the development of its young core consisting of Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, Kirby Dach, and Slafkovský. If this team is far out of playoff contention, and it should be, at the trade deadline, the Habs will likely trade away veteran players like Mike Hoffman and Evgeni Dadonov to contending teams.
This kid is just flat out special. Whoever drafts Connor Bedard is getting a legitimate generational talent pic.twitter.com/UijSOw0ncT
— 2 Goalies 1 Mic (@2Goalies1Mic) September 24, 2022
Stanley Cup odds: +5000
Regular season points: 85.5
To make playoffs: +200
Conference winner: +2800
Division winner: +2500
The future looks bright in Ottawa after a major roster overhaul this offseason that included the additions of veteran winger Claude Giroux and 41-goal scorer Alex DeBrincat. Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion also locked up several key players already on the roster to extensions, including budding stars Josh Norris and Tim Stützle.
However, oddsmakers still have Ottawa pegged as a non-playoff team with an over/under projection of 85.5 points. Last season, all eight playoffs teams in the Eastern Conference collected 100 points or more, and all eight of those playoff teams are running it back with similar rosters this year.
Although the Senators at +200 to make the playoffs may look like an enticing bet after an exciting offseason, bettors should think carefully before making such a wager. This team did nothing to improve its shoddy defense (ranked 22nd with 266 goals allowed last year) and is relying on rookie Jake Sanderson to fill a massive void on the second defense pairing.
Veteran netminder Cam Talbot was acquired to solidify the crease alongside Anton Forsberg, but he may have trouble adjusting to life in Ottawa after playing behind a defensive-minded Minnesota club for the past two seasons.
The Sens get their sniper. 🎯
Ottawa’s Stanley Cup odds shift from 70-1 to 55-1 after acquiring Alex DeBrincat from Chicago. pic.twitter.com/dhoQsiGv1o
— TSN EDGE (@TSN_Edge) July 7, 2022
Toronto Maple Leafs
Stanley Cup odds: +1000
Regular season points: 107.5
To make playoffs: -1000
Conference winner: +500
Division winner: +180
Perhaps Canada’s best chance of bringing Lord Stanley’s Cup north of the border is with the Maple Leafs, who have failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs in their last seven attempts.
Last year, Toronto posted its single-season bests for wins (54) and points (115), and center Auston Matthews set a franchise record with 60 goals to claim the Hart Trophy as league MVP.
The Maple Leafs should be one of the best teams in the NHL again this year, although there are some serious question marks in goal after Jack Campbell left to sign with the Edmonton Oilers as a free agent. Toronto brought in two goalies — Matt Murray and Ilya Samsonov — to compete for the starting job, and both netminders will likely see significant time in the crease this season.
Toronto is hoping Murray, who won two back-to-back Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2016 and 2017, can rebound after a couple of miserable seasons in Ottawa. While Samsonov is coming off a solid season with the Washington Capitals (3.02 GAA and .896 save percentage), he split time almost evenly in the crease with Vitek Vanecek and is unproven as a starter to this point in his NHL career.
Matthews is +420 to repeat as the Hart Trophy winner this year. Only Connor McDavid (+260), a two-time winner of the trophy, has shorter odds. If bettors shop around, though, they can find slightly better odds at other legal sportsbooks in Canada on both Matthews and McDavid.
Auston Matthews (+500) is the reigning Hart Trophy winner, but it’s Edmonton’s Connor McDavid (+275) who leads the current odds board.
Bet on the Hart Trophy along with a ton of other #NHL futures right now at @CoolbetCanada.https://t.co/hjPY7LYZnB pic.twitter.com/hbXYhMVRgm
— Coolbet Canada 🇨🇦 (@CoolbetCanada) September 27, 2022
Stanley Cup odds: +6000
Regular season points: 88.5
To make playoffs: +140
Conference winner: +2500
Division winner: +2000
After qualifying for the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, the Jets fell eight points shy of the final playoff spot occupied by the Nashville Predators last season.
With the core of the team still intact, Winnipeg looks like a playoff bubble team again this season. However, the team will be looking for a jolt from new head coach Rick Bowness, who insists the Jets aren’t ready for a rebuild yet, after Paul Maurice resigned last season.
Winnipeg will likely go as far as Connor Hellebuyck, the 2020 Vezina Trophy winner as the league’s best goalie, will take the the club. The 29-year-old’s numbers have slightly declined over the past two seasons as he continues to sustain a heavy workload. He recorded a 2.97 GAA and .910 save percentage with four shutouts in 66 games last year.
Forward Cole Perfetti, the team’s first-round pick in 2020, appears poised to secure a top-six forward role this year and could be a good bet (+1000) for the Calder Trophy, which is awarded to the league’s top rookie. The 20-year-old center amassed two goals and five assists in 18 games as last year before a back injury cut his season short. Perfetti remains eligible for the award this year because he did not exceed the 25 games played threshold last season.
Last request. Connor Hellebuyck has been a TOP5 goalie since ~2017 already. Great goalie, he deserves better players, better team in front of him. https://t.co/kbPy3Lx1o5 pic.twitter.com/Lpd8mDlgbI
— Andy & Rono (@ARHockeyStats) September 26, 2022
Stanley Cup odds: +1600
Regular season points: 102.5
To make playoffs: -600
Conference winner: +750
Division winner: +220
The Flames rocked the hockey world in July when they traded disgruntled star Matthew Tkachuk to the Florida Panthers, but they did well to acquire in the deal Jonathan Huberdeau, who erupted for 115 points last season, and MacKenzie Weegar, who set career highs in goals (8), assists (36), and points (44) last year.
If that wasn’t enough drama, the Flames also lost Johnny Gaudreau, a 40-goal scorer and fan favorite, via free agency to the Columbus Blue Jackets, but general manager Brad Treliving replaced him by signing Nazem Kadri, who is fresh off a Stanley Cup win and career-best 87 points last year with the Avalanche.
Calgary’s season outcome will depend on how the new acquisitions blend with the existing core of players on the roster. Jacob Markstrom is still one of the elite goaltenders in the game and he posted career highs in wins (37) and save percentage (.922) a year ago. The netminder has great value as a longshot for the Vezina at +2000.
NHL Pacific Division odds: Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers battle for top spot. 💥 https://t.co/RJWj48A99u
(via @ToddCordell) pic.twitter.com/81k3AzRWmN
— theScore Bet (@theScoreBet) August 31, 2022
Stanley Cup odds: +1500
Regular season points: 103.5
To make playoffs: -600
Conference winner: +750
Division winner: +250
The Oilers advanced to the Conference Finals last year before getting swept by the Avalanche, and they appear poised for another successful regular season and potential deep playoff run.
Goaltending has been the Achilles’ heel for this team in the McDavid era, and the Oilers are hoping Campbell, who leapt out of the pressure cooker in Toronto only to sign a five-year deal this summer with an Edmonton team in a similar situation, is the answer they’ve been seeking in goal. In limited postseason play (14 career games), Campbell owns a solid 2.64 GAA and .914 save percentage.
Secondary scoring will also be important for the Oilers, who have relied heavily on McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in recent seasons. Forward Evander Kane was rewarded with a four-year contract after a resurgent campaign in which he scored 22 goals in 43 regular-season games with Edmonton last year. His scoring prowess also carried over to the playoffs, when he netted 13 more goals in 15 contests.
Player props surrounding McDavid, who is a brand ambassador for BetMGM, are expected to be wildly popular again this year. FanDuel has set the phenom’s over/under for goals at 44.5 and points at 120.5.
Check out this fun chat Oilers goalie Jack Campbell had with @hailey_salvian and @seangentille.
via @TheAthletic https://t.co/rgGWPcToOP
— Daniel Nugent-Bowman (@DNBsports) September 23, 2022
Stanley Cup odds: +5000
Regular season points: 92.5
To make playoffs: -126
Conference winner: +2300
Division winner: +1000
Much like the Jets, the Canucks are projected to be a playoff bubble team again this season. But out of all the Canadian teams, Vancouver is the toughest to handicap.
The team’s success will largely depend on whether defenseman Quinn Hughes and/or forward Elias Pettersson can make the leap forward to becoming NHL superstars. Hughes notched career highs in goals (8), points (68), and plus/minus (+10) last season, and Pettersson caught fire late in the year by notching 21 of his 33 goals after the All-Star break.
One major X-factor for the Canucks will be the physical and mental health of winger Brock Boeser, who recently underwent hand surgery and will miss the first few weeks of the season. Last May, the oft-injured Boeser lost his father to cancer, but he still netted 23 goals in 71 games while playing through his dad’s health struggles.
A major surprise last season was the breakout scoring of J.T. Miller, who set career highs with 32 goals and 99 points. Oddsmakers are expecting a major scoring regression from the 29-year-old this year, though.
Are you betting on a 28 point regression for J.T. Miller? 99 points was the best #Canucks fans will ever see from Miller, but can he hit the over 70.5?
— Matt Lee (@mattlee_61) September 26, 2022
Photo: John E. Sokolowski/USA TODAY