The NHL is back! After a most unusual 2019-20 season, we’re back on the ice again. The league did a fantastic job of holding the playoffs in the bubble last season, so we can only hope that carries over into the new season. This is going to be different from what we are used to in the NHL, as the teams have been temporarily aligned into four divisions: North, South, East, and Central. The reason for doing so is to adopt a more regional balance and cut back on travel days and distances. All the divisions look very competitive, but a lot of fans seem to be really buzzing about the North Division, which is comprised of all the Canadian teams.
Now let us take a look at some of the early favorites to win the Stanley Cup with expert analysis from MyBookie Head Oddsmaker, David Strauss.
Really Early 2021 Stanley Cup Odds Update
Colorado Avalanche (+650)
The Avalanche will be looking to get into the playoffs for the third-straight season this year, which should not be a problem given the talent they have in this squad. The Avalanche have drafted well and made some savvy trades over the past couple of seasons, which has helped put them on the brink of seriously competing for the Stanley Cup. If they do have a weakness, it might well be in goaltending, but even that is more about the backup than anything else. This team had made improvements from year to year and look like the team to beat in the West Division. They look set to make a very deep run
Vegas Golden Knights (+750)
When the Golden Knights came into the league, they found immediate success, making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural season. They have been a playoff ever-present in their short history, perhaps because they have done such a great job of luring some of the best players in the league to Sin City. While that has brought them success, it also brings the potential for salary cap issues, although it may be a couple of years before that kicks in. This team is stacked once again and should be challenging for the West Division.
Tampa Bay Lightning (+800)
The defending Stanley Cup champions have been one of the best teams in the league for the past few years, but can they come out and repeat that success this season? It is certainly going to be a tough ask, as they have lost a few key players and haven’t brought in any suitable replacements to fill those holes. The Lightning are deep at several positions, though, so they will likely be okay moving forward. They look to be the class in the Central Division alongside the Dallas Stars, the team they beat in the Stanley Cup last season.
Toronto Maple Leafs (+1000)
Few teams were as active as the Toronto Maple Leafs in the offseason, and if all those moves pan out, this team is going to be very, very good indeed. We already know that they are loaded on offense, with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner ready to light it up again, but they also addressed a lot of their needs on the defensive side of the ice. This will be their first full season with the new head coach in charge, so this is not officially his team. They should be at or near the top in the North.