NHL predictions 2023-24: Who will win the Stanley Cup?
With less than a month to go until the beginning of the 2023/24 NHL season, talk of who could be the next potential Stanley Cup champion has already started to reverberate around the league, fans, and sports bettors alike.
The Vegas Golden Knights managed to claim their maiden title last season after they defeated the Florida Panthers inside five games. In doing so, they became the youngest NHL franchise to ever do so, having only been formed and established in 2017.
Now that each of their players has had the opportunity to hold the prestigious trophy for at least one day each individually, the hard work on the ice has already started to begin as 31 other teams will be looking to take the Stanley Cup off their hands next summer when the finals take place in June.
Which teams are among the favorites to win the 23/24 Stanley Cup?
While the Golden Knights are among one of the favorites to win the title, there are a couple of other teams that are felt to have a better chance of being crowned Stanley Cup champions this season for various reasons.
Sportsbooks have already started to provide their odds of who they believe has the best chance, with the Toronto Maple Leafs believed to be a strong contender. They currently edge out the Colorado Avalanche in the odds, as well as the Edmonton Oilers. Elsewhere, the Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils are thought to have a better chance of being crowned champions than Vegas retaining their title and obtaining back-to-back success.
Here are the latest NHL odds according to sportsbooks that are already providing outright betting opportunities on the upcoming hockey season:
- Toronto Maple Leafs @ +800
- Colorado Avalanche @ +850
- Edmonton Oilers @ +900
- Carolina Hurricanes @ +1,000
- New Jersey Devils @ +1,000
- Vegas Golden Knights @ +1,100
Why are the Toronto Maple Leafs deemed current favorites?
Although this can change a lot throughout the 23/24 NHL season, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the pre-season favorites to be crowned Stanley Cup champions. According to experts around the league, many believe that the franchise is finally trending in the right direction and have enough about them in terms of their playing roster to get the job done. Stars like Auston Matthews – who was the 2022 Hart Trophy winner – have continued to excel on the ice, and it would not be a shock if he continued to be in fine form.
However, there are questions regarding the franchise and how it will look ahead of the first regular season game. The team needs to do a significant amount of work regarding player salary cap issues, while only 11 players are committed beyond the end of this season. For many, this season is their last-chance saloon.
What makes the other favorites contenders?
The Colorado Avalanche are no strangers to being high up on the odds when they are released, as the franchise arguably has one of the best and most complete rosters in the league. They had a number of injuries to deal with last year which cost them, but with a long offseason, they should be ready to get back down to business on the ice. Captain Gabriel Landeskog’s latest injury setback, which will see him miss another year, will be a blow, but they have the star quality to deal with it.
The Edmonton Oilers were nothing short of incredible last season, with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both exceptional. The team ran into the Vegas Golden Knights in the second round of the playoffs last season and were beaten 4-2, but there is a feeling that they are better this time around.
The Carolina Hurricanes and the New Jersey Devils are expected to have the same chance to win the Stanley Cup this year, according to the odds. Both franchises have made major moves recently to upgrade their playing roster with experienced heads, which can help to increase their chances. They are both at different stages of their respective journeys, but there is no reason why neither can go all the way if they play as well as expected.