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2021 NHL Awards Roundup – See How Odds Moved from Open Until Winners Announced



2021 nhl awards roundup – see how odds moved from

2021 NHL Awards Odds - Hart, Vezina, Calder and Norris

New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox skates with the puck during the team’s first period of the team’s NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Washington. Fox won the James Norris Memorial Trophy on Tuesday June 29th. (AP Photo / Nick Wass, File)

  • The 2021 NHL Awards were presented on Tuesday, June 29, 2021
  • Adam Fox won the Norris Trophy despite being a tough longshot
  • Read below to see the odds evolution for each winner during the season

The 2021 NHL Awards were held on Tuesday, June 29th, and there were some fascinating winners. Several players taking hardware home weren’t the betting favorites in sports betting that went to the ceremony.

New York Rangers’ blueliner Adam Fox won the Norris Trophy despite being a longshot for most of the season. Marc-Andre Fleury ousted Andrei Vasilevskiy in one of the closest Vezina Trophy races in NHL history.

We’re setting odds evolution for each winner throughout the year and sharing our early tips for the 2022 NHL Awards.

Hart Trophy odds move

playerOpening of the Hart Trophy oddsMid-season Hart Trophy oddsCurrent Hart Trophy odds
Connor McDavid+700-150-1100

All odds from FanDuel

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McDavid wins Hart unanimously

In the least surprising result of the 2021 NHL Awards, Connor McDavid of Oilers won the Hart Trophy as the NHL MVP. The other two finalists were Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews and Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon.

Stanley Cup Odds Tracker 2021

McDavid received all 100 votes for first place, making him the second unanimous Hart Trophy winner in NHL history alongside Wayne Gretzky. The value for McDavid was much earlier in the season when he opened as the second favorite at +700. Due to Matthews’ scoring, McDavid was available for plus money through March.

This year’s Hart Memorial Trophy winner, the player most valuable to his team in the regular season, is Connor McDavid (@ cmcdavid97)! #NHLAwards

– NHL (@NHL) June 29, 2021

McDavid offered value in the Hart Trophy opening odds as the all-Canadian division was a bit of a mystery. The phenomenon ignited weak defensive teams like Ottawa and won the championship race with over 20 points. Once it got to the later stages, there was no longer any doubt that McDavid would win.

Looking ahead to the 2021/22 NHL season, McDavid is well worth jumping up early again. Players like him only exist once in a generation, and if the puck hits once you will be unlikely to find much value. McDavid could become the first consecutive Hart winner since Alex Ovechkin in 2008 and 2009.

  • Early 2022 Hart Trophy Pick: Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers

Vezina Trophy odds movement

playerOpening of the Vezina Trophy oddsMid-season Vezina Trophy oddsLatest Vezina Trophy odds
Marc-Andre Fleury+1500+350+263

Fleury defeats Vasilevskiy

Golden Knights goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury narrowly ousted Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy to win the 2021 Vezina Trophy. Fleury received 14 votes for first place and 108 points, while Vasilevskiy received 12 votes for first place and 99 points. The other finalist was Avalanche goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer.

Fleury was a great story as he recovered from losing the net to Robin Lehner in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This is still a heavy loss for the many bettors who had money on Vasilevskiy. The Lightning Netminder was the odds favorite (-185) on the way to the NHL Awards.

Congratulations to the first-time winner of the prestigious Vezina Trophy, Marc-Andre Fleury! #NHLAwards

– NHL (@NHL) June 29, 2021

Fleury was available for plus money all season as the odds makers were reluctant to make him a strong favorite with Lehner in the picture as well. Fleury isn’t someone you want to jump on at the 2022 Vezina Trophy odds, however, considering he fought Colorado in the playoffs and is 36 years old.

There’s not much debate that Vasilevskiy is the NHL’s best goalkeeper right now. Fleury deserved it, but the advanced statistics spoke for Vasi. The Russian goalkeeper is in the prime of his career and is on the verge of winning consecutive trophies. He is the safe choice for the next season.

  • Early 2022 Vezina Trophy Pick: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay Lightning

Calder Trophy odds movement

playerOpening of the Calder Trophy Odds OpeningMid-season Calder Trophy oddsCurrent Calder Trophy odds
Kirill Kaprizov+400-160-900

Kaprizov dominates the Calder vote

Kirill Kaprizov, who won the Vezina Trophy in 2021, was arguably the betting ban for the entire NHL season. The 24-year-old superstar received all but one of 99 votes for first place as best rookie. The other two finalists were Dallas striker Jason Robertson and Carolina goalkeeper Alex Nedeljkovic.

Kaprizov’s rookie season was very similar to Artemi Panarin’s. Both players came from the KHL and set the NHL on fire in the first year. Kaprizov was arguably more impressive when he almost single-handedly brought Minnesota back to relevance. Minnesota has reached the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

The Calder Memorial Trophy 2021 goes to Kirill Kaprizov as the best player of the league’s first year! #NHLAwards

– NHL (@NHL) June 29, 2021

Kaprizov was a chance to win the Calder due to his elite skills, but his odds move was interesting. He opened behind Igor Shesterkin and Alexis Lafreniere and only became a favorite in March. A late push from Robertson prevented Kaprizov from actually running away with the trophy.

Looking ahead to 2021-22, Cole Caufield is a great early pick in the 2022 Calder Trophy odds. The 20-year-old is an elite goalscorer who has already scored eight goals in his first 26 games for Montreal. He has the ability to score 30-40 goals in his first full season with the Habs.

  • Calder Trophy Pick in early 2022: Cole Caufield, Montreal Canadiens

Norris Trophy Odds Movement

playerOpening of the Norris Trophy oddsMid-season Norris Trophy oddsLatest Norris Trophy odds
Adam Fox+3150+1800+570

Fox surprised to win Norris

In the biggest surprise of the 2021 NHL Awards, Rangers defender Adam Fox won the Norris Trophy ahead of finalists Victor Hedman (Lightning) and Cale Makar (Avalanche). Many experts agreed that Fox deserved the award the most, but it seemed palpable that he could be snubbed in favor of a better known name like Hedman.

Fox flew massively under the radar at Norris Trophy odds and wasn’t even on the board when the odds first opened in November. The 23-year-old first appeared on Norris odds in late December when he debuted at +3150. It was not until April that the New York Blueliner even became the second favorite.

The James Norris Memorial Trophy goes to first-time winner Adam Fox (@foxyclean), after a fantastic 2020-21 campaign! #NHLAwards

– NHL (@NHL) June 29, 2021

Fox winning the trophy is proof that the odds for the opening of the NHL Awards offer incredible value. Oddsmakers never gave him a big chance overall, but his Longshot score in the first few months resulted in a massive payday for some bettors.

Looking ahead to 2021-22, Makar is a must-see. The Avalanche Pivot received only eight votes less than Fox despite an injury-related loss of time. He was a top 10 finisher as a rookie in 2020 and will soon win a Norris.

  • Early 2022 Norris Trophy Pick: Cale Makar, Colorado avalanche

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Brady Trettenero

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Sports journalist

Brady is a passionate hockey fanatic and sports journalist with over five years of digital media experience and a degree in broadcast journalism. His work has been widely recognized by the likes of ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and fox sports.


Brady is a passionate hockey fanatic and sports journalist with over five years of digital media experience and a degree in broadcast journalism. His work has been widely recognized by the likes of ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and fox sports.

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2021 NHL Draft Odds, Props and Best Bets



2021 nhl draft odds, props and best bets

Owen Power knocks defenders down in front of him

FILE – In this December 8, 2020 file photo, Michigan’s Owen Power, 22, watches the puck as it works against Minnesota’s Cullen Munson, 13, during an NCAA hockey game in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ann Arbor became a must-see scouting trail with an exciting Wolverines line-up with a trio of highly acclaimed newbies in defenseman Owen Power and strikers Kent Johnson and Mathew Beniers. (AP photo / Al Goldis, file)

  • Owen Power is still a big favorite, picked first by the Buffalo Sabers in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft
  • Will the Seattle Kraken overtake Mathew Beniers in second? What other over / under could be interesting?
  • Read below for the odds, insights, and bet selection

The 2021 NHL Entry Draft is just around the corner. It’s time to take a look at who could be first, second, and so on. There will even be a couple of surprises.

In addition to the one the Buffalo Sabers choose for the first overall pick on Friday evening, the Seattle Kraken is in second place. Will you vote for Mathew Beniers as many are expecting, or will you turn to someone else?

Don’t forget to check out the Seattle Expansion Draft odds as well. Check out the latest sports betting promotions to make sure you get the best value for money when choosing these draft picks.

NHL Entry Draft 2021 odds for number one selection

Owen Power-1100
Matthew Beniers+500
William Eklund+1900
Brandt Clarke+6000
Luke Hughes+6000
Simon Edvinsson+6000

July 22nd odds from FanDuel

A random power doesn’t come first?

Again, the odds above seem to suggest that this isn’t an overly likely scenario. Power is expected to come first at -1100. What’s even worse for bettors out there is the over / under prop. This prop has a rougher chance at -1400. This makes it difficult to put those below 1.5. Sure, you can roll the dice and try to get the over at +700.

The Buffalo Sabers are not expected to trade the top pick.

Sounds like they’re designing Owen Power first overall.

I’m not against drafting power, it’s the safe move, but if you already have your franchise defenders in Dahlin and want to swap your franchise forward for acorn, then why not design a striker?

– Suffalo-Babres (@suffalobabres) July 22, 2021

Even on Friday night, anything could happen again. However, Kevyn Adams, general manager of the Sabers, has said several times that they will pick the best player available. This also applies if you have to wait. There are rumors that Power may return to Michigan to play college hockey.

Anyway, it looks likely that Power will be Buffalo’s choice.

Will Matthew Beniers leave at two?

What do the odds say? Let’s take a look below.

NHL Entry Draft Number Two Selection Odds

Matthew Beniers-300
William Eklund+750
Dylan Günther+750
Brandt Clarke+1100
Mason McTavish+1100
Owen Power+1500

July 22nd odds from FanDuel

There could be a little more discussion here. Nobody is quite sure who Kraken GM Ron Francis will choose. Somewhat more certain is that Beniers is unlikely to fall to fifth place or below.

The University of Michigan could see the forward play hockey for them this year, and he could be with Power and even Kent Johnson. There is a possibility that all three outstanding will be included in the top 10 of the overall ranking.

2022 Stanley Cup odds tracker

As for Beniers, we’ve again combed through a lot of scouting reports, sham drafts, and the like. One of the best in the business, Russ Cohen, also got him second after Seattle.

The expansion draft showed that Seattle was a little poor in the middle position (see above). Yanni Gourde is not a number one center and Beniers could be on time. Seattle also seems to want to be patient with developments. Here is a little more about the view.

Matthew Beniers University of Michigan.

“Beniers plays a strong 200-foot game and fights hard in puck fights along the boards. His engine seems to keep moving every time he steps on the ice as he has a great work ethic and elite skills to move the piece forward. ” # 2021NHL design

– Clare McManus (@claremcmanuss) July 22, 2021

The big thing that stood out with Beniers and his odds was the fact that his propellers under 2.5 on DraftKings matched the -300 chance of being selected number two on FanDuel. It just looks like it matches everything seen before the design.

After the second pick, things might get interesting. However, the first two picks seem like Power and Beniers as the best choices.

Other first-round props

The NHL Entry Draft could get a little wild here.

The next question might be what are the safer props among the potential top 10 players. When looking through the odds, the third to seventh choices can go in both directions. William Eklund is expected to be somewhere in this range, which is why his numbers tilt to -255, so he will be picked on seventh or earlier. It’s our best and safest bet out of this group.

NHL Entry Draft Over / Under Odds

Brandt ClarkeO 8.5 (-115), U 8.5 (-115)
Chaz LuciusO 10.5 (-210), U 10.5 (+165)
Dylan GüntherU 3.5 (-115), O 3.5 (-115)
Kent JohnsonO 9.5 (-115), U 9.5 (-115)
Luke HughesU 4.5 (-130), O 4.5 (+100)
Mason McTavishO 6.5 (-115), U 6.5 (-115)
Matthew BeniersU 2.5 (-300), O 2.5 (+220)
Owen PowerU 1.5 (-1400), O 1.5 (+700)
Simon EdvinssonO 5.5 (-115), U 5.5 (-115)
William EklundU 7.5 (-255), O 7.5 (+190)

July 22nd odds from DraftKings

Here are a few more tips for Friday night. Again, a lot depends on whether trades are made in the top 10 or not at all.

    • Chaz Lucius (U 10.5 at +165)
    • Dylan Günther (O 3.5 at -115)
    • Kent Johnson (U 9.5 at -115)

It will be impressive to see three players from the University of Michigan make it into the top 10. Lets see what happens.

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Chris Wassel

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Sports journalist

A seasoned journalist for over two decades, Chris has taught the range of fantasy hockey online, from injuries to news to prospects and more. He has wagered on multiple sports and has written sports betting articles on the NBA, MLB, NCAA football, the NFL and NHL for USA Today.


A seasoned journalist for over two decades, Chris has taught the range of fantasy hockey online, from injuries to news to prospects and more. He has wagered on multiple sports and has written sports betting articles on the NBA, MLB, NCAA football, the NFL and NHL for USA Today.

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Updated 2022 Stanley Cup Odds Following NHL Expansion Draft



updated 2022 stanley cup odds following nhl expansion draft

Jordan Eberle holds the microphone

Jordan Eberle, second from left, a New York Islanders striker, is introduced as the new player for the Seattle Kraken while speaking with ESPN NHL hockey draft hosts Dominic Moore, left, and Chris Fowler, second from right, Wednesday , July January 2021, as Kraken’s general manager Ron Francis (right) listens during the Krakens NHL hockey expansion draft event in Seattle. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)

  • The Seattle Expansion Draft 2021 took place on Wednesday, July 21st
  • The Kraken has selected Jordan Eberle and Mark Giordano, among others
  • Read below to see how the Expansion Draft affected Stanley Cup odds in 2022

After the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft was completed, updated Stanley Cup odds were released for 2022. The Seattle Kraken created their roster on Wednesday night and will play in the 2021/22 NHL season.

The Kraken are listed at +5000 in the updated cup odds after opening up as +7000 Longshots. The Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes are among the other NHL teams to see notable odds movement following the Expansion Draft.

We’re putting on updated Stanley Cup 2022 odds and Seattle’s full list and betting tips.

Stanley Cup 2022 odds

Colorado avalanche+600
Tampa Bay Lightning+700
Vegas Golden Knights+850
Carolina Hurricanes+1200
Boston Bruins+1200
Toronto Maple Leafs+1400
Residents of New York+2000
Pittsburgh penguins+2200
Minnesota Wild+22200
Florida panther+2200
Washington capitals+2500
New York Rangers+2500
Montreal Canada+2500
Edmonton Oilers+2800
Philadelphia flyer+3000
St. Louis Blues+3500
Dallas stars+4000
Calgary flames+4000
Nashville Predators+4000
Vancouver Canucks+5000
Seattle Kraken+5000
Los Angeles Kings+6000
Chicago Blackhawks+6000
Arizona coyotes+6000
Columbus blue jackets+10000
Anaheim ducks+10000
San Jose Sharks Jose+10000
New Jersey Devils+10000
Ottawa Senators+10000
Detroit Red Wings+20000
Buffalo saber+20000

July 21st odds at DraftKings

Kraken underwhelm in expansion design

Seattle’s Stanley Cup 2022 odds are listed at +5000 after a disappointing Expansion Draft in 2021. The Kraken stayed away from big names like Carey Price and Vladimir Tarasenko and opted for a more cap-friendly lineup. The Kraken’s top picks included striker Jordan Eberle and defender Mark Giordano.

Welcome to Seatown, @ jeberle_7!

Time to Get Kraken!

– Seattle Kraken (@SeattleKraken) July 22, 2021

The Kraken don’t seem close to Stanley Cup contenders on paper, but keep in mind that no one gave Vegas a chance after the 2017 Expansion Draft. The Golden Knights landed on their list with several undiscovered gems and reached the Stanley Cup final in their inaugural season.

Below is the full list of the Seattle Kraken:

Seattle Kraken Squad

Chris DrygergoalieFlorida panther
Joey okgoalieOttawa Senators
Vitek VanecekgoalieWashington capitals
Haydn FleurydefenderAnaheim ducks
William BorgendefenderBuffalo saber
Mark GiordanodefenderCalgary flames
Gavin BayreutherdefenderColumbus blue jackets
Jamie OleksiakdefenderDallas stars
Adam LarssondefenderEdmonton Oilers
Kurtis MacDermiddefenderLos Angeles Kings
Carson SoucydefenderMinnesota Wild
Cale FleurydefenderMontreal Canada
Vince DunndefenderSt. Louis Blues
Tyler PitlickForwardArizona coyotes
Jeremy LauzonForwardBoston Bruins
Morgan GeekieForwardCarolina Hurricanes
John QuennevilleForwardChicago Blackhawks
Joonas DonskoiForwardColorado avalanche
Dennis CholowskiForwardDetroit Red Wings
Jarnkrok StreetForwardNashville Predators
Nathan BastianForwardNew Jersey Devils
Jordan EberleForwardResidents of New York
Carsen TwarynskiForwardPhiladelphia flyer
Brandon TanevForwardPittsburgh penguins
Alexander TrueForwardSan Jose Sharks Jose
Yanni GourdeForwardTampa Bay Lightning
Jared McCannForwardToronto Maple Leafs
Kole LindForwardVancouver Canucks
Mason AppletonForwardWinnipeg Jets

The Kraken roster is particularly lacking in superstars and there are several players with minimal to no NHL experience. Even if they struggle to score goals, defense is a strong color. Giordano and Adam Larsson have experienced defenders with a lot of experience. Haydn Fleury, Will Borgen and Cale Fleury are promising youngsters.

Aside from the defense, goalkeeping is another plus for Seattle. Chris Dryedger was fantastic for Florida in 2020-21 and is listed at +2500 in the 2022 Vezina Trophy odds. Vitek Vanecek, meanwhile, shone in his rookie season with Washington and should be a solid backup option behind Driedger.

Seattle in the weak Pacific division

Seattle is having a hard time doing an inaugural run like Vegas, but they have things in their favor. The Kraken will play in a weak Pacific division that includes Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, San Jose, Vancouver, and Vegas. The Golden Knights and Oilers are the only teams not listed as +3000 or greater in the updated cup odds.

Good morning everyone … except you, @SeattleKraken.

– Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) July 21, 2021

Instead of betting Seattle as the Stanley Cup longshot, consider putting them on the 2021-22 playoffs. You have the defense and the goal to take advantage of a weak league and qualify for the 16-team postseason. Eberle, Joonas Donskoi and Jared McCann can help fill the net. Expect the NHL make / miss playoff odds to be released shortly before the puck drop.

Other notable odds moves

The Kraken weren’t the only team to see a move in their Stanley Cup 2022 odds after the Expansion Draft. Seattle’s selections had a huge impact on overall cup odds. The Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens both saw their odds improve after the draft. This was because Seattle didn’t pick Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton or Jake Bean and pass on the Carey Price from Habs.

According to sources, the Kraken did NOT choose Carey Price in the draft extension. It remains the property of the Montreal Canadiens@TSNHockey @TheAthletic

– Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 21, 2021

The Nashville Predators also rose from +5000 to +4000 despite losing striker Calle Jarnkrok. The Predators left Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen exposed in the Expansion Draft, but the Kraken chose not to pick any of Nashville’s top strikers.

The biggest losers in the updated odds for the 2022 Cup included Calgary, Edmonton and Colorado. This isn’t too surprising considering the Oilers and Flames both lost a top defender. The avalanche moved from +500 to +600 after losing Donskoy to the Kraken. Your adjusted price also revolves around UFA Gabriel Landeskog, who has not yet signed a new contract with the team.

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Brady Trettenero

Sports journalist

Sports journalist

Brady is a passionate hockey fanatic and sports journalist with over five years of digital media experience and a degree in broadcast journalism. His work has been widely recognized by the likes of ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and fox sports.


Brady is a passionate hockey fanatic and sports journalist with over five years of digital media experience and a degree in broadcast journalism. His work has been widely recognized by the likes of ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and fox sports.

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Why Have Oddsmakers Opened NHL Expansion Team at 50/1?



why have oddsmakers opened nhl expansion team at 50/1?

When the bookmakers released the odds for the 2021/22 NHL season, there was one team everyone was curious about: the Seattle Kraken.

Shortly before the start of their very first season and even before signing an NHL player, the Kraken opened at +5000 to win the Stanley Cup in 2022 at FanDuel. Those odds put them in 21st place between Winnipeg (+3700) and Chicago (+6000) and imply they have a 2% chance of winning the Stanley Cup. Odds of 50 to one and an implied odds of 2% make the Kraken a longshot by NHL standards, but those odds still seem a bit high for an expansion team. There are 11 teams among them on the board.

While it’s impossible to gauge an expansion team’s “real odds” prior to drafting, I think it would be fair to suggest that a fair number for Seattle should probably be in the triple digits. But any bookmaker will tell you there is more going into setting odds than just hanging a team at the “real price”.

So why did some bookmakers give the Kraken a premium when they are very unlikely to make a run in the first year?

The Vegas Golden Knights Effect

The most obvious reason Seattle isn’t sitting at the bottom of the board with the rest of the longshots is what happened to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017/18.

As is well known, the Knights were listed up to 200/1 during their expansion draft offseason. While we now know that Vegas knocked it out of the park with its draft strategy, there wasn’t anyone at the time who thought the Knights were on their way to something special right outside the gates. Most people, myself included, viewed the Golden Knights’ inaugural list as a mix of underdogs. Their three-digit Stanley Cup odds and 67.5 point over / under basically made sense to everyone, and the only people betting on the Knights were avid Sin City fans.

The rest, as they say, is history. The Knights put together a miracle run and made it to the Stanley Cup Final, which puts the bookmakers in a precarious position.

“This situation with the Knights was obviously unique as they are an expansion team set in Las Vegas,” Jeff Sherman of the 2018 Westgate SuperBook told The Action Network. “A lot of people in our area came and wanted a souvenir ticket. ”

The Kraken isn’t going to attract the same type of betting support as the Knights in 2017, but Seattle is a monster sports city and you can be sure that when Kraken fans visit Vegas or any other legal betting state they will be greeted with a “You just never know “Bet on your new favorite team. By opening Seattle at an inflated price, some bookmakers are doing their best to protect themselves from yet another (albeit unlikely) miracle season from an NHL expansion team.

The way into the postseason

The “Vegas Effect” may be a hard-to-quantify, narrative reason for bookies to be careful with the Kraken, but there is solid reason to be a little optimistic about the Kraken’s 2021-22 odds, even before you have one only NHL player on their roster.

Playing in the Pacific Division in their first season, the Kraken join Vegas, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, San Jose, Anaheim and Los Angeles. If Seattle were in a different league, I would say the chances of a surprise run into the playoffs are slim. But the Pacific projects are said to be incredibly soft as only two teams (Vegas and Edmonton) made it to postseason last season and four clubs have higher odds than Seattle at the time of writing:

  • San Jose Sharks +6000
  • Vancouver Canucks +7000
  • Anaheim ducks +7000
  • Los Angeles Kings +8500

Even the tip of the Pacific is doubtful at best. Vegas is the clear favorite but could step back due to some wage cap issues. Edmonton has Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl but the rest of its roster is missing and the Oilers got worse by trading against Duncan Keith. And Calgary is stuck in no man’s land and could probably benefit from tearing things down for a proper rebuild. If the Flames were on a different set, they’d be in big trouble. This is possibly the most bottom-heavy league the NHL has seen in a decade.

With the NHL returning to its normal playoff structure for next season, arguing that the Kraken have a path to success in the Pacific wouldn’t be considered insane. The top three teams in each division automatically qualify for the postseason and the last two places go to the top two teams from the rest of the conference. That means Seattle only needs to beat four bad teams to qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs in its first season. And as we’ve seen time and time again in the NHL, all bets are as soon as you get into the tournament.

Dave Sandford / NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Ron Francis

Salary limit hell

For the foreseeable future, the NHL’s tough salary cap will stay at $ 81.5 million. That means there are multiple teams that will have to fight some contract fights between now and October. I’m sure many general managers fighting the cap call Ron Francis to try and navigate their way through salary cap hell.

It feels like the Kraken could get a major graduate degree or two with teams that are under pressure. The Lightning, Islanders, Golden Knights, Penguins, Capitals, and Maple Leafs are all within $ 10 million of the salary cap at the time of writing, and there are plenty of other teams willing to give up some assets to tempt Seattle to choose – or stay away from – a specific player in the draft. We saw this scenario in 2017 when some teams traded assets to get the Golden Knights not to pick certain players.

The Minnesota Wild have reached an agreement with the Knights to choose Erik Haula over Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba. That cost Minnesota its best AHL contender, Alex Tuch, who has become a great winger for the Knights.

Not only did the Florida Panthers lose Jonathan Marchessault in the Expansion Draft, but they also worked out a deal with Vegas to get Reilly Smith and his $ 25 million deal off the books. Smith, Cloth, Marchessault and William Karlsson, who picked Vegas after picking a deal with Columbus in return for not picking a goalkeeper Joonas Korpisalo, are all still producing and giving the Knights great depth in midfield behind theirs Top. the players on the list.

While I don’t expect general managers to make the same mistakes they did in 2017, there are many competing teams desperately trying to lose bad contracts. Don’t be surprised if Seattle comes out with a high-profile player or two this summer.

James van Riemsdyk or Jakub Voracek could end up in Seattle’s squad. Photo credit: Bill Wippert / NHLI via Getty Images

How bad can they be?

Even if Seattle isn’t maneuvering in the shade to swing a big minor matter, the expansion design is designed so that, unless nothing goes wrong, the Kraken will be much closer to the center of the field than to the bottom. A lack of star power left many in doubt about the Golden Knights in their first season, but Vegas built its success by putting together an extensive roster and filling it with high profile youngsters (Shea Theodore, Nate Schmidt) who didn’t succeed at Fair Shake her last stop.

I think we’re going to see a similar strategy from the Kraken who could build their squad around a strong middle six that could be armed with players like Warren Foegele, Joonas Donskoi, Yanni Gourde, Mason Appleton, Alex Kerfoot and Calle Jarnkrok. From there, the Kraken can get some shots with players with high ceilings like Kieffer Bellows and then top off the top of the roster with reliable producers like Evgenii Dadonov and James van Riemsdyk.

The defensive figures are similarly safe and healthy, with names like Mark Giordano, Calvin de Haan, and Jeremy Lauzon being twirled around. From there, you can see Francis placing bets on high rear guards like Vince Dunn or Jake Bean.

The biggest difference between the Vegas expansion draft and this one is that there won’t be a Marc-Andre Fleury for the Kraken to pick up. Even so, there will be a lot of reliable goalkeepers in the draft. Coming out of the draft in a tandem with two of Jake Allen, Anton Khudobin, Chris Driedger and / or Vitek Vanecek would give Seattle a better goalkeeping position than many other teams.

Just like Vegas, I think it’s okay to assume that Seattle will emerge from the expansion draft with a decent collection of strong RPG players, but with no established high-end talent. There are many teams out there making sure that this type of roster creation works well enough to enter the postseason or to be close to it. Good quality depth is important in the NHL and should provide the Kraken with a stable foundation on which to build.

In other words, the cap might not be that high, but it feels like a pretty safe bet that Seattle won’t be a royal mess in its opening campaign.

The bottom line

If you look at this from a simple value perspective, the Seattle Kraken at their current prices is likely a bad bet (some sportsbooks have Seattle at 100/1 or 75/1 so have a look around if you’re looking to get down on the Kraken) . Despite what we saw at Vegas in 2017, it’s hard to imagine Francis and his team putting together a real competitor right from the start.

That said, betting is supposed to be fun and I’m not here to stop Kraken fans from supporting their new team to work a miracle just because the odds makers have overstated their numbers. You don’t have just one chance to bet on an expansion team to win the Stanley Cup in its inaugural season.

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