MLB, NFL, and NHL had a great summer. The regular season starts October 7. Predict the top teams. Many big names moved last year, affecting divisional odds. OKBET lists them before the season. NHL 2022-2023 analysis and divisional projections.
My favorite plays in each NHL division.
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Winner of the Atlantic Division: Florida Panthers (+230)
*Odds provided by OKBET Betting online sportsbook
Let’s begin with the Eastern Conference with what is probably the division with the most top players. The top 4 teams and the lowest 4 teams appear to have a distinct talent disparity. The Tampa Bay Lightning are one of the groups that will undoubtedly stand out on the page.
They have won the division once since the 2018–2019 season, despite having won the Stanley Cup in two of the previous three seasons.
Instead, we’re going with the Florida Panthers, who are also covered in our analysis of the Stanley Cup winners, which can be found here. They had the league’s best record and the President’s Trophy last season, but they aren’t even considered the favorites to win the Atlantic.
With their subpar goaltending, the Toronto Maple Leafs, now in second place, have yet to demonstrate that they can put it all together. On the other hand, Florida can outscore any opponent and recently added Matthew Tkachuk, a former Flame.
They weren’t getting as much defensive talent from Jonathan Huberdeau, but he fills that gap. This season, they should have a better-balanced offense thanks to a new defensive-minded head coach.
Other top Atlantic teams include the Lightning (+300), Bruins (+1100), and Maple Leafs (+170).
Carolina Hurricanes (+200) are the Metropolitan Division champions.
We are going to target the favorites in the Metro Division specifically. The Carolina Hurricanes, who last season competed with the Panthers for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, continue to stand out as the division’s most complete squad.
It’s difficult to put your faith in an elderly Penguins squad who might have passed their prime, a Rangers squad that might be headed for a decline, and a Capitals squad that keeps changing goalies.
The Hurricanes, who are captained by 22-year-old Andrei Svechnikov and 25-year-old Sebastian Aho, aren’t going anywhere in the meanwhile. One of the top goal scorers in the league this offseason, Max Pacioretty, joined that combo.
He practically got a free transfer from the Vegas Golden Knights. He will still need to begin the season by recovering from his injury, but his caliber of talent makes it impossible to dismiss his influence as the year goes on.
The Hurricanes have already demonstrated their ability to function without him by fielding one of the best goalies in Frederik Andersen. The Hurricanes might have advanced further in the postseason if he hadn’t suffered an injury toward the end of the regular season.
Other elite Metro teams are the Capitals (+600), Rangers (+350), and Penguins (+320).