The sportsbooks will release odds on each team winning the Stanley Cup at the start of the season. This is known as a futures bet, as it will not be settled for a long time. The betting market starts with a favorite, deemed by the odds compilers to be the strongest team. The odds then grow progressively longer on each team until you reach the rank outsider. That huge underdog is given no chance of securing success, although the Vegas Golden Knights almost defied odds of 500/1 (+50000) to win the Stanley Cup in their first season (2017-18).
You can also place futures wagers on each team winning its division or conference. The odds on these teams change as the season progresses. If one team is on fire, you can expect the odds on it to drop. If a team is struggling, or if its star player suffers a bad injury, the odds are likely to grow longer. You can bet on futures markets at different times of the season, seize upon changes to the odds and end up securing a guaranteed profit by betting on several different teams if you are sharp enough.
NHL futures are also possible on individual player markets. You can bet on which player will win the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Calder Memorial Trophy or the Conn Smythe Trophy. You can wager on which goaltender will perform better in a head-to-head battle or speculate as to which player will score the most goals in a head-to-head over the course of the season. You should also be able to bet over or under on the total wins each NHL team will secure during the regular season. You generally find odds of -110 on over and -110 on under when betting on season win totals in the NHL.