Sneak Peek and Early Stanley Cup Futures Picks

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 3:08 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jul. 20, 2016 3:08 PM UTC

Our NHL handicapping professional provides us with an early forecast for the upcoming 2016-2017 season which is still some ten weeks away.

With the 2016 NHL entry draft completed, and free agency signings virtually over, it’s a good time to assess early 2017 Stanley Cup futures. Below are the NHL betting odds pertaining to this specific topic, and it comes courtesy of the good folks at Bovada. These futures odds were last updated on 7/6/2016.

Pittsburgh Penguins  +900
Chicago Blackhawks  +950
Washington Capitals  +1000
Tampa Bay Lightning  +1000
Dallas Stars  +1200
St. Louis Blues  +1400
San Jose Sharks  +1400
Nashville Predators  +1400
Los Angeles Kings  +1600
Anaheim Ducks  +1600
Florida Panthers  +2000
Minnesota Wild  +2200
New York Rangers  +2200
Detroit Red Wings  +2500
New York Islanders  +2500
Boston Bruins  +2500
Montreal Canadiens  +3300
Philadelphia Flyers  +3300
Edmonton Oilers  +3300
New Jersey Devils  +4000
Colorado Avalanche  +5000
Ottawa Senators  +5000
Calgary Flames  +5000
Winnipeg Jets  +5000
Toronto Maple Leafs  +5000
Buffalo Sabres  +5000
Arizona Coyotes  +6600
Carolina Hurricanes  +6600
Columbus Blue Jackets  +6600
Vancouver Canucks  +7500


The Favorites
Pittsburgh Penguins (+900): The defending Stanley Cup champions will be a force once again. However, consider the fact that no team has won Lord Stanley’s prize in consecutive years since 1998 when Detroit accomplished the feat. As a matter of fact, only three teams have repeated since 1988, and ironically one of those was the Mario Lemieux led Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992. Needless to say, winning back to back Stanley Cups is an enormous task, and that’s been most evident throughout the modern era. I would avoid a wager on the Penguins at this juncture, and especially at these unenticing odds.

Chicago Blackhawks (+950): You can never ignore the winning tradition of this organization. Chicago won the Stanley Cup three times between 2010 and 2015. Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews continue to be elite players, and Cory Crawford has been in goal for two championship runs. Chicago will look to bounce back from a disappointing first round playoff exit in 2016, and they’ve shown the resiliency to recover quickly during recent years. Nevertheless, it’s way too early for me to invest on a team at this low a number. I’ll take a wait and see approach with Chicago, and reevaluate their situation in November before considering using them as one of my NHL picks.

Washington Capitals (+1000): The Capitals have garnered a reputation of being a regular season lion, and a playoff lamb. Regardless of the talent level this club possesses, I don’t trust them to come through when it matters most.

Tampa Bay Lightning (+1000): Resigning Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and 22-year-old future #1 goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy was a huge feather in GM Steve Yzerman’s cap. Signing your own free agents doesn’t always make headlines, but in this particular instance it mustn’t be taken lightly. After all, Tampa Bay has been in the last two Eastern Conference Finals, and came within two wins of a Stanley Cup in 2014.

Dallas Stars (+1200): I’ve long maintained that Lindy Ruff is the most underrated head coach in the NHL. His team was more than capable of winning it all last season, if not for underachieving goaltenders Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. If that facet of their game can be improved upon, the sky is the limit.


Stanley Cup Sleeper
Florida Panthers (+2000): This is one team I’ve already made a small wager on. The only reason I didn’t risk anything more sizable, pertains to my personal principle of never doing so on a futures bet this early in the process. The Panthers were a surprise winner of the Atlantic Division a season ago, and their roster was loaded with good young talent. They were upset by the Islanders in an Eastern Conference Quarterfinal playoff series. Nonetheless, their regular season success, and postseason experience will pay huge dividends going forward. Additionally, General Manager Dale Tallon did a magnificent job of upgrading his club even more with trades and free agent signings throughout this offseason.


Maybe by January
Nashville Predators (+1400)
Anaheim Ducks (+1600)
New York Rangers (+2200)

Presently Overvalued Teams
St. Louis Blues (+1400)
Nashville Predators (+1400)
Los Angeles Kings (+1600)
Minnesota Wild (+2200)

Possible Surprise Playoff Teams
Edmonton Oilers (+3300)
Buffalo Sabres (+5000)
Calgary Flames (+5000)
Arizona Coyotes (+6600)

Steer Clear of Clubs
Detroit Red Wings (+2500)
Boston Bruins (+2500)
New York Islanders (+2500)
Montreal Canadiens (+3300)
Philadelphia Flyers (+3300)
New Jersey Devils (+4000)
Colorado Avalanche (+5000)
Ottawa Senators (+5000)
Winnipeg Jets (+5000)
Toronto Maple Leafs (+5000)
Carolina Hurricanes (+6600)
Columbus Blue Jackets (+6600)
Vancouver Canucks +7500

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