2021-22 NHL futures: Stanley Cup, Art Ross, and “Rocket” Richard picks
The opening faceoff of the 2021-2022 NHL season takes place on Tuesday night (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) as the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning host the Pittsburgh Penguins! Then the Seattle Kraken will play their first ever NHL game against the Vegas Golden Knights (10:00 p.m. ET, ESPN).
With anticipation for hockey reaching a fever pitch, it’s a good time to go over our picks and plays in some of the NHL future markets.
Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy 2021/2022
Sat, April 30 2022, 4:30 AM
After splitting the 2019-2020 “Rocket” Richard Trophy with Alex Ovechkin (48 goals apiece), David Pastrnak regressed in an injury-shortened 2020-2021 campaign. But longshot bettors could be rewarded if they have faith in “Pasta” to rebound this year.
Pastrnak still scored 20 goals over 48 games last season, but shot at his worst percentage (11.4%) since his rookie campaign. Part of the reason for this regression was the rise of teammate Brad Marchand, who had his finest year by points per game (1.30) as a professional. The Boston Bruins agitator sniped a team-high 29 goals while shooting 20.3%, which seems unsustainable.
If “Pasta” recaptures his 2019-2020 form, it will be a long season for opposing netminders.
Art Ross Trophy 2021/2022
Sat, April 30 2022, 4:30 AM
Connor McDavid – the consensus No. 1 player in the NHL – is an overwhelming pre-season favorite at +115 to win his fourth career Art Ross Trophy for most points by a player. He scored an unfathomable 105 points in 56 games last year to win the award in a landslide, but anything can happen from year-to-year in the hockey. Longshot players may want to hitch their wagon to Colorado Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen in this market.
Rantanen notched 66 points over 52 games last year, and finished tied for fifth in points in the NHL. His 1.27 points per game in that stretch were his most as a professional.
Rantanen's club is expected to win a lot of games this year, as they’re favored to win the President’s Trophy, and it starts up front with him and teammate Nathan MacKinnon piling up points. Rantanen is the better bet at +2500 to win the Art Ross, with MacKinnon listed at +1000.
NHL Championship 2021/2022
Thu, June 16 2022, 10:00 AM
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vegas Golden Knights
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
It might be a “boring” pick, but the Tampa Bay Lightning are a legit threat to post the NHL’s first Stanley Cup three-peat since 1982 – when the New York Islanders captured their third of four championships.
The Lightning lost a few role players like Barclay Goodrow, Blake Coleman, and Yanni Gourde this offseason, but bettors will recall that Tampa missed winning the Central Division by just five points last year without superstar Nikita Kucherov suiting up for a single game. With Kucherov back in the fold along with Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos, and perennial Norris Trophy and Vezina Trophy contenders in Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevskiy, respectively, the Bolts are as big as threat as anyone to hoist Lord Stanley’s hardware next June.