Top 3 Stanley Cup value picks for the 2021 season
The puck drops on the NHL’s 56-game regular season this Wednesday night. The defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, find themselves as the +750 second-choice to repeat, with the Colorado Avalanche holding favoritism at +650.
Let’s go beyond the top betting choices and see if there’s a longshot offering value to hoist Lord Stanley’s hardware in 2021.
NHL Championship 2020/2021
Tue, May 11 2021, 3:59 AM
Tampa Bay Lightning
Vegas Golden Knights
Toronto Maple Leafs
St Louis Blues
Carolina Hurricanes (+1800)
After dispatching the New York Rangers with ease in the first round of the 2020 postseason, the Carolina Hurricanes fell in five games to the Boston Bruins. But fans should not be discouraged, as their young and talented team has a legitimate chance to win the Stanley Cup in 2021.
Sebastian Aho – who led his team in points in the regular season (66) – is back, along with linemates Teuvo Teravainen and Andrei Svechnikov. With health, Dougie Hamilton will be able to make an impact in the postseason this time around. His defensive pairing with Jaccob Slavin is arguably the best in the NHL.
The Hurricanes didn’t do much in the offseason, but the signing of useful two-way forward Jesper Fast was a plus. They have nearly $1 million in cap space to use in pursuing any trade deadline acquisitions. Carolina also lucked out in moving from the Metro Division to the Central for this season, as only two teams (Dallas Stars and the Lightning) have any realistic chance of making noise in the playoffs.
St. Louis Blues (+2000)
The St. Louis Blues find themselves in a West division with the Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights (+800 to win this year’s Stanley Cup) after realignment. However, there’s a fairly significant gap between the “haves and have nots” here, as the Ducks, Coyotes, Kings, Sharks and Wild round out the field. Minnesota has the lowest odds of winning the 2021 Stanley Cup of the bunch at +4000.
Essentially the same roster that led the Western Conference in points (94) in the 2019-2020 regular season returns for the 2021 campaign. Team captain Alex Pietrangelo is no longer patrolling the blueline, but Torey Krug is a more-than-adequate replacement.
Right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (shoulder) is expected to be sidelined until February, but the five-time 30-goal scorer could still make an impact this year. Until then, Mike Hoffman can fill the void.
New York Rangers (+3000)
This team might still be a year away from becoming true contenders, but the rapidly-rebuilding New York Rangers are worth a long look in this market.
Left wing Alexis Lafrenière – the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft – should make an immediate impact for the Rangers, who already employ top-tier forwards in Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin. Right wing Kaapo Kakko should improve in his sophomore season, along with highly-prized goaltender Igor Shesterkin.
The Blueshirts have nearly $5 million in available cap space to make any necessary deadline moves.