2017-18 Stanley Cup, Hart Trophy Odds Update (and More)

  • The expansion Golden Knights are tied for the shortest odds to win the 2018 Stanley Cup.
  • Tampa’s Nikita Kucherov leads the race for two major trophies.
  • One of the most successful coaches in NHL history is also one of the most likely to be fired.

The NHL regular season is heading into the stretch run and soon teams will be focused on one thing: winning a Stanley Cup. But there can only be one Highlander Stanley Cup champion. Below, we look at the 2018 Cup futures currently on offer at Bovada and then dive into the awards races and which coaches are on the hot seat.

*While the Stanley Cup odds below come from Bovada and are available for wagering, the remainder of the odds herein were developed in-house by MTS’ NHL analysts. Whether you agree or disagree with our calculations, let us know in the comments.

2018 Stanley Cup Futures

The Vegas Golden Knights winning their first NHL game.
The Vegas Golden Knights celebrate after winning their first NHL game. (Photo credit: Sportsnet (CC License))

  • Tampa Bay Lightning: +600
  • Vegas Golden Knights: +600
  • Boston Bruins: +750
  • Nashville Predators: +1400
  • Toronto Maple Leafs: +1400
  • Washinton Capitals: +1400
  • Pittsburgh Penguins: +1400
  • Winnipeg Jets: +1600
  • St. Louis Blues: +1600
  • Dallas Stars: +2200
  • Calgary Flames: +2200
  • Anaheim Ducks: +2200
  • Columbus Blue Jackets: +2500
  • Minnesota Wild: +2500
  • San Jose Sharks: +2500
  • Los Angeles Kings: +2800
  • Chicago Blackhawks: +2800
  • New York Rangers: +2800
  • New Jersey Devils: +3300
  • Colorado Avalanche: +3300
  • Philadelphia Flyers: +3300
  • New York Islanders: +4000
  • Carolina Hurricanes: +5000
  • Edmonton Oilers: +6600
  • Florida Panthers: +20000
  • Ottawa Senators: +20000
  • Detroit Red Wings: +20000
  • Montreal Canadiens: +20000
  • Arizona Coyotes: Off the board
  • Buffalo Sabres: Off the board
  • Vancouver Canucks: Off the board

 

Vegas started the season as 200-to-1 longshots. Now they are the most consistent team in the NHL and finally earning the respect of the betting public and sportsbooks alike. They’ve also been this year’s most profitable NHL team in terms of ROI for people who enjoy betting on NHL hockey.

It’s a nice story but can the Golden Knights parlay their regular season success into the playoff success? It will be interesting to see how they handle a more intense brand of hockey when the postseason begins.

Sitting alongside Vegas is another warm-climate team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team suffered a small hiccup in the wake of Victor Hedman going down, but the star defenseman is back now and so are the Lightning. They are loaded with offense, have a Norris Trophy candidate (Hedman) leading the defense, and a Vezina Trophy candidate (Andrei Vasilevskiy) in goal. In other words, they have no weaknesses and are the best bet to go all the way.

The original favorites, the Edmonton Oilers, are writing a much different script than was expected, currently sitting 14 points back of the final playoff spot in the West. It’s all but over for Connor McDavid, who will now be relegated to competing for individual accolades. Speaking of which …

 

 

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is in contention for the Hart and Art Ross trophies. (Photo credit: Connor McMatthews (YouTube).)

Hart Trophy (MVP)

  • Nikita Kucherov, TB: +400
  • Connor McDavid, EDM: +750
  • John Tavares, NYI: +800
  • Evgeni Malkin, PIT: +900
  • Nathan MacKinnon, COL: +1000
  • Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB: +1200
  • Johnny Gaudreau, CGY: +1200
  • Blake Wheeler, WPG: +1500
  • Alex Ovechkin, WSH: +1800
  • Sidney Crosby, PIT: +1800

 

Kucherov is having a massive season for the Tampa Bay Lightning and he currently sits as the favorite to win the Hart trophy. He’s the leading scorer in the NHL and has been the best player on (arguably) the best team. It’s hard to pick against him.

At one point, you could have made an argument for Nathan MacKinnon. He was coming on strong and finally living up to his first-overall status … until he suffered a shoulder injury just before the All-Star break that could keep him out of the Avalanche lineup for a month. If he returns strong, though, and leads the Avs to a playoff spot (just one year after finishing last in the league), he will get serious consideration.

Don’t sleep on Sidney Crosby, who is starting to put his game into overdrive and is still the best hockey player on the planet, or teammate Evgeni Malkin, who’s been even hotter; that said, it’s Kucherov’s to lose.

Maurice Richard Trophy (Most Goals)

  • Alex Ovechkin, WSH: +300
  • Evgeni Malkin, PIT: +400
  • Tyler Seguin, DAL: +900
  • John Tavares, NYI: +900
  • Nikita Kucherov, TB: +1100
  • William Karlsson, VEG: +1100
  • Anders Lee, NYI: +1900
  • Sean Couturier, PHI: +2500
  • Brock Boeser, VAN: +3500
  • Sean Monahan, CGY: +3500

 

Hey look, Alex Ovechkin leads the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy, there’s a shocker. He has won the award seven times in his career and is likely to make it eight. However, Evgeni Malkin and Nikita Kucherov who have been on Fuego as of late. Either one of those Russkies has betting value for most pucks in the net.

The most interesting odds lay with William Karlsson who is having a monster year in Vegas. Keep Karlsson’s season in perspective though; the most goals the 25-year-old has scored in his five-year NHL career thus far was nine.

Art Ross Trophy (Most Points)

  • Nikita Kucherov, TB: +350 
  • Evgeni Malkin, PIT: +500
  • Connor McDavid, EDM: +500
  • Johnny Gaudreau, CGY: +800
  • Sidney Crosby, PIT: +1200
  • Phil Kessel, PIT: +1500
  • Steven Stamkos, TB: +1500
  • John Tavares, NYI: +2500
  • Claude Giroux, PHI: +4500
  • Jakub Voracek, PHI: +4500

 

If Nikita Kucherov doesn’t win the Hart or the Rocket Richard, he could pick up the Art Ross as the consolation prize. All you have to do is look at his points per game stat at 1.26 to see why he is the current favorite to win. McDavid has really picked his game up since the All-Star Break, though, and will make a late surge.

Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year)

  • Brock Boeser, VAN: +130
  • Mathew Barzal, NYI: +180
  • Alex DeBrincat, CHI: +1600
  • Danton Heinen, BOS: +1900
  • Clayton Keller, ARI: +1900
  • Charlie McAvoy, BOS: +2400
  • Mikhail Sergachev, TB: +2400

 

Feel the flow! Brock Boeser has become a fan favorite in Vancouver and also sits as the current favorite to win Rookie of the Year. The American thoroughbred also had himself quite the All-Star Game, winning tournament MVP. This has become a two-horse race between him and Mathew Barzal, who’s putting up points at a pace with the high-scoring Islanders.

Vezina Trophy (Best Goalie)

  • Andrei Vasilevskiy, TB: +110
  • Pekka Rinne, NSH: +500
  • Tuukka Rask, BOS: +500
  • Connor Hellebuyck, WPG: +1100
  • Sergei Bobrovsky, CLB: +1900
  • Marc-Andre Fleury, VEG: +4000
  • Frederik Andersen, TOR: +5000

 

Another Tampa Bay player is the favorite to win some hardware here. Vasilevskiy is the front-runner, but Rask and Rinne will make it interesting in the stretch run. One goalie to keep an eye on is Marc-Andre Fleury. His statistics are better than almost everyone else (.934 SV%; 2.03 GAA) but he’s only played 23 games due to injury. If he logs a heavy workload in the final months, voters will flock to the feel-good story of Fleury and the Knights. Still, longshot.

Norris Trophy (Best Defenseman)

  • John Klingberg, DAL: +350
  • Drew Doughty, LA: +400
  • PK Subban, NSH: +500
  • Victor Hedman, TB: +750
  • Alex Pietrangelo, STL: +750
  • John Carlson, WSH: +1900
  • Shayne Gostisbehere, PHI: +2400
  • Brent Burns, SJ: +2500

 

This is a hard category to pick a winner. PK Subban leads defensemen in goals and is also in the top three in points. Brent Burns sits second but is also a brutal -24. He hasn’t been good enough defensively to win best defenseman. Drew Doughty, however, has been an anchor for the LA Kings all season long, while Dallas’ John Klingberg leads d-men in points, logs relatively heavy minutes, and is +16. The best argument for Hedman is Tampa’s record when he is not in the lineup.

Next Coach Fired

  • Alain Vigneault, NYR: +350
  • Todd McLellan, EDM: +600
  • Jeff Blashill, DET: +600
  • Guy Boucher, OTT: +700
  • Joel Quenneville, CHI: +900
  • Bill Peters, CAR: +1500

 

Predicting who will lose their job next is kind of a morbid task, but it’s hard to believe that no coach has gotten the axe yet this season.

Right now, Alain Vigneault’s seat is the hottest. The Rangers have lost four straight and fallen a few points back of a playoff spot. Todd McLellan’s Oilers have drastically underperformed after finally breaking the franchise’s long playoff drought last season. Poor results in the McDavid era will get you canned quickly.

Poor results in Detroit will always have you on the hot seat, hence Dave Blashill sitting third on the list. But it’s not like he has a lot to work with. Same goes for Guy Boucher in Ottawa; what the Senators did last year in making a run to the Eastern Conference finals was the real surprise.

Joel Quenneville’s roster, on the other hand, still includes some of the best players in the NHL and, eventually, his three Stanley Cup rings won’t be able to protect him from Chicago’s struggles, which currently has the team looking at an eight-point gap in the Wild Card race.