2023-24 NHL season preview: Stanley Cup odds, predictions, more

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Oilers McDavid Hyman NHL Kris Knoblauch
Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, left, and left wing Zach Hyman (18) stand together before a preseason NHL hockey game against the Seattle Kraken, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

A new NHL season is here and we at amNewYork are here to get you ready for the next eight months of thrilling races, remarkable play, and awe-inspiring performances.

The Vegas Golden Knights currently hold the NHL’s throne as defending Stanley Cup champions, but the summer has provided ample opportunity for championship hopefuls to force an abdication at the top of the hockey world. 

Here’s a look at our 2023-24 season predictions including division winners and how we see the playoffs panning out.

Metropolitan Division predictions

Devils Hurricanes Game 4
Carolina Hurricanes right wing Jesper Fast (71) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal past New Jersey Devils goaltender Vitek Vanecek during the second period of Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Tuesday, May 9, 2023, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
  1. Carolina Hurricanes (M1, East 1)
  2. New Jersey Devils (M2)
  3. New York Rangers (M3)
  4. New York Islanders (WC1)
  5. Pittsburgh Penguins
  6. Washington Capitals
  7. Columbus Blue Jackets
  8. Philadelphia Flyers

This is the year the Hurricanes should put it all together. Andrei Svechnikov is back healthy to lead the attack in front of a defense that should be one of the very best in hockey. It boils down to goaltending and a healthy Frederik Andersen (which is a big if) is good enough to back a legitimate Stanley Cup threat. The Devils are even more dangerous with Tyler Toffoli and a young core that will be a menace in the Metro for years to come while the Rangers are clearly the third-best team in the division. The No. 4 spot and a Wild Card berth comes down to the Islanders and Penguins — and the Islanders have the defense and goaltending to take the edge.


Atlantic Division predictions

Tavares Islanders Maple Leafs
(Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
  1. Toronto Maple Leafs (A1, East 2)
  2. Florida Panthers (A2)
  3. Buffalo Sabres (A3)
  4. Boston Bruins (WC2)
  5. Tampa Bay Lightning
  6. Ottawa Senators
  7. Detroit Red Wings
  8. Montreal Canadiens

Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi add a physical edge to a talented Maple Leafs team that has needed a bit more grit in recent years. They’re more than dangerous enough to win this division, especially with the Bruins losing Patrice Bergeron and a regression seemingly around the corner. Can their goaltending tandem be as good as it was last year?

They’re still good enough to get into the playoffs, but the Panthers are the defending Eastern Conference champions and the young, up-and-coming Sabres could finally end a lengthy postseason drought this season. Consider this our bold prediction as they’ll push the powerhouse Lightning — without Andrei Vasilevskiy — out of the playoffs.


Central Division predictions

Jason Robertson Stars Islanders
Jason Robertson (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
  1. Colorado Avalanche (C1, West 2)
  2. Dallas Stars (C2)
  3. Minnesota Wild (C3)
  4. Nashville Predators
  5. Winnipeg Jets
  6. St. Louis Blues
  7. Chicago Blackhawks
  8. Arizona Coyotes

This is the weakest division in hockey, but it will still be a two-horse race with two dangerous clubs in the Avalanche and Stars. Dallas added Matt Duchene to add to an already menacing forward group that could very well be the top-scoring team in all of hockey. But the Avalanche are still a major threat even without Gabriel Landeskog.


Pacific Division predictions

Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas Golden Knights center Ivan Barbashev (49) celebrates after scoring against the Seattle Kraken during the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
  1. Edmonton Oilers (P1, West 1)
  2. Vegas Golden Knights (P2)
  3. Los Angeles Kings (P3)
  4. Seattle Kraken (WC1)
  5. Calgary Flames (WC2)
  6. Vancouver Canucks
  7. Anaheim Ducks
  8. San Jose Sharks

This could be one of the most exciting division races in recent memory with the defending Stanley Cup champion Golden Knights on a precarious perch. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl are remarkable enough to not only win a division but make a run at the Western Conference crown. But the Los Angeles Kings have gotten even better, adding Pierre-Luc Dubois to a stable of centers that also features Anze Kopitar and Philip Danault.


NHL Eastern Conference playoff predictions

1st Round

  • Hurricanes def. Bruins
  • Devils def. Rangers
  • Maple Leafs def. Islanders
  • Panthers def. Sabres

2nd Round

  • Hurricanes def. Devils
  • Maple Leafs def. Panthers

Eastern Conference Final

  • Hurricanes def. Maple Leafs


NHL Western Conference playoff predictions

1st Round

  • Oilers def. Flames
  • Kings def. Golden Knights
  • Avalanche def. Kraken
  • Stars def. Wild

2nd Round

  • Oilers def. Kings
  • Stars def. Avalanche

Eastern Conference Final

  • Oilers def. Stars


Stanley Cup Final prediction

  • Carolina Hurricanes def. Edmonton Oilers


2024 NHL Stanley Cup odds 

  • Carolina Hurricanes +800
  • New Jersey Devils +900
  • Toronto Maple Leafs +900
  • Edmonton Oilers +1000
  • Colorado Avalanche +1000
  • Vegas Golden Knights +1200
  • New York Rangers +1300
  • Dallas Stars +1400
  • Florida Panthers +1600
  • Boston Bruins +1600
  • Tampa Bay Lightning +2000
  • Los Angeles Kings +2200
  • Pittsburgh Penguins +2800
  • Calgary Flames +3000
  • Minnesota Wild +3000
  • Buffalo Sabres +3500
  • Seattle Kraken +3500
  • Ottawa Senators +4000
  • New York Islanders +5000
  • Winnipeg Jets +5000
  • Vancouver Canucks +6000
  • Nashville Predators +7500
  • Detroit Red Wings +7500
  • Washington Capitals +8000
  • St. Louis Blues +8000
  • Arizona Coyotes +13000
  • Columbus Blue Jackets +15000
  • Philadelphia Flyers +15000
  • Chicago Blackhawks +20000
  • Montreal Canadiens +25000
  • San Jose Sharks +25000
  • Anaheim Ducks +25000

Odds courtesy of DraftKings. For more, click here.

For more on the NHL, visit AMNY.com