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NHL Futures Odds Murky for Bruins, Hurricanes

Hold off on your NHL future bets with the Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins for next season. Both teams will likely have a different look after losing six-game series in the Eastern Conference semifinals last week.

The Hurricanes have decisions to make with at least seven key unrestricted free agents and three more restricted free agents on the roster. The Bruins have holes to fill and perhaps a former Vezina Trophy-winning goalie to trade.

NHL Futures Odds Murky for Bruins, Hurricanes
Martin Necas #88 of the Carolina Hurricanes | Grant Halverson/Getty Images/AFP

Carolina posted at least 111 points for the third straight season and is still looking to win its first game in a conference final since 2006. The Hurricanes were one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup before the playoffs, but fell behind the New York Rangers 3-0 before losing the series 4-2.

Boston was beaten in the first round last season after winning the Presidents’ Trophy and almost repeated as Atlantic Division champs despite departures and injuries. The Bruins won at Florida in Game 1 of the semifinals, but dropped four of the next five.

It’s very possible both teams will have more profitable NHL odds next season whoever suits up, and a formula to keep winning.

 

Will Guentzel, Teravainen Return to Carolina?

There will be plenty of meetings for the scouts and lots of work for the capologists with the Hurricanes in the offseason.

The Carolina brass must decide who to bring back, and at what price, among seven important UFAs. Forwards Jake Guentzel, Jordan Martinook, Stefan Noesen and Teuvo Teravainen along with defensemen Brett Pesce, Brady Skjei and Jalen Chatfield are without contracts.

If we were to bet, the Hurricanes might be able to retain four of them, but they also need bridge or long-term deals for forwards Seth Jarvis, Martin Necas and Jack Drury. General manager Don Waddell must be creative.

 

Guentzel, Pesce and Necas are good bets to be on the move. One key piece that will be around is coach Rod Brind’Amour, who has won at least one playoff round in his first six seasons at the helm.

The Hurricanes still have leading scorer Sebastian Aho, sniper Andrei Svechnikov and one of the league’s best defensemen Jaccob Slavin in the fold. They are still a good bet.

 

Hard to Bet Against Bruins

Boston has made the playoffs eight straight seasons and 15 of the last 17, so Bruins fans expect to keep winning.

In some ways, this team might have overachieved this season. The Bruins saw their two top centers, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, retire. They dealt productive forward Taylor Hall and lost other key players while failing to add much.

Boston finished 14th in the league in scoring during the regular season and managed just 2.38 per game in the playoffs. They need to find more secondary scoring to go along with David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Charlie Coyle.

 

Ullmark on the Move?

To make room for additions, the first order of business is to trade 2022-23 Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark. That is because Jeremy Swayman has taken over as the No. 1 netminder and was outstanding in the playoffs with a .933 save percentage.

Ullmark has one year left on his contract and Swayman is due a big raise as an RFA. The Swede has a no-trade clause, but could probably be coaxed to leave. Ullmark said he would be on a “revenge tour” if he does.

Forward Jake DeBrusk is the only prominent UFA, but he is likely on the move. There will be plenty of changes but, with a solid defense and Swayman, the Bruins may still be among most NHL expert picks to make the playoffs in 2024-25.

 

Poitras, Drury Among Young Players to Watch

Boston center Matt Poitras had 15 points in 33 games before an injury ended his rookie season and 2019 first-round pick John Beecher had seven goals. Defenseman Mason Lohrei also pushed his way into the lineup.

Drury may not be a big scorer, but he continues to improve for Carolina while goalie Pytor Kochetkov (23-13-4 this season) may be ready for the No. 1 job. Defenseman Scott Morrow was signed in April and could grab a spot on the blueline.

 

 

Questions Of The Day

Will Boston and Carolina make the playoffs next season?


Yes. These two strong franchises always find a way. Boston has a slightly more difficult division, though.

Will Carolina re-sign Guentzel?


No. The talented forward was a rental for the playoffs and will have many suitors, likely putting him out of Carolina’s price range.

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