The Carolina Hurricanes have been hanging near the top of the Eastern Conference standings for a while now. They are coming off two consecutive first-place finishes in their division and should be in that same range again.
The question that those who track the NHL betting odds are wondering is can they take the next step?
Throughout the offseason, they flipped over a good chunk of their roster. Instead of just allowing key players to walk in free agency, Carolina got active in acquiring new talent to try and not only maintain but improve as well.
Just how good is this team, and what should those who BetOnline do with their NHL futures? Let’s take a closer look.
Carolina Hurricanes Odds
- To win Stanley Cup +1200
- To win Eastern Conference +550
- To win Metropolitan Division +185
- To make playoffs Yes -550/ No +375
Player to Watch
The major player that picked up during the offseason was Brent Burns. Burns was acquired during a trade with the San Jose Sharks and is set to make an immediate impact among the top forward pair.
He will be working alongside Jaccob Slavin, and both could make a formidable defensive duo. Burns had 54 points a year ago and was third in the NHL in average ice time through 82 games.
Availability is also a positive, as he played in 675 consecutive games. Given that the Hurricanes lost Tony DeAngelo in the offseason, they are in dire need of somebody to step up and contribute straight away.
DeAngelo had 20 power-play points a year ago before he was traded, but Burns had 18. So maybe this team won’t have a significant dip in their prowess with the man advantage.
- Player to Watch: D Brent Burns
There was quite a lot of space that opened itself up in the offseason. DeAngelo was traded off the team, and Ian Cole signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
If that wasn’t enough, Brendan Smith signed with the New Jersey Devils. This opens the door wide open for a guy like Ethan Bear to step up.
Bear picked up 14 points in 58 games for the Hurricanes a season ago and averaged 16 minutes of ice time a night.
That average might have been his lowest in four years, and he’s never had more than 21 points or five goals in a single season, but this could be different.
So many players leaving should guarantee he gets more time on the ice, and those numbers should step up.
- Breakout Watch: D Ethan Bear
Last year, the Carolina Hurricanes proved to be one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams.
They made some interesting changes that could make them a Stanley Cup contender in the sportsbook. They picked up Max Pacioretty when the Vegas Golden Knights were dumping him.
The team added other key veterans like Burns and Paul Stastny. With many young 20-somethings leading the way, a few key veterans might be just what they need.
At the end of the day, the key will be the goaltending duo of Frederik Andersen and Antti Raanta, who were the best in the NHL last season.
If you believe they’ll be roughly as productive as last year, all Hurricanes futures are worth a play for your NHL picks.