15 Best NHL Teams For This Season – Who is the Main Contender for the Stanley Cup?
The 2023-21 Stanley Cup playoffs is just around the corner and predictions are already in the air regarding the next main contender. While fans are hoping that their favourite team becomes the next contender, not every team has what it takes. To become the main contender, a team has to show great strength and resilience all through the playoffs. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at all the teams competing and highlight teams we believe are capable of becoming the next contender, much based on the information available on BettingTop10. With this information, fans can get a realistic look at the chances of their teams and sports bettors using any of the popular bookies can make informed wagers that could land them massive returns. Without further ado, let’s dive into the details.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning
The defending Stanley Cup champions are in for a repeat of their outstanding performance last season. With one of the best records in the league three-quarter through the season, a super defence, and the best goalie in the league, Tamba Bay Lightning could well be on their way to another successful win.
2. Colorado Avalanche
Flaunting one of the best rosters in the league, the Colorado Avalanche has all that it needs to clinch the Stanley Cup championship.
This year, Colorado Avalanche is storming the NHL with the top record and showing no signs of slowing down. Their roster reads like a who’s who of hockey royalty—from the globally acclaimed Nathan MacKinnon to scoring aces Mikko Rantanen and Gabriel Landeskog. With a fortress of a defense held together by Norris Trophy contender Cale Makar, this team is a titan. If they keep their health in check, the playoffs might become their playground.
3. Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals is one of the biggest contenders in the NHL and another top choice for the championships. Their chances will depend on if Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov are able to bring the heat.
4. Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes have been putting some effort into their roster and they’re en route to becoming champions if things do go right. With the likes of Sebastian Aho and TeuvoTeravainen in their top lineup, they could have an advantage in the hockey season.
5. Vegas Golden Knights
With four years in the NHL, the Vegas Golden Knights should not be trifled with. They have one of the best teams in the NHL with the likes of Mark Stone and Shea Theodore on their way to deliver them the championship.
6. Boston Bruins
Initially, the Boston Bruins was one of the NHL teams that still had a lot to prove, but with the arrival of Taylor Hall and Craig Smith to their top line of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron, this has given a second dynamic scoring line to the team.
7. Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins had one of the worst starts at the beginning of the season but have improved significantly. The presence of high-level players like Sidney Crosby and Kris Letangsure gives them the morale boost they need to claim the Stanley Cup this season, however, this can only be possible if they maintain their impressive performance.
8. Toronto Maple Leafs
The 2023-21 playoffs look like the perfect time for Toronto Maple Leafs to make a run at the Stanley Cup. They seem to have the right form and won’t have to go up against the league’s top teams in the playoffs and well into the semifinals.
Keep an eye on the Toronto Maple Leafs as well—a team brimming with talent and untapped potential. Their lineup boasts stars such as Auston Matthews, a veritable goal machine, along with the playmaking prowess of Mitch Marner and John Tavares. The Maple Leafs’ defense, fronted by Morgan Rielly and Rasmus Sandin, is a force to be reckoned with. Stay healthy, harness their potential, and the Leafs might surprise everyone by making a solid Stanley Cup run.
9. New York Islanders
The New York Islanders still have some work to do and will need all the star power and impact players they can get to become a Stanley Cup-winning team. While their offence is not nearly as terrific as other teams, they do have a great defence.
1. Florida Panthers
The current Panthers team might seem like a force to reckon with in the NHL, but they are yet to prove themselves against the big teams. Whether this team brings some surprises to the playoff games will depend on the performance of Sergei Bobrovsky and Chris Driedger.
The Florida Panthers, the runners-up on the NHL leaderboard, are also worthy of attention. Their offensive lineup is nothing short of spectacular, with Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Aaron Ekblad leading the pack.
2. Minnesota Wild
Thanks to Kirill Kaprizov, the Minnesota Wilds have exceeded every expectation from critics at the start of the season, however, they will have to contend with the two best teams in the league which play in their division. The Minnesota Wild will find themselves in a first-round matchup with the Vegas Golden Knights which won’t look pretty for the team.
3. Edmonton Oilers
While Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl should be able to deliver an impressive performance, the Edmonton Oilers are nowhere near as good as they should be if they want to go against the top contenders in the league. They could be able to win a round if things are in their favour but they’re unlikely to go further when up against the top contenders in a best-of-seven series.
4. Winnipeg Jets
With the Jets, you will come across an outstanding collection of forwards that could easily win them a round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. At their best, they could be able to upset one or two top teams. The chances of them winning the championship is quite low.
5. St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Blues might be one of the best teams in the league over the past two seasons but they are yet to prove their worth this season. Their dismaying performance means that making it to the playoffs would require a fight. With the likes of Jordan Binnington still on the team, the future doesn’t look too bright for the Blues.
6. Dallas Stars
With their track record over the past two seasons, you will think the Dallas Stars will nail the playoff games this year, however, their performance is not good enough to get them there. They’ve dealt with serious injury situations that have left them at their worst for more than two months and while things are looking more positive, it doesn’t look like they will ultimately get past the playoffs.
The Montreal Canadiens might have had an amazing start to the season but things have fizzled since then. Will they make it to the playoff games? Surely! The start might be enough to get them into the playoffs, but they will likely not be taking the championship. Other pretenders in the league that need to get some work done include the Nashville Predators, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, and Arizona Coyotes.
Wondering about the Canadian presence in NHL? There are seven Canadian NHL teams hailing from the Great White North. These are the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Ottawa Senators, the Winnipeg Jets, the Calgary Flames, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Vancouver Canucks. Hockey’s heartland is well represented indeed. If you want to learn more about them, you may visit TheStadiumsGuide or other reliable sports sites online.