Upcoming Match-ups

2021 NHL West Division Odds, Predictions, and Point Totals

Michael Harrison

by Michael Harrison in NHL Hockey

Jan 12, 2021 · 6:43 AM PST

Nathan MacKinnon
Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon waits for a face off against the New York Islanders in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver, in this Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, file photo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
  • The Colorado Avalanche are slight favorites to win the NHL West Division over the Vegas Golden Knights
  • All three California teams missed the playoffs last season; can they bounce back?
  • Our season preview covers complete season odds and win totals for all eight West Division teams

The NHL’s West Division is very top-heavy, with the Colorado Avalanche slightly favored to do better than the Vegas Golden Knights, who made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals last season. The St. Louis Blues, who were tops in the Western Conference last campaign, have the third best odds.

Those three teams are aiming higher than just the NHL divisional odds, in particular Colorado and Vegas who are expected to duke it out throughout the truncated season in search of home-ice advantage come playoff time.

Here are the complete pre-season odds for the West Division.

NHL West Division Odds and Win Totals

Team Odds to Win Division Odds to Win Stanley Cup Point Total
Colorado Avalanche +160 +650 76.5
Vegas Golden Knights +190 +800 75.5
St. Louis Blues +500 +2000 70.5
Minnesota Wild +1300 +4000 60.5
Arizona Coyotes +1500 +6000 56.5
Anaheim Ducks +1700 +6000 53.5
San Jose Sharks +2000 +6500 54.5
Los Angeles Kings +2500 +8500 49.5

Odds taken Jan. 12 at DraftKings

Colorado Avalanche

  • 2019-20 record: 42-20-8 (92 Points)
  • Goals For Per Game: 3.37 (4th)
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.71 (6th)
  • Power Play Percentage: 19.1% (19th)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage: 81.4% (13th)
  • Starting Goaltender: Philipp Grubauer (18-12-4, 2.63 GAA, .916 SV%)

Leading the way in the Stanley Cup odds are the Colorado Avalanche, who might very well be searching for back-to-back cups, had they not lost Philipp Grubauer and Pavel Francouz in the post-season. That forced them to turn to pedestrian Michael Hutchinson in the final three games against Dallas in the second round, where they lost in a game seven overtime thriller.

Signings/Trade Additions and Losses

Key Additions Key Losses
Brandon Saad Nikita Zadorov
Devon Toews Colin Wilson
Dennis Gilbert Anton Lindholm

Picking up underrated Devon Toews and solid veteran Brandon Saad, along with stud fourth overall picks in 2017 and 2019 Cale Makar and Bowen Byram fully ready to contribute on the blueline, the Avs have added to an already deep roster.

It’ll be hard for anyone to catch Colorado, and there’s a reason they and Vegas are so heavily favored to win the division over several rebuilding teams. Look for them to be dominant in the West Division while they feast on the bottom feeders.

Prediction: 79 Points (1st)

Vegas Golden Knights

  • 2019-20 record: 39-24-8 (86 Points)
  • Goals For Per Game: 3.15 (13th)
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.94 (13th)
  • Power Play Percentage: 22.0% (9th)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage: 76.6% (27th)
  • Starting Goaltender: Robin Lehner (19-10-5, 2.89 GAA, .920 SV%)

Vegas put their chips into the center of the table and signed prized free-agent defenseman Alex Pietrangelo away from their now division rival St. Louis to a seven-year contract.

Signings/Trade Additions and Losses

Key Additions Key Losses
Alex Pietrangelo Paul Stastny
Carl Dahlstrom Nate Schmidt
Tomas Jurco Deryk Engelland

They did lose some depth in scoring with Paul Stastny and rearguard Nate Schmidt, who was dealt to Vancouver as part of shedding salary, but they’ll still be able to keep up with Colorado on the scoresheet.

They’ll be able to score a lot of goals with their ability to roll out multiple strong lines, led by Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, Jonathan Marchessault, and William Karlsson upfront. Goaltending could potentially be a slight issue with Marc-Andre Fleury long in the tooth and Robin Lehner prone to wild inconsistencies with his play, but most nights they’ll outscore any problems.

Prediction: 77 Points (2nd)

St. Louis Blues

  • 2019-20 record: 42-19-10 (94 Points)
  • Goals For Per Game: 3.14 (14th)
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.68 (5th)
  • Power Play Percentage: 24.3% (3rd)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage: 79.3% (18th)
  • Starting Goaltender: Jordan Binnington (30-13-7, 2.56 GAA, .912 SV%)

Though losing Pietrangelo to Vegas stings, the Blues adequately replaced him, luring Torey Krug away from Boston. Last year was the first time since 2014-15 that Pietrangelo had more points in a season than Krug, so from that perspective, the Blues are bringing in more offense and are paying Krug $16 million less than the full deal for the former Blues captain.

Signings/Trade Additions and Losses

Key Additions Key Losses
Torey Krug Alex Pietrangelo
Mike Hoffman Alex Steen
Kyle Clifford Jake Allen
Jay Bouwmeester

The Blues lost Alex Steen and Jay Bouwmeester to retirement, the latter calling it quits following a collapse on the St. Louis bench in February. What they’ll lose in leadership with those two stalwarts, they gain in inking what has to be one of the more surprising contracts in relation to production.

Despite averaging 59 points a game in the last six seasons, Mike Hoffman was only able to sign a professional tryout contract. He made the team on a 1-yr/$4 million deal which will keep them competitive, considering they were top dogs in the Western Conference last season.

Prediction: 71 Points (3rd)

Minnesota Wild

  • 2019-20 record: 35-27-7 (77 Points)
  • Goals For Per Game: 3.16 (12th)
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.14 (24th)
  • Power Play Percentage: 21.3% (11th)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage: 77.2% (25th)
  • Starting Goaltender: Cam Talbot (12-10-1, 2.63 GAA, .919 SV%)

The Minnesota Wild saw a changing of the guard in the off-season, with 15-year franchise cornerstone and captain Mikko Koivu leaving for Columbus, and other key contributors like Eric Staal and Devan Dubnyk were dealt away.

Signings/Trade Additions and Losses

Key Additions Key Losses
Cam Talbot Eric Staal
Marcus Johansson Devan Dubnyk
Marco Rossi Mikko Koivu
Nick Bonino Ryan Donato
Nick Bjugstad Luke Kunin
Alex Galchenyuk

Where will the scoring come from? Can Cam Talbot be the answer between the pipes with this being his fourth team in three seasons? Minnesota will struggle to light the lamp and likely be in the bottom half of the league in preventing goals.

Minnesota native Nick Bjugstad came home after he was dealt from the Penguins and is expected to be first line center. He’s only scored more than 20 goals in a season once and has never hit the 50-point plateau. Prized ninth overall pick Marco Rossi is out indefinitely. It’s safe to say the Wild may be in for a bumpy ride.

Prediction: 56 Points (6th)

Arizona Coyotes

  • 2019-20 record: 33-29-8 (74 Points)
  • Goals For Per Game: 2.71 (23rd)
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.61 (4th)
  • Power Play Percentage: 19.2% (18th)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage: 82.7% (5th)
  • Starting Goaltender: Darcy Kuemper (16-11-2, 2.22 GAA, .928 SV%)

The Coyotes surprised last season, marking their first winning campaign since 2013-14, where they defeated the Predators in the qualifying round of the playoffs. They won’t be mistaken for a dynamic offense, but the D is their calling card, having ranked fourth in goals against.

Signings/Trade Additions and Losses

Key Additions Key Losses
Derick Brassard Taylor Hall
Tyler Pitlick Derek Stepan
Johan Larsson Michael Grabner
Drake Caggiula Carl Soderberg
Brad Richardson
Vinnie Hinostroza

They lost some sorely needed scoring in Taylor Hall and other role players who helped with some of the goals last season. Their additions will help fill out the lineup but none of them produce points like Hall did.

A slight regression with such dominant defense likely will occur too, leaving them on the outside of the playoff picture.

Prediction: 55 Points (5th)

Anaheim Ducks

  • 2019-20 record: 29-33-9 (67 Points)
  • Goals For Per Game: 2.56 (29th)
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.17 (25th)
  • Power Play Percentage: 14.7% (30th)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage: 77.0% (26th)
  • Starting Goaltender: John Gibson (20-26-5, 3.00 GAA, .904 SV%)

Long gone are the glory days of the Anaheim Ducks, where they won the Stanley Cup in 2007 and made the playoffs in twelve of 15 seasons. After putting up horrid stats all the way across the board last season on the pond, don’t expect much of a difference which would result in their third straight year missing the post-season.

Signings/Trade Additions and Losses

Key Additions Key Losses
Kevin Shattenkirk Michael Del Zotto
Jamie Drysdale
Derek Grant

There really weren’t a ton of moves made in terms of players brought in or lost. Kevin Shattenkirk parlayed a Stanley Cup with the Lightning into a three-year deal with Anaheim, and they have Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale, who were top-10 picks the last two years waiting to contribute.

There just isn’t enough in the cupboard to seriously challenge for a playoff berth in Anaheim.

Prediction: 51 Points (7th)

San Jose Sharks

  • 2019-20 record: 29-36-5 (63 pts)
  • Goals For Per Game: 2.57 (27th)
  • Goals Against Per Game: 3.21 (27th)
  • Power Play Percentage: 17.5% (23rd)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage: 85.7% (1st)
  • Starting Goaltender: Martin Jones (17-21-2, 3.00 GAA, .896 SV%)

One club that is poised for a bounce-back season is San Jose, who missed the playoffs for just the second time in the last 16 seasons last year. Their only key loss was Joe Thornton, who is in the twilight of his career.

Signings/Trade Additions and Losses

Key Additions Key Losses
Devan Dubnyk Joe Thornton
Ryan Donato
Patrick Marleau
Matt Nieto

They brought in Devan Dubynk to shoulder some of the load from Martin Jones after he had an off-year, and some spare parts were added to the mix including a franchise legend in Patrick Marleau, who’s back for a third stint.

Most importantly, after finishing last in the Pacific last year, they’re expected to have Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture back in the fold after they missed 22 and 18 games respectively, which is huge for their scoring. With the five teams all jumbled up after the clear favorites in Colorado, Vegas, and St. Louis, the Sharks have a chance to jump back into the post-season in a division that lacks depth.

Prediction: 59 Points (4th)

Los Angeles Kings

  • 2019-20 record: 29-35-6 (64 pts)
  • Goals For Per Game: 2.53 (30th)
  • Goals Against Per Game: 2.99 (14th)
  • Power Play Percentage: 17.1% (26th)
  • Penalty Kill Percentage: 77.4% (24th)
  • Starting Goaltender: Jonathan Quick (16-22-4, 2.79 GAA, .904 SV%)

The Kings have missed the post-season in four of the last six years, after winning Stanley Cups in 2011-12 and 2013-14. There won’t be a script befitting Hollywood movies in La La Land this season, as the Kings are still a few years away in their rebuild.

Signings/Trade Additions and Losses

Key Additions Key Losses
Quinton Byfield Ben Hutton
Olli Maatta Trevor Lewis
Andreas Athanasiou
Lias Andersson

Adding second overall pick Quinton Byfield will give them some much needed scoring and jam, but it won’t be enough to offset a roster that lacks the talent to augment an aging core including Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown, and Jeff Carter who are all in their 30’s.

A successful season would be defined by a big year from Byfield, and continue to stock the cupboards with any trades they could make, which should result in yet another high draft selection.

Prediction: 49 points (8th)

Other Division Previews

Author Image

Let's have fun and keep it civil.