NHL Presidents' Trophy Odds: Bruins the Favorites to Repeat

Nicholas Vazquez
Nicholas Vazquez@nickvaz
NHL Presidents' Trophy Odds: Bruins the Favorites to Repeat

The Presidents' Trophy goes to the team with the most points in the regular season. This also ensures home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

Some fans and media believe there is a Presidents' Trophy curse, as no team has won the Stanley Cup after being the top team in the regular season since the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks. Of course, this is pretty silly, and all teams will be going for the top seed.

We're a little over halfway done with the regular season, and we can see how the race shapes up currently. Here are the current odds to win the Presidents' Trophy, according to FanDuel Sportsbook:

Boston Bruins+290
Vancouver Canucks+350
Winnipeg Jets+420
Colorado Avalanche+750
Dallas Stars+1200

Boston Bruins (+290)

The winner's of the trophy last year, the Boston Bruins, were written off as potential winners this year after the offseason. Now, they sit as the favorite to repeat.

When Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retired over the summer, the Bruins' stock plummeted. They were both good players, and Boston failed to adequately replace them at center, but it hasn't hurt the results nearly as much as we first thought.

The Bruins are second in points in the league but first in points percentage. The formula for this season is carrying over from last season. The players that were key to the bottom line are once again key this season.

David Pastrnak is the team's leading scorer again; he's third in the league in both goals (30) and points (66). He drove the offense last season with 61 goals and 113 points.

The other huge factor in their results has been goaltending. Both Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have been excellent over the past two seasons. This year, they’ve combined for a save percentage of .917 (third-highest in the league).

Where Boston falls a bit short compared to last season is in their possession numbers. They are 15th in expected goal (xG) percentage at five-on-five at 51.07%. Last season, they were fourth at 54.47%. This is where Bergeron's absence is being felt the most.

The Bruins could still really use a center if they can add one at the trade deadline. They don't have much cap space to fit one in, so it would require some creativity to be able to add a center who will make an impact to their five-on-five possession numbers.

Getting less than three-to-one odds on the Bruins isn't a good enough bet for me to make at the moment; there are other strong teams who have a case at better odds.

Vancouver Canucks (+350)

After missing the playoffs last season, no one in the right mind thought the Vancouver Canucks would be leading the league in points just before the All-Star Game.

However, that is the case as they now sit atop the NHL. This group of players has always been talented and is finally putting it together to -- not only contend -- but be one of the top teams in the league.

Vancouver leads the league in goals per game with 3.79, and they're second in goals against per game at 2.49. They've been dominant results wise at both ends of the ice.

The worrying part for the Canucks is that most of this is driven by high percentages that could be due for some regression. Currently, the Canucks have the highest shooting percentage since the advanced stats era began in 2007. Their 13.5% shooting percentage is higher than any other team by a full percentage point. Unless this team is significantly better than all of those teams, this will likely come down.

They're also only 12th in xG percentage at five-on-five, meaning that they aren't as territorially dominant as their goal numbers suggest. Teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils are above them.

The Canucks could also add at the trade deadline. They don't have much cap space now, but there are a few players they could move in a trade that made sense for them. Adding depth at forward might be the way they decide to go.

Vancouver is super impressive this season, and it hasn't been fun to bet against them at any point. They could still be considered as the team to beat for this trophy.

Winnipeg Jets (+420)

No one would have expected the Winnipeg Jets to be among the favorites to finish as the league's best regular-season team. People thought there was a decent chance that they missed the playoffs before the season, so this is fairly surprising.

The Jets were on one of the best runs at suppressing goals that we've seen. Up until last night, they had allowed two goals or fewer in 14 straight games -- and three goals or fewer, amazingly, for 34 in a row.

The combination of being solid defensively and getting great goaltending can go and have gone a long way for Winnipeg. They are allowing 2.89 xG per 60 minutes, the eighth-best rate in the NHL. Their team goaltending has a .923 save percentage, which is by far the best in the league by over six percentage points.

Winnipeg's hot run hasn't been slowed down despite injuries to key forwards. Kyle Connor missed a month of action, and right when he got back, Mark Scheifele also got injured. Scheifele is currently out but making progress, so this isn't a long-term concern.

The offense on the whole could be something that holds them back. They are just 15th in xG per 60 minutes and 12th in goals per game. This is with having the ninth-best shooting percentage in the league.

Another scorer added at the trade deadline could help them down the stretch. According to CapFriendly.com, they would have over $5 million in cap space to improve their roster on deadline day. Winnipeg might not be willing to spend to the cap, but that would be available to them.

The Jets are a much better team than we anticipated, but it's hard to let go of that image of them that we had going into the season.

Colorado Avalanche (+750)

The Colorado Avalanche are currently the favorites to win the Stanley Cup on FanDuel Sportsboo but sit fourth in this market.

Colorado is fourth in points and points percentage in the league right now. They trail Vancouver by just 0.02 goals per game for the best offense in the NHL but haven't been nearly as good at keeping the puck out of their net.

The Avs allow 3.17 goals per game -- by far the most of any team on this list. They've been let down by goaltending mostly. Their team save percentage was the sixth-best in the NHL last season at .912, and it has plummeted to .892. It's worse than a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are in a goaltending crisis according to most.

The fact that they are still fourth in the league with this goaltending is a testament to how good their team is. Nathan MacKinnon is the favorite for the MVP currently and leads the league in points. They are ninth in xG% at five-on-five, but with the likes of MacKinnon, Cale Makar and Mikko Rantanen, they can easily fill the net at a higher rate than nearly every other team.

The thing holding Colorado back from winning this trophy is the fact that they won the Stanley Cup two years ago. This means they are sort of resting on their laurels until the postseason starts.

They have some absences in the lineup of a few players who could return for the playoffs. Valeri Nichushkin, arguably their best forward outside of MacKinnon or Rantanen, is spending time in the player assistance program and will not be available in the near future. Gabriel Landeskog has not played since the team won the Cup back in 2022. He has started skating again but likely won't play until the playoffs begin.

Colorado has just one game left this season against Winnipeg to make up ground in the race for the division title. If they had more, that would give them a better chance to gain ground in this race.

There's an argument that the Avalanche are the best team in the NHL, but they are fairly unlikely to win the Presidents' Trophy at this point.

Dallas Stars (+1200)

The Dallas Stars are the fifth-most likely team to win the Presidents' Trophy -- and the third-most likely in their own division.

There isn't much hope for the Stars to be able to finish first in the NHL. They are seven points behind the Bruins, who have the most points. Because of the fact that teams get points for losing games in overtime, it's much harder to make up a seven-point deficit than you might think.

It's somewhat surprising that the Stars are third in the league in goals per game but allow over three goals per game. When this iteration of the team came together in the 2021-22 season, they were 21st in goals per game but ranked in the top half of the league in goal prevention.

Like Colorado, Dallas' team save percentage has taken a dip year-over-year. It went from .912 last season (5th) to .900 this season (15th). They now have one of the deeper forward groups in the league, so they've been able to outscore that dip in goaltending.

The addition of Matt Duchene has given the Stars three lines that can score. They've now bumped up second-year stud Wyatt Johnston to the first line, and he's up to 13 goals this season.

Dallas is a good five-on-five team, ranking fifth in xG% when both teams are at full strength. It just seems unlikely that this team will go on a run to the point where they will finish at the top of the standings.

Even getting +1200 odds, this is likely a pass.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.