Visit the Betway Insider NHL predictions page for picks throughout the season.

New season, new predictions! The 2022-23 NHL season is about to begin, and the outright odds for the season are out, which means we can examine which teams made the necessary moves in the summer to ascend to the heights of cup contenders.

Let’s look at which teams will be most likely to win each division title, the Presidents' trophy, and ultimately the Stanley Cup.

Pacific Division

Last season, the Pacific looked very week at the outset, but ended up being perhaps the most surprising division by the end of the campaign. The heavily-favoured Golden Knights fell apart completely after a myriad of injuries, clearing the way for Alberta’s teams to control the division.

Instead of returning with a healthy lineup set to reclaim their place as the division’s top team, Vegas ran into severe salary cap issues of their own making, forcing them to lose their best goal scorer in Max Pacioretty for nothing, and they’re going into the season with starting goaltender Robin Lehner out for the season.

Who takes over that top spot? While I like how the Calgary Flames recovered from the departures of Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, I’m not sure if they’re a better team.

Who does look like a better team? The Edmonton Oilers. Against all odds, noting there’s still time left, GM Ken Holland avoided every pitfall available to him this summer on a pure hockey basis. Jesse Puljujarvi remains on the team, they didn’t lose Kailer Yamamoto because of it. They retained Brett Kulak to improve their defence while Evan Bouchard and Philip Broberg should take steps. I like the Oilers for this.

However, if you’re a little crazy, Micah Blake McCurdy’s model to project the NHL standings has Bruce Boudreau’s first full season behind the Vancouver Canucks bench pushing them to first in the division. While Calgary and Edmonton are priced up at short odds to win the division, Vancouver is . That’s a huge payout if you’re willing to risk it.

Pick: Edmonton Oilers 

Central Division

Losing Darcy Kuemper hurts the reigning Stanley Cup champions, as does losing Nazem Kadri, but the Avalanche are the undisputed leaders of this division until proven otherwise. The payout for betting on Colorado isn’t great, but they really don’t have legitimate challengers.

The St. Louis Blues got more expensive and lost their better goaltender from last year.

The Dallas Stars lost John Klingberg and still haven’t signed Jason Robertson.

The Minnesota Wild lost Kevin Fiala, and will be relying on 37-year-old Marc-Andre Fleury to carry them while stuck with nearly $12.75m in dead cap space.

The Nashville Predators might be the only team that pushes the Avs, after surprising last year and adding a legitimately strong defenceman in Ryan McDonagh, but their roster remains pretty old.

Pick: Colorado Avalanche 

Metropolitan Division

The toughest division top to bottom in the NHL, the Metropolitan is going to be a very tight race to make the playoffs at all. At the top, though, I have a feeling it will be a battle between two teams.

While I wouldn’t count out the Pittsburgh Penguins in a playoff series, we’re at the stage now where every season feels like a last hurrah for that core trio of Crosby, Malkin, and Letang, so I think they will conserve energy in the regular season if possible.

At the top, the obvious favourite are the Carolina Hurricanes, the winners of last season’s division title, and likely the best overall team. However, there’s an obstacle they need to deal with.

Last year they were riding percentages like crazy, but the New York Rangers are going to be a problem for everyone as their young players mature and opponents still have to deal with the ridiculousness that is Igor Shesterkin.

The safe bet is still Carolina, but the return is way better for the Rangers, and I’m not sure there will be much separation between them.

Pick: New York Rangers 

Atlantic Division

The toughest division at the top may have become even tougher this year, as the separation between the four top powers continues to whittle away.

The Tampa Bay Lightning have made the Stanley Cup Final three straight seasons now, which makes them tough to bet against, but it also means they’ll be dealing with a third-straight short summer. As much as Jon Cooper says they’re hungrier than ever, losing Ondrej Palat and Ryan McDonagh hurts.

The Maple Leafs have one of the best rosters in the league, but are heading into the season with big time question marks in goal.

The Florida Panthers look worse than last year after losing some scoring depth and defensive depth, plus you can’t rely on Sergei Bobrovsky to have two good years in a row.

The Boston Bruins are looking at a Last Dance-type situation with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci back in the fold, but they’ll be without two of their best players in Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy for half the season, and they also have a new coach.

This is a situation where I don’t think there’s a significant difference between these four teams in terms of regular season potential, so who to pick comes down to who gives the best return. That would be the Boston Bruins. It's a little risky because of the injuries and uncertainty of a new coach, but worthwhile.

Pick: Boston Bruins 

Presidents’ Trophy

Last season, the Florida Panthers came out of nowhere to become one of the highest-scoring teams in recent memory and take the Presidents’ Trophy away from the Colorado Avalanche in the last week of the season.

This year, all of last season’s top teams seem a little weaker than before, and I think there’s going to be another big surprise come April: the ascension of the Edmonton Oilers.

No longer rolling out the worst goaltending duo on the NHL, the Oilers will start the season with Jay Woodcroft as head coach for the first time. Woodcroft led them to a 26-9-3 record in the regular season (.724 win percentage) and all the way to the third round of the playoffs despite Leon Draisaitl struggling to skate due to injury.

Improvements to their depth at forward and defence are coming through outside additions and finally developing some prospects, and I think the Oilers have an excellent chance to shock the world this year and beat their odds to win the Presidents’ Trophy.

Pick: Edmonton Oilers 

Stanley Cup

Last year’s Colorado Avalanche was one of the strongest playoff teams in the last several decades. Not only did they lose just four games en route to winning the Stanley Cup, they defeated the two-time reigning champions to do it, and were just the fifth team since 1990 to outscore their opponents by 30 or more goals.

By all measures, they were an unstoppable force. However, are they still that team after losing key players like Nazem Kadri and Darcy Kuemper?

With so many teams at the top getting a haircut over the summer due to the flat cap, this season represents a serious possibility for one team that keeps running it back: the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Because of the volume of Leafs fans, the return is never quite what it should be to bet on the Leafs, but with a questionable goaltender like Matt Murray who could easily recapture his game as a two-time Stanley Cup champion, and very strong roster of players who are in their primes, this may be the season we finally see the fight out of Toronto so many of their fans have been wishing for.

At their preseason odds the return isn’t huge, but after a close call with the Lightning last year I believe this is the year we finally see the Maple Leafs take the next step.

Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs