This article is part of our NHL Picks series.
NHL Picks: Player Props, Goals and Player Futures for the 2022-23 Season
Photo courtesy of NHL.com
The 2022-2023 NHL season is officially upon us! Is it just me or does the game seem to be getting better? I know the old guard and friends of John Tortorella out there hate to see the lacrosse-style goals, fancy technique, blazing speed, and goal celebrations copied from the NHL video games. But I for one am all about this new era of the sport. The quality of play in the league is stronger from top to bottom, and the best players are putting up numbers as if they're playing on Xbox.
As we gear up for another slate of hockey betting, let's dive into 10 futures bets for player stats that I like on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
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NHL Futures Bets: Regular Season Goals
Connor McDavid, over 46.5
The most prolific talent the game has seen since Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid is poised to absolutely thrash the league this year should he stay healthy. The guy that some call "McJesus" posted a 44-goal, 123-point regular season last year and dropped 10 goals and 33 points in 16 playoff games. He's already been in a class of his own since entering the league and consistently dummies opponents in jaw-dropping highlights. At only 25 years old this season, he will continue his ascent. Pencil him in for a career-high goal tally somewhere north of 50.
Kevin Fiala, over 30.5
Fiala posted career-high numbers last season with the Minnesota Wild, which earned him a big payday from the Los Angeles Kings in the offseason. This 26-year-old is expected to see top-line minutes with Kings captain Anze Kopitar and 2022 all-star Adrian Kempe on a team that I think will be jockeying for position come playoff time. He dropped 33 goals last year, and with this big-time role alongside big-time players and a big-time salary, Fiala should break the 35-goal mark.
Mathew Barzal, over 21.5
This is one of the league's most talented players that no one really hears enough about, and that came down to coaching the last few seasons. The Islanders played a rigidly structured, defense-first system under former coach Barry Trotz, but new bench boss Lane Lambert is priming the team to play a faster, run-and-gun style. This bodes well for Barzal, who is lightning-quick and is one of those players who seems to be faster with the puck on his stick than he is without it. Coupled with the fact that the Isles don't have too many other proven scoring threats, Barzal is due for a breakout campaign on the island. A 30+ goal season wouldn't surprise me.
Chris Kreider, under 40.5
Chris Kreider shot the lights out of the puck last year, tallying 52 markers in 81 games. He had never broken 30 in 8 full seasons prior. The Rangers should be one of the best teams in the NHL this year, and I don't doubt that Kreider will continue to produce as part of that success. Do I see him becoming a perennial 40-goal scorer at 31 years of age though? Not likely, and it's mostly because of the players around him. I see Artemi Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Sammy Blais all putting up nice numbers and supporting characters like Alexis Lafreniere, Vincent Trocheck, and Barclay Goodrow all bolstering their stat lines. The Rags will get production up and down their lineup, so I see some of Kreider's 52 from last year being redistributed. Somewhere in the low to mid-30s wouldn't surprise me, but over 40 would.
Patrice Bergeron, under 27.5
The Bruins captain came back to Beantown on a 1-year deal seemingly to help the team make another run at the Cup with fan favorites Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and David Krejci. But the Bruins enter the season banged up. Marchand and the top two D men Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk are all on long-term IR, and former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall is unlikely to start the season healthy. Bergeron has also struggled with injuries in the past, and overall I think this is a year where the Bruins start to fall toward the middle of the pack in the East. Never a prolific goal-scorer with 32 as his current career high, I see this as more of a 20-25 goal campaign for #37.
Bryan Rust, under 29.5
Bryan Rust is what I would consider a classic Penguin of the Crosby-Malkin-Letang era. The Pens boast the longest active streak of making the playoffs at 16 straight in large part because the aforementioned trio has produced Hall-Of-Fame careers in that timeframe while the organization has managed to draft, nurture, and produce consistent talent within its pipeline. Rust is a perfect example of that grooming after the Penguins drafted him in the 3rd round of the 2010 draft. He's a good all-around hockey player. He can play the full 200-foot ice sheet while contributing on both sides of the special teams' equation. But can he break the 30-goal plateau though? Not this year. He's productive when he's on the ice, but he's only played more than 60 games twice in his career and his current career-high for goals is 27.
NHL Futures Bets: Regular Season Points
Artemi Panarin, over 92.5
2021-2022: 96 points in 75 games
2020-2021: 58 points in 42 games
2019-2020: 95 points in 69 games
Those are the last three seasons for this dude. The Rangers are looking dangerous this year coming off of a run to the Eastern Conference Final last season. I think Panarin is in the meat of his prime and will be a significant reason why the Rags take yet another step forward as a powerhouse. I'm calling a 100+ point season for the "Breadman" and another run to the ECF for the Blue Shirts.
Cale Makar, over 78.5
The Avalanche are nasty, filthy, disgusting, and [insert any other hockey bro term to describe elite levels of play]. Cale Makar is all of those lovely words and more. He's only 23 and already has a Norris Trophy and Stanley Cup under his belt from last year's campaign. The Avs made winning the Stanley Cup look easy last year, and it's hard to find many reasons why they can't do it again this year too. Makar may be one of the most complete defensemen to ever lace 'em up too, and that's not even an exaggeration. Hitting this over means he produces at about a point-per-game pace. Heck, after potting 28 goals last year, he may even hit 30 in the goal column. Get ready to see Cale Makar's name littering stats sheets every game this year, and for many years to come.
Nikita Kucherov, under 97.5
The Lightning have been one of the league's best for several years now, especially after three straight Stanley Cup appearances and two titles. Kucherov is a major piece to that puzzle, and consistently produces as one of the most lethal offensive weapons whenever he's on the ice. And that's the emphasis here… whenever he's on the ice. He's struggled with injuries, most notably a hip issue that he's missed an entire season for in recent memory. The Bolts are still a competitor and their window is far from closed, but I think coach Jon Cooper leans on the side of caution if and when Kuch comes up gimpy. He'll still put up numbers, but I just see him missing enough games to bring his point total down to a more human 80 to 90.
Johnny Gaudreau, under 85.5
Johnny Hockey was the main character in one of the league's biggest offseason storylines, as a total shakeup in Calgary saw him leave for Columbus in free agency. Coming off the best season of his career posting 115 points, Gaudreau joins a middling Blue Jackets club that is in the midst of a rebuild. The future looks promising though and this team looks like an intriguing group to watch as this season unfolds. There is a stable of young talent coming up through the ranks, and a rebuild project in his own right in former 40-goal scorer Patrik Laine. But can Johnny carry more weight than he had to in a deeper Flames lineup? I'm not sure, and for that, I don't see him or anyone on this roster posting a point-per-game pace.
If you're looking to bet on the NHL this season, RotoWire has you covered from futures to NHL player futures and everything in between, including the latest NHL odds. RotoWire also has the most up-to-date NHL player props for every day of the season. Our NHL starting goalies page and NHL lineups page are the industry standard and help keep you in the know all season long.