NHL Team Playoff Probabilities for the 2024-25 Season After Free Agent Frenzy

Nashville Predators General Manager Barry Trotz aims to improve his team's playoff probabilities at the 2024-25 NHL Draft

On July 1, the NHL’s 2024-25 calendar year kicked off with a significant cap increase of $4.5 million, bringing the ceiling to $88 million. This marks the largest jump since the cap rose from $75 million to $79.5 million before the 2018-19 season. The league saw a flurry of activity in the first hour alone, with 64 signings totaling $745.8 million — surpassing the combined total of $623 million from the first hour of the previous five years.

Photo Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images.

With Free Agent Frenzy completed, it’s time to look at some very early 2024-25 playoff probabilities for teams based on NHL betting market expectations. It’s important to note that these probabilities are early indicators, derived from betting markets that reflect current public sentiment and expert analysis. Betting markets offer a dynamic and often insightful perspective on how teams are expected to perform, incorporating factors such as offseason signings, departures, and historical performance.

While these probabilities provide a snapshot of expectations, the actual season will undoubtedly bring surprises, as injuries, player development, and mid-season trades can significantly alter the landscape. As teams head into training camps and the regular season, these numbers will continue to evolve, offering a constantly updated picture of the competitive field.

Here are the playoff probabilities for each team, ranked from highest to lowest, along with their key additions, key departures, the impact of these changes, and a recap of their performance last season. Which NHL team’s playoff probabilities for 2024-25 do you think are being overestimated or underestimated by the market? NHL betting odds are retrieved from Sports Interaction.

  1. Edmonton Oilers: 87.21%

    • Key Additions: Jeff Skinner, Viktor Arvidsson, Josh Brown
    • Key Departures: Warren Foegele
    • Impact: The Oilers fortified their roster with Arvidsson and Skinner, enhancing their offensive depth and playoff prospects.
  2. Colorado Avalanche: 84.03%

    • Key Additions: Jonathan Drouin (re-signed)
    • Key Departures: None
    • Impact: By retaining Drouin, the Avalanche keep their strong core intact, ensuring continued high performance.
  3. Dallas Stars: 81.78%

    • Key Additions: None reported
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Stability and a strong existing roster keep the Stars among the top contenders.
  4. Florida Panthers: 79.83%

  5. New Jersey Devils: 79.31%

  6. New York Rangers: 75.44%

    • Key Additions: Reilly Smith, Sam Carrick
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Enhancing forward depth with Smith and Carrick positions the Rangers well for a playoff run.
  7. Vegas Golden Knights: 74.95%

  8. Carolina Hurricanes: 74.55%

  9. Toronto Maple Leafs: 74.30%

  10. Nashville Predators: 70.18%

  11. Los Angeles Kings: 68.18%

    • Key Additions: Warren Foegele, Joel Edmundson
    • Key Departures: Viktor Arvidsson
    • Impact: Key additions balance the loss of Arvidsson, aiming for consistent performance.
  12. Boston Bruins: 65.88%

    • Key Additions: Elias Lindholm, Nikita Zadorov
    • Key Departures: Jake Debrusk, Linus Ullmark
    • Impact: Lindholm and Zadorov add crucial skills to the roster. But with the departure of goaltender Linus Ullmark, Jeremy Swayman will be put to the test. In the past the’ve have split seasons, alternating starts. Now, Swayman will be pressured with a much greater workload.
  13. Tampa Bay Lightning: 65.88%

    • Key Additions: Jake Guentzel
    • Key Departures: Steven Stamkos, Mikhail Sergachev
    • Impact: Guentzel’s addition aims to maintain offensive strength despite Stamkos’ departure. The loss of Mikhail Sergachev will be felt.
  14. Vancouver Canucks: 65.88%

    • Key Additions: Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen
    • Key Departures: Elias Lindholm
    • Impact: Additions aim to fill gaps left by key departures, working towards balanced team development. The Canucks took a significant leap forward last season, making the playoffs for the first time in three years, finishing 6th in the NHL.
  15. Winnipeg Jets: 62.50%

    • Key Additions: None reported
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Stability without significant changes keeps them competitive.
  16. Minnesota Wild: 52.22%

    • Key Additions: None reported
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Stability keeps the Wild competitive but without significant changes.
  17. Ottawa Senators: 48.95%

    • Key Additions: Jakob Chychrun, Michael Amadio, Linus Ullmark
    • Key Departures: Reilly Smith
    • Impact: Strengthening the defense with Chychrun, the offense with Amadio, and adding Linus Ullmark behind the crease makes them competitive.
  18. Detroit Red Wings: 42.60%

    • Key Additions: Vladimir Tarasenko, Cam Talbot
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Retaining Kane, signing Tarasenko, and adding Talbot provides stability and potential improvement in goal.
  19. Pittsburgh Penguins: 42.60%

  20. New York Islanders: 41.77%

    • Key Additions: Anthony Duclair
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Duclair’s addition aims to boost offensive output and enhance playoff chances.
  21. Philadelphia Flyers: 39.05%

    • Key Additions: None reported
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Stability without significant additions keeps them competitive but not outstanding.
  22. Seattle Kraken: 39.05%

    • Key Additions: Brandon Montour, Chandler Stephenson
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Significant additions enhance Seattle’s defensive and offensive depth.
  23. St. Louis Blues: 39.05%

    • Key Additions: None reported
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: No significant changes, maintaining existing performance level.
  24. Buffalo Sabres: 38.27%

    • Key Additions: Jason Zucker
    • Key Departures: Jeff Skinner
    • Impact: Adding Zucker but losing Skinner leaves the Sabres a bit worse off. Buffalo has longest current playoff drought in the NHL. They haven’t made the playoffs for 13 seasons.
  25. Utah Hockey Club: 34.12%

    • Key Additions: Mikhail Sergachev, John Marino
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: The Utah Hockey Club inherited the Arizona Coyotes roster for their inaugural season. Their first major move was adding star defensemen Mikhail Sergachev, hoping to make him a core centrepiece to build their team around.
  26. Washington Capitals: 29.82%

    • Key Additions: Matt Roy, Jakob Chychrun
    • Key Departures: Nick Jensen
    • Impact: Strengthening the blue line with Roy and Chychrun improves their defensive capabilities.
  27. Calgary Flames: 25.45%

    • Key Additions: Anthony Mantha, Jake Bean, Ryan Lomberg
    • Key Departures: Tyler Toffoli, Alex Wennberg
    • Impact: New signings provide important depth and security, aiming for a balanced rebuild.
  28. Montreal Canadiens: 10.63%

    • Key Additions: Juraj Slafkovsky (long-term contract)
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Betting on Slafkovsky’s future development with a long-term contract aims for long-term success.
  29. Chicago Blackhawks: 9.58%

    • Key Additions: Teuvo Teravainen, Tyler Bertuzzi, Alec Martinez, Laurent Brossoit
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Adding experienced players builds depth around Connor Bedard, enhancing future potential.
  30. Anaheim Ducks: 7.98%

    • Key Additions: None reported
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: No significant changes, maintaining a low playoff probability.
  31. Columbus Blue Jackets: 5.99%

    • Key Additions: Sean Monahan
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: Monahan’s signing boosts offensive potential, reuniting with Johnny Gaudreau.
  32. San Jose Sharks: 5.99%

    • Key Additions: Tyler Toffoli, Alex Wennberg, Macklin Celebrini
    • Key Departures: None reported
    • Impact: New signings aim to provide offence. 1st overall pick Macklin Celebrini will be set to make his debut. Although it likely won’t be enough to make the Sharks competitive.

Which Team is the Best Bet for the 2024-25 NHL Season?

The Utah Hockey Club, inheriting the Arizona Coyotes’ roster, are poised to make a strong playoff push in the 2024-25 season. Last season, the Coyotes finished 22nd in goal differential. This position shows room for improvement but not the league’s worst. Adding Mikhail Sergachev as the #1 defenseman has significantly bolstered their blue line. His defensive skills and offensive contributions solidify the team’s defense, leading to fewer goals against and more stability. This upgrade makes the Utah Hockey Club a strong bet for those considering NHL betting options for the upcoming season. They are currently being given about a one in three chance of making the playoffs.

Moreover, Utah boasts a young core featuring forwards Logan Cooley, Dylan Guenther, Matias Maccelli, and Josh Doan. Logan Cooley, entering his sophomore season, will take on a more prominent offensive role. He had an impressive rookie campaign, tallying 44 points in 82 games, averaging limited ice time of 15:48 per game. As Cooley and his fellow young guns develop, their contributions will enhance Utah’s scoring. This blend of solid defense and rising young offense positions the Utah Hockey Club as a promising playoff contender.

Recent expansion teams have found success quickly. The Vegas Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural 2017-18 season and continue to be playoff contenders, winning the Stanley Cup in 2023. Seattle Kraken also made a strong impression by reaching the playoffs in their second season. The move to Utah adds excitement and momentum, giving players something new to play for.

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