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NHL Season Preview 2022 – 2023: July 12

The Atlantic Division Preview

By Michael Spiegel

Just a few weeks ago, the Colorado Avalanche were crowned the Stanley Cup Champions for the first time since 2001. After a debrief of the season and postseason we had just witnessed, we were treated to a fairly exciting first round in the NHL Entry Draft. The Montreal Canadiens shocked a decent amount of the hockey world when they drafted Juraj Slafkovský with the first overall pick in the draft. What might have been more shocking was seeing the next two teams pass on the consensus #1 ranked player, Shane Wright. We’ll have to wait a few years to see how these players develop, but if Shane Wright lives up to the hype, Seattle getting him at fourth overall could be a major steal and could haunt those three teams that passed on him for years. With free agency opening up this week, let’s have a look at what the season ahead has to offer. This week’s preview will focus on the Atlantic Division and where I think each team ranks based on what has happened so far and their outlook for the upcoming season. 

Montreal Canadiens – 8th Place in Division (+12500 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): With 55 points and 22 wins last season, Montreal finished dead last in the NHL and won the draft lottery to select first overall in the draft. I think they’ll be looking to do that again. With an even stronger draft class and a once in a generation talent available at the 2023 draft in Connor Bedard, I think the Habs will be looking to do their very best (or worst) to secure the number one overall pick again and accelerate their rebuild in the 2023-24 season. 

Buffalo Sabres – 7th Place in Division (+4000 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): They finished fifth in the division last year by just two points, I think they’ll slide to 7th this season with Detroit and Ottawa both improving their rosters. The Sabres have been very quiet this offseason, however, free agency hasn’t even opened yet so it will be interesting to see what they do this coming week. 

Detroit Red Wings – 6th Place in Division (+7000 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): Same finish as last year, the Red Wings did acquire Ville Husso to improve their lacklustre goaltending from last year, however, I haven’t seen enough from them so far to see a huge improvement. There’s still this week to see if they make any splashes in free agency, however, I think they’re sticking the course on rebuilding for at least another season or two. Keep an eye out on Moritz Seider to continue his dominance on the blue line. Maybe a long shot to win the Norris. 

Boston Bruins – 5th Place in Division (+2500 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): Boston finished 4th in the division last season and secured the first wild card spot. I think they still could make the playoffs this year with a Wild Card berth, but they are currently cap-strapped and haven’t signed their captain, Patrice Bergeron. It’ll be interesting to see what they do in the coming weeks, but with a new head coach, I think they might come out of the gate slowly in 2022. 

Ottawa Senators – 4th Place in Division (+6600 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): The Senators finished 7th in the division last year but have made some significant moves this offseason and seem poised to make some more big splashes. Having just got close to five million dollars off the books with trading Matt Murray to Toronto, they have a plethora of cap space to work with. Last year, the Senators were missing that “scoring touch” and they seemed to have addressed that with the acquisition of Alex DeBrincat. Perhaps the rebuild is finally over in Ottawa and they are on the uptrend now. Keep an eye out for them to make a big move on Wednesday. 

Florida Panthers – 3rd Place in Division (+800 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): The President’s Trophy winners from last year are all in on this team with no first round pick until 2025. They don’t have much cap space and have quite a few notable names who will be UFAs as of Wednesday. It’ll be interesting to see what they do, and while I still think they’ll be an extremely competitive team, they may slide a little bit from their 58-win season from last year.

Tampa Bay Lightning – 2nd Place in Division (+1000 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): I think Tampa will improve upon their 3rd place finish from last year after their third straight appearance in the cup final, something unheard of in the salary cap era. Tampa still has their big pieces locked up, and how can you bet against Andrei Vasilevskiy? They probably won’t be much involved in free agency but should finish around the same as they did last year, and I think they might be even better. 

Toronto Maple Leafs – 1st Place in Division (+700 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): I do the same thing every single year; believe. After acquiring Matt Murray (and his close to 5-million-dollar cap hit) yesterday, Kyle Dubas has either just made the best or worst move in his tenure as the Maple Leafs GM. This move will either solidify him as a great GM or get him fired. I have to give Dubas credit for continuously believing in what he has built, and anyone who played for the Soo, but if the Leafs have another first round exit this year, Dubas is gone. They should have a very exciting off-season with plenty of players being rumoured to be getting traded or testing free agency. The 2022-23 Maple Leafs will have more than a few unfamiliar faces and they should be a treat to watch.

One of betstamp’s largest brand values is transparency. Whether you are looking to tail or fade my picks, or potentially just like reading the breakdowns, you can find my full documented betting record here. Best of luck with your bets today.

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