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NHL Season Preview 2022 – 2023: July 20

By Michael Spiegel

After a hectic first week of free agency full of surprising signings, the frenzy has slowed down and rosters are beginning to take shape. While there are still some notable free agents on the market and some trades need to happen for some teams to get either below the cap ceiling or above the floor, the first wave of free agent signings has passed. After looking at the Atlantic Division Preview last week, we will now turn our focus to the other half of the Eastern Conference in the Metropolitan Division.

Philadelphia Flyers – 8th Place in Division (+8000 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): Starting with the worst team in the Metro last season, the Philadelphia Flyers have made no improvement this off-season and have made some questionable moves to say the least. Based on the numbers, the Flyers bought out Oskar Lindblom’s contract so that they could sign Tony DeAngelo to a 2-year, 10-million-dollar contract. While DeAngelo had a great offensive year last season with the Hurricanes, he just bolsters an already extremely offensive-minded defensive core. It’s also rumoured that the Flyers were the first choice for Johnny Gaudreau; however, they didn’t clear enough cap to sign him. I’m not sure how you don’t do everything in your power to make room for a player like Gaudreau, but they chose not to. The only off-season move that I see improving the Flyers is the hiring of John Tortorella. There’s only so much that he can do given the roster in front of him. I think it’ll be another bottom-of-the-league finish for the Flyers this season.

New York Islanders – 7th Place in Division (+3300 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): After having a rough 2021-22 campaign, the Islanders finished fifth in the Metro and missed the playoffs. The Islanders have signed ZERO players during free agency, which shows that they are going to ‘run it back’ with the same team that failed to get them into the playoffs last season. With other teams in the division getting better, I think they’re going to fall further down the standings.

New Jersey Devils – 6th Place in Division (+5000 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): The Devils enter this season after finishing 7th in the Metro last year. Their goaltending and defence were a big part of their struggles last year, however, with their recent signing of Vitek Vanecek, they are addressing that issue. They also went out and signed Ondrej Palat to add some experience to their young offensive core. Despite missing out on Johnny Gaudreau, I think with their young and talented offensive stars of Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes getting more experienced each year, the Devils will improve upon their 7th place finish from last year.

Columbus Blue Jackets – 5th Place in Division (+6600 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): I’m still surprised that Johnny Gaudreau left money on the table to sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets of all teams. The future seems unsure for the Blue Jackets, however, a signing like Gaudreau definitely makes this team look better. It’ll be interesting to see what else this offseason has in store for the Jackets and if they make any more additions. I think they’ll finish similarly to where they did last year, right in the middle of the pack.

Pittsburgh Penguins – 4th Place in Division (+2200 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): Pittsburgh hasn’t made too many splashes this offseason, however, any team with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin is dangerous. I expect them to continue to be in contention for the cup as long as those big names remain in Pittsburgh.

Washington Capitals – 3rd Place in Division (+3000 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): The Capitals have added Darcy Kuemper to address their goaltending needs after losing Vitek Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov during free agency. It’ll be interesting to see how the Stanley Cup-winning goalie will play behind a less structured defensive system. The Caps also added Dylan Strome, coming off of a fantastic season with the Blackhawks, I think he’ll be a huge contributor on the Caps this year. The Capitals are trying to build upon last season, and perhaps have more playoff success before a potential rebuild when Alex Ovechkin eventually slows down (which seems like it will never happen). I think the Caps will finish in a similar position to last year and be in contention.

New York Rangers – 2nd Place in Division (+1800 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): The Rangers lost Ryan Strome this offseason but are attempting to replace him with Vincent Trocheck. After making it to the Eastern Conference Finals and having a fantastic season, the Rangers are looking to build off of that success. With a young team still at its core and Vezina-winning goaltender Igor Shesterkin backing them, I think the Rangers will be as good or better than they were last year.

Carolina Hurricanes – 1st Place in Division (+1100 to win Stanley Cup @bet365): Carolina won the division last season and I think they’ll do that again. With the recent acquisition of Brent Burns and the rest of their unbelievable defensive core, I see them winning the division again and being a serious threat in the playoffs.

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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