First Look at 2023-24 NHL Futures Odds: Picks for Jack Adams & Rocket Richard Winners
Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers
Hockey expert Nicholas Martin took a look at the early 2023-24 NHL futures odds and found a few picks he likes for the upcoming season.
Check out his head-coach pick for the Jack Adams winner as well as his Rocket Richard selection as the league's top goalscorer.
And follow all of his picks throughout the NHL and MLB seasons in the Action App at @NicholaskMartin.
Andre Tourigny – Jack Adams Winner: +10000
The Coyotes chances of stealing a playoff berth in 2023-24 could be greater than the majority of oddsmakers, pundits and fans are crediting.
Skeptics still seem to scoff at the idea that the Coyotes could actually be competitive. Which is great for this wager on the Jack Adams Award winner; Arizona's reputation for being a complete disaster will set up Andre Tourigny to claim votes as Coach of the Year should his side be competitive.
Last season oddsmakers priced Arizona as the favorite to finish dead last with a betting total of 65.5. So even by finishing in 27th place with 70 points, the Coyotes did overachieve expectations. Most indicators suggest Tourigny had done a quality job bringing along his far-less-talented group.
Now Tourigny will get the opportunity to coach a more complete roster featuring fewer below-replacement-level skaters. The Coyotes signed a number of proven NHL skaters in a rare offseason that was actually geared toward competing now. They also have a number of young talents ready to break in who could make a difference.
GM Bill Armstrong brought in NHL veterans Matt Dumba, Jason Zucker, Nick Bjugstad, Alex Kerfoot and Sean Durzi this offseason.
The additions of Matt Dumba, Sean Durzi, and Troy Stecher have given the @ArizonaCoyotes a new look on defense.
— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) August 8, 2023
Dumba is coming off a disappointing season in Minnesota, but the potential exists for a big bounce-back at age 29. At worst he should upgrade some top-four minutes for the Coyotes, but seeing him succeed as a legitimate top pairing defender again is within the realm of possibilities.
He also received the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2019-20, an award given to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice. Having that type of character around should not hurt the Coyotes' young locker room.
Jason Zucker, Nick Bjugstad, and Alex Kerfoot will go a long way to rounding out the Coyotes' bottom-three forward units, which were a massive flaw last season.
The top of the lineup will feature some high-quality offensive talent. Clayton Keller, Barrett Hayton and Nick Schmaltz compiled a legitimately good top line a year ago, and they will all be skating in the thick of their primes this year.
Dylan Guenther and Matias Maccelli are both strong candidates to take steps forward after promising displays last season. And 2022 third-overall pick Logan Cooley could be a difference-maker at the NHL level this season, and he's priced among the top five Calder Trophy favorites.
Only the Oilers, Knights, Stars, Avalanche and Kings deserve to be viewed as near-locks to claim a playoff spot out of a soft Western Conference.
Based on the lack of depth in the conference and the improvements to the roster, there is a clear path to a shocking playoff berth for Tourigny's Coyotes. That overachievement would likely make Tourigny the Jack Adams frontrunner and makes this a worthy sprinkle at the 100/1 odds offered by bet365 and DraftKings.
The Pick: Andre Tourigny Jack Adams Winner (+10000 at bet365 and DraftKings)
Leon Draisaitl – Rocket Richard Winner: +850
The most obvious case for a Rocket Richard bet as the league's top goal scorer would be to look at Leon Draisaitl's ridiculous 2022-23 postseason, in which he put up 13 goals in 12 games while shooting at an unsustainable 29% clip. However, the case for Draisaitl goes deeper than that.
Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews both deserve to be priced ahead of Draisaitl, but the gap should not be as wide as several oddsmakers have posted. And +850 is too long of a number.
Draisaitl's ability to stay healthy is an asset to this bet at the number offered, and it's the main reason I view him as worthy of a price closer to Auston Matthews. It's not fun to bet against McDavid. But McDavid's 64-goal campaign was an outlier, and it's possible he returns to scoring goals specifically at a more even clip to Draisaitl in 2023-24.
Draisaitl has put up three 50-goal seasons and is consistently finishing among the top of the league in goal scoring. He has finished runner-up to some outlier totals in terms of goal production, such as Matthews' 60-goal campaign in 2022.
The Oilers' power play thrived with Evan Bouchard as quarterback in the postseason, and Draisaitl was the main benefactor. He could easily lead the league in power-play goals this year, and the floor for his goal production is high.
Draisatl has consistently been in the mix for this award, but things have never quite broken his way.
At a price of +850, I love backing a guy we know will be among the leaders, and slight down years in terms of goal production from McDavid and Matthews could be all it takes.