The new NHL season will get underway in a little over a month and it will do so with a new 32nd team, the Seattle Kraken. The Kraken will play in the Western Conference and, while the expansion draft was good for the Kraken, they are not favored to win the West.
The 2021-22 NHL season will also have teams back in their normal divisions. That means there will be a representative from the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup final. So, who will it be? Here’s a look at the 2022 NHL Western Conference futures odds and picks.
Check out our 2022 NHL Stanley Cup futures picks and 2022 NHL Eastern Conference futures picks.
Favorites to Win the NHL Western Conference in 2022
They have some of the top scorers in the game. Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog present issues for any opponent. Plus, the Avs have one of the best scoring defensemen in the NHL in Cale Makar who had 44 points in 44 games last season.
One issue for the Avs is that goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who went 30-9-1 last season, is now in Seattle. If the Avs can get some quality goalie play, they can live up to their roles as +200 favorites to win the West.
Contenders to Win the NHL Western Conference in 2022
As long as the Golden Knights continue to play defense, they will continue to have chances to win. Last season, they were outstanding leading the NHL by giving up just 2.18 goals per game. Vegas might have a more difficult time in maintaining that mark this season. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the winner of the Vezina Trophy last season, was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Still, the Golden Knights have a capable replacement in Robin Lehner who went 13-4-2 last season. This team is built around defense with Max Pacioretty, Mark Stone, and Jonathan Marchessault providing the offense. That may be just enough to take out Colorado.
Longshots to Win the NHL Western Conference in 2022
The Western Conference will be a two-team race – Colorado and Vegas – all season long. No other team in the West is given better than +1000 odds to win the conference. Minnesota and Edmonton are both listed at +1000. The Oilers, of course, have the top two scorers in the NHL returning – Connor McDavid (105 pts) and Leon Draisatl (84).
What the Oilers lack in goaltending, the Wild lacks on offense. Both teams could get hot at the right point in the season, but they could equally fall apart at the wrong time.
If there is a longshot bet worth making, it might be on Winnipeg. The Jets are listed at +1700 to win the conference, but they possess the right amount of scoring and solid goatending to do so.
Former Vezina Trophy winner Connor Hellebuyck is one of the top netminders in the NHL. The Jets had four scorers among the top 40 in the NHL last season: Mark Scheifele (63), Kyle Connor (50), Blake Wheeler (46), and Nikolaj Ehlers (46). There is just enough balance there to give the Jets a chance.
The Jets could end up as the second-best team in the Central Division behind Colorado. It will take a huge playoff run, but Winnipeg has the ability to do so.
2022 NHL Western Conference Predictions
Despite the love of the longshot, this is a two-team race. Both Colorado and Vegas lose their top goalie from a year ago. The Avs have the better scorers; the Golden Knights have the better defense. In the end, defense wins championships.
THE PICK: GOLDEN KNIGHTS +300
Odds to Win 2022 NHL Western Conference
Colorado Avalanche +200
Vegas Golden Knights +300
Minnesota Wild +1000
Edmonton Oilers +1000
Dallas Stars +1400
St. Louis Blues +1600
Winnipeg Jets +1700
Seattle Kraken +1700
Chicago Blackhawks +1800
Calgary Flames +2200
Vancouver Canucks +2500
Los Angeles Kings +3000
San Jose Sharks +4000
Nashville Predators +4000
Anaheim Ducks +10000
Arizona Coyotes +10000
Read our NHL player props betting guide.