NHL Eastern Conference futures: Hurricanes, Rangers favored

Quinn Allen
Quinn Allen
Sports Betting News
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NHL Eastern Conference futures: Hurricanes, Rangers favored

It’s that time of the year: Playoff hockey. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are right around the corner and while betting on who wins it all is a great option, so are conference futures. In this piece, we’ll take a look at the East and examine who could be the representative in the Cup. As things stand, the Carolina Hurricanes and the New York Rangers are the leading frontrunners, but the Florida Panthers and Boston Bruins are also expected to make some noise. Below, we’ll preview a handful of contenders.

Quick Take

  • The Hurricanes and Rangers are favorites to win the East
  • The Panthers and Bruins are also in the mix
  • Read on for the Eastern Conference futures


Carolina is also a Stanley Cup favorite at certain sportsbooks, so it makes sense why 888sport has them at +300 odds to win the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes finished as the No. 2 seed in the Metropolitan Division with 111 points and were in the conference finals a year ago before losing to the Panthers. Carolina will face the New York Islanders in the first round. They’re led offensively by Sebastian Aho and trade deadline acquisition Jake Guentzel. This is a deep team though who is very talented on both ends.


The Metropolitan Division winners had one hell of a season. The Rangers were 55-23-4, compiling a total of 114 points. New York ranks seventh in goals scored and seventh in fewest goals allowed. The core of this group is impressive as can be, too. Artemi Panarin put up a whopping 120 points (49 goals, 71 assists) to set the tone, while Vincent Trocheck, Chris Kreider, Adam Fox, and Mika Zibanejad all finished with a minimum of 70 points, too. The Rangers get Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals in Round One, a team they should be able to take care of.


Sitting top-three in the Eastern Conference futures at most NHL sportsbooks, you cannot count out Florida. Many believed their Cinderella run to the Cup last year was a fluke but the Panthers proved in 2023-24 that’s furthest from the truth. Paul Maurice’s squad won the always competitive Atlantic Division with 110 points and heads into the playoffs on a four-game winning streak. Coincidentally enough, Florida takes on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the opening round. Of course, the Panthers are the reigning East champs so they need to be considered when betting on the futures. Sam Reinhart and Co. are deadly.


While many people thought Boston would take a step back this season after flaming out in the playoffs last year, they didn’t. The Bruins proceeded to post a 47-20-15 record but will face a tough task in the first round in the Toronto Maple Leafs. David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand are the top two producers for Boston, a team with revenge on their minds, especially if they get to face Florida at some point.

Maple Leafs

Can Toronto actually make a conference final, finally? They were relatively close last season, losing to the Panthers in the semifinals a year ago. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner, and John Tavares form quite the quartet, with Matthews coming off a 69-goal season and counting. The Maple Leafs have all the talent in the world, but beating the Bruins in the first round will be very difficult. Their road to an East final, never mind a Cup, will be tough in itself.