NHL: Western Conference futures favoring Avalanche, Oilers, Jets

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NHL: Western Conference futures favoring Avalanche, Oilers, Jets

The 2023-24 NHL season continues to roll on, with a few months left before the playoffs. While a lot of the focus is typically on the divisions, betting on the Western Conference futures as a whole is also a good play. At the moment, it’s surprisingly the Vancouver Canucks at the top, followed by the Winnipeg Jets, the Colorado Avalanche, the Dallas Stars, and the Vegas Golden Knights. However, the Canucks aren’t the favorite to win the conference. The Avs currently sit at the frontrunner, while the Edmonton Oilers, Jets, and Stars are expected to be in the mix to win the West. Below, we’ll discuss some of the contenders.

Quick Take

  • The Avalanche are the leading frontrunner in the Western Conference futures
  • The Oilers, Stars, and Jets are all others to watch
  • Keep reading for our analysis


The 2021-22 Stanley Cup winners are having a fantastic season. Colorado is 28-12-3 and has been one of the most productive offensive teams in the NHL. They rank second in goals with 3.67, ninth in shots on target, and fourth in shooting percentage. Nathan MacKinnon is in the Hart Trophy mix alongside Connor McDavid, registering 23 goals and 46 assists in 43 games. Mikko Rantanen and Cale Makar are also playing at an extremely high level. However, the Avalanche just lost Valeri Nichushkin amid a career year after he went back into the Player Assistance Program. That’s a big blow. Colorado is sitting at +450 odds to win the West at 888sport.


Edmonton is quite a ways down the Western Conference standings in eighth after a slow start to the campaign. But, they’ve gotten really hot and do look like a contender again, hence the second-best odds at some NHL sportsbooks. The Oilers are riding a 10-game winning streak right now and currently own a 23-15-1 record. McDavid’s scoring numbers are down with only 16 goals, but he’s still provided 41 assists and continues to be a force for this team. Leon Draisaitl, Zach Hyman, and Evan Bouchard are all sitting over 40 points, too. Edmonton is capable of being a contender but it does feel unlikely they actually win the West. Only time will tell.


I don’t think anyone tabbed the Jets as a potential Stanley Cup team before the season began. But, Winnipeg is a very solid squad with an insanely good blue line that is allowing the fewest goals per night of any team in the league (2.29). On the other end of the ice, Winnipeg is also legit. Mark Scheifele is leading the charge with 14 goals and 27 assists, while Nikolaj Ehlers, Josh Morrissey, and Cole Perfetti are all doing their part, too. Don’t sleep on the Jets, who are second in the Western Conference at the moment.


Dallas was in the Western Conference finals last season, losing to the Golden Knights. The Stars are once again one of the strongest teams in the conference, sitting in fourth with a 25-12-5 record. In the Central Division, they’re in third. Dallas won the conference finals back in 2019-20 but that was the first time since the late 1990s. With a very good team on both ends of the ice, the Stars will be in the conversation in the playoffs.

Golden Knights

How can we ignore the West champs and the Cup winners? Vegas has essentially the same team as their Stanley Cup run and has been firing on all cylinders. Jack Eichel, Mark Stone, William Karlsson, and Jonathan Marchessault are a ridiculously talented core and defensively, the Golden Knights are stout. Vegas is down in fifth in the Western Conference.