The Colorado Avalanche look ready to bounce back from last season’s first-round exit.
Adding depth down the middle and an entirely new third line, the Avalanche look just as deep and dangerous as they did when they went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2022.
Jonathan Drouin’s reunion with Nathan MacKinnon will also help Colorado’s first line continue to be one of the league’s best despite the loss of captain Gabriel Landeskog to injury.
But will the Avalanche’s offseason moves be enough to spring them back into Stanley Cup contention?
NHL odds currently have Colorado at the top with +850 odds to win the Stanley Cup.
The peripherally contending Carolina Hurricanes (+900), Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers (+1000), Jack Hughes’ New Jersey Devils (+1100) and the Toronto Maple Leafs (+1300) round out the top five.
Vegas has its hometown Golden Knights tied for sixth with the Western Conference runner-up Dallas Stars at +1300 odds to repeat as the Stanley Cup Champions.
The defending Presidents’ Trophy winning Boston Bruins (+1700), the Tampa Bay Lightning (+1700) and the New York Rangers (+1700) round out the Top 10 while the defending Eastern Conference Champion Florida Panthers sit in 11th at +2000.
Colorado’s combination of top-level talent and depth is what makes it stand out from the rest of the pack.
Its core of superstars — Nathan MaKinnon, Mikko Rananen and Cale Makar — are surrounded by a slew of talented players, many of whom have already helped the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup before.
MacKinnon, coming off of career-highs of 42 goals and 111 points, leads the pack as one of the NHL’s biggest stars.
Rantanen, who scored the third-most goals in the NHL last season with 55 along with 105 points, continues to be one of the best scoring wingers in the league.
Makar, a Norris Trophy winner in 2021-22, is a favorite to win the award as the league’s best defenseman again after scoring 17 goals and 66 points in 60 games last season.
Devon Toews has also developed into one of the NHL’s top talents on defense and is arguably a fourth member of that nucleus of stars.
To bolster the lineup, Colorado added Ryan Johansen via trade to fill the void Nazem Kadri left as the team’s second-line center.
Johansen had 12 goals and 28 points in 55 games for the Nashville Predators last year, but can bounce back to his usual 60-point form with a change of scenery.
He was also a big part of the team that helped the Predators to the Stanley Cup Final in 2017.
Ross Colton, a key playoff performer for multiple Stanley Cup-winning Lightning teams, will bolster their center depth even further on line three.
He will be joined by former New Jersey Devils wingers Miles Wood and Tomas Tatar on the third line.
Tatar is a major X-Factor on that third line, scoring at least 20 goals in three of the last four full NHL seasons.
With a lineup filled with scoring threats and players who know what it takes to win, the Avalanche should be a good bet to take home their second Stanley Cup in three years.