The Stanley Cup contender field in the NHL playoffs is wide open this year, with no clear favorite emerging, challenging predictions. An anonymous panel of NHL insiders rated all 16 playoff teams into five tiers, from favorites to first-round underdogs.

By the Numbers
  • Carolina Hurricanes average rating: 1.1
  • Florida Panthers average rating: 1.1
  • Dallas Stars average rating: 1.3
  • New York Rangers average rating: 1.6
  • Edmonton Oilers average rating: 1.8
State of Play
  • Carolina and Florida lead as Tier 1 favorites.
  • Dallas impresses as the top Western team, while Edmonton's flaws are overshadowed by McDavid and Draisaitl.
  • The Colorado Avalanche face mixed opinions due to their goaltending and recent struggles.
  • Teams like Vegas and Winnipeg have potential but face uncertainties heading into the playoffs.
Bottom Line

The NHL playoffs present a wide-open field in 2024, with favorites emerging but no clear front-runner. Teams like Carolina and Florida lead the standings, while uncertainties loom for others. The unpredictability sets the stage for an exciting postseason where any team could make a run for the Stanley Cup.