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The NHL’s return on the ice on Wednesday was significant and huge for viewership after returning from Christmas and Boxing Day. This Thursday night, there will only be four games played on the ice, but they are games that will have the potential to earn NHL fans and casual bettors some significant earnings through player props. Three games tonight have the opportunity to earn fans and bettors a lot of money through DraftKings.
Here are our favorite NHL player prop picks for Thursday.
One of the two big matches of the night is set for an Eastern Conference versus Western Conference matchup as the Philadelphia Flyers go on the road to take on the Vancouver Canucks. This is a game that should have the Canucks as big favorites, but the Flyers are going for the big upset.
The Canucks are among the most elite teams in the league this season on both sides of the ice. Vancouver is ranked first in the league in goals per game (3.86) and second in goals allowed per game (2.51). They are a team that can consistently overmatch the Flyers on both sides of the ice.
While the Flyers are smart and efficient on offense, they need momentum and time to allow themselves to set up for potential scoring opportunities. They only average 2.97 goals per game (23rd in the league), as they rely on power to get them to score.
Center Sean Couturier is a player who can create great momentum for the Flyers offense, but it would be difficult against this tough defense and going against the hostile Canucks crowd.
The biggest game of the night is set to be a huge Western Conference matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and the Vegas Golden Knights. The Kings and the Golden Knights are two of the most efficient teams on both sides of the ice, as this game could go either as an offensive shootout or a tough defensive battle.
The Kings come to this game with the third-ranked offense in the league (3.58 goals per game) and the top-ranked scoring defense (2.32 goals allowed per game) as they take on the Golden Knights’ 10th-ranked scoring defense (2.78 goals allowed per game).
Los Angeles possesses several players that will be key contributors to their highly efficient offense. Among the most reliable is forward Adrain Kempe, who has accounted for 30 points this season, with 11 being goals and 19 being assists. Kempe will be among the two go-to players for the Kings taking on an elite Golden Knights’ defense.
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The Edmonton Oilers are consistently riding in the middle of the Western Conference and the Pacific Division after making a move and having their coach on staff. They are hoping to get out of the middle of the pack with more consistent wins starting tonight as they take on the worst team in the league, the San Jose Sharks.
The Oilers’ 3-2 road loss on November 9 to the Sharks was the straw that broke the camel’s back to make a move in their coaching staff. Edmonton is looking to rebound in a big way with its new staff and a new mentality. Even the players are more focused with the new staff.
The Oilers have the sixth-ranked scoring offense in the league (3.45 goals per game). They will take on a Sharks’ defense that is ranked last in the league in goals allowed per game (4.06). San Jose is the only team to allow more than four goals a game.
This game will be a perfect opportunity for center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to step up excellent scoring opportunities for his teammates. He accounted for an assist in the previous matchup versus the Sharks. He has accounted for 23 assists this season in 31 games played and should be able to extend his streak tonight.
Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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