NHL Central Division Predictions and Odds 2021

NHL Central Division

  • The NHL has announced a realignment of their four divisions for the 2021 season that will allow the league to play their expected 56-game season amidst the rules and regulations put into place by all governing bodies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The Central division is the only division to keep its name this season – however, they will be considered an Eastern conference division
  • The division will host the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars – the two teams that faced of against one another in last year’s Stanley Cup final

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Central Division 2021 Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook, updated on January 11, 2021.

TeamOdds
Tampa Bay Lightning+125
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Carolina Hurricanes+350
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Dallas Stars+550
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Nashville Predators+800
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Columbus Blue Jackets+900
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Florida Panthers+1000
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Chicago Blackhawks+2500
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Detroit Red Wings+500
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NHL Central Division Predictions 2021

The Central division, sponsored by Discover, boasts the defending Stanley Cup champions: the Tampa Bay Lightning. And, unexpectedly, they are the favorites to take home the title of a division winner. The Bolts were the highest-scoring team last season. But it was recently announced that they will be without their leading scorer for the past two seasons, Nikita Kucherov, for the entire season. Another interesting thing to note is that this division will also include the Dallas Stars, whom the Tampa Bay Lightning played against in last season’s Stanley Cup finals.

Beyond that, the Carolina Hurricanes are a big team to watch this season, with WSN marking them as the top dark horse team of the 2021 season. The Hurricanes have arguably one of the best defensive units in the league and definitely within this division. When it comes to offense, Carolina’s worries really only lie with the Florida clubs (Tampa and Florida Panthers).

Another seemingly safe bet this year is that the Detroit Red Wings will once again finish last in their division.

But who could get that third playoff spot? Unlike the West division, the Central division should be a battle all season long. Florida definitely scores enough goals, but their defense is still lacking. On the opposite end of that spectrum, the Nashville Predators play a solid shut-down game but have struggled to score over the past few seasons. The likely scenario here is that we’ll see Tampa Bay, Carolina, and Dallas make the post-season with Florida being the team to watch – especially if Vezina-caliber goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has a bounce-back year in the net.

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Ryan Bristlon

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Ryan Bristlon is a Canadian writer currently residing in Hamilton, Ontario. He studied print and broadcast journalism at Humber College and has been a lifelong fan of the sport of hockey and the NHL.



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