New Jersey Devils Are Most Popular Stanley Cup Bet On Draft Kings

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay, Vegas, Toronto, and Boston make up the top four favorites to win the Stanley Cup, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.  Yet, they announced on Twitter that the New Jersey Devils, at +2700, have the most bets to take home Lord Stanley in June, with 29% of all bets being placed on New Jersey.  This shows a massive shift in national attention on the Devils.

We know what the reputation of the Devils has been for years now.  An old, boring, defensive-minded team that nobody wanted to watch. To be fair, it was hard for even Devils fans to watch when the team was putting out the likes of Tyler Kennedy and Reid Boucher in top-six roles.  Yet, even after the team acquired Taylor Hall and young talent such as Nico Hischier, Jesper Bratt, and Will Butcher, the Devils remained far out of the national spotlight.

Coming off of a season with a playoff appearance, a Hart Trophy Winner, and a fast, young team, the Devils appeared on national television just twice, up from a mere once the season prior.  Of course, the team ended up near the bottom of the standings, and really didn’t deserve to be broadcast on a national stage. However, this changed in the summer of 2019.

The Devils created buzz around the team when for the second time in three years, the lottery balls bounced New Jersey’s way.  Jack Hughes, compared to Patrick Kane throughout the draft process, was selected first overall. An even bigger move, in terms of gaining notoriety for the team, happened the day after when Ray Shero and company traded for P.K. Subban, one of the NHL’s most recognizable stars and most marketable players.  Around the league, the Devils were dubbed the “winners of the draft.”

The hockey world remained on notice when the Devils signed power-play staple Wayne Simmonds and traded for Nikita Gusev, widely regarded as the best player in the world not in the NHL.  As a result, it was announced that the Devils would play in four nationally televised games in 2019-20. While this is not a ton compared to some other franchises, the Devils haven’t seen this type of exposure in the national media in a long time.

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The fact that the Devils hold the majority of bets to win the Stanley Cup the year after finishing with 72 points amplifies this fact.  People want to see how Jack Hughes plays in his rookie year. People want to see a healthy Taylor Hall. Bettors want to see Nikita Gusev in the NHL, the continued development of former first-overall pick Nico Hischier, and PK Subban in red and black.

If the Devils make the playoffs, Jack Hughes looks like a superstar in the making, and Taylor Hall re-signs, why can’t the team be on national TV 10 times next season?  Just the fact that the Devils have significant national buzz heading into the season gets me even more amped up for October 4th. Let’s hope that 29% of bettors made the right choice.