The 2021-22 NHL season promises to be a return to relative normality after two years in which pandemic restrictions caused havoc with the schedules.
This time around, there’s a new team – welcome, Seattle hockey fans! – and as ever, there is a host of new players in the league. In the world of fantasy sports and sports betting, assessing the quality of newcomers is a key part of success, and it’s also an exciting aspect of modern sports. Another exciting element to tracking newcomers is that it can be the perfect opportunity to shuffle players in your team, so whether you are weighing up a big NHL bet, deciding which young players to put in your fantasy lineup or just wondering whether the new guy on your favourite team’s roster will be a bust or a hit, it’s time to look through the pick of the 2021/22 hopefuls. Borgata is, according to World Sports Network, one of the best sports betting apps for NHL betting, and the sports betting portal, also known as WSN.com, has made a thorough review that gives you an overview of the perks of the app, in comparison to the other options on the market.
Newcomers to note for the 2021-22 season details
Cole Caulfield – Montreal Canadiens
The winner of the Hobey Baker Award 2021 played ten regular-season games for Montreal, recording four goals and an assist, before playing a big role in the team’s path to the Stanley Cup Final, notching four more goals and 12 points in 20 playoff games. He has already made a big impact and is expected to be one of the season’s stars, on the top line alongside Nick Suzuki and Tyler Toffoli.
Trevor Zegras – Anaheim Ducks
Trevor Zegras had 24 games with Anaheim last season to showcase his potential and contributed a healthy 13 points, adding to the ten goals and 11 assists that he recorded with the San Diego Gulls in the American Hockey League. Given the Ducks’ focus on building for the future, Zegras should be a key part of their plans this time around and will likely feature heavily in the top six.
Spencer Knight – Florida Panthers
He only featured four times in the regular season and twice in the playoffs, but Spencer Knight made a strong impression for Florida last season. His stats are a solid 4-0-0 along with a 2.32 goals-against average and a save percentage of .919. These are good numbers, and he will also have gained valuable experience in the first round of the playoffs against Tampa Bay Lightning. He has some ground to make up on Sergei Bobrovsky but expect to see more of Knight this season.
Jamie Drysdale – Anaheim Ducks
Another promising young star at Anaheim, Drysdale tallied three goals and eight points in his 24 games last season, along with four goals and six assists in the AHL. NHL experts predict big things for Drysdale, who is seen as potentially an elite point grabber from the back – the type of player that has been at the top of the Ducks’ shopping list for some time. Expect the 2020 sixth overall pick to get much more playing time this time around, especially on the power play.
Bowen Byram – Colorado Avalanche
An injury limited Bowen Byram to just 19 games for Colorado last season, but when fit, he was able to show why so many shrewd judges are excited about this 20-year-old hockey star. His skills and powerful shot already make him a major asset. Although the Avalanche have impressive blue-line depth in the form of Devon Toews, Samuel Girard and Cale Makar, Byram is already good enough that he will get his share of ice time in 2021/22, injuries permitting.
Jeremy Swayman – Boston Bruins
A player with huge potential, Swayman was called upon unexpectedly by the Bruins last season to play a major role. Tuukku Rask’s injury and Jaroslav Halak’s unavailability meant the 22-year-old had to fill in between the sticks, and he came up big, registering a 7-3-0 tally to guarantee the Bruins a playoff place. Before that, he had been putting in dominant performances in the AHL, and with Rask likely out until midseason, he is sure to be pushing Linus Ullmark hard for ice time.
Vasily Podkolzin – Vancouver Canucks
The tenth overall pick in the 2019 draft, Podkolzin put pen to paper on a three-year entry-level deal at the Canucks and is in line for an NHL debut this season. The youngster spent the last two seasons plying his trade in the KHL and was a strong performer in the Gagarin Cup playoffs, scoring six goals and 11 points in his 16 games. He is likely to be involved in the opening night roster, most likely in the bottom line, and has the skills to make a big impact this season and become a top-six regular in the longer term.