It's never too early to look at the futures markets in the NHL, and while everyone will be looking to bet on who is going to win the Stanley Cup for the 2023-24 season, other markets could present more value. One of those markets is for the top coach, who will earn the Jack Adams Award at season's end. This is not a market that gets a ton of action, but can actually be quite profitable if you do a bit of research.
When it comes to this award, just like other sports, a lot of times it goes to a coach who takes a team that was awful last season and brings them to the playoffs. What we are looking for here is a team that did not do well in 2022-23, but one that also showed some promise at times and maybe has some young talent that could take that next step this year. There are several teams that fit that category, but there is one in particular that stands out above the rest.
You might not even know who he is, but that's okay because all you need to know is that there is value on him to win the Jack Adams Award. Arizona Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny has certainly had his work cut out for him since taking the job, as his rosters have been awful for the most part, and they have been projected to finish dead last in the NHL standings. However, last season, the Coyotes showed a little bit of promise. They did not finish last in the league in points, but rather, 27th. They remained competitive for the majority of their games, even if they didn't end up winning, and the top of their offense has some really promising players.
Clayton Keller, Barrett Hayton, and Nick Schmaltz make up a top line that really showed what they have the ability to do last season, and now they will be entering their primes with some experience behind them. Other guys like Matias Maccelli and Dylan Guenther also showed last season that they can be big-time contributors. The Coyotes also seemingly want to at least compete this season with the moves they made this offseason, bringing in veterans like Matt Dumba, Jason Zucker, Alex Kerfoot, Sean Durzi, and Nick Bjugstad. While they aren't big names per se, what it does do is give them legitimate NHL players instead of playing with replacement-level players on the lower lines. If they can get even average goaltending, they have a good shot to sneak in a playoff berth.
The good news for them is that the Western Conference is actually pretty bad outside of a few top teams. The Avalanche, Oilers, Kings, and Golden Knights are the only teams that I think are a total lock to make the playoffs, and you might be able to add the Stars to that group. This leaves a real opportunity for this team to get back into the playoffs and sneak in a wild-card berth. If that happens, Tourigny will likely be the frontrunner to win this award. It would be a monumental achievement to get this team, which just last season was projected to be the worst in the league, to the playoffs.