Today’s NHL Prop Picks and Best Bets: Hronek Benefits From Power-Play Promotion

With the Canucks amidst a rare losing skid, Filip Hronek has been moved up to the top unit on Vancouver's power play. Read more as the Canucks defenseman headlines Josh Inglis' latest NHL prop picks.

Feb 24, 2024 • 14:20 ET • 4 min read
Filip Hronek Vancouver Canucks NHL
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Upon us is a 13-game slate in the NHL odds, and that has bettors flooded with prop decisions.

For today’s ripe-for-the-picking NHL player props, I’m fading one of the Core-4 in Toronto, banking on the Panthers to continue their 12-game streak of shutting down opposing offenses, and looking for a point in Vancouver with a new power-play formation. 

Here are my best NHL picks for Saturday, February 24.

NHL prop picks and best bets for February 24

Picks made on February 24 at 9:30 a.m. ET.
Read full analysis of each pick.

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Today’s NHL prop picks and best bets

Prop bet #1: Johnny depth forward

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been on a tear ever since Morgan Rielly was suspended following the loss to Ottawa. Since then, they’ve ripped off six wins in a row, outscoring their opponents 34 to 14.

Tonight poses a much more difficult task, however, as the Leafs have to go to the Mile High City and face the No.1 home in hockey.

The Colorado Avalanche are 22-5 at Ball Arena this year and don’t give up much on home ice, ranking in the Top 5 in shot attempts allowed at 5-on-5, xGA, and scoring chances against. The Avs have been even better at home since Christmas, boasting an 8-1 record, a goal differential of nearly 1.5 goals per game, and allowing just 24.4 shots per game.

Meanwhile, Leafs captain John Tavares has been playing on the third line lately, and since the move, Tavares hasn’t generated more than two shots on net at 5-on-5 in any of the games. While the forward remains a cog on the first power-play unit, playing net-front doesn’t generate a lot of shot opportunities, especially with Auston Matthews scoring at will.

Toronto could struggle to hit 30 shots tonight, and if the Buds do trail, it will likely be the top two lines seeing more ice time. With Johnny T paying a crisp +120 to record two or fewer shots, it’s time to hit the plus-money Under for a team that’s due for a dud tonight. 

If Tavares hits another Under (which would be his third in four games), look for this prop price to fall as the books adjust to his new role. 

John Tavares prop: Under 2.5 shots on goal (+120 at Bet99)

Prop bet #2: Lucky 13

The Florida Panthers have held opponents to two goals or fewer in 12 straight games and have a great opportunity to make it 13 when they host the Washington Capitals

There are some injuries for the Panthers as Matthew Tkachuk and defenseman Gustav Forsling are questionable after exiting Thursday's game vs. the Hurricanes. However, as bettors have seen recently when looking at teams like the Leafs, losing key players is not a guarantee to play worse defensive hockey. In fact, it sometimes has the opposite effect and creates a simpler defensive brand of play.

Since the beginning of the calendar year, the Panthers rank first in xGA/60 at even strength while the Caps rank in the bottom third in xG. Add in a Top 5 penalty kill from Florida, and scoring opportunities will be few and far between for the Caps tonight. 

The visitors are also without Evgeny Kuznetsov, and now first-line winger TJ Oshie is on the shelf. It's a bad offense that is missing key pieces and facing one of the best defensive teams in hockey.

There is a chance the Panthers roll with Anthony Stolarz in net today. That will likely increase the odds of the Caps’ team total Under, so buying this later in the day is advised. Regardless, the backup has been strong and has held opponents to two or fewer in four straight starts and 10 of his last 12 starts.

My suggestion: wait until goalies are announced, as the current price of -120 is assuming Sergei Bobrovsky is starting. This shouldn’t get much shorter and waiting for a Stolarz confirmation might net bettors an extra five or 10 points.

Washington Capitals prop: Under 2.5 (-120 at Bet99)

Prop bet #3: Tweaking the PP

With losing comes experimentation and mixing things up, and that’s where the Vancouver Canucks power play is entering tonight’s matchup with the Boston Bruins.

Elias Lindholm has been moved to PP2, while Rick Tocchet is going with two defensemen as Filip Hronek will jump up on the top unit and play alongside Quinn Hughes.

The D-man is paying -105 to get a point, +120 for an assist, and a solid +365 for a power-play point vs. a Boston penalty kill that ranks 28th in hockey over the last two months.

Vancouver is riding a four-game losing streak but three of those defeats have come on the road. At home, the Canucks boast a Top-7 power play, and the Bruins are also a team that takes penalties at a high rate. 

Hronek’s 0.71 points per game is the fifth-best mark on the team and he could be playing 25-plus minutes tonight thanks to the extra power-play time. He has just six points over his last 17 games, which is why his point market is where it is, but this was a skater who had 29 points over his first 33 games before entering the Christmas break. 

I don’t often look to D-men for points, but when they move to PP1, I have no problems. It’s a full unit on his o0.5 points and a half unit on his o0.5 PP points at +365.  

Filip Hronek prop: Over 0.5 points (-105 at Bet99) & Over 0.5 power play points (+365 at Bet99 for 0.5 units)

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