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SHL 2020-21 Full Season Preview

Last updated: 26 Oct 13:50

The SHL 2020-21 season is going to provide great entertainment as well as some fantastic betting opportunities for ice hockey enthusiasts. From this article you’ll find quite a lot of necessary information that’ll help you when you start placing your bets on SHL games. But make sure you check the odds comparison tool too, so you place your bets with the best odds available!

SHL Quickies
  • Established: 1975
  • Country: Sweden
  • Teams: 14
  • Regular season games: 52
  • Reigning champion: Frölunda HC (2018-19 Champions)
  • Most titles: Djurgårdens IF, 16
SHL 2020-21 Teams

One of the things that keeps SHL fresh is that each season some teams are relegated to HockeyAllsvenskan and then a few teams are promoted from HockeyAllsvenskan to SHL. So every year there’s some fresh kits and faces on the ice which keeps the league fresh and evolving. Leksand & Oskarshamn were saved from relegation as the season was cut short due to COVID19 so they got another chance to prove they are worthy of being in the Swedish elite league. With that being said, here are the 14 teams that are battling for the championship in the SHL 2020-21 season:

  • Brynäs IF, Gävle
  • Luleå HF
  • Skellefteå AIK
  • Leksand IF
  • Malmö Redhawks
  • Rögle BK, Ängelholm
  • HV-71, Jönköping
  • Linköping HC
  • Färjestad BK, Karlstad
  • Frölunda HC, Göteborg
  • Djurgården IF, Stockholm
  • IK Oskarshamn
  • Vaxjö Lakers HC
  • Örebro HK
NHL Players in SHL 2020-21

As the pandemic has been ravishing the world globally the NHL season was also postponed to start on a later date due to playoffs finishing late in autumn. Because of this some NHL teams are loaning their players to European leagues so they get to play to keep up their form and prepare properly for the next season. Some prospects are loaned for an entire season so they get to play big minutes in the main league and develop there before taking the next step onto the NHL ice. SHL does not allow teams to make short-term loan deals with NHL players, as the deals need to cover the full season. However at the same time players that are already signed with old SHL teams are allowed to play until the start of the next NHL season.

It’s a bit of a strange way to organise things, but it is what it is. With that being said, here are the three players that signed full season loans:

  • Moritz Seider, Detroit Red Wings -> Rögle BK
  • Joe Veleno, Detroit Red Wings -> Malmö Redhawks
  • Bobby Nardella, Washington Capitals -> Djurgårdens IF

These players are with old SHL contracts, but who have signed with NHL teams waiting for the next season to start (so they are eligible to play until NHL preseason camps start and they are free to fly across the pond when it happens):

  • Theodor Lennström, Frölunda (Edmonton Oilers)
  • Tobias Björnfot, Djurgården (Los Angeles Kings)
  • Fredrik Händermark, Malmö (San Jose Sharks)
  • Joakim Nygård, Färjestad (Edmonton Oilers)
  • Linus Sandin, HV71 (Philadelphia Flyers)
  • Mathias Bromé, Örebro (Detroit Red Wings)
  • Rodrigo Abols, Örebro (Florida Panthers)
SHL 2019-20 Season

The 2019-20 SHL season was a great one, but as everything else in the world, the fun was stopped prematurely. Luleå HF won the regular season by being the only team in the league who got over 100 points from their 52 games (106 in total). Luleå had only 16 losses (4 OTL) in total over the season and they finished with +53 goal differential (151-98). Behind them were both Färjestad and Rögle with 92 points and Skellefteå with 90. Top 6 in general was very tight after Luleå, as five teams finished within 4 points of each other.

The Bottom end got a gift from above, as normally they would’ve entered a relegation series vs the top teams from HockeyAllsvenskan, but as those were not played this spring both Leksands IF and IK Oskarshamn got to keep their SHL spots for the 2020-21 season. Whether the teams can build on their luck is something we will find out over the next couple of months.

SHL Season 2020-21

The full season schedule was released a while ago and the season kicked in on 19th of September. As said before, teams have played between 4 and 7 games so far, so the season is still at an early stage. All teams are to play 52 regular season games, and there are 3 points distributed in each game, 3p for regular time win, 2p for OT/SO win, 1p for OT/SO loss.

The Top 6 teams of the regular season advance directly to quarter finals. Places 7 to 10 play the playoffs play-ins, or eight-finals, so 7th of regular season faces the 10th, and 8th and 9th play against each other in best of three series (all other series in playoffs are BO7). Teams that place in the bottom two face the champion and runner-up from HockeyAllsvenskan in the relegation series, winners play in SHL the next season and losers go to the minor league.

Best bonuses for SHL betting

If you are into betting promotions and bonuses you don’t have to go much further. SHL makes sure that we will have something to bet on from autumn ‘till late in the spring. There are a good number of games to place bets on and you can be sure that there will be great bonuses too. There are quite a few operators who offer all kinds of special bonuses ranging from free bets to risk free bets, and from those the classic deposit bonuses that you can wager on sports. Check out the best welcome bonuses for ice hockey bookies in here. We have collected all the information regarding the best welcome bonuses for the best bookies, and you can benefit from them!

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Best odds for SHL betting

As most ice hockey games, SHL games bring quite a large variety of betting markets for punters to choose from. Choosing the best markets and finding the best odds can sometimes be a bit of a pain in the ass. But don’t you worry, cause we’ve got you covered. We have a free odds comparison tool that you are free to use as much as you like! On top of that you can find free ice hockey betting tips from our tips section. Our own specialists write game previews with betting tips, and we have a lot of great verified tipsters who you can follow too. Some of them are free, some of them you can subscribe to. So make a free betting.com account and make sure you get most of the value out from our website!

Favorites to Win SHL 2020-21

Each league of course has favorites to win the entire thing, and we have chosen two teams to this category. At this point of the season it doesn’t matter how much historical data you read or what are the names on the roster, it’s impossible to be certain of the future, but to my understanding these two teams are the ones that are most likely going to place top2 in the standings after the regular season. What you read below is based on statistics available at the time of writing the article.

Luleå HF

Luleå was one of the favorites, if not the favorite to win SHL last season too. They placed 1st in the standings after the regular season with a somewhat comfortable lead to their rivals. Success has avoided the team and the city for quite a few years, as their previous championship is from the 1995-96 season.

Luleå lost some of their key players from last season as Emil Larsson travelled to Örebro (SHL), Joonas Jalvanti to Pelicans (Liiga), Joel Lassinantti to HK Sochi (KHL), Victor Berglung to Boston Bruins (NHL) and Konstantin Komarek to Dinamo Riga (KHL). On the other hand they were able to keep guys like Eddie Larsson and Linus Klasen who joined the team in the spring, and Isac Brännström signed extensions as Nils Lundkvist also did during the summer. They have also kept most of their top point scorers like Erik Gustafsson, Juhani Tyrväinen, Jack Connolly and Arttu Ilomäki, so they are more than ready for the challenge.

Overall the core group of Luleå HF is really strong, but the most interesting part of their team in my opinion is between the red metal pipes. Luleås veteran starting goalie David Rautio can have a rough start to the season and his runner up, 17 year old Jesper Wallstedt, is eagerly waiting for a moment in the spotlight. We might see a generation flip in terms of starting goalie, which in this case I see as a positive for Luleå. You need competitive goalies to be able to fight for the title properly, and at the moment young Wallstedt is showing symptoms of taking the next step in his young career.

  • Outright Betting Tip: Luleå to win SHL with odds of 4.7+

Färjestad BK

Färjestad BK, the pride of Karlstad has been waiting for their next championship for a while. They won 4 titles between 2002 and 2011, but since then the trophy has been avoiding the team. When this season comes to its end, it's been 10 years since Karlstad enjoyed a championship win. In the 2018-19 season Färjestad won the regular season and advanced to the playoffs as the favorite to hoist the cup at the end of the season. They won HV71 in the first round in game seven, but that series demanded a bit too much from them and they fell short against Djurgården in the semis in game seven.

The offensive end for Färjestad is a-ok, one of the league's elite even if you may, and it’s not like there’s something wrong with their defensive end either. They made some big signings over the summer catching guys like Aleksi Mustonen, Jesse Virtanen, Olle Lycksell, Jacob Peterson and Jacob Nilson add a lot in terms of depth to the roster. And to be fair, there are expectations for these guys in terms of scoring points too.

Färjestad has an interesting goalie tandem. Arvid Holm is still only 21 years old and he is not not ready to carry the load of starting goalie yet, but Färjestad was active over the summer and got Henrik Haukeland, a 25 year old Norwegian national team goalie, who played in KooKoo (Liiga) last season. He had 50 starts with 2.03GAA and 91.4% being amongst the top goalies of the league.

The quality of their roster is very good and Färjestad does carry a legitimate potential to go very far in the spring.

  • If you believe in Färjestad, you can pick them to win SHL with odds of 9.0+
SHL 2020-21 Challenger

There are 14 teams in SHL and we could definitely find another challenger or two to fit into this category, but let’s keep it simple and straightforward for once (which I really rarely do).

Vaxjö Lakers

It’s not easy to look at Växjö as a pure blood challenger, as the team has had quite a lot of success in the past few years. They won back-to-back titles in 2017 and 2018, but after those they placed 7th in 2018-19 and they were 10th in the regular season last year barely even qualifying to the play-in round. It’s evident that the city and the team can still taste the gold in their mouths, and they are hungry for more.

Since the end of last season Växjö have signed guys like Juuso Vainio, Robert Rosén, Joel Persson, Jack Drury and Teemu Eronen. Each of these guys are an upgrade for their respective positions which means that the quality and depth of their core is significantly stronger than over the last two seasons. One could even dare to say that championship potential has been bought.

Now, whether Växjö can redeem the expectations their fans have laid on them is yet to be seen. But their team is clearly stronger than over the past two seasons.

  • 3rd championship in 5 years? Don’t mind if I do. Trusting in Växjö can turn out to be quite beneficial, as you can pick them up to win SHL with odds 15.0+
Underdog of SHL 2020-21

In every game and league, in every season, there's always a Cinderella story waiting to happen. Usually the stories don't happen, but if they did they wouldn't be so special. But for 2020-21 SHL season I genuinely think there's one that could turn into something beautiful.

Leksands IF

The modern hockey era from 2010 to this date has not been too favorable for Leksands IF, as they have been “in the elevator”, being promoted to SHL for one or two season and then being relegated back to HockeyAllsvenskan. The 2019-20 season was their first one back in SHL after spending the previous two seasons in HockeyAllsvenskan. If we are being honest here, it’s a miracle that Leksand is still in SHL, as they finished bottom two after the regular season, but thanks to the pandemic and cancelled playoffs Leksands IF got another chance to show they belong to the elite league.

They showed up with a good looking attitude for the pre-season and I legitimately think that Leksand has the ability to build a Cinderella story this season. Now, don’t get all carried away here - it's not like we are expecting Leksand to win SHL, not at all. However their new coach and a couple new key players have been able to lift the average level of the team enough to be able to battle for a spot in the playoffs. I would also add that if Leksand is able to beat their biggest rival, Brynäs, in the standings, that would be a huge win for the team and it’s fans, as it would be the 1st time since 2003.

To add, Leksand might seriously have the best top line in SHL. Marek Hrivik, Carter Camper and Peter Cehlarik are a trio who are going to do a lot of damage on the offensive end of the ice. If that trio can keep up their pace throughout the regular season, they are giving Leksands a proper chance to actually make it into the playoffs. One could add that their goalie Janne Juvonen should be able to take the heat in SHL.

  • You can get odds of 40+ for Leksands to win if you are a true believer.
Author:

Teemu Maarela

Esports & Ice Hockey Specialist

Bio:

Teemu is an enthusiastic Finn who spent his childhood around ice hockey and video games, and he has 10+ years of experience with sports betting industry. Teemu specialises in analysing esports and ice hockey games. He contributes to Betting.com website in English, writing about his two passions - ice hockey and esports.
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