Vegas Golden Knights Co-Favorites to Win 2018 Stanley Cup

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 18, 2018

Vegas Golden Knights players celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Kings 1-0, and sweeping the series in Game 4 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series in Los Angeles, Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

The Vegas Golden Knights may be playing in their inaugural season, but the NHL's latest expansion team finds itself as the co-favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup.

According to ESPN.com's Emily Kaplan, Vegas and the Nashville Predators are tied for the best odds at 4-1. Nashville made it to the Stanley Cup Final a season ago, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games.

With a record of 51-24-7, the Golden Knights have set a handful of records in their first season in the league. They just became the first NHL franchise to record a postseason series sweep during their inaugural season by taking down the Los Angeles Kings in four games, which also made them the first team to advance to the second round this year.

No expansion team has reached the Stanley Cup Final since 1967-68, with the St. Louis  Blues making it in each of their first three seasons. They were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in 1968.

Perhaps the biggest reason Vegas finds itself among the favorites is that it has Marc-Andre Fleury protecting the net. The 14-year veteran piled up plenty of playoff experience during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning the Cup three times.

Vegas awaits the winner of the Anaheim Ducks-San Jose Sharks series in the Western Conference Semifinals. While the Knights breezed through their first playoff series, they still have three more opponents standing in their way as they try to make even more history.