The future of the NHL will change come Thursday, July 7. It’s once again time for the NHL Draft, one that’s rich in betting opportunities. We’ve dug deep through the prop market and hand-picked these three NHL Draft bets to throw money on. Don’t bet money on Thursday’s Draft until you read this article completely through.
2022 NHL Draft — First Pick Bet
The Montreal Canadiens won the NHL Draft Lottery, giving them the first overall pick. Unlike recent years, there remains speculation about which direction the Habs will go. At the moment, popular NHL betting sites are favoring the following players to go with the first pick:
As you see above, it’s really a two-player race here between Slafkovsky or Wright. Each has a strong case to be Montreal’s choice. Let’s quickly cover them.
Wright is the betting favorite — and has been almost all year long at trusted online sportsbooks. “Generational talent” has been thrown around to describe the center and there’s some merit to it. He’s a two-way player that can become an impact player in a hurry, especially on a bad Canadiens team that could use all the help it could get. Though, Wright’s draft stock does feel lower as of late. He’s been under a magnifying glass for a year due to his hype. Cause of that, critics have nitpicked him, mainly that his goal-scoring dropped five goals compared to the season prior.
While Wrights’s hype has cooled, Slafkovsky has caught fire. Gas was poured into the hype machine during the 2022 Olympics, in which Slafkovsky shined as bright as anyone. Playing against mostly older competition, the 18-year-old finished with seven goals in seven games — the most of any player at the Olympics. It also vaulted Slovakia to its first-ever medal (bronze) in the Games.
The pick really comes down to the Habs’ risk tolerance. Wright is certainly the “safe” choice with very small bust potential. Slafkovsky is a riskier choice with a higher upside. The winger measures 6-foot-4 and weighs 220-pound at just 18 years of age, meaning he could grow even more. There are not many forwards league-wide that possess his size and speed, a dangerous combo offensively.
Our gut feeling is Montreal plays it safe and goes with Wright. The team possesses another first-round pick (26th overall) and there’s chatter they’ll use it to add a second top-10 choice in the 2022 Draft. If so, they’ll play it safe with the first selection since they can afford to do that with the backup choice left later on. Take Wright here despite his sentiment sputtering, which is more talk than anything else.
NHL Draft — Over/Under Matthew Savoie Pick
Savoie is one of the most polarizing prospects in the 2022 Draft class. Some are calling him a can’t-miss player, others have serious questions about how he’ll translate to the pros. This mixed reaction is why bookies have set his over/under of being picked at 8.5 — this despite having the fifth-best odds at going one overall. Here’s the current betting line for each option:
The strength of Savoie undoubtedly is his skating, which is likely the best among the whole class. He’s fast. Blazing fast, in fact. That speed makes the center particularly lethal on offense. In his lone season in the Western Hockey League, Savoie racked up 90 points (35 goals, 55 assists) in 65 games.
That’s good, but the perceived bad about Savoie is his size. At only 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, critics aren’t convinced he can hang with the pros of NHL. Brayden Point is the only comparable center with a similar size that actually found success in the league. The million-dollar question is this: is Point an outlier or a gauge of Savoie’s high potential?
We’re betting on the latter. Drafting, whether in hockey or another sport, is about upside, after all. And Savoie has eight chances with the first eight picks for someone to convince themselves he’s Point 2.0. Detroit with the eighth overall pick feels like a perfect landing spot for Savoie so take the under!
NHL Draft — Over/Under Danila Yurov Pick
Danila Yurov is an interesting case study. The right-wing was once considered a sure-fire top-10 pick, but now, it’s less sure and you see that in the over/under which is set at a modest 10.5 of being picked:
Yurov’s fall has been mostly out of his control. He is the highest-prized Russian prospect, and no one’s quite sure how NHL brass will view that due to the ongoing conflict between the country and Ukraine. It’ll be a true litmus test of their risk tolerance on the global issue.
What also hurts Yurov is his talent isn’t overwhelming enough to “turn a blind eye” per se. He split time playing in the KHL and MHL, which has made him tougher to gauge. Worse, in the KHL, Yurov scored a meager two points in 42 regular-season games the past two years. He’s good, but not “wow” good that teams are willing to overlook the Russia issue. We’re taking the over on this one as we see Yurov sliding into the mid-first-round.
Now that you have three expert betting picks for the 2022 NHL Draft all that’s left is for you to place your bets before Thursday. To do just that, visit one of the underneath bookmakers. The table features sportsbook reviews and details on current bonuses. Glean this information to help find the very best sportsbooks for your betting style!