2018 NHL Draft: Odds And Predictions

Payton Matthews | Thu. Jun 21 2018, 11:06 am

The 2018 NHL Draft is Friday and Saturday night from Dallas, and Sports Interaction has bettors covered with some props on the event.

The first round of the 2018 NHL Draft is Friday night from Dallas (just like the 2018 NFL Draft was, albeit different location), with Rounds 2-7 on Saturday. The draft puts a bow on the 2017-18 season hockey season.

The Buffalo Sabres are picking No. 1 in the draft, and having that selection often is franchise-changing. That was certainly true for the Edmonton Oilers when they chose Connor McDavid with the top pick in 2015 and for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who grabbed Auston Matthews at No. 1 in 2016. Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, John Tavares, Taylor Hall (won the Hart Trophy on Wednesday), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nathan MacKinnon all were fairly recent No. 1 overall picks. Occasionally, it doesn’t work out as when the Oilers selected Nail Yakupov there in 2012.

There is zero drama Friday with the top pick as the Sabres will take Swedish defenceman Rasmus Dahlin. He will become the second Swedish-born No. 1 behind Mats Sundin, who was picked there in 1989 by Quebec. At No. 2, the Carolina Hurricanes are expected to take Russian winger Andrei Svechnikov.

Draft Truly Starts With Habs

So, the draft really stats at No. 3 with the Montreal Canadiens (unless they trade down, in which the prop is voided). The Sports Interaction favourite for their pick is Finnish centre Jesperi Kotkaniemi, just 17. He was big part of Finland’s gold-medal winning team at the 2018 U-18 World Championship. His 29 points in the Finnish Elite League were third among all rookies. Next on the prop are Czech right wing Filip Zadina (+190), American left wing Brady Tkachuk (+270) and U.S. defenceman Quinn Hughes (+530). Tkachuk has the bloodlines to succeed as his father Keith was one of the best American players in league history and his brother Matthew is an excellent player currently with Calgary.

There’s also a prop on who goes first regardless of team: Kotkaniemi (-200) or Zadina (+140). Kotkaniemi is ranked No. 6 among European skaters, while Zadina is No. 3 among North Americans (he plays for Halifax in the QMJHL).

2018 NHL Draft Props

Here’s where the other Canadian teams pick in Round 1: Ottawa No. 4, Vancouver No. 7, Edmonton No. 10, Ottawa (from Pittsburgh) No. 22 and Toronto No. 25. Calgary and Winnipeg don’t have first-round picks. The Senators owe the Avalanche a first-round pick and could have sent the No. 4 Colorado’s way, but that’s not going to happen as Ottawa will instead ship its 2019 first-rounder. That was part of the Matt Duchene/Kyle Turris trade.

The favourite to go No. 4 to the Senators is Zadina at +170, followed by Canadian defenceman Noah Dobson (+280), Tkachuk (+320) and Hughes (+330). If the Sens decide to trade franchise blueliner Erik Karlsson this offseason, as has been speculated and could happen Friday they could favour Dobson.

The over/under for defencemen selected in Round is 11.5, with the under a -155 favorite. For forwards, it’s 19.5, with the over the -170 leader. Europe is a -190 favourite to have more Round 1 selections than Canada (+135). The USA is -195 vs. Sweden (+135).

NHL Draft Predictions

Canadiens grab Tkachuk, Sens take Dobson. Under on the forwards and over on defensemen.