- There are a number of special wagers on offer relating to Tuesday’s NHL entry draft
- Props are available on who will go first, second, third, fourth and fifth overall
- Several draft matchup props are also available
In this bizarro COVID-19 created sporting scenario, holding the 2020 NHL entry draft when the regular season would normally be getting underway fits perfectly into the narrative.
After all, the league has awarded the Stanley Cup when usually, training camps should be opening.
Just because the draft isn’t in its usual locale of June, that hasn’t prevented sportsbooks from assembling a tasty menu of special wagers on the outcome of the NHL’s annual player-picking festival.
Let’s break down some of these props and assess where the smart money should be going.
NHL Draft Picks Odds Selected
|Player||Odds selected First Overall||Odds selected Second Overall||Odds selected Third Overall||Odds selected Fourth Overall||Odds selected Fifth Overall|
Odds as of Oct. 3rd at DraftKings
Don’t listen to the rhetoric from the New York Rangers, who won the NHL Draft Lottery and own the first overall selection. They’re taking Alexis Lafreniere. He’ll join Sidney Crosby (2005) and Vincent Lecavalier (1998) as Rimouski Oceanic players to go first overall.
After that, though, it gets interesting fast. Start at number two, for instance. There’s a tremendous value offering here with Sudbury Wolves center Quinton Byfield at +100.
Standing tall at 6-foot-4, @Sudbury_Wolves star Quinton Byfield (@byfield55) is a true centreman whose size, elite skating, superb stickhandling and overall 200-foot game are top of mind heading into the #NHLDraft ? pic.twitter.com/NjY8kHZMKb
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) October 2, 2020
Byfield is the prototype of the old and the new NHL all in one package. He’s built like a power forward who can get into the dirty areas where goals so often happen. However, his skating speed and skill level are also elite.
Pick: Quinton Byfield (+100), 2nd Overall
NHL Draft Position Matchup Odds
|Player to be Drafted First||Odds||Player to be Drafted First||Odds|
|Tim Stutzle||-134||Quinton Byfield||+100|
|Jake Sanderson||-162||Jamie Drysdale||+120|
|Alexander Holtz||-200||Jack Quinn||+145|
|Yaroslav Askarov||-155||Anton Lundell||+115|
|William Wallinder||-115||Noel Gunler||-115|
|Lukas Reichel||-250||John-Jason Peterka||+180|
|Rodion Amirov||-167||Hendrix Lapierre||+125|
When there’s a horse to ride, you don’t get off that horse. Byfield is right there in a head-to-head showdown against Stutzle, again getting a betting line of +100.
While there’s other wagers on the board here that will be intriguing, this is far and away the best bet. There’s a sudden love affair with Stutzle among a constituency of mock drafters that has pushed the talk in his favor. Don’t listen to the scuttlebutt.
3. TIM STUTZLE
TNHL: @NewTnhl, 3rd overall
3rd 2020 pick selected
Highest rating: 2nd
Lowest rating: 7th
Average rating: 3.2
Projected: 3rd overall (Ottawa) pic.twitter.com/fABoVFqMoS
— TNHL (@TheTNHL) September 30, 2020
If you look at the most established and connected draft experts out there, they’re all still rolling with Byfield. Take the price on him and smile when you collect your winnings.
Don’t forget that it’s the Los Angeles Kings picking second overall. LA kind of has a thing for big forwards.
Pick: Quinton Byfield over Tim Stutzle (+100).
Player Draft Position Odds
|Player||Position Drafted||Over Odds||Under Odds|
In a draft bereft of defenseman with high-end skill, Drysdale is a shining light. He’s clearly the best defenseman in this draft class.
Drysdale is an offensive-minded defender. He’s equipped with elite skating ability. He’ll quarterback an NHL team’s power play for years to come.
At last season’s world juniors, Drysdale was the youngest defender on Canada’s gold medal-winning team. He was also the most talented defender on the squad.
There’s absolutely no way he should slide out of the top six selections. Play him at -182.
NHL Draft First Round Specials
|Prop||Total||Over Odds||Under Odds|
|Canadian Players Selected in Top 10||4.5||+195||-275|
|Finnish-Born Players Selected in First Round||1.5||+225||-335|
|Swedish-born Players Selected in First Round||4.5||-125||-106|
|Total Defensemen Drafted in First Round||6.5||-115||-115|
|Total Forwards Draft in First Round||23.5||-115||-115|
|US-Born Players Selected in First Round||2.5||+225||-335|
The 2019 NHL entry draft was a watershed moment for USA Hockey. Of the first 50 players selected, 18 were American-born. That included 11 first-round selections.
What a difference a year makes. The total bar for Americans selected in this year’s draft is set at 2.5.
The top US-born player this year is defenseman Jake Sanderson, who played in 2019-20 for the USA NTDP U18 squad. He’s the son of ex-NHLer Geoff Sanderson. Unlike his dad who was a scoring forward, Jake is a defensive rearguard and a devastating bodychecker.
He also could very likely be the only US-born player selected in the first round in this year’s draft. NHL Central Scouting rates Chicago (USHL) center Brendan Brisson 20th among North American prospects. Center Ty Smilanic, Sanderson’s teammate, is situated at #24.
Neither figures to slide into first round in a draft that is rich with talented Canadians and Europeans.
Pick: US-Born Players Selected in First Round Under 2.5 (-335).