Betting on the 2022 NHL Draft

NHL Jul 06, 2022

Odds are Listed at – including top picks and draft position. Shane Wright, Juraj Slafkovský, Logan Cooley top the talented Class of 2022

For all the fans and bettors who thought the NHL season ended a few weeks ago with Colorado's rousing Stanley Cup victory over Tampa Bay, think again.  Indeed, the NHL has become a near year-around sport.  Proof of that is that the 2022-23 season is less than 100 days away.

More proof is – the 2022 National Hockey League draft will be held on July 7–8 at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.  For the first time since 1985, the team hosting the draft will make the first overall pick.

Expected to go in the first spot is Shane Wright, who potentially could give the Canadiens a much needed scoring spark an addition to a strong leadership presence on the ice.  Most experts say Wright is a lock to end up in Montreal. In fact, it's almost a foregone conclusion.  But that doesn't mean we can predict everything about this year's draft class.  Just look at the vast array of betting possibilities connected to this year's NHL draft at SPREADS.CA.

Shane Wright getting ready to join the Habs

On the eve of the draft, let's take a look at some of the odds available at SPREADS.CA on this year's draft.

One popular draft prop is betting on head-to-head draft positions.  For instance, you can bet which player(s) will go higher in the draft than others.

Here's a sample of the "1st to be drafted" props:

Next, we'll examine the projected draft spots of several top players.  

Hint: Here's where special insider knowledge is helpful.  Which teams need more speed and power versus which teams need help on the defensive side of the ice, including goaltending?  Knowing the team needs helps considerably when making predictions about the draft – and then betting on those forecasts.

Here's the latest numbers from SPREADS.CA as of the day before the draft takes place:

As for a complete 2022 NHL draft prediction and a mock order of selection, here's a pretty good oversight partially taken from Yahoo.  This includes what are expected to be the top five selections.

However, note that nothing is certain.  All drafts include at least a few surprises:

(1) Montreal Canadiens – Shane Wright, C, Kingston (Canada)

The decision to select Shane Wright is easy.  He's been deemed a first overall pick for the years leading up to this draft and it’s because of his impeccable understanding of the game, his killer release, and the most pro-ready playstyle of the entire draft.  There’s a level of safety and projectability in every one of his strengths and while weaknesses do exist, they aren’t anything significant enough to reasonably predict Wright struggling in the NHL.  The floor here is a low level second line center, and some may wince reading that knowing this is a first overall pick who is supposed to alter a franchise.  Make no mistake, Wright has that potential on the same level that guys like Juraj Slafkovský and Logan Cooley do as well, it just doesn’t show up on the highlight reel in as pretty a fashion. Considering the upside and the level of safety, the No. 1 pick is a no brainer even if he doesn’t end up as the best player in the class.

(2) New Jersey Devils – Juraj Slafkovský, LW, TPS (Slovakia)

There are so many options for what happens with this pick. Will the Devils deal the selection for some form of immediate help?  Who goes first and what kind of impact does that have on this selection?  In this mock, Wright goes first so the Devils take Slafkovský second.  "Slaf" is the draft’s most NHL ready prospect thanks to his size, speed, and skill combination.  What he has been able to do playing against high caliber competition at the Olympics and at the World Championships is mighty impressive.  Sure, New Jersey may be looking to deal this pick, but the irony of that is that Slafkovský might just be an ideal fit to play alongside the Devils’ group of talented, but undersized centers.

(3) Arizona Coyotes – Logan Cooley, C, USN U18 (USA)

This one looks easy. Arizona needs help with everything.  Logan Cooley has an excellent combination of skills, creativity, dynamic pace, and impressive offense tools.  If Arizona can draft other skilled, high pace players who can finish and chip in defensively a bit on Cooley’s wing, he could be one of the most productive players in the draft.  One of the most efficient offensive transition players, Cooley is a great building block to get the Coyotes pointed in the right direction with an exciting streak to his game.  He could also help fill some seats in an uncertain NHL market.

(4) Seattle Kraken – David Jiříček, D, HC Plzeň (Czech Republic)

It seems likely that the second-year Kraken will look for a defender to build their team around.  We have Jiříček, Nemec, Mintyukov, and even Kevin Korchinski (in their backyard) available.  Something tells us that Ron Francis and his director of scouting Robert Kron (a fellow Czech) might favor Jiříček and his two-way upside. He finished the year fairly strong after returning from a knee injury and he may offer the largest boom potential of any defender available this year.

(5) Philadelphia Flyers (Robert Howard) – Šimon Nemec, D, HK Nitra (Slovakia)

The Flyers will be tempted by Cutter Gauthier here as a fixture at center ice in the future.  However, they could use depth at all positions.  The most recent rumblings out of the organization are more about adding pieces to win now and perhaps short-term needs will outweigh future options.  Nemec may represent the best player available at this point, and a potential future cornerstone on defense with solid two-way play and considerable upside on offense.  Playing against strong foes in Slovakia’s pro league for a second season, he scored 26 points in 39 games and set a league record for scoring by a defenseman in the playoffs.  He could be making an important contribution on the back end within a couple of seasons.