2019 NHL Draft Lottery Betting Odds and Picks
With the NHL playoffs coming to an end, the attention of most hockey fans turns to the upcoming NHL Draft. This year’s draft is headlined by two prospects, Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko. For most of the year, Hughes was the consensus top pick in the draft. However, Kakko is making things interesting the last few weeks, impressing enough that he could steal the top spot on at this year’s NHL draft odds.
- Jack Hughes -795
- Kaapo Kakko +255
- Dylan Cozens +600
Jack Hughes, the Consensus Number One Pick
While Kakko has impressed at pre-draft workouts, NHL draft odds still have the American centre as the favourite to go first at the 2019 National Hockey League draft. Hughes, although slightly undersized, is an exceptional playmaker and smart player.
Hughes showed off his full skillset at last year’s World Juniors Under 18 tournament. Hughes got 20 points in seven tournament games, helping the United States medal for a nineteenth straight year.
Hughes is the highest scoring player in all-time for the United States with 32 points at the tournament (passing Phil Kessel’s 26 career points).
The New Jersey Devils, who have the first pick, will most likely pick Jack Hughes. The team needs help on offence. They ranked last in the Eastern Conference in goals scored and finished in the bottom half of the league in most offensive categories.
Hughes could eventually play with former NHL MVP Taylor Hall to pick the Devils a great pair of offensive talents to build around for the future.
Pick: Jack Hughes to go First in the 2019 NHL Draft (-795)
Kaapo Kakko – Odds Closed but Will Go Second Overall
After Jack Hughes, Kaapo Kakko is the best NHL prospect at the 2019 NHL draft. The Finnish right winger is all but a lock to go second overall in the draft.
Many online sportsbooks have closed betting on selecting if Kakko will be the second pick the NHL draft. It is possible to bet on Kakko to go first overall at +255, but the general consensus is the New York Rangers pick the forward with the second overall pick on June 21.
Who Will Go Third Overall?
Where there is real value betting on the NHL draft is on what player will go third overall. Recent NHL draft lottery odds have Bowen Bryam as the favourite at -110. However, Dylan Cozens at +600 is the best value to go third to the Chicago Blackhawks.
With great size and speed, Dylan Cozens fits the mould of a successful NHL forward. The Canadian averaged 1.08 points per game in two WHL seasons and led all WHL rookies in goals in 2017-18 with 22 goals.
The Blackhawks, who still have offensive depth, could turn Cozens into a developmental project, letting him play another season or two at the Junior level.
The longer-term approach to Cozens would be the smart move for the Blackhawks. When Cozens is ready to come into the league, he will be in a better position to eventually replace Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as the team’s best forward (as they enter into the latter stages of their illustrious careers with the Blackhawks).
Whether the Blackhawks go this route is not a guarantee. Alex Turcotte, a native of Chicago, is the fan favourite to go to the Blackhawks. While Turcotte is smaller and has dealt with some injuries, he is considered more NHL ready.
Turcotte ranks second on NHL draft odds to go third overall at +135. However, since it is a bit of a toss-up, the better value betting option is on Cozens.
Pick: Chicago Blackhawks to Pick Dylan Cozens Third (+600)
Will a Goalie go in the First Round?
Long gone are the days of NHL teams using high draft picks on goaltenders. The 2018 National Hockey League draft did not see a goalie come off the board until the 39th pick when the New York Rangers selected Olof Lindbom. The 2017 NHL draft saw one goaltender, Jake Oettinger (26th overall by the Dallas Stars), picked in the first round. Between 2014 and 2016 only one goaltender went in the first round.
Going into the 2019 NHL draft, there is one goaltender with a very realistic shot of going in the first round, Spencer Knight. Knight is the consensus top goaltender in this year’s draft, with many hockey analysis ranking the American within their top-30 prospects (with some even ranking him amongst the top-15 players in the draft).
Knight is an ideal size to play goaltender in the NHL. Along with great size, Knight is superbly athletic with exceptional range and rebound control. He also shines on the international stage, helping the United States win Bronze at the Under-18 World Juniors while leading all goaltenders in the tournament with a 1.51 GAA and .936 save percentage.
With NHL draft odds on whether a goaltender is picked in the first round opening at +300, there is plenty of value this year betting one (most likely Spencer Knight) will come off the board in the first 31 picks, with the Los Angeles Kings as his top landing spot.
Pick: Yes a Goaltender Will Go in Round One (+300)
Find the best online sportsbooks below to bet on the 2019 NHL draft and other NHL futures.
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