2015 NHL Draft Handicapping Odds: Future NHL Props & Lines

NHL Futures: 2015 NHL Entry Draft Prop Betting

The 2015 NHL Entry Draft is Friday June 26. It’s a day where teams get to stock their cupboards with young talent, or perhaps move some of their picks to grab some much needed experience.

NHL Lines & Matchup Insight

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To hardcore hockey fans the draft is a great opportunity to sit and analyze the future of all 30 teams and grade them based on their selections; to the casual hockey fan however, the draft can be a bit monotonous and tedious as you sit and wait for your team’s General Manager to take the podium and announce their latest addition.

For the latter, here’s a fun way to spice up your draft experience: Bet on it! That’s right, there are dozens of different prop bets that can be made on draft day and here are five props that have caught my eye.

1) How many goalies will be drafted in the first round?

(Over/Under 0.5, O -135, U -105)

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This is a juicy one that immediately caught my eye at just 0.5. Pick the over and so long as one goalie comes off the board in round one you get paid. The way this draft stacks up there are two goalies that you could make a case for as round one potentials. Ilya Samsonov out of Magnitogorsk in the KHL leads the way, while Barrie’s MacKenzie Blackwood is a highly touted netminder himself.

Here’s why you should take the over, just take a look at the teams with two picks in round one: Arizona, Toronto, Edmonton, Philadelphia. Now the Leafs seem set on Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer and have some guys in the stable in the AHL, but the other three are in bad need of goaltending help. The Flyers would love it if Steve Mason could stay healthy but it hasn’t happened, Edmonton’s goaltending woes are well documented, and Arizona has an aging Mike Smith. Don’t bank on any of those three using their first pick to grab a goalie, but I can easily see Samsonov going at 29 or 30 to Philly or Arizona.

2) How many defensemen will be drafted in the first round?

(Over/Under 8.5, O-120, U-120)

Both the over and under will pay the same amount in this one so pick your poison on this one. Your best course of action is to take a quick look at who looks guaranteed to go first round then work from there.

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Noah Hannifin, Ivan Provorov and Zack Werenski are all going in the first round, that’s a guarantee, but the talent on the back end takes a pretty steep decline after those three and anyone picking beyond those guys is going to be taking a calculated gamble. Jakub Zboril has garnered some attention and may end up going in the top 20.

The bottom 9-10 picks in the draft is rife with teams that have second picks and need help on the back end (ie Toronto, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Arizona), but as stated above, I think one is taking a goalie and I think Arizona could draft Hanifin at three so they won’t be looking at another defenseman. I think six, maybe seven D-men go in the first round as this draft is littered with offensive talent. Take the under.

3) Number of NHL team representatives who congratulate the Stanley Cup champion when they’re at the podium

(Over/Under 5.5, O-150, U+110)

Here’s a fun one to keep you paying attention during those little spiels that GM’s like to make when they take the podium. How many of those suits are going to make the canned speech of “we’d like to congratulate the Chicago Blackhawks on a fantastic season and winning the Stanley Cup”?

Well I like the under in this one for the simple reason that the draft takes place in Florida this year. There may be a strong contingent of Tampa Bay fans on hand and after a few GM’s make the speech and get greeted with booing that should be the end of it.

The first three or four may say it, but I think that will be all. Take the under.

4) NHL Draft – How many players from the USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program / NCAA or USHL will be drafted in the 1st Round?

(Over/Under 6, O-140, U- EVEN)

United States Hockey always manages to have one or two studs in the mix who will catch the eyes of scouts and GMs, but they have still yet to catch the CHL as far as the volume of players that they turn out as first round picks.

Jack Eichel is a lock at number two and defenseman Noah Hanifin will not be far behind him. Zack Werenski, who was already mentioned, should be a top 10-15 pick as well. With the USA finishing as poorly as they did at the 2015 World Junior Hockey championships, the opinion might not be too high on American players, especially those who don’t play in the CHL.

After the three that I mentioned it’s a dice roll really. Kyle Connor from Youngstown in the USHL may get a look in the first round but I don’t see anyone after him being taken in round one. Go with the under.

5) Who will be drafted third overall?

This is one that doesn’t really have any set odds (that I could find), but it’s a fun one to do with your buddies. The top two in this draft are a lock with Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, and the draft REALLY begins with the Arizona Coyotes’ pick at number three.

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Any of the next big three would be a huge help: Noah Hanifin, Dylan Strome, Mitch Marner. Each player is completely different and brings their own package of skills, so what it really comes down to is what do the Coyotes need? The argument for Noah Hannifin is that he’s the best defenseman in this draft and with the ‘yotes dealing Keith Yandle to the Rangers, Hannifin would be a perfect replacement alongside Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Marner is built very much in the Patrick Kane mold, he’s undersized but very shifty and very skilled. Strome is the prototypical number one center at 6’2 but has a lot of growing into that frame to yet as he’s just 170 pounds, but once he fills in and improves his skating this guy is going to be a force for years to come.

I’m leaning towards the latter in this one (Strome) and I really think it’s the best move for the Coyotes. They acquired Anthony Duclair from the Rangers and already have Max Domi in their system. Adding a top center will solidify this forward group for many years and they can always use their 29th pick to draft a defenseman, or trade it to acquire an already established player.

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By Matt Durnan

A (self-proclaimed) fantasy sports guru since 2004 and a journalist since 2007. He has been offering unsolicited sports gambling advice to his circle of friends for years and has now put himself at the mercy of online readers everywhere. "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how much fun you have"... His hockey coach told him that when he was 7. His team lost every game that year.