Bovada has released their annual list of proposition bets available to wager on in this year's first round of the NHL Draft.
Here are the lines Bovada is making available, along with my picks for each of them. (Obviously this is for entertainment purposes only. I'm not putting any real money on any of these bets, so you shouldn't put any money on my bets either)
How many players from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) will be drafted in the 1st Round?
My pick: I'd go with the under, if I absolutely had to pick. There's about seven sure bets to go in the first(Ekblad, Bennett, Ritchie, Dal Colle, Perlini, Fabbri, McCann) and then you're hoping for four more in the last 10 or so picks which are all complete wild cards.
How many players from the Western Hockey League (WHL) will be drafted in the 1st Round?
My pick: I'll go under again. Again, Reinhart, Draisaitl, Fleury, Sanheim, Honka, Scherbak are all pretty safe bets, but you'd still need more wild cards to get picked to win your bet.
How many players from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMHL) will be drafted in the 1st Round?
My pick: Whichever way you go, this is likely a push. Nikolaj Ehlers definitely goes in the first, Ivan Barbashev likely goes in the first, and after that, there's really nobody unless somebody really likes goalie Mason McDonald
How many players from the USA Hockey's National Team Development Program will be drafted in the 1st Round?
My pick: For the record, they don't count former NTDP players in this so Thatcher Demko or Ryan MacInnis wouldn't count. The over seems like the smart play here with Dylan Larkin, Alex Tuch, and Sonny Milano. Last year, this number .5, and would have paid off when Michael McCarron was picked by Montreal. Most of the money on these bets seems to come from Canada--shocker, I know--so it makes sense the lines are a little less generous with the CHL, and more generous with the American players.
How many Forwards will be drafted in the 1st Round?
My pick: That's a huge number, but I'll lean towards the over. The talent available in the first round is definitely tilted more towards forward this year with little high end talent on defense, but teams are always looking for good defenseman and may be willing to use some late round picks on high upside defensive projects.
How many Defensemen will be drafted in the 1st Round?
My pick: It seems crazy, but I might pick the under on this one. Ekblad and Fleury are sure-things to be picked. Travis Sanheim and Julius Honka both seem like pretty safe bets to go in the first round. I could see one more wild card that a certain team really likes going in the first round too. Could there be two of those? That's a tough call.
How many Goaltenders will be drafted in the 1st Round?
My pick: This one is basically 'Do you think Thatcher Demko will be picked on Friday'. That's a complete toss-up for me. Drafting goalies with high value picks is always a bad idea, but the value of a late first round pick seems lower than it is in normal years. I'd love to see Demko go in the first round, but wouldn't want to put money on it.
How Many Trades will there be the First Day of the Draft?
My pick: Who knows? Six trades seem like a lot, but I could also see a lot of teams wanting to slide down the draft board and accrue more picks in the later rounds. With the weaker draft and every team's list being so all over the place, it will likely be possible for a team to get a player rated really high on their draft list in a later round. And with only two defenseman in the top 15-ish of the draft, some teams might be willing to trade up to grab one of those defenders. I'll take the risk and bet the over.
[I'm assuming over means going higher in the draft, and under means going lower.]
Draft Position - Nikolaj Ehlers
My pick: Ehlers has drawn a ton of hype, but I think he's valued a little more in the non-professional scouting community than the pro scouting community. I'll take the 8th or lower, though not by much.
Draft Position - Jake Virtanen
My pick: Virtanen was a kid I penciled as potentially dropping a bit. Again, the casual scouting community loved him, while some of the pros didn't like some of the holes in his game. The shoulder injury he had at the end of the year could be concerning too. It's risky, but I'll take the under.
Draft Position - William Nylander
My pick: In September, I would have said no way Nylander falls to 10th or worse. But it's starting to look more and more likely. I'll take the under again.
Draft Position - Kasperi Kapanen
My pick: That's a really tough call. Kapanen had a brutal season that has dropped him to right about 10th overall most places I've seen. I'll take the over, but wouldn't be surprised if I'm wrong.
Draft Position - Haydn Fleury
My pick: I think Fleury goes pretty high just because he's the only defensive prospect in that range of the draft.
Draft Position - Nick Ritchie
My pick: That line is insane. Over. Free money.
Draft Position - Jared McCann
My pick: This is another toss-up. Under is probably the safer bet, but I wouldn't have a great amount of confidence in picking it.
Draft Position - Dylan Larkin
My pick: I think I wrote in my draft preview of him that Larkin would likely go 15-20 and this splits the difference. I'll say over, but it would only take one or two surprises to bump him to the wrong side of that line.
Draft Position - Sonny Milano
My pick: I'll take the under on Friday night, and the over on the re-draft five years from now.
Draft Position - Alex Tuch
My pick: I can't see 18 teams passing on a 6'4" kid that can skate and has shown great progression this year. Like Larkin, I'll go over, but it's close, and one or two surprises could turn that into a loss.
Draft Position - Ivan Barbashev
My pick: Another toss-up. Barbashev likely goes in the 20-25 range. I'll guess somebody trades up to get him before pick 22.