While the St. Louis Blues are still busy celebrating after capturing the 2018-19 Stanley Cup, the other 30 teams in the National Hockey League are preparing for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft that takes place on June 21-22.
When it comes to odds on which player will be taken with the first overall pick, it’s clear oddsmakers have already made up their minds. Jack Hughes is the huge -1200 favorite to go at No. 1 at Sportsbook, with Kaapo Kakko coming back as the +600 underdog. No other players are available to wager on at the shop.
Jack Hughes is the -1200 favorite to go first overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
This isn’t really much of a surprise considering Hughes has been the front-runner to go off the board first since last year. The American center had 112 points (34 goals, 78 assists) in 50 games with the U.S. National U18 Team in 2018-19 and is viewed as one of the most talented prospects to enter the draft in quite some time. Barring a major surprise, Hughes will likely go to the New Jersey Devils, who own the No. 1 pick.
Don’t Sleep on Kakko
While Hughes has been hogging most of the accolades entering the draft, Kakko has emerged as a can’t-miss prospect. The Finn amassed 38 points (22 goals, 16 assists) in 45 games with TPS Turku in SM-liiga and capped his year off with what would turn out to be his coming-out party at the 2019 IIHF world championship when he scored six times in 10 games for Finland.
That performance pleased the New York Rangers brass, as the Rangers will surely take Kakko at pick No. 2 if Hughes goes to the Devils. Things can change quickly in the NHL, though, so if you think the Devils will shock the hockey world and take Kakko with the first pick, his +600 price is appealing.
More NHL Draft Props
As well, Sportsbook has draft position OVER/UNDER props for the other top prospects available at the 2019 NHL Draft on Friday, along with odds on which player will be selected third overall on the night behind Hughes and Kakko.
Kirby Dach from Saskatoon of the WHL has an OVER/UNDER draft position of 5.5, with a -120 moneyline on both sides of that wager. Fellow WHL forward Dylan Cozens of Lethbridge sits with an OVER/UNDER draft position of 5.5 as well, but the OVER is favored at -160 with the UNDER set at +115. American forward Cole Caufield’s OVER/UNDER is 6.5 (OVER favored at -170), while Russian forward Vasili Podkolzin’s OVER/UNDER is 10.5 (UNDER favored at -145).
Meanwhile, defenseman Bowen Byram, from Vancouver of the WHL, is the -300 favorite to be selected third overall on Friday night. That pick is owned by the Chicago Blackhawks heading into the draft. American forward Alex Turcotte is next on that prop wager at -250, followed by both Dach and Cozens at +1300, and Caufield at +3500.
To see odds on which NHL team will capture the 2019-20 Stanley Cup, check out our NHL futures page.