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Who is favored to be selected with the first pick in the 2022 NHL Draft?

We go over the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook for No. 1 pick at this year’s draft.

Juraj Slafkovsky #20 of Slovakia reacts during the 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Group A match between France and Slovakia at the Helsinki Ice Hall on May 13, 2022 in Helsinki, Finland. Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images

The 2022 NHL Draft is coming up on Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8 with the first round and then rounds 2-7 on Friday. The Montreal Canadiens have the first pick in the draft after winning the draft lottery back in May. The Habs are picking at home at Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. Montreal has a somewhat tough decision to make according to the oddsmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook. Let’s take a look at the odds to go first overall at the 2022 draft.

Update — Slafkovsky was the No. 1 pick by the Habs and Simon Nemec, a Slovakian defenseman went second overall to New Jersey in a surprise move.

Update — We’re tracking this in real time basically. The below update was made and now the line has moved drastically to Slafkovsky at -150 on DKSB and Wright down to +105. It looks like the Habs could be going with Slafkovsky. That would be the ideal time to get Wright to potentially fall to No. 3 pick at +450 or +160 at the No. 2 pick. Wright could also free-fall down the board a bit as we’ve seen in some mock drafts.

Update — Well, this is pretty eye-opening. The line has moved to Wright and Slafkovsky at -125 to go No. 1 overall. With all the hype around Slafkovsky from Bob McKenzie, and now a report from ESPN saying the Habs owner had a meeting with Slafkovsky this morning. That could be nothing. Could be Montreal doing some due diligence on draft day. But it’s clearly moved things a ton on the books.

Update — The latest odds as of 6 p.m. ET before the draft are Wright at -195 to go first overall and Slafkovsky at +105. The books are probably super worried that it’s a toss up between the two, but are afraid to move off of Wright too heavily. There’s still some value in Slafkovsky at +105 but it’s not much. Most mocks are pretty split on the two players. The worrying part is we’ve seen some mocks that have Wright falling down the board a bit. That could make the market for No. 2 pick a bit more appealing.

2022 NHL Draft odds: July 7, 6:43 p.m. ET

The favorite is Kingston center Shane Wright, who has been the consensus No. 1 overall pick for a while now. There was a point when Bob McKenzie of TSN released his mock draft, which included Juraj Slafkovsky going first overall to Montreal over Wright. That hasn’t impacted the odds lately with Wright jumping to a -265 favorite to go first overall as of July 5. McKenzie is rarely wrong with his mock, so take that for what it is.

As you can see though, it’s a two-man race with Wright and Slafkovsky. That alone instills value in Slafkovsky as a decent bet to go first overall. There’s the off chance the Habs deal the pick and the team takes the risk on Slafkovsky, who was stellar at the Olympics for Slovakia. Wright doesn’t have much of a ceiling and will likely take some time to develop, unlike most first overall picks. Slafkovsky has a better shot of making the NHL out of the draft and could help a team right away.

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