NHL Draft O/U best bets: Gauthier, Kemell to be taken early

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The 2022 NHL Entry Draft is just a couple of days away. While much of the talk is about who will be selected atop the draft - Shane Wright or Juraj Slafkovsky? - most of the value lies a little further down the board.

Let's take a look at three prospect over/unders that stand out.

PLAYER ODDS (O/U)
Simon Nemec 4.5 (+175/-220)
David Jiricek 5.5 (+145/-175)
Cutter Gauthier 6.5 (+230/-280)
Joakim Kemell 7.5 (-250/+200)
Matthew Savoie 8.5 (-125/-105)
Conor Geekie 11.5 (-300/+240)
Kevin Korchinski 11.5 (+110/-140)
Pavel Mintyukov 12.5 (+100/-130)
Marco Kasper 12.5 (+240/-300)

David Jiricek over 5.5 (+145)

The odds imply there's about a 40% chance of Jiricek being selected outside the top five. I think the chances are higher than that.

While Jiricek is a big, strong, right-shot defender with some offensive upside, there are also concerns about his game. His lateral movement is not great and he's not the most fluid skater, which could cause him problems defensively, especially in transition.

Jiricek missed a lot of hockey down the stretch due to a knee injury and his highest placement in Bob McKenzie's draft rankings at TSN was fifth.

At +145, there's value in backing Jiricek to go sixth (or later). I see Wright, Slafkovsky, Logan Cooley, Simon Nemec, and Cutter Gauthier going ahead of him, which brings us to our next bet...

Cutter Gauthier under 6.5 (-280)

The price isn't the most appealing, but there is a very real chance Gauthier is selected in the top five. Getting the extra cushion at 6.5 is a nice bonus.

Gauthier is a 6-foot-2 forward who moves well and scores goals. Players of his archetype are always highly coveted, and the versatility to play center or wing only makes him more valuable.

There is some talk suggesting he could go as high as third overall to the Arizona Coyotes. The more likely scenario, though, is that the Philadelphia Flyers select him with the fifth pick.

Joakim Kemell under 7.5 (+200)

I love a good value play and there is plenty here with Kemell. While a total of 7.5 doesn't give us a ton of wiggle room - I'd be more comfortable with 8.5 - that is priced into the line and then some.

Kemell is a dynamic offensive winger with some of the highest upside in this draft class. He was seventh in McKenzie's final draft rankings, which are based on a survey of 10 NHL scouts, so there is clearly some love for him out there.

These odds imply only a 33% chance of Kemell being selected in the top seven, which feels extreme for the seventh-ranked prospect.

I think Jiricek (assuming he slips) and Kemell will go in some combination to Columbus and Ottawa at sixth and seventh overall.

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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NHL Draft O/U best bets: Gauthier, Kemell to be taken early
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