The 2015 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone, and it was a very hectic weekend of action. While some teams helped themselves, others will fall down the ladder of NHL futures. Here’s a look and the winners and losers of the draft:
The Sabres had a very solid weekend, which will surely see their futures NHL betting odds get a bump. The rebuild started late last season when they picked up Evander Kane and now they added Ryan O’Reilly from the Colorado Avalanche via trade and drafted Jack Eichel with the second overall selection. Their offensive unit got a huge boost, which is crucial as no team scored less than the Sabres last season (just 161 goals).
They also picked up goaltender Robin Lehner, who is coming off a bad season but was not long ago considered one of the best goaltending prospects in the NHL. If the Sabres can rekindle that fire, then this has been an extremely productive weekend for them.
In terms of their futures, don’t bet them to win the Stanley Cup but don’t be surprised if this team pushes for the playoffs. A lot would have to go right about at least it’s in the realm of possibility now. Before this weekend, it would have been a stretch to say that.
The Oilers were expecting fresh winds of optimism with Connor McDavid joining their team at the 2015 Entry Draft but then they may have also solved their goaltending woes by acquiring Cam Talbot on the cheap. Although we’ve said this before, it really feels like this will be a different Oilers team/regime with a smart general manager in Peter Chiarelli now running the show with a solid head coach and a couple more young pieces joining the fray. And we’ve also said this before but it looks like the Oilers could be about 10-20 points if things go right for them.
While the Sabres and Oilers are on the rise, it’s fairly clear that the Bruins are on the decline. They’ve been strapped by the salary cap and their hand was forced on a number of moves. Even so, they butchered them. They got a decent haul for Milan Lucic, trading him to the Los Angeles Kings, but they didn’t get so much for Dougie Hamilton, who was shipping off to Calgary. They also lost Carl Soderberg as they traded him to the Colorado Avalanche. So in return for three regulars, they got what exactly? And beyond that, the Bruins then proceeded to reach for players in picks No. 13, 14 and 15 of the first round – one of which wasn’t even projected in the first round in many mock drafts.
This is a team that finished with 96 points last season and still missed the playoffs. They are going to falter even more so this year and can’t expected to be in the postseason picture. I’d be looking at betting unders with them for my NHL picks for their regular season point total – especially with head coach Claude Julien being in a bit of a lame duck situation here.