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Who is favored to go second overall in the 2022 NHL 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 set for Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8 in Montreal, Quebec, at Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, who will select with the first overall pick. The New Jersey Devils have the second pick in the draft after jumping up in the draft lottery. There’s some school of thought that the Devils will look to deal the pick. If they choose to keep the pick, they’ll be heavily dictated by the Habs at No. 1. Let’s take a look at the odds to go with the second pick in the draft on Thursday night.

2022 NHL Draft odds: July 5

The majority of the public believes Slafkovsky will go No. 2 to the Devils. New Jersey has a bit of incentive to deal the pick. The Devils don’t need a center if the Habs end up going with Slafkovsky at No. 1. We could see a trade if that happens with New Jersey dealing to another team, who would end up taking Wright.

The other scenario is the Habs go Wright and the Devils have biters for Slafkovsky and make a play for a goalie or wing to supplement the pick. New Jersey is fine down the middle with Jack Hughes and Nico Hischier, both No. 1 overall selections.

The other way to go is long-shot and with defense, which the Devils could consider if the Habs go with Wright as the first pick. Wright has somewhat been dropping around the NHL, but the odds don’t lie with the Kingston C at -265 to go first overall on DraftKings Sportsbook. There’s the off-chance New Jersey throws everyone a curve ball and goes Jiricek and even Nemek at No. 2 overall. It would be pretty surprising, but not out of the question in what is considered a weak draft at the top.

We’ve seen weak drafts at the top get messed up and the Devils have been apart of one back in 2017, when Hischier was selected ahead of Norris Trophy and Conn Smythe winning defenseman Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche. Hindsight is 20/20, but Makar is looking like a generational talent who went at No. 4 overall in 2017. Some scouts and GMs could be concerned that the question marks at the top of the draft leave value in prospects. The Devils could overthink things and go defense, which now that we think about it, may not be a bad idea.

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