Will Record-Tying 13 NHL Draft Picks Move Needle For Predators?

Will Record-Tying 13 NHL Draft Picks Move Needle For Predators?

The NHL Draft gets underway on June 28 and is being hosted by the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena. The home team looks to be busy, as they currently have a record-tying 13 picks lined up for the two-day draft. This could obviously change in either direction with trades, but as it stands now they’ll be as busy making selections as any team ever has been.

The Predators are coming off of a down year across Tennessee sportsbooks where they ended up missing the playoffs, and with that lack of success they were sellers at the deadline, hence all of their upcoming picks. 

Matthias Ekholm was sent to Edmonton for a package involving their first round pick, so they have two picks in the first round. Mikael Granlund was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins, landing them a second pick in round two as well. Finally, they traded Tanner Jeannot to the Tampa Bay Lightning, receiving five draft picks in return, including three in this year's draft. All in all they have three picks in the third round, three in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth.

With such a high amount of picks upcoming, BetTennessee.com - your home for Tennessee sports betting apps - looked at the 4 teams that have also had 13 picks in one draft since the introduction of a 7-round draft (2005). Utilizing HockeyReference.com, we used combined career point shares of all the NHL picks from each team that year. 

The Carolina Hurricanes are the 4th team to tie the record. However, none of the players they drafted have made the NHL yet.

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Past NHL Teams With 13 Picks In One Draft

Year Team Key Players Combined Point Shares
2006NY Islanders Kyle Okposo, Andrew MacDonald 55.3
2008NY Islanders Jared Spurgeon, Josh Bailey, Travis Hamonic, Matt Martin 170.2
2010Florida Panthers Zach Hyman, Nick Bjugstad, Joonas Donskoi 67.3

Proof Isn't Exactly In The Pudding

The 2006 New York Islanders weren’t able to turn their picks into anything much at all, with seventh overall pick Kyle Okposo the only notable name and even he was a disappointment compared to his draft slot. The Islanders did much better in 2008, drafting future Wild captain Jared Spurgeon in the sixth round in addition to three other notable NHL contributors. 

Florida had 13 picks in 2010, producing Zach Hyman and Joonas Donskoi in the later rounds in addition to a couple other NHL regulars.

It’s hard to read too much into these drafts to determine how successful Nashville will be, but they should at least be able to take a couple of bigger swings in the later rounds to try to find a player of Spurgeon or Hyman’s caliber.

Of their two first round picks, the Predators have the 15th and 24th selections, meaning they likely won’t be able to select an instant franchise changer that swings their odds at FanDuel Tennessee. But this draft is projected to be the strongest in many years, so the expectation will be to find two NHL regulars. 

Later round picks usually take longer to develop, but when this draft is looked back on in ten years or so, having 3-4 of their middle round picks turn into NHL players will be considered a win.

The Predators are in a mini-retool of sorts, having missed the playoffs last year and likely being on the bubble yet again. They weren’t bad enough to get a franchise-changing player, but have smartly stockpiled enough picks to ensure they can remain competitive while still bringing in fresh new talent to the team.

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Author

Cecil Peters is a Senior Betting Analyst for BetTennessee.com. A professional sports bettor in Canada, Cecil specializes in analyzing the latest odds impacting professional sports, particularly the NHL.