Opinion: 2 Incredibly Risky Picks From Round 1 Of the NHL Draft

Every year, teams at the NHL draft make picks that are high-risk players, and this year is no different. Today, we'll be looking at some of the riskiest players chosen in the 1st round of the draft.
1. Barrett Hayton (5th overall, Arizona Coyotes)
When both the Canadiens and Senators passed on Filip Zadina, most people were certain the Czech winger would be taken by the Arizona Coyotes at 5th overall. However, the Coyotes went way off the board and took Barrett Hayton instead. It seems the Coyotes wanted a centre, and probably hoped Montreal would take Zadina so they could draft Kotkaniemi. Picking Hayton, who was believed to be drafted anywhere from 10th-20th overall depending on who you ask and passing on Zadina, a projected 30-40 goal scorer who is capable of playing in the NHL as soon as next season is a massive risk, especially if Hayton doesn't work out.

2. Jesperi Kotkaniemi (3rd overall, Montreal Canadiens)
Kotkaniemi is a wild card player in my opinion. A centre who was projected to go from 10th-15th up until about a month ago. He then skyrocketed all the was up and was projected to go 5th overall. Then Montreal opted to draft by position and took Kotkaniemi 3rd overall. As anyone who watched the draft could see, Canadiens fans were pretty shocked by the choice, and many were upset by the decision. Especially considering they passed on Filip Zadina, a projected top goal scorer in the league (but then again, Ottawa AND Arizona passed on him too). Kotkaniemi needs to turn into that #1 centre the Canadiens need. Otherwise, this might go down as one of the worst top-5 draft decisions in franchise history.

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