Devils get top pick, Flyers and Stars rise in draft lottery
Toronto (Canada) (AFP) – For the first time since 1979, the New Jersey Devils will have the first pick in the NHL Draft after winning Saturday’s NHL Draft Lottery.
The Devils defied the odds and jumped five spots in the weighted selection system used to determine the selection order for the annual allocation of new talent, which will take place June 23 at Chicago.
“That was great news for our franchise,” said Devils executive vice president Ray Shero. “It’s an exciting day for our club. We need help at all positions and there are some real good players in this year’s draft.”
The top three spots were selected by blind draw, a move made so teams cannot ensure themselves the top draft pick by losing games.
And as it turned out, none of the three teams with the best odds of getting the top pick will select among the top three.
The Philadelphia Flyers jumped 11 spots to be chosen for the second spot in the draft order while Dallas rose five places and will pick third.
Then the remaining clubs will select in order of their season finish, meaning NHL season doormat Colorado will only have the fourth choice of unclaimed players despite having had the best odds of taking the top spot at an 18 percent chance.
New Jersey won with the fifth-best odds at 8.5 percent.
The Vancouver Canucks will select fifth followed by the Las Vegas Golden Knights expansion club that opens its first season in October, Arizona, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Los Angeles, Carolina, Winnipeg, Tampa Bay and the New York Islanders.