NHL Draft Lottery – A Complex Process That Makes The Flyers Happy If you are like me, you may have watched the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night, to see who would pick first. Unlike last year, the names for this draft aren’t as big and the teams vying for a top spot from Canada were fewer than in April of 2016. There were no Auston Matthews or Patrick Laine this time. There were no Toronto Maple Leafs or Calgary Flames or Winnipeg Jets really in the running either.
Before the start, the odds were 18% for the Colorado Avalanche to have the first pick. Although Colorado had a miserable year, that didn’t materialize either. Coming in Saturday in the lottery, the New Jersey Devils were sitting at no.5. When the balls came out they ended up the big winners at no.1. For the Devils, it will be the first time since 1979, they pick first when they were the Colorado Rockies. At that time they picked defenseman Rob Ramage. The New Jersey Devils finished 27th overall this past season.
“You know what your odds are, it happens real quickly,” said Shero. “For me, it’s really great for our franchise and our fans, especially with what we’re trying to do. Coming into today, we have 11 draft picks. Now we’ve got the No. 1 overall pick, which is a great building block for our franchise moving forward”, general Ray Shero stated after the lottery.
Flyers has the biggest jump
The biggest winner on Saturday were probably the Philadelphia Flyers jumping from the no.11 to the no.2 position. This jump was never seen before ever in past NHL Lottery Drafts. On Saturday, the Flyers only had a 2.2 per cent to obtain a top pick and ended up with the No. 2 overall selection. Closing the top three this year were the Dallas Stars.
A Drop for the Avalanche and the Canucks
The Colorado Avalanche were probably the biggest loser of this year’s NHL Lottery Draft ending up fourth. Colorado had the best odds, finishing 30th this year in the standing. they went down the maximum amount of positions a team can go which is three. On the other hand, the Canucks who finished 29th in the NHL this year were the team to have the second best odds at 12.1 percent. vancouver ended fifth in the selection list, same as last year. “You have an 80 per cent chance of not winning, and I think what we saw this year is going to be normal for the lottery,” said Canucks president Trevor Linden. “Our best chance was to move down and we did.”
A First for the Las Vegas Golden Knights
It was a first ever NHL Draft Lottery for the new franchise from Las Vegas, the Golden Knights. It was established by the NHL, they would have the same odds as the third worst record in the NHL. In this case it was the Arizona Coyotes who had the same odds as them. Las Vegas ended up in the sixth position followed by Arizona at no.7. Two solid Players In The Top Two Although this year’s draft will not be as deep as last year, the top two spots are solid players expected to play next season.
The top two positions have centres Nolan Patrick from the WHL (Brandon Wheat Kings) and Nico Hischier from the QMJHL (Halifax Mooseheads). The two are rated almost even according to the NHL central Scouting Bureau. Patrick has spent most of the season on the injury list but is expected to be fully ready prior to next season. After these two players, the field is wide open and it will be interesting which team will have the upper hand on the selection.
The 2017 NHL Draft Selection is scheduled to take place on the 23rd and 24th June at the United Center in Chicago.
Below is a final list of the 2017 NHL Lottery Draft from no.1 to no.15:
1 – New Jersey Devils
2 – Philadelphia Flyers
3 – Dallas Stars
4 – Colorado Avalanche
5 – Vancouver Canucks
6 – Vegas Golden Knights
7 – Arizona Coyotes
8 – Buffalo Sabres
9 – Detroit Red Wings
10 – Florida Panthers
11 – Los Angeles Kings
12 – Carolina Hurricanes
13 – Winnipeg Jets
14 – Tampa Bay Lightning
15 – New York Islanders
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