The New Jersey Devils have just won the Draft lottery and the opportunity to select Jack Hughes No. 1 overall in the 2019 Draft.
The Devils will pick the first overall pick for the second time in two years. Back in 2017, they selected forward Nico Hischier with the first selection overall.
Everyone expected the big winners to be the Colorado Avalanche, which held the Ottawa Senators’ first-round pick this season courtesy of the Matt Duchene trade last season.
After trading away their top three goal-scorers at the deadline, the Senators finished in last place overall in the NHL – which means the Avs had an 18.5 per cent chance of winning the Draft Lottery. However, they will select in fourth at the upcoming draft as luck wasn't on their side.
The Edmonton Oilers had a 6.5 per cent chance and the Vancouver Canucks had a five per cent chance, and ended in eight and tenth place respectively. The Montreal Canadiens will take the 15th pick overall.
Before the lottery took place, Hughes revealed that he will just be happy to be drafted regardless of what team selects him in June.
“If [I had a preference], I definitely wouldn’t be telling you right now,” Hughes told NHL.com’s Mike Morreale . “It’s the NHL. I’ve said it before, I think they’re all great spots and I’ll be excited to go wherever I wind up, so there’s no real preference for me.”
The 17-year-old had 86 points in 41 games with the U.S. National Team Development Program this season and has ong been the consensus No. 1 pick for June’s NHL Draft. If Hughes goes first overall, he will be the second USDP product to go first in the last three years after the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews in 2016.
The game changed when the odds of the Chicago Blackhawks changed dramatically and moved in a top three position. The New York Rangers also moved up going from number 6 to a top three pick.
The Hawks will pick third in June.
The Rangers will pick second, which is an exciting event for the team. The Blue Shirts have never picked in the top 3 in their history.
Now that the lottery is over and won by the $$$, Hughes will rejoin his teammates in Sweden for the U-18 World Championship from April 18-28.
There is also a lot of interest for Kaapo Kakko, who plays wing in Finland and has set a record for the most goals in a season by an under-18 player.
A lot of winners here after all.
Here is the order of the draft lottery:
1. New Jersey Devils
2. New York Rangers
3. Chicago Blackhawks
4. Colorado Avalanche (from the Ottawa Senators)
5. Los Angeles Kings
6. Detroit Red Wings
7. Buffalo Sabres
8. Edmonton Oilers
9. Anaheim Ducks
10. Vancouver Canucks
11. Philadelphia Flyers
12. Minnesota Wild
13. Florida Panthers
14. Arizona Coyotes
15. Montreal Canadiens