The Ottawa Senators have been the biggest losers of the lottery for the first pick in the NHL on Saturday night, while the Montreal canadiens played a little bit of luck to reach the third rank.
It is well for the Habs, who hasn’t had a selection that high since Alex Galchenyuk in 2012, but it remains that the winners of the “lottery Rasmus Dahlin” were the Buffalo Sabres that left the studios of the CBC in Toronto with the top prize of the evening of Saturday. They had been the worst NHL team in the last campaign, as well as in seasons 2014 and 2015, when they had not won the lottery. The ones who had 18.5% of chances of win, they can put the hand on the defender and Swedish, which is the best hope according to all the observers.
“We are absolutely ecstatic. I am very happy for our supporters from the west of the state of New York… We look forward to add a great player to our group here,” said the director-general of Sabres Jason Botterill.
The Hurricanes of the Caroline also won the game of chance, so that they got the second choice, who had only a 3 % chance of winning the first selection, 11th best odds.
The Senators had the second best chance of winning the first choice to 13.5 %, but they instead dropped two places from their 30th place out of 31 clubs in the standings and they will have the fourth selection in total during the draft of the 22 June next year in Dallas.
“We hoped to all get the first choice, that’s for sure. But the fourth choice, it’s still exciting for our franchise. We have not had a choice in the top five for the past 17 years. Whether you choose an attacker or a defender, we know we’re going to get a player of impact that will help us in attack,” commented general manager Pierre Dorion in a telephone interview with The Right.
Ottawa has never talked about fourth in the annual auction of the best hopes fans in the world. The club could not descend lower than the fifth rank. Their final selection as high as had been Jason Spezza in 2001, with the second choice got the New York Islanders against Alexei Yashin. They have had the first choice on three occasions prior to 1996 (Alexandre Daigle, Bryan Berard and Chris Phillips), as well as the second (Yashin in 1992) and the third (Radek Bonk in 1994).
About Dahlin, back in sweden who said in an interview with the CBC prior to the lottery that Erik Karlsson is the NHL player that I like the most look,” Dorion added : “people are in agreement that it’s going to be a very good player. But the first choice is not always the best player in a draft. He has made beautiful things to be 17-18 years old, things can change, we are going to try to pick the best player possible,” he said.
The decision has already been made to keep this selection, which was protected in the exchange that led to Matt Duchene of the Colorado. The Avalanche will get, rather the first choice of Senators to the draft of 2019, which will be held in Vancouver.
The first 15 choices in the next draft
- Sabres of Buffalo
- Hurricanes of the Caroline
- Montreal canadiens
- Ottawa senators
- The Coyotes of Arizona
- The Detroit Red Wings
- Canucks vancouver
- Chicago black hawks
- The New York Rangers
- Edmonton Oilers
- New York Islanders
- New York Islanders (from Calgary)
- Dallas Stars
- Philadelphia Flyers (obtained from St. Louis)
- Panthers of Florida