It was time for the luck of the draw on Saturday as teams were hoping to beat the odds and push the Buffalo Sabres out of the way to win the first overall pick. However, the Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes did not luck out at the National Hockey League draft lottery on Saturday night.
The Canadiens will pick third overall behind the Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes at the NHL Draft on June 22 in Dallas. The Sens will go up to the podium with the fourth pick, and the Coyotes will select fifth overall.
The Canadiens had a 9.5-per-cent chance of getting the No. 1 pick heading into the lottery, while the Sabres — who finished last in the regular season — had the best odds at 18.5 per cent and the Hurricanes only had a three-per-cent chance after finishing 21st.
We now learned on Thursday afternoon that three of the five teams set to select in the first round are looking to trade their picks. Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports Network cited Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman and his co-host Jeff Marek discussing possible offseason moves on his latest 31 Thoughts podcast. Friedman doesn’t see the Buffalo Sabres and Hurricanes trading their first-round picks, but thinks the Habs, Senators and Coyotes could be tempted to make a blockbuster move on June 22.
“But I do think Montreal is going to get tempted, and I think Ottawa is going to get tempted. And then I think Arizona will be interesting, because that’s after where the three forwards are going to go, and then I think Arizona is going to be in that spot where teams will be calling them too.
“I think 3, 4, and 5 are going to be fascinating.”
The New York Islanders holding the 11th and 12th selections and Friedman suggests they could have some trade leverage if centre John Tavares decides to re-sign with them. However, if the call for the free-agent market is too strong for the Isles captain, the team will have no choice but to retain those picks.
It sure sounds like we are going to have one crazy exciting draft this year!