NHL held its annual draft lottery on Saturday night and decided the draft of the teams that did not qualify for playoffs.
While the team with the best chance to land number 1, in fact, chose that choice, there were some surprises (and disappointments) in other NHL cities.
Here's a look at the winners and losers: [1
Buffalo Sabers. Oh hockey irony to get the second overall pick when they thought for the first year 2015 and then get the first overall selection when they really would not be terrible this season. This is the first time the sabren will be drafting the first overall since 1987 when they took Pierre Turgeon.
The addition of a matching defender in Rasmus Dahlin could change the course in this franchise, as well as giving the coach and Hall of Fame defender Phil Housley a hugely talented blueliner as he can groom.
By winning the draft lottery, Buffalo Sabers is able to add Swedish defender Rasmus Dahlin, consensus no. 1 ranked prospect of 2018 NHL Entry Draft. So what are the sabren coming to Dahlin if they choose to take him No. 1 in June? Dahlin is a mature 18 year old blueliner who is ready and creative with the puck on his stick. He is faithful by many to be one of the best defenders to get into the draft in the last decade – if not anymore. He is a smooth skater with high-end hockey feel and vision, which makes him stuck at both ends of the ice. As a reference, Dahls was 0.49 points per game in the Swedish Hockey League this season, the same as Victor Hedmans in the same league in his draft year. Dahlin, who check in at 6-2, 183, still needs to add some muscles and tighten things defensively to maximize his potential, but his shortcomings are limited. Already with Jack Eichel in the mix and last year's first round Picky Mittelstadt which shows great potential, Dahlin should be the cornerstone of the defense force Buffalo needs hard. He will not fix everything right away, but it will be another good thing for Sabrina to rebuild they would do what everyone expects on the draft in June.
Team finishes with the worst entry. One of the most remarkable things about Saber's winning was that it was only the second time in eight years that the team with the highest odds actually won the NHL draft lottery.
Chris Peters ranks and evaluates the 50 best prospects eligible for the NHL draft June 2018, a group loaded by talented fingers and dominant blueliners.
The wedding period is over in Toronto after another first round. Plus, Jake Guentzel, Jersey Foul of the Week, Puck Headlines and more.
Just a note for you future Jack Hughes tankers out there.
Tom Dundon. The new owner of the Carolina Hurricanes has been criticized for his non-traditional leading approach, and has speculated that he may have trouble finding the right candidate for his vacant managerial role because of it. (Yet his sparse nature.)
However, his team believed his odds (2.7 percent chance for the 2nd overall pick) and are primed to elaborate the kind of power that the player lacks. Canes GM Gig was just a bit sexier.
Marc Bergevin. The belated Montreal boss did not finish with the first overall pick, but Canadiens will lift a player at No. 3. Unless Bergevin obviously decides to move the pick up to strengthen a veteran line that is very "win now." As for the record, he should not do it.
Fine, Canucks & Mascot. The NHL draft lottery is apparently not mascot-friendly.
Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning told Sportnet 650 that Fine, the team's plush orca mascot, was denied a look in Toronto on Saturday night. "Nice wanted to go this year, but we checked the league and they said he could not come," says Benning.
Personally, I really can not believe that NHL would not allow a mascot to be a very serious event, where a series of lottery balls determines how big the logo is placed on oversized cardboard boxes. Well, at least, Canucks dropped just one spot in the lottery, which is a good change from recent seasons.
Stanley Cup Playoffs Central »
Schedule» ] | Experts picks »
Jump to a series:
• TB-BOS | • WSH-PIT
• NSH-WPG | • VGS-SJ
Round 1 result:
• TB-NJ | • BOS-TOR
• WSH-CBJ | • PIT-PHI
• NSH-COL | • WPG-MIN
• VGS-LA | • ANA-SJ
Ottawa Senators. Sensen had the second best lotto odds of 13.5 percent, but fell to number 4 in total thanks to Hurricanes and Canadiens hoping the line to the top three. Senators will apparently still land a quality player here, but it will be who Canadians choose not to cast.
We were also robbed of the summer Erik Karlsson drama, which is even more dramatic with Landman Rasmus Dahlin as the understudy ready to replace him.
Team outside the eight. The general feeling about the 2018 NHL draft is that the best eight picks will give significant players, but it's a decrease after that. It is therefore as good as New York Islanders have back-to-back picks in the draft – thanks to Calgary Flames, giving a first rounder for Travis Hamonic in a disadvantaged move – that's a bummer none of them are in the top eight.
NHL's timing. NHL's decision to announce the first 12 picks before the Vegas Golden Knights vs. San Jose Sharks playoff game on Saturday night and then announce the order of the top three picks during the second break of the game was a good thing in theory. It gives more eyes to a Saturday night game at NBC. It gets the draft lottery some social media buzz.
However, announcing the results in the second range pushed it over 10pm on the east coast, which is not ideal. Otherwise, a fun idea that just needs a tweak.