The Florida Panthers bucked the odds by jumping up a spot to win the NHL draft lottery and earn the right to the top pick in June.
The Panthers, who finished 29th in the league, vaulted ahead of the last-place Buffalo Sabres, who had the best odds of winning the lottery held in Toronto on Tuesday night. The Panthers had an 18.8 percent chance of winning the lottery, behind only Buffalo, which had a 25 percent shot.
Florida will have the first pick for the fourth time in franchise history.
The top two projected prospects are left wing Samuel Bennett, of OHL Kingston, who finished first in the final rankings released by NHL Central Scouting last week, and OHL Barrie defenseman Aaron Ekblad.
The draft will be held in Philadelphia on June 27-28.