Blackhawks win NHL draft lottery

The Chicago Blackhawks will select first overall in this year's NHL draft.

The Chicago Blackhawks will select first overall in this year's NHL draft.

Chicago moved from fifth to first in Tuesday's draft lottery to determine the order for the first 14 selections.

"It's a great opportunity for us to continue to turn things around," said Blackhawks general manager Dale Tallon.

"This is a great break for our organization. It allows us to keep adding pieces to our puzzle."

The Philadelphia Flyers will pick second in the draft, the Phoenix Coyotes third, Los Angeles Kings fourth, Washington Capitals fifth and Edmonton Oilers sixth.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, St. Louis Blues, Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Colorado Avalanche round out the top 14.

Tuesday's draw, a weighted lottery system used to determine the order for the first 14 picks of the NHL draft, was held behind closed doors at the league offices in New York.

Each of the clubs that failed to qualify for the playoffs was entered in the lottery, but the only teams with the opportunity to receive the first overall selection were the five with the lowest regular-season points totals.

Philadelphia had the greatest chance of winning the No. 1 pick, followed by Phoenix, Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago.

Right-wingers Jakub Voracek of the Halifax Mooseheads, Patrick Kane of the London Knights and Alexei Cherepanov of Omsk of the Russian elite league, centres Angelo Esposito of the Quebec Remparts and Sam Gagner of the Knights, and left-winger James Van Riemsdyk of the U.S. development team are the top-ranked juniors in most scouting reports.

"I know we will definitely get something that we need — a goal-scorer," said Chicago scout Michel Dumas. "The top five or six players in this draft are very good players.

"It's very possible that the player we select will be able to step in and play next year."

The 2007 NHL draft will be held June 22-23 in Columbus, Ohio.

The St. Louis Blues drafted American defenceman Erik Johnson first overall a year ago.

With files from the Canadian Press