NHL draft lottery: Oilers win 1st-overall pick
Edmonton expected to take OHL's McDavid
The Edmonton Oilers won the NHL draft lottery on Saturday, giving them the opportunity to pick OHL phenom Connor McDavid in June.
The 18-year-old centreis widely regarded as a generational talent. He scored 44 goals and finished with 120 points in only 47 OHL games this season for the Erie Otters, while also helping Canada win gold in the world junior championship.
McDavid is considered to be the best player available since Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby was drafted in 2005.
He acknowledged to reporters afterwards that his selection by the Oilers is a foregone conclusion.
"It's an amazing organization and a true honour to be going there," said McDavid, who noted he was nervous while NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly revealed the draft order during a televised show held in Toronto. "When they were pulling up the cards, I think that was as fast as my heart's ever beated. It was sure exciting."
Boston University centre Jack Eichel, 18, is likely to be taken second by the Buffalo Sabres. In 40 games as a freshman, he tallied 26 goals and 45 assists to lead all NCAA Division I players in scoring. He won the Hobey Baker Award as the NCAA's top men's hockey player.
Eichel on Buffalo: Obviously it would be really nice to play there if that's what happens. So much tradition there, a great hockey city.—@BuffaloSabres
The draft will take place June 26 and 27 in Sunrise, Fla.
Oilers assistant general manager Bill Scott wouldn't confirm who the team will select, but also said that trading the pick would be very difficult, given the circumstances of the draft.
General manager Craig MacTavish went a step further, saying on a conference call that there would be "zero" chance of trading the pick.
"Getting the number one pick is going to fill an important hole on our lineup." <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oilers?src=hash">#Oilers</a> Assistant GM Bill Scott <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLDraftLottery?src=hash">#NHLDraftLottery</a>—@EdmontonOilers
Edmonton has had a string of good luck, winning the top selection in four of the past six years.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oilers?src=hash">#Oilers</a> drafts 2010 - Hall 1st 2011 - Nugent Hopkins 1st 2012 - Yakupov 1st 2013 - Nurse 7th 2014 - Draisaitl 3rd 2015 - McDavid 1st—@TimWharnsby
The Oilers, who held the third-best odds in this year's lottery at 11.5 per cent, leaped over the Sabres and Coyotes, bumping those teams down to second and third, respectively.
Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan tried to bring his team some luck by sporting a shamrock pin, but the Leafs moved neither up nor down and hold the fourth pick.
Boston College defenceman Noah Hanifin, Otters centre Dylan Strome, and Kingston Frontenacs forward Lawson Crouse round out the top five prospects as ranked by NHL Central Scouting.
Full draft lottery results
Here are the results of the draft lottery, which involved the 14 non-playoff teams:
- Edmonton Oilers.
- Buffalo Sabres.
- Arizona Coyotes.
- Toronto Maple Leafs.
- Carolina Hurricanes.
- New Jersey Devils.
- Philadelphia Flyers.
- Columbus Blue Jackets.
- San Jose Sharks.
- Colorado Avalanche.
- Florida Panthers.
- Dallas Stars.
- L.A. Kings.
- Boston Bruins.
With files from The Canadian Press