The most exciting hockey playoff preview show you can imagine.

That was the scene on Tuesday night as the NHL’s draft lottery concluded in dramatic fashion–two of the top-three teams knocked out, while the Blackhawks and Rangers leaped into lottery spots. But at the end of the evening, it was the Devils, who won the lottery in 2017, who appear Jack Hughes bound. New Jersey’s 11.5 percent odds at first paid off as they jumped from third to first and will hold the first overall pick at June’s entry draft.

The New York Rangers, who had a 7.5 percent chance moved up four spots to win the second overall pick; while Chicago volted from 12th to third–the Hawks entered the evening with a sub-three percent chance at winning a spot after having a rocky season that saw them compete for a playoff spot for much of the season’s final stretch.

Among the things Devils GM, Ray Shero said during his media availability was he wanted to improve the team’s overall talent and, when asked about winning a lottery pick, he stated that he’d be happy with either of the top two. He’ll once again have first dibs at the podium. For now, it’s on to some heavy lifting for th scouting staff, who in 2017 had a tough decision to make regarding Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick. The season of scouting and evaluating continues though, the 2019 NHL Entry Draft still some time away–beginning on Friday, June 21 and concluding with the final six rounds on Saturday, June 22.

Other noteables: The Colorado Avalanche, who owned Ottawa’s pick as the final coffin was rested in the Matt Duchene trade, slid from potentially first overall to fourth. A relief for Senators fans but still a top pick for the Avalanche, who appear to be on their way to being regular playoff contenders after advancing to the postseason for a second-straight season; The Kings, dropped three spots to fifth overall–the furthest they could fall; Vancouver, who will host the draft, fell one spot to 10th overall. This is the third-straight season in which Vancouver has dropped at least one position as a result of the lottery.

The complete order still awaits but the first fifteen picks are as follows:

  1. New Jersey Devils
  2. New York Rangers
  3. Chicago Blackhawks
  4. Colorado Avalanche (via Ottawa)
  5. Los Angeles Kings
  6. Detroit Red Wings
  7. Buffalo Sabres
  8. Edmonton Oilers
  9. Anaheim Ducks
  10. Vancouver Canucks
  11. Philadelphia Flyers
  12. Minnesota Wild
  13. Florida Panthers
  14. Arizona Coyotes
  15. Montreal Canadiens

 

About The Author

Mad about being born into a Mets household during the Yankees dynasty, Neal McHale turned to something different after the 2000 World Series. He got NHL 2001 as a gift and it helped pioneer a hockey love affair. His first sportswriting gig was covering the historically-gritty Big East Conference. Since 2015, he's been with Inside Hockey covering the NHL.

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