The Edmonton Oilers have won the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery and earned the right to select Erie Otters superstar Connor McDavid first overall on June 26.
Craig MacTavish’s club had an 11.5 percent chance of winning the lottery. The draw took place Saturday at the Hockey Central studio inside CBC headquarters in Toronto and was overseen by accounting firm Ernst & Young.
The 18-year-old is considered a generational talent and the most highly touted prospect since Sidney Crosby made waves with the Rimouski Oceanic a decade ago. With sublime skating, hockey IQ and puck skills, it’s no surprise scouts and hockey fans everywhere are so high on McDavid.
McDavid finished third in Ontario Hockey League scoring this season with 120 points despite only playing in 47 regular games. He also helped lead Team Canada to a gold medal at the world juniors. Through nine playoff games so far this year, the six-foot-one, 187-pound centre has already put up 11 goals and 12 assists. His Otters begin their Western Conference Final series against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Thursday at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. The Otters and Greyhounds were the top two highest-scoring teams in the OHL this season.
This marks the fourth time in the last six years the Oilers have ended up with the No. 1 pick. From 2010-2012 they selected forwards Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.
Oilers assistant general manager Bill Scott was on hand for the lottery and told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman the team is not ready to definitively say they will select McDavid first overall. He did say, however, that getting the top pick will have an impact on the off-season decisions the team makes.
With the Oilers getting the No. 1 pick, this means the Buffalo Sabres sit in the No. 2 spot and will in all likelihood end up with centre Jack Eichel of Boston University. The Sabres had the best odds heading into the lottery at 20 percent.
Like McDavid, Eichel is considered a franchise centre. He recently won the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in college hockey and did so as a freshman. The North Chelmsford, Mass., native will become the first NCAA player to be a top-five pick in the NHL Draft since Jonathan Toews and Phil Kessel were taken third and fifth overall in 2006, respectively.
Here is the draft order as it currently sits:
1. Edmonton Oilers
2. Buffalo Sabres
3. Arizona Coyotes
4. Toronto Maple Leafs
5. Carolina Hurricanes
6. New Jersey Devils
7. Philadelphia Flyers
8. Columbus Blue Jackets
9. San Jose Sharks
10. Colorado Avalanche
11. Florida Panthers
12. Dallas Stars
13. Los Angeles Kings
14. Boston Bruins