The New Jersey Devils have won the NHL Draft Lottery and will hold the No. 1 overall selection at the upcoming NHL Draft in June.
The New York Rangers have the second overall pick, with the Chicago Blackhawks jumping up several spots to round out the top three.
Here’s the selection order for the first 15 drafting positions of the first round, as revealed Tuesday night in Toronto:
1. New Jersey Devils
2. New York Rangers
3. Chicago Blackhawks
4. Colorado Avalanche
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
Going into the lottery, Colorado had the best odds to get the top pick (18.5 per cent), but fell out of the top three. The Avalanche landed a lottery ticket via the last-place Ottawa Senators as part of the Matt Duchene trade in November 2017. (The Senators could have instead given the Avalanche the fourth overall selection last year but opted to draft Brady Tkachuk.)
The Kings (13.5 per cent) had the second-best odds but fell to fifth, while the Devils (third-best odds, 11.5 per cent) move up two spots to win the lottery for the second time in three years.
That'll do lottery balls, that'll do pic.twitter.com/cUa4EuPq6q
— Hugh Weber (@hughweber1) April 10, 2019
The Blackhawks had the 12th-best odds (2.5 per cent) heading into the lottery.
Forward Jack Hughes has been the consensus top-ranked NHL prospect over the course of the past year after spending the 2018-19 campaign with the U.S. National Team Development Program. The 17-year-old has excited scouts with his shifty playmaking, quickness and elite vision on the ice. He concludes his time with the USNTDP as the program’s all-time leader in assists (139) and points (202). The Florida-born prospect is one of three NHL-bound brothers — older brother Quinn Hughes was drafted seventh overall by Vancouver in 2018 and made his NHL debut on the Canucks’ blue line on March 28, and younger brother Luke, 15, is already generating plenty of buzz.
Hughes will very likely be getting well-acquainted with New Jersey very soon — though he’s already familiar with Devils winger Taylor Hall.
“I skate with Taylor Hall in the summers, he’s been a really good guy to me, he’s been really nice,” said Hughes, who was in attendance during the unveiling of the draft order in Toronto.
“I’d be honoured and really happy to play for New Jersey one day,” said Hughes, whose focus for now is on the upcoming Under-18 World Championship in Finland, where he’ll be helping Team USA in its bid for gold. “That would be a great spot, I hear a lot of great things about that, so I’d be really excited.”
The first round of the 2019 NHL Draft takes place on June 21.