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Buffalo Sabres get first overall pick in National Hockey League draft lottery — NewsAlert

29 April 2018, 09:43 | Myrtle Vega

Buffalo Sabres get first overall pick in National Hockey League draft lottery — NewsAlert

Rasmus Dahlin skates for Team Sweden at the 2018 World Juniors

The Montreal Canadiens came into Saturday's lottery with the fourth best odds at 9.5 per cent and will select third overall.

Bergevin said that after defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, projected to be the No. 1 selection in this draft by the lottery-winning Buffalo Sabres, there will be a debate within the Canadiens about picks 2-5. I've seen enough players where it's a good draft and we're going to get a couple of good players if we make those picks.

Number-two overall went to the Carolina Hurricanes, which was a major win for them after finishing 21st in the league standings. Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov is the top-ranked North American prospect based on him playing for Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League.

After center Ryan O'Reilly acknowledged two weeks ago that a losing culture crept into the Sabres' locker room, perhaps landing the No. 1 pick could provide motivation, general manager Jason Botterill told The Associated Press by phone. The Hurricanes had just a three per cent chance of earning the top selection, the 11th-best odds, and jumped to second overall.

The Sabres will pick first for the third time in team history, and first since selecting Pierre Turgeon at No. 1 in 1987.

The Hurricanes and Canadiens moved ahead of Ottawa and Arizona.

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Buffalo became just the eighth last-place team to win the lottery to retain the No. 1 pick since the lottery was introduced in 1995.

"So it narrows the scope a bit where you say if we move up to this spot, we can get this player who's a good fit for the group of prospects that we have". The 18-year old's offensive ability and lock down defense has garnered comparisons to Erik Karlsson and Nicklas Lidstrom.

The draft is June 22-23 in Dallas.

The New York Rangers moved down from the No. 8 selection to No. 9 while the New York Islanders, the owner of two first-round picks after acquiring a first rounder from Calgary in exchange for Travis Hamonic previous year, will pick 11th and 12th. Islanders (from Calgary Flames), 13. The pick acquired from the St. Louis Blues was still up in the air with the draft lottery.

The remaining order for the first round's picks will be determined as the Stanley Cup playoffs progress.



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