The 2013-14 regular season is officially over in the NHL, which means playoff beards are right around the corner.
However, for those franchises that weren’t talented enough to crack the 16-team postseason field, it means it is time to focus on the upcoming NHL draft and preceding draft lottery. With that in mind, here is a look at the updated odds for winning hockey’s No. 1 overall draft pick.
Information and updates odds are courtesy of TSN.ca.
|5||New York Islanders *||8.1|
|8||Toronto Maple Leafs||3.6|
|10||Anaheim Ducks (via Ottawa)**||2.1|
|11||New Jersey Devils***||1.5|
The following facts regarding the lottery, which are also courtesy of TSN.ca, are worth pointing out as well.
* - The New York Islanders must surrender either their 2014 or 2015 first-round draft pick to the Buffalo Sabres as part of the trade that sent Thomas Vanek to New York. The Islanders decide which pick to surrender prior to the 2014 NHL draft.
** - The Senators' first-round pick is property of the Anaheim Ducks, who acquired it in a trade for Bobby Ryan to Ottawa.
*** - The New Jersey Devils will receive the 30th overall pick regardless of their final standing as penalty for cap circumvention in signing Ilya Kovalchuk.
In the event two teams finish tied on points, regulation and overtime wins (ROW) will be used as the first tiebreaking procedure. Should two teams remain tied after ROW, points obtained in head-to-head games will be used as a secondary tiebreaking procedure.
The 2014 NHL draft lottery is scheduled for Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, while the draft takes place June 27 and 28.
There are a number of proud franchises, including the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs, that find their names on that lottery list. Perhaps a fortunate break during the lottery will turn things around for these marquee squads.
Sabres coach Ted Nolan wasn't pleased with the way the season unfolded, which was evidenced by comments he made according to The Associated Press, via ESPN.com: "The standard has to be set a little bit higher than it was. We'll address that starting with the meetings (Monday)."
While the actual lottery is certainly of interest, which players the given teams will take near the top of the draft board will ultimately be what shapes the future of the franchises. Among the given candidates for the top few picks are Sam Reinhart, Samuel Bennett, Aaron Ekblad, Michael Dal Colle and Leon Draisaitl.
Reinhart is arguably the best offensive player in the entire draft class as the center for Kootenay from the WHL.
He is a goal-scoring machine who racks up assists as well. Whichever team drafts him will receive an immediate upgrade in the offensive department.
If we are talking offense, Bennett from Kingston (OHL) is also worth a look as a budding left winger. His versatility and ability to create plays with his puck-work, passing and finish around the goal make him a valuable piece in this upcoming draft.
Left winger Dal Colle of Oshawa (OHL) presents many of the same skill sets as Bennett and may even be a bit more physically imposing. Since left wing and offense is apparently the flavor of the month in this projection, Draisaitl of Prince Albert (WHL) is another point-scoring phenom who could hear his name taken early in the draft.
If you want defense, Ekblad from Barrie (OHL) could be the answer. He is arguably the best defender in the draft thanks to his physicality and ability to clear the zone, and he should find playing time in the immediate future for whichever team drafts him.
If your team is one of those in the lottery, make sure to tune in Tuesday. The fate of the franchise could be hanging in the balance.
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