To add insult to injury and as former GM Darcy Regier would say, “suffering”, the Buffalo Sabres will draft 2nd in this year’s draft. The Sabres endured one of the worst seasons in franchise history. They won only 21 games and scored the least amount of goals in the league.
Coming into the draft lottery, the Sabres had a 25% chance of winning the 1st overall pick. The Florida Panthers, who finished with the 2nd worst record, had a 18.8% chance. All teams that do not make the playoffs participate in the lottery. Teams can not move any lower than one spot as a result of the lottery.
Should the NHL do a draft lottery? Should it be like the NFL, where the worst team is GUARANTEED the 1st overall pick?
The draft lottery is instituted to give all teams a chance (however small) at receiving the first overall pick or moving up. The problem is even with the draft lottery, teams can still tank during the season.
It would have been great to see the Sabres have the 1st overall pick in this year’s draft. They have only selected 1st overall twice in franchise history. They selected Gilbert Perreault in the 1970 draft and Pierre Turgeon in the 1987 draft. Both players scored over 500 goals in their respective careers.
Some of the top players in this year’s draft include F Sam Bennett, D Aaron Ekblad and F Sam Reinhart. The Sabres are guaranteed to get one of these players. In addition, the New York Islanders will have to decide if they want to give up their 1st rd pick (5th overall) this year or next year as part of the Thomas Vanek trade. Furthermore, Sabres GM Tim Murray may have a 3rd first-round pick this year if the St. Louis Blues make the Western Conference Finals (completion of Ryan Miller trade).