2019 NHL Draft: New Jersey Devils to pick first, full draft order for 31 teams
The Devils, Rangers and Blackhawks all jumped into the top three
With the NHL playoffs having wrapped up and the Stanley Cup being hoisted by the St. Louis Blues for the first time, attention now turns to the NHL Entry Draft as the next big event on the hockey calendar.
The draft represents a beacon of hope for every team in the league as they hope to land their next wave of stars and impact players. It also represents promise for every player prospect that gets selected as they look to make their mark on the NHL landscape.
The draft lottery was held just prior to the playoffs in April, with the 15 NHL teams that didn't qualify for the playoffs being entered in a lottery selection that gave each of them a shot at landing the top pick (or at least a top-three selection).
Entering the lottery, the Colorado Avalanche had the best odds (18.5 percent) at snagging the first overall pick. That selection originally belonged to the Ottawa Senators, who finished this season with the league's worst record but surrendered the pick to Colorado in the 2017 deal that sent Matt Duchene to the Sens.
However, Colorado fell to the lowest selection they possibly could have (4th) due to the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils all defying the odds and jumping into the top three. In the end, it was the Devils who ended up securing the top overall pick; New Jersey entered the night with the third-best odds (11.5 percent) to pick in that spot.
It's the second time in three years that the Devils have defied the odds and wound up with the first overall pick. New Jersey took Nico Hischier with the top pick in 2017 after jumping to No. 1 with the fifth-best odds in the lottery.
Here's a full recap of the draft order:
1. New Jersey
2. NY Rangers
4. Colorado (from OTT)
5. Los Angeles
19. Ottawa (from CBJ)
20. NY Rangers (from WPG)
22. Los Angeles (from TOR)
23. NY Islanders
27. Tampa Bay
29. Anaheim (from SJS-BUF)
31. Buffalo (from STL)
The projected top pick in this year's draft is American center Jack Hughes. The skilled 17-year-old playmaker has been playing in the United States' National Development program. He's the younger brother of Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes.
This year's NHL Draft will kick off on June 21 in Vancouver.
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