The Sabres had an 8.5% chance of nabbing the first-overall selection, but it ended up going to the New Jersey Devils. The Devils had an 11.5% chance of picking first; they’ll get that first-overall pick for the second time in three years.
The Sabres were slotted to pick fifth, so they dropped two spots to seventh.
Here is the full draft order for the first 15 picks in the 2019 NHL Draft, as determined by Tuesday’s lottery:
- New Jersey Devils
- New York Rangers (have never drafted in the top 3)
- Chicago Blackhawks (moved up from 12th)
- Colorado Avalanche (pick from Ottawa Senators)
- Los Angeles Kings
- Detroit Red Wings
- Buffalo Sabres
- Edmonton Oilers
- Anaheim Ducks
- Vancouver Canucks
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Minnesota Wild
- Florida Panthers
- Arizona Coyotes
- Montreal Canadiens
What happens next is still to be determined. There is a chance that Sabres general manager Jason Botterill and his staff could trade that seventh-overall pick over the summer.
As it appears right now, the Devils will pick first overall and select 2001-born Jack Hughes, a center for the U.S. National Team Development Program. The 17-year-old had 48 points (12-36) in 24 games with the USNTDP Juniors, as well as 86 points (23-63) in 41 games with the U.S. National U18 Team.
Kaapo Kakko is expected to go second overall. The 18-year-old plays with TPS in Finland and has drawn comparisons to Patrik Laine. He registered 38 points (22-16) in 45 games this season and also suited up for Finland at the U20 IIHF World Junior Championships, where he registered five points in seven games.
Stay tuned for more leading up to the NHL Draft, which will be held on June 21 & 22 in Vancouver.