Sabres land 8th overall pick in the draft lottery

The first overall pick is yet to be determined

Nearly 12 hours after the team named Jeremiah Crowe and Jason Nightingale the new Director of Scouting and Assistant Director of Scouting, respectively, the newly promoted duo, along Buffalo Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams, were awarded the 8th overall pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. This marks the 8th consecutive year that the club has landed a top 10 pick at the draft lottery, bringing some familiarity to an otherwise unusual and extended offseason for Sabres fans.

The lottery winners were announced, with an undetermined team to be handed the first overall pick, likely to be consensus number one prospect Alexis Lafreniere. Rounding out the top three are tonight’s other winners Los Angeles Kings (second overall) and Ottawa Senators (third, with the pick acquired from the San Jose Sharks). They will be followed by the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators again, Anaheim Ducks, and New Jersey Devils. As a result, the Sabres were dealt the likeliest of outcomes, as they had a 39.5% chance of falling back one spot in the order. They had the lowest odds of all the non-resuming teams of winning one of the top three spots, and therefore had a 53.6% chance of being leapfrogged by one or more of the play-in teams.

Due to the unique circumstances of this season, a second draft lottery will be held among the play-in round losing teams, who will all have an even chance of winning that top unassigned draft slot. This should make for an interesting turn of events, as some of the better teams during the regular season could qualify for this second lottery. This will cap off a unique season, which could have an instant impact on pushing a fringe team into the clear playoff picture next season.

As far as who will be on the table when the Sabres select, NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings are as follows:

North American skaters

  1. Alexis Lafreniere (LW)
  2. Quinton Byfield (C)
  3. Jamie Drysdale (D)
  4. Jake Sanderson (D)
  5. Cole Perfetti (C)
  6. Marco Rossi (C)
  7. Jack Quinn (RW)
  8. Kaiden Guhle (D)
  9. Braden Schneider (D)
  10. Dawson Mercer (C)

European skaters

  1. Tim Stutzle (LW)
  2. Alexander Holtz (RW)
  3. Anton Lundell (C)
  4. Lucas Raymond (LW)
  5. Rodion Amirov (LW)
  6. Helge Grans (D)
  7. John-Jason Peterka (LW)
  8. Topi Niemela (D)
  9. Noel Gunler (RW)
  10. Roni Hirvonen (C)

North American goalies

  1. Nico Dawes
  2. Drew Commesso
  3. Samuel Hlavaj

European goalies

  1. Yaroslav Askarov
  2. Jan Bednar
  3. Joel Blomqvist