Sabers win top pick in 2021 NHL draft in lottery
The Seattle Kraken won the No.2 pick and the Anaheim Ducks have the No.3 pick.
The Sabers, who at 16.6% had the best odds of winning the lottery, would pick No 1 for the fourth time, the first since picking the defenseman Rasmus Dahlin in the 2018 NHL Draft.
“This is a great time for our franchise,” said Buffalo general manager Kevyn Adams. “It has obviously been a difficult year for many different reasons, and we are here. We are very excited. We are proud to have this selection, and it is a step in the right direction, and I received a text message. a few minutes ago from our owner saying, “Smile,” so now I can smile. “
The first round of the draft will take place on July 23 and rounds 2-7 will take place on July 24.
The lottery included the 15 teams that did not qualify for the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs and the Kraken expansion, which will begin playing next season.
The odds for the 15 existing teams were based on reverse order of the regular season standings. To account for the addition of Seattle, the odds for these 15 teams have been downgraded proportionally from the odds used in the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.
Video: Gary Bettman hosts 2021 NHL Draft Lottery
The Kraken entered the lottery with the third best odds, as the Vegas Golden Knights did in their first draft lottery in 2017. Seattle had the same odds (10.3%) as the New Jersey Devils , who had the third worst regular season record and will pick No.4.
“We are very happy with this result,” said Seattle general manager Ron Francis. “… I think when you build your team, you build it in the middle. So it’s the goalkeeper … the defense and the center players. But we are ready to see who will be the best player. “
Seattle edged out Anaheim, who had the second-best odds (12.1%) and never picked No.1 in an NHL Draft.
“It’s obviously disappointing for us and our fans not to stay in the top two in this draft, but we still have the opportunity to make a top-five selection for the first time in 16 years,” said the Anaheim Managing Director Bob Murray. “The top of the draft has exceptional talent, and we’ll be looking to add to the exciting young prospects in our organization for years to come.”
Unlike in previous years, only the top two picks were determined by the lottery, and teams were limited in the extent to which they could move up or down, depending on their regular season standings. This is the third time in the last 11 draft lotteries that the team with the worst record has received the No.1 pick.
The 16-31 picks will be determined by the results of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Arizona Coyotes must forfeit their 2021 first-round pick for violating NHL combine testing policy in the 2019-20 season.
The Sabers have set an NHL shootout era record (since 2005-06) of 18 games without a win (0-15-3) this season. Buffalo hasn’t made the playoffs for 10 straight seasons, which is the longest drought in NHL history.
Center Jack Eichel scored two goals in 21 games before his season ended with a neck injury, and coach Ralph Krueger was fired on March 17 and replaced by Don Granato.
“It’s been a tough season, a lot of adversity,” said Adams. “We were in the position that we were in, and you sure don’t want to be there, but that’s the reality. So what comes out, knowing that, you know the odds were higher that you found yourself [No. 3], you kind of understand that when you come in. So having this fall in our own way, being in that position, it makes some of the things that we’ve been through this year feel a little better about it. But this is a huge opportunity for our franchise to improve. I feel like this is a really big step, something we needed and are excited about. “
Seattle will enter the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft to acquire players two days before entering its first NHL Draft.
“The expansion draft is for now,” said Francis. “This is the roster that we are trying to line up when the season starts in October. The amateur draft, you look at it with one eye right now, obviously … in a suitable environment and let them develop and learn so that ‘they have the best possible chance of playing in the National Hockey League for your franchise. ”
[Draft Lottery Lookup Tables: By Team Sequence | By Combination ID]
The Sabers could select defenseman Owen Power, who was number one in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s final North American skaters rankings. He has 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) and posted a plus-18 rating in 26 games this season with the University of Michigan and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman squad.
“I watched it,” Adams said. “I will definitely be watching a lot more and more here in the coming weeks. Obviously he had a good year in Michigan and he played a few big minutes against Canada in the [IIHF] World Championship.
“What’s exciting about this draft, I think there are a number of players to really watch and explore, and I look forward to those next meetings with our staff and really debating it. amateur process, I enjoyed the draft last year, enjoyed going through it and projecting tough players and scouts on what they see and what they like or what they don’t like. So I can’t wait to do that over the next few weeks, and it’s nice to have # 1 where you do that and to know you can take the player you end up landing on. “
William Eklund, who was number 1 in the NHL Central Scouting’s final international skaters rankings, is another option after the left winger scored 23 points (11 goals, 12 assists) with Swedish League’s Djurgarden hockey.
Simon Edvinsson, second in the Central Scouting Bureau’s final international skaters rankings, and Luke Hughes, fourth in the Central Scouting Bureau’s final North American skaters rankings, are two other top prospects for the defense.
“We have to improve in every area, so we’re definitely not going to be focusing on one position or one need,” Adams said. “We’re definitely looking to take the best player and the player we plan to be… what are they going to look like at 22-23 as well.”
Edvinsson has scored six points (one goal, five assists) in 14 games for Frolunda in the Swedish junior league. He collected one assist in 10 games with Frolunda in the SHL and scored four points (one goal, three assists) in seven games for Sweden, third at the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
Hughes scored 34 points (six goals, 28 assists) in 38 games for the under-18 team of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. He is the younger brother of the Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes and the devils ahead Jack hughes, and has pledged to play in Michigan next season. The 17-year-old has returned to skating after suffering a torn tendon in his foot following a cut to his skate on March 7.
“I’m sure if you ask our players they’re excited right now,” Adams said. “It’s energizing for our fan base, it’s energizing just for the people who work in this organization who love this place so much. It’s all of the above, and it’s a big step in the right direction towards where we’re headed, and we ‘I’m excited to add this young and next great Buffalo Sabers player to our franchise. ”
2021 NHL Draft Order
1. Buffalo Sabers
2. Seattle Kraken
3. Anaheim Ducks
4. The New Jersey Devils
5. The Columbus Blue Jackets
6. The Detroit Red Wings
7. Sharks of San José
8. Kings of Los Angeles
9. Vancouver Canucks
10. Ottawa Senators
11. Chicago Blackhawks
12. Calgary Flames
13. Philadelphia Flyers
14. Dallas Stars
15. New York Rangers
The 16-31 picks will be determined by the results of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Arizona Coyotes lost their first-round pick.
NHL.com Independent Correspondents Andrew Eide and Heather Engel contributed to this report