For the final time for the foreseeable future, all non-playoff teams were eligible to win the first overall pick in the NHL Draft Lottery. Beginning in 2022, a team can only move up a maximum of ten spots, meaning the teams who finish No. 12 through No. 16 in the final league standings cannot move high enough to take over the top pick. The stage was set for a climactic send-off for the old format.
Well, the lottery balls decided not to take a crazy bounce in their last opportunity to move a team from the middle of the first round all the way to the top. Instead, the draft order stayed virtually the same. The Buffalo Sabres, who held the worst record in the NHL this season and thus the top odds in the lottery, retained the No. 1 pick. The expansion Seattle Kraken, awarded the same odds as the third-worst record in the league, moved up one spot, switching places with the Anaheim Ducks. New this year, there were only two lottery draws as opposed to the former three. Here is the official first-round draft order for the top 15 picks:
- Buffalo Sabres
- Seattle Kraken
- Anaheim Ducks
- New Jersey Devils
- Columbus Blue Jackets
- Detroit Red Wings
- San Jose Sharks
- Los Angeles Kings
- Vancouver Canucks
- Ottawa Senators
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Calgary Flames
- Philadelphia Flyers
- Dallas Stars
- New York Rangers
(As a reminder, the Arizona Coyotes forfeited their first-round pick this years as discipline for scouting violations)
This will be the second time in four years that the Buffalo Sabres will pick first overall after selecting Rasmus Dahlin at the top spot in 2018. It also means that two teams, the Sabres and New Jersey Devils, will have owned the first pick in four of the past five drafts. The two clubs are happy that the NHL’s new rule limiting teams to two lottery wins in a five-year span kicks in next year with a clean slate. Incredibly, the Sabres lottery win also further advances the mythology of Taylor Hall. Although Hall is now with the Boston Bruins, this is the fifth time in Hall’s career that his most recent team eligible for the draft lottery has won. A No. 1 overall pick himself, Hall has brought luck to the Edmonton Oilers, Devils, and now Sabres.
Perhaps bigger news than Buffalo at No. 1 is Seattle at No. 2, a major opportunity for the Kraken to draft a player who is ready to join the team in their inaugural season. The Vegas Golden Knights, with the same odds in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery, fell to No. 6 overall and drafted Cody Glass, who has still yet to establish himself as a regular in the Vegas lineup. With the second pick, Seattle will have better odds of adding an instant difference-maker.
The 2021 NHL Draft is unique compared to recent years in that there is no consensus top prospect. In fact, it is difficult to remember a draft class in recent memory that is so undecided at the top. One major factor has been the lack of complete scouting due to canceled and shortened seasons and limited live viewings. However, even with complete information, there is still seemingly no prospect that stands heads above the rest. University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power and forward Matthew Beniers are largely considered the top players at each position and the two most likely candidates for the top pick, with Power having a slight lead according to draft pundits. However, current teammate Kent Johnson and Wolverines commit Luke Hughes, a forward and defenseman respectively, are also in the mix. Canadian junior standouts Mason McTavish, Dylan Guenther, and Brandt Clarke and European pros William Eklund and Simon Edvinsson may also be in play.
What a shock Buffalo wins the lottery yet again, I’m sick of this
Yup. Knowing they are gonna lose Eichel.
As a Ranger fan I say this was a fixed draft there is no way buffalo should’ve won the number one draft pick. The Rangers got screwed out of the number one draft pick
You mean like how it was fixed last year for the Rangers to get the # 1 pick. Guess they didn’t offer Betman the Weasel enough of a bribe this year to decide x it their way again.
That’s what I call humor!
That’s the joke
88good ol days
I hope you’re kidding… if not you guys weren’t close to the Bottom, I’m lucky my Hawks got Kirby Dach though :)
No. Its fixed so that when Eichel is traded to the Rangers, the Sabres will have the 1st AND the 15th.
He needs a new Artificial disc in his neck. And indirectly he’ll be the first athlete in North America to have that done
He’s going to LA
Ha! Love the Ranger but hate them when they play the Ducks.
Lol not as bad as Edmonton for how many years straight you homer.
Yes when Edmonton won it year no one cried but once the Rangers won and now that Buffalo won yet again It’s all of a sudden an issue.
What rock have you been hiding under? There was a huge uproar over Edmonton getting a handful of #1s and they are single handedly responsible for the new rule limiting teams to two #1s in a 5 year span.
R.I.P Owen Power’s career just ended before it started
Congrats Owen, you’ve been exiled to Buffalo
I wonder if he tries “The Lindros”
If McDavid didn’t I’m not sure anyone will
I want to give Taylor Hall money to buy me lotto tickets. He’s the NHL 1st pick leprechaun. 8 million well spent.
“A No. 1 overall pick himself, Hall has brought luck to the Edmonton Oilers, Devils, and now Sabres.”
Yes, the “luck” of having your top player dog it and losing over and over.
It is amazing but Buffalo is a train wreck with no general manager and melting ice. Where is a Director of Hockey Operations? Cheap Cheap Cheap and it shows and shows.
It’s official, the NHL does not
Like the Red Wings.
I feel it was all planned this year to allow the shittist team to win the lottery like it should be…Bob Murray’s look after he dropped down one place 2nd to 3rd he knew the Kraken was going to get the 2nd pick because the league wanted it that way.. shittist team gets 1st pick and expansion team gets 2nd…no other team moved up…??????
Yeah very suspicious
The Ducks have dropped in position three times the past three drafts when picking in the top ten… The only thing I can say is they used their picks EXTREMELY well! Zgres and Drysdale look like they both have stellar futures where Zegras could potentially be the best player in his draft class. The Ducks will without question make a very good choice with their 3rd pick. They will be a deep playoff team in two years maybe even seriously contending for the cup in three.
We’ll call this the Wolverine draft. Shame they didn’t get the chance to play for the NCAA title this past season.
Lou Evil Slugger
Go Kraken! Owen Power would be a great first draft pick ever for the inaugural franchise. Hopefully Buffalo screws up and picks someone else.
FIRE DOUG WILSON
Break out the tin foil hats
Beniers = Poor man’s Andrew Ladd.
No thanks if I have a top 10 pick.