Sunrise, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Despite having an 18.8 chance of getting the top pick, the Florida Panthers won the NHL Draft Lottery Tuesday, edging favorite Buffalo Sabres.
Last season, the Panthers had the best odds but fell to No. 2 overall, taking forward Aleksander Barkov.
“We’re looking to continue to build on our core talent of the players,” said Panthers VP of hockey operations Travis Viola. “We’re anxious to put a winner in Florida, but if we take our time and make a really good plan with Mr. Dale Tallon and Mr. Bill Torrey.”
This marked the second time that the Panthers will have the first overall pick, the last time coming in 1994 when Florida took defenseman Ed Jovanovski at No. 1.
The Panthers are expected to use their pick to take a defenseman. Blueliner Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts is one of three players expected to go at the top of the draft, along with Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett.
The Sabres, who had a 25 percent chance of taking the top spot in the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery, dropped to No. 2 while the Edmonton Oilers will take third.
The rest of the drafting order:
4. Calgary Flames 5. New York Islanders 6. Vancouver Canucks 7. Carolina Hurricanes 8. Toronto Maple Leafs 9. Winnipeg Jets 10. Anaheim Ducks (from Ottawa Senators) 11. Nashville Predators 12. Phoenix Coyotes 13. Washington Capitals.