Devils beat odds to win lottery, chance at Hughes

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The New Jersey Devils won the 2019 NHL draft lottery after entering Tuesday night’s event in Toronto with the third-best odds.

It’s the second lottery win in three years for the Devils. They won it in 2017 and selected center Nico Hischier.

“I said the No. 1 thing we needed was [more] talent, and this is a huge part of getting more talent. It’s a huge day for the Devils,” GM Ray Shero said after the draw.

The 15 teams that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs were all eligible to win the lottery. The NHL uses three separate drawings to select the teams for the top three picks in the draft, in an effort to discourage tanking.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The Devils had a 11.5 percent chance of winning the lottery. The New York Rangers, who had just a 7.5 percent chance, jumped up from No. 6 to snag the second overall pick. The Chicago Blackhawks made an even more dramatic move, going from No. 12 all the way to the third pick in the draft. They had just a 2.5 percent chance of winning the lottery. The Colorado Avalanche, via a pick acquired from the last-place Ottawa Senators in a 2017 trade involving center Matt Duchene, entered the lottery with the best odds at 18.5 percent. The Los Angeles Kings (13.5 percent), Devils (11.5 percent), Detroit Red Wings (9.5 percent) and Buffalo Sabres (8.5 percent) rounded out the top five teams in draft probabilities.8

This year’s lottery was a painful one for Ottawa fans to watch. The Senators finished the regular season with the NHL’s worst record but did not own their first-round pick, which was traded to Colorado in the Duchene trade. They had the option to give Colorado their first-rounder in the 2018 NHL draft, but instead opted to select center Brady Tkachuk with the fourth overall pick. That gave Colorado the Senators’ 2019 pick and the best lottery odds. To add insult to injury, the Senators traded Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets in February after 118 games in Ottawa.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The prize of the 2019 NHL entry draft is Hughes, a special talent who skates at an elite level and can make plays at high speed.

The 17-year-old center’s footwork is unique among most players in that he skates deceptively well on top of having higher-end puck skills. Hughes also has elite vision, which combined with his shiftiness, allows him to exploit open ice and find teammates with ease. There are somewhat limited concerns about his size and physical strength, but they have done little to dissuade most that he belongs at No. 1.