Buffalo secures top pick in draft

The Ottawa Senators were the biggest losers after entering the lottery with the second best odds, behind only the Buffalo Sabres, with a 13.5 per cent chance to win the top selection, but dropped to fourth overall. Carolina, which had only 3 percent odds of the No. 1 pick and 30 combinations, moved from No. 11 to No. 2 when 1-2-5-14 was drawn.

"Yeah, it's a possibility", Bergevin said.

The Sabres overcame their past disappointments the last two times they finished last and settled for the No. 2 pick in both 2014 and 2015. After failing to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Devils and Flyers returned this season with those rookies contributing. "We're bringing in a No. 1 overall talent to this group".

By winning the draft lottery, the Buffalo Sabres are in position to add Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin, the consensus No. 1 ranked prospect for the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

However, Bergevin also acknowledged that he would be open to trading the pick.

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The Carolina Hurricanes made the biggest jump in the draft order by moving from the 11th spot to 2nd. The Blues had the option to retain this year's first-round pick but only if it landed among the top 10 spots. It's a safe assumption that top prospects Andrei Sveshnikov and Filip Zadina will be off the board at the fifth pick, but Oliver Wahlstrom has the obvious potential and would be a welcome addition to the Desert Dog's pipeline.

In '87, the Sabres invested the first overall pick in QMJHL scoring phenom Pierre Turgeon.

Dahlin, who plays in the Swedish Elite League, was named best defenseman at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. "You go there knowing you're probably going to pick seventh or eighth". Or two of them if you think that class is only four defensemen.

The Bills, who like the Sabres are also owned by Terry and Kim Pegula, traded up in the draft order to select Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the seventh pick and then traded up again to select Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds at 16th.

Winning the lottery was a long shot. The Ottawa Senators and Arizona Coyotes fell out of the top three to picks No. 4 and No. 5. In 1986, Jack Gordon drafted centre Dan Woodley seventh overall. But we can look on the bright side tomorrow.

  • Tabitha Byrd