Sabres Win Lottery and First Selection in 2021 NHL Draft; Kraken Land 2nd Overall Pick
The Buffalo Sabres and Seattle Kraken own the first and second overall drafting positions, respectively, for the First Round of the 2021 NHL Draft as a result of the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery Drawing, conducted last night at NHL Network’s Secaucus, N.J., studio.
Participants in the Draft Lottery included the expansion Kraken, who begin play in the 2021-22 season, and Clubs that did not qualify for this season’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Two draws were held: the first drawing determined the club selecting first overall and the second drawing determined the club selecting second overall. Once a club was assigned a pick, it was ineligible for further participation in subsequent drawings.
The order of selection for the first 15* drafting positions in the First Round, only, of the 2021 NHL Draft is as follows:
- 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
NHL announced forfeiture of Arizona Coyotes’ 1st-round pick in 2021 NHL Draft in sanctions announced Aug. 26, 2020.
The remaining positions are determined by the results of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Sabres Win No. 1 Drafting Position
In the drawing that determined the No. 1 drafting position, the Sabres had the greatest percentage likelihood of being selected based on inverse order of regular-season finish (16.6%). It marks the third time since 2016 the team in the No. 1 position has retained the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft Lottery (Toronto in 2016, Buffalo in 2018 and 2021).
The Sabres won the NHL Draft Lottery for the second time; in 2018, they retained the first overall selection and went on to select defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.
Buffalo has picked No. 1 overall three times: 1970 (Gilbert Perreault), 1987 (Pierre Turgeon) and 2018 (Dahlin).
Kraken Win No. 2 Drafting Position
In the drawing that determined the No. 2 drafting position, the Kraken had a share of the second-greatest percentage likelihood among the remaining clubs eligible for selection (12.4%).
Under the terms of expansion the Kraken were afforded the same lottery odds as the Club finishing the regular season with the third-worst record (29th place, the New Jersey Devils) and slotted ahead of that Club in the event neither was selected for either of the top two overall drafting positions.
The Kraken become the first expansion team to be selected in an NHL Draft Lottery. The Nashville Predators dropped from 2 to 3 in 1998, Atlanta Thrashers stayed at 2 in 1999, Minnesota Wild dropped from 2 to 3 in 2000, Columbus Blue Jackets dropped from 3 to 4 in 2000 and Vegas Golden Knights dropped from 3 to 6 in 2017.
For each of the two drawings, 14 balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine randomly selected four balls. The resulting four-number series (without regard to selection order) was matched against a chart that shows all possible combinations and the clubs to which each was assigned. The chart showed that the Sabres had been assigned the numbers (4-5-8-14) that were expelled in the first drawing, followed by the Kraken (1-9-10-11) in the second drawing.
2021 NHL Draft
The 2021 NHL Draft will be held virtually over two days. Round 1 will take place on Friday, July 23, followed by Rounds 2-7 on Saturday, July 24.
Owen Power, a 6’ 6” defenseman from the University of Michigan, places No. 1 among North American Draft prospects in rankings released last week by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau. Rounding out the top-five North American skaters are No. 2 Mason McTavish, a center for Peterborough of the Ontario Hockey League who played on loan with Olten of the Swiss second division in 2020-21; No. 3 Kent Johnson, a center with the University of Michigan; No. 4 Luke Hughes, a defenseman from Team USA’s Under-18 National Team Development Program and the brother of recent high-end selections Quinn Hughes (No. 7 by VAN in 2018) and Jack Hughes (No. 1 by NJD in 2019); and No. 5 Dylan Guenther, a forward from Edmonton of the Western Hockey League.
William Eklund, a left wing for Djurgarden of the Swedish Hockey League, tops all international skaters while Sebastian Cossa of Edmonton in the WHL and Jesper Wallstedt of Lulea in the Swedish Hockey League rank No. 1 among goaltenders on the North America and International lists, respectively.