Buffalo Sabres Gain First Pick In 2021 NHL Draft
The Buffalo Sabres will receive the number one overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft after winning Wednesday’s lottery. They have received the first pick twice in the past four years. They used the first pick in 2018 to acquire Rasmus Dahlin.
— NHL on NBC Sports (@NHLonNBCSports) June 2, 2021
The Sabres won only 15 games this season, which was the fewest in the league. They were the lowest-ranked team in the NHL and scored only 37 points. They had a 16.6 percent chance to receive the first pick.
The Seattle Kraken receive the second pick while the Anaheim Ducks won the third spot. The Ducks had a 12.1% chance to receive the first pick while the Kraken had a 10.3% likelihood. The Kraken is the NHL’s newest expansion team.
The draft order for the first 10 picks now stands as such:
- 1. Buffalo Sabres
- 2. Seattle Kraken
- 3.Anaheim Ducks
- 4. New Jersey Devils
- 5. Columbus Blue Jackets
- 6.Detroit Red Wings
- 7. San Jose Sharks
- 8. Los Angeles Kings
- 9. Vancouver Canucks
- 10. Ottawa Senators
The Arizona Coyotes were not eligible to win the lottery. This was due to a violation of NHL combine testing policies during the 2019-2020 season, which forced them to give up their first-round pick. The Coyotes were also relieved of their second-round pick in last year’s draft.
“It’s a great moment for our franchise,” said Sabres manager Kevyn Adams during the lottery. “It’s obviously been a tough year for a number of different reasons… It’s a step in the right direction. We need to get better in every area in every way.”
The Sabres do not have a clear pick at number one. Matthew Beniers and Owen Power from the University of Michigan have been floated as possible picks. Power was recently ranked as the best recruit in North America by NHL Central Scouting. Other prospects include William Eklund and Simon Edvinsson from the Swedish Hockey league.
The NHL draft will begin on July 23 with the first round. Round two to seven will finish on July 24.