The Oilers have an 11.5 percent chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery, which took place on Saturday. Conversely, the Buffalo Sabres owned the worst record in the National Hockey League for the 2014-2015 season and had a 20 percent chance of securing the first pick. They’ll select second overall instead, while the Arizona Coyotes will pick third.
The 2015 NHL Entry Draft goes June 26 and June 27 in Florida, with McDavid still topping Central Scouting’s North American rankings.
“Whether or not it’s the Oilers that are selecting me – I mean, anything can happen on draft day, you never know – that’s an unbelievable organization and it’ll be a true honor to be able to go there,” McDavid said.
McDavid is considered by many to be the best prospect available since Sidney Crosby transformed the fortunes of the Pittsburgh Penguins way back in 2005. The Oilers haven’t laid their plan out entirely, but one has to imagine they’ll be going with the top draw. Boston University forward Jack Eichel is also a possibility, as he’s ranked second by Central Scouting and is also a heck of a player. He won the 2015 Hobey Baker Award as the top U.S. player in the collegiate system.
The Oilers find themselves in familiar position at the NHL Entry Draft, but they have to find it bittersweet. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2006 and, despite the finish, were arguably the worst team in the NHL for the 2014-2015 season.
“Getting the number one pick is going to certainly fill a big hole in our lineup and allow us maybe to make some moves that we wouldn’t normally be able to make, sooner,” Edmonton’s assistant general manager Bill Scott said. “And it’s going to be very exciting for our team to add a player of this calibre.”
With Edmonton first, Buffalo second and the Coyotes third, the Toronto Maple Leafs will pick fourth and the Carolina Hurricanes will have the fifth selection. Each of the 14 non-playoff teams were eligible to win the draft lottery. The remaining 13 will draft in reverse order based on regular season point totals.