NHL Draft Lottery Preview: Who deserves 2016 top pick the most?

Christina Vixx

Christina Vixx

I was born and raised in Toronto Canada. I love writing, poetry and music. I'm a contributor for SocialMediaMorning. Make sure you follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

The 2016 NHL Draft Lottery, a.k.a. Canada’s Stanley Cup Final, is scheduled for Saturday night.

Please keep in mind that the lottery rules have changed, and that the worst team in the regular season is no longer guaranteed at least the second overall pick. The Toronto Maple Leafs could drop as low as fourth, which would be so very LOLeafs.

There are three draws: the first drawing will determine the club selecting first overall, the second drawing will determine the club selecting second overall and the third drawing will determine the club selecting third overall.

Once a club is assigned a pick through the Draft Lottery Drawing, it is ineligible for further participation in the Drawing; there will be a re-draw for any pick that otherwise would be assigned to a team that already has been selected.

Everyone got that?

So which teams deserve to select first overall? Here’s a look at the lottery field this year. (Please keep in mind that we’re going with Auston Matthews as the first overall pick, although Patrik Laine could easily end up No. 1 overall here.)

And here … we … go.

14. Boston Bruins

Lottery Odds: 1%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Joe Thornton, 1997. Please remember that next season at Wayne Primeau’s number retirement ceremony in Boston.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Of course not. To paraphrase Bruce Wayne: “If we even believe there is even a 1-percent chance they can win the top pick, we have to take it as an absolute certainty and we have to destroy the NHL Draft Lottery system.” (And then, as per Zack Snyder, he murders everyone with guns.)

13. Carolina Hurricanes

Lottery Odds: 2%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: They never have, actually. Eric Staal of the New York Rangers (checks watch … yeah, still with the New York Rangers) was taken No. 2 overall in 2003.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Yes. The Hurricanes are trying to build a winner the right way, with great coaching and a youth movement and analytics and not burning their season like piles of smoldering rubber at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Were that to be rewarded with a top pick, it would be good and just … well, save for the fact that an 86-point team shouldn’t have a chance to pick first overall. The real question: Would Auston Matthews increase or decrease the Quebec rumors?

12. Ottawa Senators

Lottery Odds: 2.5%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Chris Phillips, 1996, back when a Canadian team selected first overall in three out of four years because they were abjectly terrible. No, we mean back in the 90s when that happened.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? We’re torn. On the one hand, this team was so fecklessly mismanaged and has such forehead-slapping ownership that the last thing anyone would want is for a top pick to end up there. That said, Erik Karlsson could use a playmate and the Senators winning would be like sharpening a tree trunk and shanking the Leafs with it.

11. New Jersey Devils

Lottery Odds: 3%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Never, although they did select Brendan Shanahan at No. 2 in 1987 and Kirk Muller at No. 2 in 1984, a year in which the Pittsburgh Penguins iced a bantam team and played a sack of onions in goal but in no way were trying to tank for Mario.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Like the Hurricanes, the Devils refused to tank this season for a transformative pick that could reenergize the franchise post-Lamoriello. Unlike the Hurricanes … they probably should have. So consider this the ultimate test of the Hockey Gods’ desires: If they win, they did it the right way; if they lose, well, at least Matthews won’t muscle in on franchise center Travis Zajac’s ice time.

10. Colorado Avalanche

Lottery Odds: 3.5%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Nathan MacKinnon, 2013.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Yes. Then Matt Duchene gets traded to the Ottawa Senators, helping them, and the expectations are raised for the Avalanche to excel – which they won’t meet, forcing them to hire a coach that can offer some semblance of structure beyond  “let da goalie bail us out.” Of course, one other option is that they draft Matthews, his mother doesn’t want him to play in Denver because of the weed or something, and then an arbitrator decides if the Flyers or Rangers have actually traded for him. It’s in the franchise DNA.

Hockey Marg Bergevin

9. Montreal Canadiens

Lottery Odds: 5.0%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Doug Wickenheiser, 1980. Or three spots ahead of Denis Savard. No worries, they eventually acquired Savard. Didn’t cost them much.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Yes. The Canadiens having a crisis of conscience right now, but throw a No. 1 center on that roster like Matthews and suddenly a lot of things change. Well, not the coaching situation, as apparently Michel Therrien is actively blackmailing his general manager. That’s the only thing that makes sense.

8. Buffalo Sabres

Lottery Odds: 6.0%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Jack Eichel, last year. Wait … Edmonton? Seriously? OK then: Pierre Turgeon in 1987.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? There are going to be plenty of people that want to see the Sabres win because they were jobbed out of the first pick by the lottery last season after doing such a glorious job of tanking. But they don’t need the top pick. They have Eichel and plenty more behind him. They’re on the way. Let someone else have the transformative prospect this time. Learn to share.

7. Arizona Coyotes

Lottery Odds: 6.5%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: We’re not sure if this counts, but the Jets 1.0 drafted Dale Hawerchuk in 1981.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Gee, ya think? Matthews is from Arizona and grew up a Coyotes fan. This is like if the NHL expanded to Slovenia and they had the first pick in Anze Kopitar’s draft year. Getting Matthews would be a coup on and off the ice, provided he turns them into winners, which is the only thing that’ll actually create new fans in the desert. It’ll also be great to have a star player who’s a few years older than their next GM.

6. Winnipeg Jets

Lottery Odds: 7.5%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: We’re not sure if this counts, but the Jets 1.0 drafted Dale Hawerchuk in 1981.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Yes, in the sense that the best fans in the NHL deserve to have a blue-chip rookie star lead the franchise to glory for the next decade before he escapes their frozen hell-scape for an American city. No, in the sense that for those of us that would like to watch a U.S. kid star in the NHL, the Jets are on NBCSN, like, negative times.

5. Calgary Flames

Lottery Odds: 8.5%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Never. Sam Bennett at No. 4 last season was their highest-ever pick.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Of course not. They have a Bennett and Gaudreau and Monahan to build around. Plus the world’s a more fun place when Brian Burke is raging against the lottery system. But don’t worry, he’s bringing the same good luck charms to this year’s lottery that he had when the Ducks failed to win the Sidney Crosby Derby. Which is like re-using a snapped wishbone that didn’t work the first time.

4. Columbus Blue Jackets

Lottery Odds: 9.5%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Rick Nash in 2002. Requested a trade in 2012.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Yes, yes and yes. The Jackets need a star player and franchise centerpiece. And we’re quite fond of Jarmo Kekalainen, so we’d like to see that whole “trade Johansen, end up with Jones and Matthews” thing work out. Oh, wait, who are we kidding: It’sJarmo Kekalainen. He’s totally drafting Laine.

3. Vancouver Canucks

Lottery Odds: 11.5%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Never. They selected Daniel Sedin at No. 2 and Henrik Sedin at No. 3 in 1999. Petr Nedved (1990) and Trevor Linden (1988) were also No. 2 overall picks.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? More than anyone else in this draft. The Canucks were mismanaged into the ground by the previous regime, and right now the franchise is basically two ageing Swedish stars holding up the empty husk of a franchise. At this point, they’re about as relevant as a Rick Santorum campaign button. They have some players in the pipeline. They need their McDavid.

2. Edmonton Oilers

Lottery Odds: 13.5%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Five minutes ago.

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery?

1. Toronto Maple Leafs

Lottery Odds: 20.0%

Last Time They Picked No. 1 Overall: Wendel Clark, 1985. Wait, the NHL didn’t fix it for them every few years as is established in the league charter?

Do They Deserve To Win The Lottery? Insert deep sigh here: Yes.

The Leafs deserve credit and kudos for one of the most spectacular tank jobs in the history of the League, stretching back all the way to the David Clarkson trade. It’s shameless and hilarious and probably effective. I guess, just once, we can let the Leafs have a nice thing. With the full knowledge that Matthews will be swallowed alive by the Toronto media Sarlacc within three years, his ring-less hands struggling to hold onto to the skiff as Mike Babcock tries to aim just a little higher and shoot its tentacle. (The tentacle in this case is named “Steve Simmons.”)

So there you go. Please join your friends at Puck Daddy for an NHL Draft Lottery Live Chat on Saturday night. Go team!

via Greg Wyshnyski, Puck Daddy, yahoo sports | photos sportspyder.com and gohabsgo.com

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Christina Vixx

I was born and raised in Toronto Canada. I love writing, poetry and music. I'm a contributor for SocialMediaMorning. Make sure you follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

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