Oilers win lottery for 1st pick in NHL draft
After finishing with a league-low 62 points, the Edmonton Oilers
have won the NHL draft lottery for the first overall pick in
Boston, the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, will
pick second in the June 25-26 draft after acquiring Toronto’s
first-round pick in an offseason trade that sent Phil Kessel to the
The Oilers (27-47-8) came into the annual lottery Tuesday with a
25 percent chance of securing the top pick and will select first
for the first time.
Florida will select third, followed by Columbus and the New York
Islanders – who picked first in 2009. Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta,
Minnesota and the New York Rangers round out the top 10.
Barring a trade, the Oilers will become the first Canadian team
to select first since 1996, when Ottawa chose defenseman Chris
“It’s such an important step for us to have the ability to take
the first overall pick, especially where we are with our cycle of
development,” Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini said.
“We’re more into a reshaping, a rebuilding mode right now.
Everybody’s clear about that. This will be a wonderful building
block to add on to some of the other draft choices we have in place
While acknowledging he would listen to trade offers, Tambellini
said he was inclined to keep the pick.
“I’m sure there’s lots of teams that have ideas how to make our
team better,” he said. “I always have to listen. … We’re
focused right now on the No. 1 pick. For us to move that pick at
this point, I can’t think of what it would have to be.”
If the Oilers keep the selection, they will likely choose
between Ontario Hockey League stars Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin.
The two ended up tied atop the league’s scoring race with 106
points, with Seguin claiming the scoring title after finishing with
48 goals to Hall’s 40.
Both Hall and Seguin are expected to contribute right away,
meaning whichever player isn’t selected by Edmonton is almost
certain to end up in Boston.
The Bruins’ pick will be the highest for the franchise since it
made Joe Thornton the No. 1 overall selection in 1997. When GM
Peter Chiarelli sent Kessel to Toronto in September, he never
imagined he’d find himself in position to land either Hall or
“No, not really,” Chiarelli said. “We had a range in mind, we
had to choose between the Leafs and a couple other teams, and we
kind of had a range in mind. But not this high, no.”
The Oilers scored just 206 goals this season, fourth-fewest in
the league. Aside from Dustin Penner (32 goals) no other Edmonton
player had more than 17.
After trading away their 2008-09 goals leader in Kessel – and
losing playmaker Marc Savard for half the year to a concussion –
the Bruins finished last in the NHL with 196 goals. A strong
defense and solid goaltending helped Boston get into the
Balls representing the 14 teams that failed to make the playoffs
were in play, and only one was selected. The winner could move up a
maximum of four positions, so only the bottom five teams in the
league standings had a shot at the top pick.
Edmonton’s victory continued the recent trend of last-place
teams winning the draft lottery. St. Louis Blues used the No. 1
pick to select defenseman Erik Johnson in 2006, Tampa Bay selected
Steven Stamkos first overall in 2008 and the Islanders chose John
Tavares with the top pick last year.