13 April 2011
The NJ Devils won the draft lottery last night as they moved from the 8th pick overall to the 4th pick overall. The Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers retained the top 3 spots as the NHL rules state that no team can move up more than 4 spots in the lottery. The Devils had a 3.6% chance of moving up to the 4th spot in the draft so we didn't pay much attention to the fact that the Devils could actually win the draft lottery, but they did.
It will be the first time the Devils will have a top 10 pick since they selected 10th in 1996 and took defenseman Lance Ward. You're probably saying Lance who and you would be correct. He-entered the draft and was selected 63rd overall by the Florida Panthers in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He was a member of the 2003 Ducks team that lost to NJ in the Stanley Cup Finals. The No. 4 pick will be the Devils’ highest since they selected Scott Niedermayer third overall in 1991 with the pick they acquired from Toronto for Tom Kurvers. Lets hope the Devils pick another Niedermayer type of player and not a Lance Ward.
Needless to say, the Devils will not be paying the first round draft pick penalty for the Kovalchuk mess this time around. They still have a few years to pay off that penalty.
Sure, I'd rather be in the playoffs, writing up a game preview and series preview instead of writing about the great draft pick we are going to get. Now, we have to really pay attention to the draft. All season, center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, defenseman Adam Larsson, and winger Gabriel Landeskog have been talked about as going 1, 2, 3 and there are certainly great options underneath those three. I certainly like Dougie Hamilton as he's a big defenseman with great puck moving ability and is a confident D-man but in time, we'll get to all this great stuff.
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