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Edmonton Oilers win top pick in NHL Draft Lottery

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings

The Edmonton Oilers will pick first in the 2015 NHL Draft after winning the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday.

The Oilers had an 11.5 percent chance, third-best, to win the first pick in the draft, which will be held June 26-27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

The Buffalo Sabres, who had the worst record in the NHL this season and best chance to win the lottery (20 percent), dropped to the second pick. The Arizona Coyotes, who finished next to last, fell to third.

It is the fourth time in six seasons the Oilers will pick first.

Erie Otters forward Connor McDavid is No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top North American skaters.

McDavid, considered the top prospect since Sidney Crosby was picked first by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005, is regarded for his speed and game-changing potential. He finished third in the Ontario Hockey League with 120 points in 47 games, nine points behind the league leader playing 21 fewer games. His 44 goals were tied for fourth.

Boston University forward Jack Eichel is ranked No. 2 by Central Scouting; he won the 2015 Hobey Baker Award as U.S. college hockey's best player after leading the NCAA with 71 points in 40 games.

Completing the top six North American prospects in Central Scouting's final ranking are defenseman Noah Hanifin of Boston College of Hockey East, center Dylan Strome of Erie, left wing Lawson Crouse of the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL, and center Mitchell Marner of the London Knights of the OHL.

Right wing Mikko Rantanen of TPS in Liiga, Finland's top professional league, is No. 1 among international skaters.

Each of the 14 non-playoff teams was eligible to win the first pick. The remaining 13 teams will be slotted in reverse order based on their regular-season point totals.

The drawing determined the order only for the first round. For all subsequent rounds, the order will revert to the original order of regular-season and Stanley Cup Playoffs results.

Here is the order for the first 14 picks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft:

1. Edmonton Oilers

2. Buffalo Sabres

3. Arizona Coyotes

4. Toronto Maple Leafs

5. Carolina Hurricanes

6. New Jersey Devils

7. Philadelphia Flyers

8. Columbus Blue Jackets

9. San Jose Sharks

10. Colorado Avalanche

11. Florida Panthers

12. Dallas Stars

13. Los Angeles Kings

14. Boston Bruins

The NHL announced changes to the draft lottery format in August which included adjusting the odds of winning the first pick. The 10 highest-finishing non-playoff qualifying teams received higher (better) draft lottery odds than they had previously; the four lowest-finishing teams received lower (worse) odds.

The lottery machine randomly selected four balls. The resulting four-number series (without regard to selection order) was matched against a chart that showed all possible combinations and the team to which each was assigned.

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