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Lightning win NHL draft lottery; will pick first at June draft

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO (AP) -The Tampa Bay Lightning landed the No. 1 pick in the NHL's draft lottery Monday night.

The Lightning had the best chance (48.8 percent) of winning the top pick after earning 71 points (31-42-9) in the regular season. Tampa Bay became only the fourth team in 14 lotteries to have the fewest points and win the lottery.

"This has been a season of just incredible bad luck for us on so many fronts throughout the year," Lightning general manager Jay Feaster said during a conference call. "It was nice to see that for the first time in an entire season that the storm cloud parted and there was a little bit of sunshine here in the Sunshine State."

Former Tampa Bay forward Dave Andreychuk, who was captain of the Lightning's 2004 Stanley Cup championship team, represented the franchise at the announcement in Toronto. He now works with the team in community relations.

"Andy continues to come through for the Tampa Bay Lightning," Feaster said. "That was a great job by Andy, "Mr. Clutch," as he was for us when we won the cup in '04."

The winner of the lottery can move up a maximum of four spots, so only the five teams with the fewest points have a chance to win the first pick.

The rest of the non-playoff teams will fall in line in order of poorest record behind Tampa Bay, with the Los Angeles Kings picking second.

The Atlanta Thrashers, St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders round out the top five.

The Columbus Blue Jackets will select sixth, followed by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes.

Nashville holds Florida's first-round pick and will select ninth. Vancouver picks 10th, Chicago 11th and Anaheim has the 12th pick, acquired from Edmonton.

Buffalo picks 13th and Carolina 14th.

Forward Steven Stamkos is the highest-rated prospect after finishing second in the Ontario Hockey League with 58 goals and fifth in scoring with 105 points while playing for the Sarnia Sting.

Feaster would not say whether Stamkos would be the No. 1 pick.

"We view him as a player who is an impact player," Feaster said.

The draft will be held at Ottawa in June.

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