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by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers


NEW YORK (April 20, 2006) -- The St. Louis Blues won the National Hockey League Draft Drawing today and retained the first overall drafting position for the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Saturday, June 24 at General Motors Place in Vancouver (6 p.m., ET, TSN, OLN).

The Blues had the greatest chance that one of the numbered sequences assigned to them would be the winning combination, 25.0%, based on inverse order of regular-season finish. Under the lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points had the chance to win the first overall selection; no team could move up more than four spots and no team could move backward more than one.

The Blues have never selected first overall in their 39-year history. The club's highest pick was forward Perry Turnbull, selected second overall in 1979.

The order of selection for the first 14 drafting positions in each round of the 2006 Entry Draft is as follows:

1. St. Louis Blues

2.Pittsburgh Penguins

3. Chicago Blackhawks

4. Washington Capitals

5. Boston Bruins

6. Columbus Blue Jackets

7. New York Islanders

8. Phoenix Coyotes

9.Minnesota Wild

10.Florida Panthers

11.Los Angeles Kings

12.Atlanta Thrashers

13.Toronto Maple Leafs

14.Vancouver Canucks

The remaining drafting positions will be determined at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Drawing was conducted at the NHL's New York office.

Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine expelled four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls was matched against a probability chart that divided the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The chart showed that the Blues had been assigned the numbers (11-14-13-1) that were expelled.

The Draft Drawing is a weighted system to give the teams that finished with the fewest points during the regular season the greatest chance of having their combination selected. The Blues, who finished the regular season with the fewest points (57), were assigned the greatest number of combinations, representing a 25% likelihood that their combination would emerge. The Pittsburgh Penguins were assigned 18.8% of the combinations, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks (14.2%) and the Washington Capitals (10.7%). The remaining teams had the following chances: 8.1%, 6.2%, 4.7%, 3.6%, 2.7%, 2.1%, 1.5%, 1.1%, 0.8% and 0.5%.

Results of Previous Draft Drawings

YearSelectedEffect On Draft OrderPlayer Selected

1995Los AngelesMoved from 7th to 3rdD Aki Berg

1996OttawaRetained 1st selectionD Chris Phillips

1997BostonRetained 1st selectionC Joe Thornton

1998Tampa BayMoved from 3rd to 1st via tradesC Vincent Lecavalier

1999ChicagoMoved from 8th to 4thRW Pavel Brendl *

2000NY IslandersMoved from 5th to 1stG Rick DiPietro

2001AtlantaMoved from 3rd to 1stLW Ilya Kovalchuk

2002FloridaMoved from 3rd to 1stLW Rick Nash **

2003FloridaMoved from 4th to 1stG Marc-Andre Fleury ***

2004WashingtonMoved from 3rd to 1stLW Alexander Ovechkin

2005Pittsburghn/aC Sidney Crosby

2006St. LouisRetained 1st selection

* NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall.

** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall.

*** Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.

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