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No lottery gains for Senators

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
There were no gains for the Ottawa Senators – or any team, for that matter – in the Scotiabank/NHL Draft Lottery tonight.

The Senators went into the proceedings holding the No. 9 pick in the first round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and that's where they'll pick on June 26 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Meanwhile, the New York Islanders, who finished with the worst record in the National Hockey League during the 2008-09 season and held the best odds (48.2%) of winning the lottery among the 14 non-playoff qualifiers, did just that and will own the No. 1 pick.

They'll also be in the enviable position of choosing between the consensus top two prospects, forward John Tavares of the London Knights and Swedish defenceman Victor Hedman.

Behind the Isles, there were no changes in the order of the draft selection. The 14 lottery teams will make their selections in the exact reverse order of standings, with the top five rounded out by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, Atlanta Thrashers and Los Angeles Kings.

Only the bottom five teams had a shot at the top pick. The other nine could move up four spots at the most, if they emerged as the lottery winner. Had it gone their way, the Senators – who had an extremely slim 2.7% chance of winning the night – could have jumped from the ninth spot in the first round all the way up to No. 5.

Senators general manager Bryan Murray said it's likely the No. 9 pick will be spent on shoring up the forward depth in the organization.

"Normally, I would suggest we would take the best player available," he said. "But I think our needs are fairly specific at this point. We've got two or three young defencemen coming. If we could find a top-end forward that might be available at that time, we would talk about that.

"I'm not going to take that out of the hands of our scouts. They may feel strongly about an individual that is a defenceman and we would do that. But I think we need a couple of good forwards now to grow up with."

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