The Dallas Stars had a good night at the NHL Draft Lottery in Toronto Saturday, jumping up from the eighth position to the third overall pick in this summer's draft.
The Stars had a 5.8 percent chance of winning the first overall pick in the draft and an 18.3 percent chance of landing a top-three pick in Saturday's lottery, which involved the 14 teams that missed the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the Vegas Golden Knights who will join the league next season via expansion.
Stars player development coordinator Rich Peverley represented the team at Saturday's draft lottery in Toronto where teams were assigned a certain amount of random four number combinations. The Stars, who came into the lottery with the eighth best odds, won the third pick with the number combination of 2,6,8,13.
New Jersey won the draft lottery and will get the first overall pick. The Devils, who had an 8.5 percent chance to win the first overall pick, jumped up four spots. The Flyers jumped from the 13th spot to claim the second overall pick. Colorado, which had the worst record in the league and the best chance to win the first overall pick at 18.0 percent, will select fourth, and Vancouver, which had the second best odds, will draft fifth. Vegas will pick sixth.
The third-overall pick will be the highest the Stars have selected since the team moved to Dallas. The previous high was fifth overall in 1996 when the team took defenseman Richard Jackman. This summer's pick will be the highest for the Stars franchise since 1988 when the Minnesota North Stars selected Mike Modano first overall.
The 2017 NHL Draft will be held in Chicago on June 23 and 24. Centers Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are considered the top two players in the draft and either could go number one overall. After that, it's anyone's guess at this point.
Here are the top ten players in the draft according to TSN.
1. Nolan Patrick, C, Brandon (WHL): Slowed by injury this season, but a right-shot center who does a lot of things well and plays in all situations.
2. Nico Hischier, C, Halifax (QMJHL): Dynamic, creative Swiss-born center playing in North America. Racked up 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 57 regular season games.
3. Gabe Vilardi, C, Windsor (OHL): Battled through injury and illness this past season. Good size, strong possession player with good puckhandling ability.
4. Miro Heiskanen, D, HIFK (Finland): Mobile, puck-moving defenseman who played in Finland's top league. Was a teammate of Dallas prospect Roope Hintz.
5. Casey Mittelstadt, C, Eden Prairie (USHS): Creative center with good size. Played in both high school and USHL this past season and has committed to University of Minnesota.
6. Owen Tippett, RW, Mississauga (OHL): Perhaps best goal scorer in draft. Can skate and has strong shot. Scored 44 goals in 60 games, ranking fifth in the OHL.
7. Cale Makar, D, Brooks (AJHL): Small, smooth-skating defenseman who shoots right-handed. Possesses some excellent offensive instincts.
8. Michael Rasmussen, C/LW, Tri-City (WHL): The 6-6, 215-pound forward is a strong skater and has a nose for the net. Scored 32 goals in 50 games before a wrist injury ended his season.
9. Cody Glass, C/LW, Portland (WHL): Playmaker with good hands and hockey sense ranked seventh in the WHL in scoring with 94 points (32 goals, 62 assists) in 69 games.
10. Martin Necas, C, Brno (Czech Republic): Speedy, offensively-skilled center played in both top league and juniors in Czech Republic.
Draft Lottery Results
1. New Jersey Devils
2. Philadelphia Flyers
3. Dallas Stars
4. Colorado Avalanche
5. Vancouver Canucks
6. Vegas Golden Knights
7. Arizona Coyotes
8. Buffalo Sabres
9. Detroit Red Wings
10. Florida Panthers
11. Los Angeles Kings
12. Carolina Hurricanes
13. Winnipeg Jets
14. Tampa Bay Lightning
15. New York Islanders
This story was not subject to approval of the National Hockey League or Dallas Stars Hockey Club. Mark Stepneski is an independent writer whose posts on DallasStars.com reflect his own opinions and do not represent official statements from the Dallas Stars. You can follow Mark on Twitter @StarsInsideEdge.