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SABRES WILL PICK EIGHTH IN JUNE

Monday, 04.29.2013 / 9:49 PM / News

By finishing with the fewest points in the regular season, the Florida Panthers had the best chance to land the No. 1 pick at the 2013 NHL Draft in June. But, on Monday, the Colorado Avalanche were the ones smiling.

With an 18.8 percent chance, Colorado (16-25-7) was the winner of the 2013 Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery and will select first at this year’s draft, which will be held on June 30 at the Prudential Center in New Jersey.

Buffalo started the night with a 3.6% chance of moving up from the eighth position, but they will remain in that spot. The Sabres also own Minnesota's first-round selection.

Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones was recently revealed as the top-ranked player eligible for this year’s draft. The 6-foot-4, 206-pound blueliner had 14 goals and 42 assists in 61 games during the regular season and also helped the United States capture the gold medal at the World Junior Championships this past winter.

Other top-ranked players available for Colorado are center Nathan MacKinnon and left wing Jonathan Drouin, who both play for the Halifax Mooseheads in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The No. 1 pick will join a Colorado roster that already boasts rising stars Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene. Landeskog, 20, won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie last season and has since been named the team’s captain.

With the Avalanche winning the lottery, the Panthers will select second and the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes will round out the top five.

This year’s lottery was the first in NHL history in which all 14 clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs -- or the clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams – had a chance at winning the right to the No. 1 selection.

The odds of winning the lottery were unchanged from previous years and determined by the teams' regular-season point totals.

In previous years, the winning team could move up no more than four slots in the draft order.

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