Buffalo Sabres to select No. 1 overall after winning 2018 NHL Draft Lottery


Congratulations, Buffalo Sabres, you’ve won the 2018 NHL Draft Lottery and will have the opportunity to select defenseman Rasmus Dahlin first overall in June’s entry draft.

The Sabres entered Saturday night’s lottery with an 18.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick, the third time in five years they’ve held that honor. After NHL Commissioner Bill Daly revealed the top 12 picks prior to Game 2 of the San Jose Sharks-Vegas Golden Knights series, the top three were announced following the second intermission — quite a while for Marc Bergevin, Don Waddell and Jason Botterill to nervously sit around.

But for Botterill and the Sabres, it was clearly worth the wait.

Here’s the order of the top 15 picks:

1. Buffalo Sabres
2. Carolina Hurricanes
3. Montreal Canadiens
4. Ottawa Senators
5. Arizona Coyotes
6. Detroit Red Wings
7. Vancouver Canucks
8. Chicago Blackhawks
9. New York Rangers
10. Edmonton Oilers
11. New York Islanders
12. New York Islanders (From Calgary)
13. Dallas Stars
14. Philadelphia Flyers (From St. Louis)
15. Florida Panthers

[NBC’s Stanley Cup Playoff Hub]

Better luck next time, Sens fan.

Finally, here are the final NHL Central Scouting rankings of the top prospects in this year’s entry draft, which will be held June 22-23 in Dallas.

North American Skaters
1. Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Barrie (OHL)
2. Brady Tkachuk, LW, Boston University (NCAA)
3. Filip Zadina, RW, Halifax (QMJHL)
4. Evan Bouchard, D, London (OHL)
5. Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)
6. Quintin Hughes, D, Michigan (NCAA)
7. Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, U.S. NTDP
8. Joseph Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)
9. Barrett Hayton, C, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
10. Serron Noel, RW, Oshawa (OHL)

International Skaters
1. Rasmus Dahlin, D, Frolunda (Sweden)
2. Adam Boqvist, D, Brynas Jr., (Sweden)
3. Vitali Kravtsov, RW, Chelyabinsk (Russia)
4. Martin Kaut, RW, Pardubice (Czech)
5. Adam Ginning, D, Linkoping (Sweden)
6. Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat (Finland)
7. Grigori Denisenko, LW, Yaroslavl 2 (Russia)
8. Isac Lundestrom, C, Lulea (Sweden)
9. Jacob Olofsson, C, Timra (Sweden)
10. Filip Johansson, D, Leksand Jr. (Sweden)

North American Goalies
1. Olivier Rodrigue, Drummondville (QMJHL)
2. Kevin Mandolese, Cape Breton (QMJHL)
3. Alexis Gravel, Halifax (QMJHL)
4. Matthew Thiessen, Steinbach (MJHL)
5. Keegan Karki, Muskegon (USHL)

International Goalies
1. Lukas Dostal, Trebic (Czech-2)
2. Jakub Skarek, Jihlava (Czech)
3. Amir Miftakhov, Irbis Kazan (Russia Jr.)
4. Justus Annunen, Karpat Jr (Finland Jr.)
5. Olof Lindbom, Djurgarden Jr. (Sweden Jr.)


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.