For the first time in four years, the draft lottery was not won by the team with the worst record. Luckily for the Edmonton Oilers, however, they still get to choose first overall. How? Because the team that won the lottery, the New Jersey Devils, was entering the lotto at 8th overall, with a tiny 3.6% chance of winning. In comparison, the Thrashers’ chances were at 6.2%.
With the Devils’ win, it knocked everyone below them down a peg in the draft order, meaning that the Ottawa Senators, to the shock of a confused GM Bryan Murray. The Devils were slotted to draft in the top ten for the first time since 1996, when they drafted Lance Ward 10th overall. The Devils have not drafted in the top five since 1991, in which they drafted Scott Neidermayer at third.
Once you get past the top five draft picks as ranked by TSN, you start to see a trend of them being either centers or defensemen, Either of which would be a good choice for the Thrashers. The team’s depth at forward is lacking, as we saw this season, but with Alexander Burmistrov and Patrice Cormier, along with Bryan Little and Jim Slater, the Thrashers top four centers look to be set for next year.
Don’t be shocked if this year, for the first time since 2007’s draft that the Thrashers’ first pick (though 2007’s was Spencer Machacek in the third round) isn’t rushed into NHL play,