NHL teams that are part of the Jack Hughes sweepstakes will find out a lot earlier if they’ll get a chance to draft the highly regarded American center at No. 1.
The league announced Wednesday it was moving its draft lottery up to April 9, on the eve of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The event, which will take place in Toronto, typically occurred during the playoffs.
The 15 teams that do not make the postseason are eligible for the No. 1 pick. The team with the fewest regular-season points has a 18.5 percent chance at landing the top pick. The team with the second-fewest points has a 13.5 percent chance, and the team with the third fewest has a 11.5 percent chance.
As of Wednesday, the Ottawa Senators had the worst record in the NHL with a league-low 52 points. Unfortunately for the Senators, the Colorado Avalanche own that pick, from last season’s deal that sent Matt Duchene to Ottawa.
The 2019 NHL draft will be June 21 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko is believed to be the second-highest-rated prospect in the draft.