The San Jose Sharks weren’t very lucky in Wednesday’s NHL draft lottery.
The Sharks did not win either of the two draws that determined which teams would have first and second overall selections in the NHL draft next month, as they landed number 7 – still the highest as an organization in over 15 years.
The NHL Draft will run virtually over two days, with the first round on July 23rd and rounds 2-7 on July 24th. It is the first time in their 30-year history that the Sharks have finished seventh overall.
The Buffalo Sabers, who finished this season with the worst record in the NHL, won the lottery. The Seattle Kraken and Anaheim Ducks, two of the Sharks Pacific Division’s enemies for the next season, landed second and third overall picks, respectively. The Kraken expansion was guaranteed to be no worse than fifth overall.
The Haie, who hit the league’s seventh worst record at 21-28-7, had a 6.7 percent chance of winning the lottery and a further 6.9 percent chance of winning the second drawing for the second overall selection .
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The most likely outcome of Wednesday’s lottery for the Sharks was either sticking to their tip in 7th place or falling to 8th place if another team with less chance of winning jumped into the top two. They could have dropped back to ninth overall if two teams had jumped past them. The NHL held one draw for the first overall pick and another for the No. 2 selection.
But the lottery went as expected for picks # 4-15 before Seattle Anaheim, which had the league’s second-worst record that season, jumped to # 2.
Now the sharks will get to work talking to the players.
Doug Wilson Jr., the Sharks’ scouting director, said last month the team will interview about a dozen prospects on Zoom starting Thursday, a process that will continue for the rest of the month.
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“Well, it was just a small process to get these,” said Wilson Jr. “The league doesn’t allow us to interview players in person just yet. So we have all of our Zoom calls scheduled from June 3rd so we can interview them after we know exactly where to vote. ”
The best available player in this year’s draft is widely considered to be Owen Power, a 6-foot-5, 214-pound defender with potential for immediate entry into the NHL next season. In his first year in Michigan, Power scored 16 points in 26 games and is currently competing for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships in Latvia.
Other top players are defender Simon Edvinsson and striker William Eklund, both Swedes, WHL striker Dylan Guenther and Michigan center Matty Beniers.
Defensemen Luke Hughes and Brandt Clarke and center Kent Johnson are also among the best available players this year and will most likely be available in 7th place for the Sharks.
This season marked the first time under General Manager Doug Wilson that the Sharks missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons.
Wilson, who began his tenure as GM of the Sharks in May 2003, had just four picks in the top 10 in the past 18 years, starting with striker Milan Michalek, who finished sixth overall in June 2003.
Since 2005 the Sharks have drafted three more times in the top 10, most recently in 2015 when they missed the playoffs, finished ninth in the lottery and picked striker Timo Meier. Other players named in the top 10 under Wilson by the Sharks were Devin Setoguchi at No. 8 in 2005 and Logan Couture at No. 9 in 2007.
NHL DESIGN LOTTERY RESULTS
1. Buffalo saber
2. Seattle Kraken
3. Anaheim ducks
4. New Jersey Devils
5. Columbus Blue Jackets
6. Detroit Red Wings
7. San Jose sharks
8. Los Angeles Kings
9. Vancouver Canucks
10. Ottawa Senators
11. Chicago Blackhawks
12. Calgary flames
13. Philadelphia Flyer
14. Dallas Stars
15. New York Ranger