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Sabres face long odds to win NHL Draft Lottery; last-place team has won just six of 18

By John Vogl

The NHL has conducted 18 draft lotteries. The last-place team has won it just six times.

The Sabres hope to become No. 7.

The league will announce the result of the weighted lottery at 8 p.m. Tuesday on NBCSN. Last-place Buffalo has a 25 percent chance of winning the lottery and keeping the first overall pick.

Florida, which finished 29th, has an 18.8 percent chance. The odds for the remaining non-playoff teams are: Edmonton (14.2 percent), Calgary (10.7 percent), New York Islanders (8.1 percent), Vancouver (6.2 percent), Carolina (4.7 percent), Toronto (3.6 percent), Winnipeg (2.7 percent), Anaheim, from Ottawa (2.1 percent), New Jersey (1.5 percent), Nashville (1.1 percent), Phoenix (0.8 percent) and Washington (0.5 percent).

Though New Jersey is in the lottery, it is not eligible to select first overall as part of its discipline for giving a salary cap-circumventing contract to Ilya Kovalchuk. If the Devils win the lottery, another will be conducted.

If the Sabres fail to win the lottery, they will drop to No. 2 in the draft, which will be held June 27 in Philadelphia.

The last-place team hasn't won the lottery since 2010, when Edmonton retained the No. 1 pick. The other bottom-feeders to win were Ottawa (1996), Boston (1997), St. Louis (2006), Tampa Bay (2008) and the Islanders (2009).

The Islanders have until June 1 to decide whether to give their 2014 or 2015 first-round pick to the Sabres as part of the Thomas Vanek trade.


NHL Entry Draft
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |