The Dallas Stars did not see the lottery fall go their way this year, as the Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens move up to the top three thanks to the luck of the draw. The Buffalo Sabres, the worst team in the league this season, held on to the top pick. It is a nice change for that fan base, as Buffalo seems to lose all the time when it comes to sports.
That leaves Dallas with their original 13th position in the draft order this summer, when the NHL draft will be hosted in Big D.
Here’s the first 15 picks for the draft this year:
- Buffalo Sabres
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Montreal Canadiens
- Ottawa Senators
- Arizona Coyotes
- Detroit Red Wings
- Vancouver Canucks
- Chicago Blackhawks
- New York Rangers
- Edmonton Oilers
- New York Islanders
- New York Islanders (from the Calgary Flames as part of the Travis Hamonic trade)
- Dallas Stars
- Philadelphia Flyers (from the St. Louis Blues as part of the Brayden Schenn trade)
- Florida Panthers
The remainder of the draft order will be determined as the playoffs finish up this year.
Dallas’ last (and only) 13th pick was in the 2012 draft, when then-general manager Joe Nieuwendyk drafted center Radek Faksa into the organization. He’s worked out pretty well for the Stars this season, so there’s definitely a chance to draft a guy that can be a good player at the NHL level at that position, even if they aren’t ready for an immediate jump to the NHL this coming season.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Islanders may do with back-to-back picks in the first round. With the team facing the potential departure of John Tavares, it’s possible that they hang on to both picks to help jump-start their organizational depth. Or, they could look to deal one for immediate help as part of a package deal for a center. What they do (or don’t do) on draft day could be an early indicator for Tavares’ decision as the league heads towards free agency the next week.
That’s particularly important for Stars fans to follow this summer. If Tavares does go to free agency, his contract could be the framework for a Tyler Seguin extension - a topic that will be of great interest as the first-line center becomes eligible to sign an extension on July 1 this year with one year left on his contract.