As you’re probably aware, the NHL Draft lottery was held last night in Toronto. For only the second time in the last 10 years, the team with the worst record (in this case the Buffalo Sabres) won the first overall pick. The Carolina Hurricanes jumped nine spots from 11th to 2nd, and the Montreal Canadiens moved up one spot from 4th to 3rd.
With the first overall pick, the Sabres are expected to draft Rasmus Dahlin, a blue-chip defensive prospect from Sweden. Dahlin will have an immediate impact in Buffalo, giving them a much needed boost on the blue line:
For example, Rasmus Ristolainen has played way too many minutes in his young career with the Sabres and the returns have reflected that. With Dahlin on board, Ristolainen’s duties can be scaled back, hopefully improving his overall play in the process. And with Dahlin shooting left and Ristolainen right, they could even make up a pairing for the Sabres. Toss in Marco Scandella, hope for Brendan Guhle to stick as a rookie full-time next season and Buffalo’s blue line gets a marked improvement without even heading to free agency.
You can read more about how Dahlin will fit into the Sabres’ lineup in Ryan Kennedy’s article here.
And if you want to hear more about the Swedish defenseman, here’s a long read for you:
As seen above, the Dallas Stars ended up staying at the 13th spot for the draft. Here is some insight as to what fans might expect from the eventual draft pick:
A recent history of the 13th pick pic.twitter.com/aawcTHFJy9— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) April 29, 2018
And some of the more successful 13th picks pic.twitter.com/0DLGhGdr7M— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) April 29, 2018
Dallas’s ECHL affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads, also had a less-than-ideal Saturday night — they lost 1-0 in overtime to the Colorado Eagles in the first game of their series. [ECHL]
In case you’re now bummed out, here’s an interview of an adorable kid to brighten your day, courtesy of Texas Stars goaltender Mike McKenna:
There's a lot to be talked about as the #txstars prepare for their matchup with Tucson, but on Media Day for Round Two goaltender @MikeMcKenna56 had some other plans...https://t.co/lSgjmcnoQD pic.twitter.com/LHwJvaskC3— x - Texas Stars (@TexasStars) April 28, 2018
Stanley Cup Playoff Update
David Pastrnak (0-4—4), Brad Marchand (1-3—4), Patrice Bergeron (2-1—3), Rick Nash (2-0—2) and Charlie McAvoy (0-2—2) each posted multi-point efforts as the @NHLBruins won Game 1 of their Second Round series. #NHLStats #BOSvsTBL #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/sKtsAnFbgk— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 28, 2018
The @GoldenKnights are the 4th club in NHL history to require multiple overtimes in each of their first two OT games in the #StanleyCup Playoffs.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 29, 2018
The @NHLFlyers and @StLouisBlues did so vs. each other in 1968 (each 1-1). The NY Americans did so in 4 straight from 1929-38 (2-2). pic.twitter.com/BuLi8QpFBG
The worst part for Vegas? They actually celebrated an overtime win during the first extra period, but the goal was called back for goaltender interference:
Golden Knights’ game-winner called back for goalie interference pic.twitter.com/RsypDHG4PC— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) April 29, 2018
Around the League
The Nashville Predators also hope to even up their series when they face the Winnipeg Jets tonight. Mark Spector writes how Nashville, who entered the postseason as Cup favorites, have transformed into an overwhelming expansion success. [Sportsnet]
Do you think Connor McDavid should have been a Hart finalist? I have just the story for you:
In case you forgot, the NHL is a #NoFun league, and we’re all worse off because of it: