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Edmonton Oilers win Connor McDavid Sweepstakes – SportsUntapped.com
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Added April 22nd, 2015 by Ian

Edmonton Oilers win Connor McDavid Sweepstakes
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It was clear to the naked eye that several NHL clubs attempted to tank this season and finish as low as they possibly could in the standings to have a better shot at winning the first overall draft lottery. The lower the teams sank the higher percentage they had at winning the first pick, which is certainly to be junior star Connor McDavid of the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters. The Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Arizona Coyotes and Toronto Maple Leafs all shamelessly tanked in hopes of picking up the 18-year-old scoring sensation.

However, when all was said and done the 28th-place (out of 30 teams) Edmonton Oilers won the televised draft lottery on April 18th much to the chagrin of the other 13 franchises that were eligible for it. The Oilers were obviously thrilled to win the right to draft the franchise player, but McDavid didn’t look too happy with it when he was caught on camera moments later. Edmonton had an 11.5 per cent chance to win the lottery while the last-place Buffalo Sabres had the best shot at 20 per cent. The Sabres will now pick second in the June 26/27 NHL Entry Draft. Arizona, who finished in 29th place, had a 13.5 per cent chance and the 27th-place Toronto Maple Leafs had a 9.5 per cent shot.

There’s no guarantee the Oilers will draft McDavid, but the odds against them taking him are astronomical. McDavid is the top-ranked player in the draft by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau after he led the OHL in scoring with 44 goals and 76 assists for 120 points in just 47 games. Most fans weren’t too happy with the draft lottery though since this is now the fourth time in the past six seasons that Edmonton has had the number one overall pick. And even with the top choices the Oilers are still a brutal franchise since they haven’t made the playoffs in the last nine years.

The Sabres will likely take forward Jack Eichel of Boston University with the second overall pick. Eichel was named the best college hockey player in America and won the Hobey Baker Award for it. He played 40 games for his school this season and scored 26 goals and 45 assists for 71 points. Arizona will now pick third and the Maple Leafs pick fourth. Edmonton finished the season with a 24-44-14 record after drafting Taylor Hall with the first overall selection in 2010, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first in 2011 and Nail Yakupov with the top pick in 2012.

The NHL draft lottery system has come under a lot of criticism for its structure as it more or less encourages teams to finish as low as they can in the standings to get a better draft pick. The 14 clubs that don’t make the playoffs all have a chance at winning the lottery, but the higher they finish the lower percentage the chance is. Many fans feel all 14 teams should have an equal shot of winning the lottery or changing the system so that any team that has had the first overall pick must wait three to five years before being eligible again.

The NHL has announced it will change the format so the 10 highest-placed non-playoff teams will have better odds at winning the lottery in the future.

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