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Devils beat odds to win lottery, chance at Hughes

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The New Jersey Devils won the 2019 NHL draft lottery after entering Tuesday night’s event in Toronto with the third-best odds.

It’s the second lottery win in three years for the Devils. They won it in 2017 and selected center Nico Hischier.

“I said the No. 1 thing we needed was [more] talent, and this is a huge part of getting more talent. It’s a huge day for the Devils,” GM Ray Shero said after the draw.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The 15 teams that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs were all eligible to win the lottery. The NHL uses three separate drawings to select the teams for the top three picks in the draft, in an effort to discourage tanking.4

The Devils had a 11.5 percent chance of winning the lottery. The New York Rangers, who had just a 7.5 percent chance, jumped up from No. 6 to snag the second overall pick. The Chicago Blackhawks made an even more dramatic move, going from No. 12 all the way to the third pick in the draft. They had just a 2.5 percent chance of winning the lottery. The Colorado Avalanche, via a pick acquired from the last-place Ottawa Senators in a 2017 trade involving center Matt Duchene, entered the lottery with the best odds at 18.5 percent. The Los Angeles Kings (13.5 percent), Devils (11.5 percent), Detroit Red Wings (9.5 percent) and Buffalo Sabres (8.5 percent) rounded out the top five teams in draft probabilities.

Hughes rewrote the record books at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, blowing past the likes of Patrick Kane, Phil Kessel and Auston Matthews while putting up 202 points over his past two seasons to shatter the previous career scoring mark of 189. He is averaging 2.10 points per game this season with the U.S. national under-18 team amid a mixed schedule of USHL, college and international opponents. Hughes also represented the U.S. at the World Junior Championship this year where he helped Team USA earn a silver medal alongside his older brother and last year’s No. 7 overall draft pick by the Vancouver Canucks, Quinn Hughes.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

There is really only one significant challenger who could unseat Hughes as the No. 1 pick. That would be 17-year-old Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko, who brings size and strength to a high-end offensive skill set. Kakko scored 22 goals for TPS Turku this season, which made him the highest-scoring under-18 player in Liiga history as he surpassed Aleksander Barkov for the record.

After Hughes and Kakko there are several players who could challenge for the next few spots, including Russian winger Vasili Podkolzin, Western Hockey League centers Kirby Dach and Dylan Cozens, WHL defenseman Bowen Byram and some of Hughes’ own under-18 teammates — Alex Turcotte, Trevor Zegras and Matthew Boldy.

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