TSJSports.com | Breaking Sports News and Analysis | @TSJ_Sports

Maple Leafs Land 1st Pick in NHL Draft Lottery

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News Bastian/via flickr.com

Toronto has No. 1 Pick for First Time since 1985

NHL

TORONTO-Having made the playoffs just one time since the NHL returned from a full-season lockout in 2004-05, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had some disappointing seasons in the last decade. However, despite the bad seasons, they had not had a No. 1 overall pick since 1985. That all changed tonight.

The Maple Leafs won the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery Saturday night and will have the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s Entry Draft in June.

After ending the 2015-16 campaign with the worst record in the league, Toronto had the best odds (20%) of winning the draft lottery. Now, as mentioned earlier, they will hold the first pick for the first time in 31 years.

It is expected that they will select 18-year-old Auston Matthews with the first overall selection when the draft is held June 24-25 in Buffalo. Matthews, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., finished the season No. 1 on the NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of international skaters eligible for the draft.

Should Matthews be selected with the first pick, he will be the first American-born player to drafted No. 1 overall since Patrick Kane was selected first overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007. In fact, Toronto is the first Original Six team to have the No. 1 pick in the draft since the Blackhawks nine years ago.

The rest of the 13 teams that failed to make the playoffs filled out the rest of the draft selections and are as follows:

2. Winnipeg Jets

3. Columbus Blue Jackets

4. Edmonton Oilers

5. Vancouver Canucks

6. Calgary Flames

7. Arizona Coyotes

8. Buffalo Sabres

9. Montreal Canadiens

10. Colorado Avalanche

11. New Jersey Devils

12. Ottawa Senators

13. Carolina Hurricanes

14. Boston Bruins