Congratulations, Buffalo Sabres! You’re the worst … team in the league!
Normally this wouldn’t be something to celebrate, but as we’ve been hearing alllllllll season, the upcoming draft is a special one with Jaconnor McEichel (Connor McDavid + Jack Eichel) on the line.
Last place doesn’t guarantee the Sabres the top pick, but it gives them a better chance at getting it with 20-percent of magic beans (or whatever they use) in the draft bucket. (I like to assume it’s a giant ball pit like those at Chuck E. Cheese and Bill Daly has to dive in, blindfolded, and pick a ball.)
The NHL instituted new draft odds this year. When they were first announced, Sabres GM Tim Murray was not the least bit pleased with their adoption. The odds were spread out to give the other teams in the lottery more of a fighting chance at the top pick. Here’s a refresher, if you’ve forgotten:
His mind can be eased a bit now that his team has locked up the first position; however, as the new format goes, the other bottom 8 teams have an increased shot at the pick. As of Friday night, those 8 teams, from worst to not completely terrible, are: Arizona, Edmonton, Toronto, Carolina, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Columbus, and Colorado. (Statistics nerd alert: The difference between spots 9 and 10 is 1.5-percent, which is significant, when the difference between 10 and 11 is 0.5-percent.)
Don’t forget, they’re no longer hampered by the rule that a team can only move up so many spots. Which makes things even more interesting considering that teams that aren’t in a playoff spot: Los Angeles, San Jose, Boston (for now), and even the slim possibility of Pittsburgh joining the party. Granted, they have a small amount of magic beans in the bucket, but it’s still a possibility one of them could end up with CoJack.
Just for giggles, I ran the NHL Draft Simulator and look who won…
At least the Sabres would get Eichel in this scenario.
I ran it a second time and Edmonton won. For the love of all things holy, that cannot happen in real life. Don’t send another top draft pick into the Pit of Despair.