After finishing the 2016-17 campaign dead last with a 22-56-4 record, making them the worst time in the shootout era, the Colorado Avalanche came away with the best odds to land the #1 overall pick for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Well, unfortunately, just like all year, the Avalanche lost in the draft lottery too. With the best odds to land the #1 pick, the Avalanche ultimately ended up with 4th overall pick, losing three separate lotteries.
The draft lottery this year is different than years before. In years prior, the most spots you could drop was one. This year, 3 lotteries were conducted for the #1, #2, and #3 picks respectively. And with that, you could drop as many as three spots. Well, the Avs did just that.
The New Jersey Devils, who had the 5th best odds coming into the lottery, landed the #1 overall pick. The Philadelphia Flyers had the biggest jump of them all. The Flyers had the 13th best odds of landing a top 3 pick and was gifted the 2nd overall pick. The 3rd overall pick was won by the Dallas Stars who had the 8th best odds.
Luckily for the Colorado Avalanche though, they won’t be missing out on on a Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews/Patrick Laine type of player. However, after coming off a historically awful season, this still stings a lot.
Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are the clear cut top two prospects of the upcoming draft. Possible prospects for the Avs? Finnish D-man Miro Heiskanen and forwards Gabriel Vilardi, Cody Glass, Owen Tippett and Casey Mittelstadt. This draft, unlike most years, is completely wide open after the first two picks. Avs will be getting a great player but which player is a complete unknown.