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The Latest: Buffalo Sabres win NHL draft lottery

April 29, 2018

TORONTO (AP) — The Latest on the NHL draft lottery (all times local):

10:15 p.m.

The Buffalo Sabres followed a season filled with losses by finally winning something — the NHL draft lottery — and landing the No. 1 pick for just third time in franchise history.

The Sabres became the first team to finish 31st in the standings following the addition of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights. And they entered the draft lottery on Saturday with the best odds —18.5 percent— to win the first pick.

The Sabres overcame their past disappointments the last two times they finished last and settled for the No. 2 pick in both 2014 and 2015.

The Carolina Hurricanes landed the No. 2 pick in making the biggest jump in the order by moving up from the 11th spot. The Montreal Canadiens moved up one spot in the order and will select third.

The Hurricanes and Canadiens moved ahead of Ottawa and Arizona. The Senators dropped from the second slot to having the fourth pick, and Arizona dropped from third to fifth.

This year’s draft will be held at Dallas on June 22-23.

Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is regarded as the top-rated prospect and is listed first among European skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s final rankings. Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov is the top-ranked North American prospect based on him playing for Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League.

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8:10 p.m

The Carolina Hurricanes have vaulted into a position to land one of the top three picks of this year’s NHL draft.

They’re joined by the Montreal Canadiens and the last-place finishing Buffalo Sabres as the three teams still in the running after the league unveiled picks No. 4 through 15 as part of the NHL draft lottery conducted in Toronto on Saturday night.

The order of the top three selections will be announced later during the second intermission of Game 2 of the second-round playoff series game between the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks.

The Hurricanes entered the lottery with a three percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick after they finished 21st in the standings. Montreal is also making a move up after having the fourth-best shot at landing the No. 1 selection.

The Sabres won at least one of the three lottery drawings after finishing last in the standings and having the best odds — 18.5 percent — to land the No. 1 pick.

The Hurricanes and Canadiens moved ahead of Ottawa and Arizona. The Senators dropped from the second slot to having the fourth pick, and Arizona dropped from third to fifth.

This year’s draft will be held at Dallas on June 22-23.

Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin is regarded as the top-rated prospect and is listed first among European skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting Bureau’s final rankings. Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov is the top-ranked North American prospect based on him playing for Barrie of the Ontario Hockey League.

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