The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan filed an article regarding the NHL’s draft lottery this upcoming Saturday (8 PM EDT on NBC), where the Red Wings will have an 8.5% chance of moving up from their current 5th overall spot to the #1 draft pick, and a 26.1% chance of landing a top three spot:
With the NHL Draft lottery taking place Saturday night in Toronto, the one large, looming question will be answered: Who gets to pick first, and the right to choose Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin?
There are actually at least 10 legitimate prospects who could provide immediate help to the teams in the lottery. And that’s great. But there’s only one “franchise” player, a guy who can make a team better, quicker, and instantly turn the complexion of his team around. Meet Dahlin, a 6-foot-2, 183-pound prospect that Saturday’s draft lottery will revolve around.
“He’s the best player (in this draft), there’s nobody close,” said Craig Button, TSN’s chief draft analyst, when discussing Dahlin in recent mock drafts. “There’s nobody even in the discussion. He’s advanced beyond his years.”
So, one can see why Saturday’s draft lottery is so huge for the Red Wings. The Red Wings have the fifth-best chance of landing the first pick given their season record, with an 8.5 percent shot of winning the lottery and gaining the first pick.
Buffalo (18.5 percent), Ottawa (13.5 percent), Arizona (11.5 percent) and Montreal (9.5 percent) are the four teams with better odds than the Red Wings.
“(Dahlin) will make whichever team that wins the lottery feel a whole lot better about the miserable season that got them there,” said Jeff Marek, Sportsnet’s draft analyst, who had Dahlin as the No. 1 prospect from start to finish of the season.
There is one piece of trivia that could serve as a good omen for the Red Wings heading into Saturday. Don’t look now, but Saturday also is the birthday of Red Wings’ legendary Hall of Fame (and Swedish) defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, who happened to add late in the season that Dahlin is more advanced at his age than Lidstrom was similar stages of their career.