They haven’t played a single game in the NHL yet, but the Seattle Kraken have already accomplished something the Vancouver Canucks have never done before.
The Canucks didn’t win the 2021 NHL draft lottery, but they didn’t lose either. Vancouver didn’t move down in the order like they have done so many times in the past. Instead, they’ll pick ninth, which is the spot they held heading into the lottery.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 2, 2021
Seattle, on the other hand, had luck on their side. The Kraken won the second overall selection. The Buffalo Sabres were the big winners, securing the first overall pick.
The Anaheim Ducks were the only team to move down in the draft order, dropping from second to third.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 2, 2021
Heading into the lottery, the Canucks had an 11.1% chance to secure a top-two pick, and just a 5.4% chance of winning first overall. Seattle had the third-best odds of winning first overall at 10.3%, while the Sabres were the odds-on favourites with 16.6% odds.
Only the top two picks were decided by the weighted lottery system, which is a change from previous years.
More new wrinkles are coming to the lottery next year. The league will institute a rule that allows teams to move up only a maximum of 10 spots. Teams will also no longer be allowed to win the lottery more than twice in a five-year period.
The 2021 NHL Draft will be held virtually on July 23-24, with the top pick expected to be 6-foot-6 University of Michigan defenceman Owen Power. Luke Hughes, the younger brother of Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes, is ranked fourth among North American skaters.