The Detroit Red Wings stayed steady, getting the eighth pick in the 2022 NHL draft lottery.
The Wings had 6% odds of getting the first pick, but they could also have been pushed back to ninth or 10th.
The Montreal Canadiens, which host the July 7-8 draft, also stayed steady and got the first overall pick. The New Jersey Devils pick second; Arizona Coyotes, third; Seattle Kraken fourth; Philadelphia Flyers, fifth; Columbus Blue Jackets, sixth; and Ottawa Senators, seventh.
This is the sixth straight time the Wings have been in the lottery. The year they had the best odds (18.5%) to get the first overall selection, in 2020, they were pushed back to fourth. That worked out, though: Lucas Raymond scored 23 goals in his just-completed rookie season.
In 2017, the Wings finished seventh and were pushed back to ninth, selecting forward Michael Rasmussen. In 2018, they went from fifth to sixth and chose forward Filip Zadina. In 2019, the first year under Yzerman, they moved from fourth to sixth and chose defenseman Moritz Seider, who is a leading candidate for rookie of the year. In 2021, they sat steady at sixth, drafting defenseman Simon Edvinsson.
Montreal finally managed to pick up a big win following a season in which the Canadiens were undone by a series of injuries and free-agent losses, which led to the team firing coach Dominique Ducharme and general manager Marc Bergevin. Kent Hughes took over as GM with Martin St. Louis still holding the title of interim coach.
The Canadiens went from reaching the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, which they lost in five games to Tampa Bay, to a 22-49-11 finish — the franchise’s fewest wins in 60-plus-game season.
The timing of the lottery win at least lines up with the Canadiens’ lengthy wait to host the draft, scheduled for July 7 and 8. Montreal was originally scheduled to host the event in 2020, but the last two drafts were held remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Montreal becomes the first team to host the draft and have the No. 1 pick since Toronto in 1985, when the Maple Leafs selected Wendel Clark.
This year’s top draft prospect is considered to be Ontario Hockey League center Shane Wright, who is ranked first among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Wright, who is from Brampton, Ontario, and plays for the Kingston Frontenacs, has an opportunity to become the first OHL player drafted first since Edmonton chose Connor McDavid with the No. 1 pick in 2015. Wright averaged 1.49 points-per-game in finishing with 32 goals and 62 assists in 63 regular-season outings this season.
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Free Press news services contributed.Contact Helene St. James at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.
NHL draft lottery results
1. Montreal Canadiens
2. New Jersey Devils
3. Arizona Coyotes
4. Seattle Kraken
5. Philadelphia Flyers
6. Columbus Blue Jackets (via Chicago)
7. Ottawa Senators
8. Detroit Red Wings
9. Buffalo Sabres
10. Anaheim Ducks
11. San Jose Sharks
12. Columbus Blue Jackets
13. New York Islanders
14. Winnipeg Jets
15. Vancouver Canucks
16. Buffalo Sabres (via Vegas)