Unlike last year’s NHL Draft lottery drawing, this year’s saw the worst team in the league “rewarded” with the No. 1 pick as the Buffalo Sabres are slated to take the overwhelming top prospect and Swedish defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.
But there were plenty of surprises, like the Carolina Hurricanes jumping up 11 spots to get the No. 2 pick while the Montreal Canadiens rounded out the top three.
In the meantime, both New York City-area teams, the Islanders and Rangers, were rooted toward the bottom of the draft order. The Islanders’ specially bad luck continuing to wreak havoc on the organization as their two first-round lottery picks are back-to-back at a mediocre 11 and 12.
That doesn’t mean that teams outside the top five or six can’t get quality youngsters to build their team with as this year’s draft class is a deeper one. Here is how Metro sees things shaking out in the first 15 picks:
Metro’s 2018 NHL Mock Draft, Version 3.0
1. Buffalo Sabres- Rasmus Dahlin, D, Frolunda (SHL)
2. Carolina Hurricanes- Andrei Svechnikov, RW, Barrie Colts (OHL)
3. Montreal Canadiens- Filip Zadina, RW, Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)
4. Ottawa Senators- Adam Boqvist, D, Byrnas Jr. (Sweden)
5. Arizona Coyotes- Brady Tkachuk, LW, Boston University (NCAA)
6. Detroit Red Wings- Evan Bouchard, D, London Knights (OHL)
7. Vancouver Canucks- Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL)
8. Chicago Blackhawks- Quinn Hughes, D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
9. New York Rangers- Oliver Wahlstrom, RW, USNTDP
10. Edmonton Oilers- Barrett Hayton, C, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
11. New York Islanders- Joe Veleno, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)
12. New York Islanders (via Flames)- Ty Smith, D, Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
13. Dallas Stars- Jesperi Kotkaniemi, C, Assat (Finland)
14. Philadelphia Flyers (via Blues)- Bode Wilde, D, USNTDP
15. Florida Panthers- Rasmus Kupari, C, Karpat (Finland)