With the NHL Draft Lottery just two days away Vegas Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee hopes that luck is on their side when the league hosts the lottery draft this coming Saturday.
”That would be so like Vegas in its first lottery, winning it,” the Golden Knights general manager told The Associated Press by phone. ”That would be something.” McPhee said
For the Vegas Golden Knights going into the lottery draft this weekend they have the third best odds at winning the 1st overall pick in this years NHL Entry at 10.321% tied with the Arizona Coyotes.
The two NHL clubs that have a slightly better chance at getting the 1st pick ahead of Vegas are Vancouver at 12.124% and Colorado coming in at 17.936%.
If by any chance during the lottery proceedings that Vegas does not get the 1st overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft they still would be guaranteed the 6th pick.
For McPhee he will go into the lottery draft with his fingers crossed as this is their first ever time in franchise history to take part in the event.
Going into the lottery draft McPhee completely understands that just because getting the 1st overall pick doesn’t necessary equate to automatic success and to winning.
McPhee has gone thru this process before when he was the General Manager with the Washington Capitals organization. In the 2004 lottery cycle he won the 1st overall pick the eventually became Alexander Ovechkin.
With McPhee he knows full well of having a marque player can do for a franchise both on and off the ice. Given that Vegas is new to this process this could help them big time in their grassroots efforts if they get the 1st overall pick.
”Ovechkin’s done that for Washington, and McDavid and Matthews and Eichel,” he said, in reference to Sabres forward Jack Eichel, the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft. ”And they can really turn a town that isn’t already a hockey town into a hockey town.” Says McPhee
Vegas is not your traditional market by any means when it comes to hockey. In fact it shares the same vibe with Los Angeles, Anaheim, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Sunrise, FL, and Phoenix as being a sunbelt market.
With the 2017 NHL Draft Class not completely as deep as prior years the one good thing going for them this year is that Nolan Patrick is clearly the odd on favorite to be the player that selected 1st overall.
According to latest reports by the NHL Scouting Department Brandon Wheat Kings Captain Nolan Patrick currently sits at the top of their list of talent coming out of the pipeline heading into this years draft class.
In a injury plagued season Patrick missed 39 total games this season with the Wheat Kings (35 regular season and 4 WHL playoff games). He did however score 20 goals and 46 points in 33 games.
Former Calgary Flames General Manager Greg Button who currently works with TSN in Canada as one of their top hockey analyst’s praised what Nolan Patrick brings to table in this years NHL Entry Draft.
“I don’t see a player going into this draft that is better than Nolan Patrick.” says Button
The next best available player to choose from in this is Swiss born Nico Hischier. Hischier comes in at 2nd ranked among the scouting reports.
The talk around the hockey world in North America is the lack of talent and how weak the 2017 NHL Draft class compared to the last few years is but Button eluded to the critics that still is some very good hockey players to select.
“If you’re going to compare it to the last top-two picks, well, good luck. You’ve got no chance,” Button said. “But I see lots of good players in this draft.” Button said
So just like you all we will have wait and watch this weekend of who gets the 1st prize in this years lottery.