Today the NHL took part in their annual lottery draft to determine the official order going forward in this years entry draft that will be hosted by the Chicago Blackhawks in June.
Heading in the lottery draft the Vegas Golden Knights had the third best odds tied with the Arizona Coyotes at 10.321%. For Vegas they were guaranteed to pick within the top 6 in the draft before the official draft order was released.
As per usual during the whole ordeal and the suspense of knowing where your going select was filled with anxiety to those teams including the Golden Knights with high hopes at snagging the top prize in the draft selection order.
When the 7th pick was officially announced by Deputy Commissioner Bill Daley that selection went to Arizona who was originally tied with Vegas. This meant the Golden Knights would be guaranteed at the very least the 6th overall pick in the draft.
Little after the 7th overall pick was announced, the Vegas hockey community would shortly know their fate as Daley confirmed that the Golden Knights would be picking at 6th overall in the draft.
The 2017 NHL Entry Draft will be held at the home of the Chicago Blackhawks (United Center) on June 23 and 24.
With the New Jersey Devils winning the 1st overall pick in this years draft the likely player that would go is Brandon Wheat Kings Captain and forward Nolan Patrick.
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.
Reaction By Vegas Golden Knights GM George McPhee
For Vegas Golden Knights George McPhee he is taking the high road with an optimistic outlook with the organization falling the 6th spot in the draft order. He has pointed out that the franchise will have some decisions to make going forward.
“I can’t say that I’m really disappointed,” McPhee said. “It’s not something that you can get emotional about. We knew from day one that we’d be picking somewhere between first and sixth and that’s not a bad place to be.” Adds McPhee
In past NHL Entry Drafts there have been some notable players picked at 6th overall.
Matthew Tkachuk (2016), Sean Monahan (2013), Hampus Lindholm (2012), Peter Forsberg (1991), Paul Coffey (1980).
Because of travel difficulties Golden Knights General Manager was unable to attend the live showing of the draft order in Toronto, Canada. Tom Poraszka who is the franchises Hockey Operations Analyst was the organization’s alternate representative.
McPhee however was given the opportunity by the NHL and watched on at Verizon Center during the Capitals vs. Penguins Stanley Cup Playoffs game.
“These are two teams that we definitely have to scout a lot for the expansion draft so it worked out,” McPhee said during the first intermission.
So McPhee and company going forward with the having the 6th overall pick in the upcoming draft they clearly still have work to do to put the final touches on their overall draft strategy.
“I have taken every draft very seriously and this one will be no different,” McPhee said. “The draft is your lifeblood, the base of your spinal column. If it’s out of alignment your entire organization is out of alignment.” McPhee said
Vegas’s Lottery Chances Going Forward
According to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night In Canada the Vegas Golden Knights are guaranteed to participate in the next 4 lottery draft cycles even if the team makes an appearance in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.