Columbus to Pick Fourth in Draft
After a much anticipated NHL draft lottery Tuesday night, everyone stayed put as last-place Edmonton won the lottery and retained the rights to the number one overall pick in this June’s draft.
The top five remained unchanged and will draft in the reverse order that they finished in the final standings: Edmonton, Boston (from Toronto), Florida, Columbus and the New York Islanders.
The rest of the first round looks like this: Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta, Minnesota, New York Rangers, Dallas, Anaheim, Phoenix (from Calgary), rounded out by St. Louis at 14. The remaining draft positions will be determined at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With the number one selection, Edmonton will be forced to make the decision between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, the two players widely regarded as the top NHL prospects.
With the fourth overall pick, The Blue Jackets will also have to pick between quality players. Some names to remember that could be taken at four overall are defensemen Cam Fowler, Erik Gudbranson and Brandon Gormley.
Fowler, the lone American on the list, is an assists machine. In 55 games this past season with OHL Windsor, Fowler tallied 55 points including 47 helpers.
If Columbus is looking to add someone other than a defenseman, Brett Connolly and Nino Niederreiter are two forwards that are expected to be early lottery picks.
This is the fourth time in five years that the team with the worst record has retained the first overall pick.
This is also the fourth time Columbus has owned the fourth overall pick. They drafted defenseman Rostislav Klesla in 2000, Nikolai Zherdev in ’03 and traded down in ’04.