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So the Devils won the draft lottery. Note that the last five times a team other than the last-place team won the lottery, the No. 1 picks were Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalchuk. The one prior to that was Rick DiPietro. And the one before that was traded by Chicago, ultimately, to the Rangers, who selected Pavel Brendl.
From the NHL:
DEVILS WIN DRAFT DRAWING, GAIN FOURTH PICK FOR 2011 ENTRY DRAFT
NEW YORK (April 12, 2011) — The New Jersey Devils, who had only a 3.6% likelihood of prevailing, won the National Hockey League Draft Drawing tonight and gained the fourth overall drafting position for the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, June 24 and 25 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Edmonton Oilers retain the first overall selection in the Draft.
This marks the first time the Devils have won the Draft Drawing. At No. 4, they hold their highest selection since claiming defenseman Scott Niedermayer third overall in 1991.
The Devils would have picked eighth based on inverse order of regular-season finish. They had been accorded only 36 of the 1,001 possible numbered sequences assigned under the lottery system. Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine expelled four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series was matched against a probability chart that divided the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The chart showed that the Devils had been assigned the numbers (3-8-9-13) that were expelled.
Only the five teams with the fewest points had the chance to win the first overall selection; no team could move up more than four spots and no team could move backward more than one. Thus the Devils moved up the maximum number of positions, from eighth to fourth.
The order of selection for the first 14 drafting positions in the first round, only, of the 2011 Entry Draft is as follows:
1. Edmonton Oilers
2. Colorado Avalanche
3. Florida Panthers
4. New Jersey Devils
5. New York Islanders
6. Ottawa Senators
7. Atlanta Thrashers
8. Columbus Blue Jackets
9. Boston Bruins (from Toronto)
10. Minnesota Wild
11. Colorado Avalanche (from St. Louis)
12. Carolina Hurricanes
13. Calgary Flames
14. Dallas Stars
The remaining positions will be determined by results of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Draft Drawing is a weighted system to give the teams that finished with the fewest points during the regular season the greatest chance of having their combination selected. The Edmonton Oilers finished the regular season with the fewest points in the League (62) and were assigned the greatest number of combinations, representing a 25% likelihood that their combination would emerge. Colorado was assigned 18.8% of the combinations, followed by Florida (14.2%), NY Islanders (10.7%) and Ottawa (8.1%). The remaining teams had the following chances: 6.2%, 4.7%, 3.6%, 2.7%, 2.1%, 1.5%, 1.1%, 0.8% and 0.5%.
The 2011 NHL Entry Draft will take place at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The first round will take place on Friday, June 24 commencing at 7 p.m., ET, and the subsequent rounds (two through seven) will begin at 11 a.m., ET, on Saturday, June 25.
Year Selected Effect On Draft Order Player Selected
1995 Los Angeles Moved from 7th to 3rd D Aki Berg
1996 Ottawa Retained 1st selection D Chris Phillips
1997 Boston Retained 1st selection C Joe Thornton
1998 Tampa Bay Moved from 3rd to 1st via trades C Vincent Lecavalier
1999 Chicago Moved from 8th to 4th RW Pavel Brendl *
2000 NY Islanders Moved from 5th to 1st G Rick DiPietro
2001 Atlanta Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Ilya Kovalchuk
2002 Florida Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Rick Nash **
2003 Florida Moved from 4th to 1st G Marc-Andre Fleury ***
2004 Washington Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Alex Ovechkin
2005 Pittsburgh n/a C Sidney Crosby
2006 St. Louis Retained 1st selection D Erik Johnson
2007 Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st RW Patrick Kane
2008 Tampa Bay Retained 1st selection C Steven Stamkos
2009 NY Islanders Retained 1st selection C John Tavares
2010 Edmonton Retained 1st selection LW Taylor Hall
2011 New Jersey Moved from 8th to 4th
* NY Rangers obtained Chicago’s pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall.
** Columbus obtained Florida’s pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall.
*** Pittsburgh obtained Florida’s pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.