Devils Land Top Pick In NHL Draft, Rangers To Pick Second

April 09, 2019 - 8:45 pm

By WFAN.com

While the NBA Draft Lottery may be garnering all of the buzz over who will get to pick Zion Williamson with the first pick, the NHL Draft Lottery had some intrigue of its own.

The winner of the lottery gets the first overall pick and the right to select center Jack Hughes, the long-projected top talent in this year's pool of players.

The NHL finally unveiled the draft order Tuesday night, and announced that the New Jersey Devils will be selecting first in June's NHL Draft.

The Devils, who finished with the league's 3rd-worst point total, had an 11.5% chance at the No. 1 overall pick.

Related:

The New York Rangers, who finished with the 6th-worst point total, landed the second overall pick. The Rangers had just a 7.5% chance at jumping into the top 3.

This is the first time the Rangers landed a pick in the top 3 of the draft in franchise history.

Hughes recorded 23 goals and 86 points in 41 games this season, becoming the all-time leader in points for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program.

The 17-year-old center, who measures in at 5-foot-10 and 170-pounds, offers high-end skill and skating, and is certainly the prize of this year's draft.

Coming in a close second to Hughes is winger Kaapo Kakko.

Kakko, known for being a physical two-way player with top skill, is a 6-foot-2, 194-pound right wing from Finland. The 17-year-old tallied 22 goals and 16 assists in 45 games in the Finnish Elite League. 

While the third overall prospect in this year's draft is up for debate, the likely candidate to hear his name called right after Hughes and Kakko is Vasili Podkolzin.

Podkolzin is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound right winger from Russia who already has some KHL experience under his belt. Podkolzin has shown his offensive potential while competing in international play for Russia, sometimes serving as the team's captain.

The 2019 NHL Draft begins Friday, June 21.