The 2019 NHL Draft Lottery results were released on April 9th, with the New Jersey Devils drafting 1st overall, the New York Rangers drafting 2nd, and the Chicago Blackhawks drafting 3rd. In terms of major results, the Devils moved up from 3rd best odds to 1st, the Rangers went from 6th to 2nd, and the Blackhawks from 12th to 3rd. In contrast, the Colorado Avalanche (with Ottawa's pick) moved from 1st to 4th, and the Los Angeles Kings moved from 2nd to 5th, the Detroit Red Wings moved from 4th to 6th, and the Buffalo Sabres moved from 5th to 7th.
With these results, the New Jersey Devils, after making the playoffs in 2018 and missing this season after Taylor Hall's injury and poor goaltending, are projected to draft top prospect forward Jack Hughes or forward Kaapo Kakko. With either Hughes or Kakko projected to play in the NHL for 2019-20, the Devils could make a serious jump back towards the playoffs, in addition to 2018 Draft pick defenseman Ty Smith, who could very well be in the lineup for New Jersey next season as well.The Devils will have well over $10 million in cap space for 2019 Free Agency, with impact players such as Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski, Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Sergei Bobrovsky, Kevin Hayes and Jeff Skinner on the market.
For the New York Rangers, either Kakko or Hughes will be a nice boost to their forward core including Mika Zibanejad, Filip Chytil, Chris Kreider, Brett Howden, Lias Andersson, and Pavel Buchnevich, which showed promise down the stretch of the 2018-19 season. This may allow Rangers' management to trade a forward, such as Vladislav Namestnikov ($4 million cap hit until 2020) for defensive needs. Like stated before for the Devils, the Rangers could make a push for any of the aforementioned free agents and make progress back towards the playoffs in 2019-20. Gaining a star forward will also be quite marketable for fans in the mecca known as New York City.
For the Chicago Blackhawks, forward Vasili Podkolzin is the consensus third best prospect in terms of talent, but some are saying that he may not coming over to North America from Russia for next season. With this being known by general manager Stan Bowman, he may consider taking defenseman Bowen Byram, or forwards Dylan Cozens, Kirby Dach, Trevor Zegras, Alex Turcotte at number three. Jumping from the 12th best odds slot to third overall is a nice bonus for the Blackhawks, as they went on a run in the second half of the season to finish with 84 points, just six points away from the playoffs.
Considering the Colorado Avalanche are in the playoffs this season and this pick is via trade from the lowly Ottawa Senators, moving back from first odds to fourth in the draft is not the end of the world. They will have the opportunity to draft Byram or any of the forwards who Chicago will consider taking. It;s unfortunate that the player they draft will most likely not be NHL ready next season, but being in the playoffs AND having a top five pick is still great.
The Detroit Red Wings suffer somewhat from not moving into the top 3 and moving down to the 6th pick, considering the lengthy rebuild they are in the middle of. With the forward core that is developing for the Wings, do not be surprised if Ken Holland takes a defenseman at number six or trades down to select a defenseman and pick up an extra asset. Defense is needed in Detroit, so a player like Philip Broberg may be the Wings' target.
It is unknown the extent of all the changes coming as a result of draft lottery, but much will occur for these teams after somewhat or largely unexpected draft position. It will be interesting to see what happens.