The results of the 2014 NHL draft lottery are officially in and the Florida Panthers have earned the first overall pick and the first crack at the next crop of NHL prospects. The Panthers finished the year ranked 29th, just one point behind the Edmonton Oilers and 14 points up on the Buffalo Sabres who finished 30th.
The Panthers had an 18.8% chance of winning the draft, while the Sabres had a 25% chance of drafting first. The projected first overall pick is Sam Bennett of the Kingston Frontenacs, followed by Aaron Ekblad of the Barrie Colts and Sam Reinhart of the Kootenay Ice.
It’s worth noting that the Panthers have traded the first overall pick twice before (2000, 2003) and with their first round pick last year they selected Aleksander Barkov Jr. with the 2nd overall pick.
Here is how the first round will breakdown as of tonight;
- Florida Panthers
- Buffalo Sabres
- Edmonton Oilers
- Calgary Flames
- New York Islanders
- Vancouver Canucks
- Carolina Hurricanes
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Winnipeg Jets
- Anaheim Ducks (Ottawa Senators)
- Nashville Predators
- Phoenix Coyotes
- Washington Capitals
The rest of the 2014 first round will play out as the NHL playoffs unfold and teams get eliminated one series at a time. However, the Panthers will hold the first pick of the 2014 draft. The actual NHL draft will take place at the end of June and when it begins the Florida Panthers will be on the clock.