NHL Prospects

2015 Draft Lottery Winners and Losers

2015 Draft Lottery Winners and Losers
Steven Ives

It is safe to say that the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery was the most important in the history of the league. With two generational centers available in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, the destinies of several franchises were indelibly affected by the random drawing of a series of numbers.

 

Winners

Edmonton Oilers

Almost accidentally, the Oilers have accumulated a wealth of young talent. McDavid outshines them all, and it’s not even close. He has the talent to be a star center as early as next season, and immediately makes the Oilers a playoff threat for the first time in years.

 

Jack Eichel

Eichel had a 20% chance of going to Arizona and an 80% of winding up surrounded by the best young talent base in the league with one of the best fan-bases in the league in Buffalo. Which do you think he preferred? His marketing value doubled as soon as it was determined Eichel would be making his new home in upstate New York, and likely his chances of one day winning a Stanley Cup along with it.

 

Buffalo Sabres

Hey, cry me a river Sabres fans: you wanted Sidney Crosby and got stuck with Jonathan Toews. Let’s just say the talent differential between McDavid and Eichel is thinner than the differential between Eichel and every other first overall pick since John Tavares went to the New York Islanders over half a decade ago in 2009. The Sabres are big winners with Eichel donning the blue and gold for the foreseeably bright future.

 

 

Losers

Arizona Coyotes

No team has ever needed a marquee star like McDavid or Eichel quite like Arizona. Coyotes’ GM Don Maloney did everything in his power to tank away the season for a better shot at one of the prodigal pair. Now, they get neither. To make matters worse, the consensus third-best player in the draft is defenseman Noah Hanifin, who plays at the only position the Coyotes do not need help in.

They will either have to trade further down at the draft or take a player who is not the best available when their turn arrives, a lamentable third instead of the first or second they so desperately coveted.

 

Noah Hanifin

Well, I would not exactly call him a loser. The kid has all the tools to be a full-fledged NHL superstar — but Arizona falling to third in the draft was the only possible contingency which could have moved Hanifin down to fourth in the draft.

 

Gary Bettman

All that work to make his mistake of engineering the Winnipeg Jets’ move to the desert in 1996, all the NHL money spent on a bankrupt franchise with a lukewarm fan base which blatantly defies the local weather. All of the time, energy and cash reserves Bettman has spent making Arizona a viable hockey market would have paid off if the Coyotes finally landed a generational, marquee star like McDavid or Eichel. Now, all the Coyotes’ sparse fans have to hope for is a victory in the 2016 draft lottery.

NHL Prospects
Steven Ives
@StIves72

Steven Ives is an extremely unsuccessful cryptozoologist who, when finding himself unable to find Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, considers himself a writer. He was born in the Bronx, New York and grew up in New Jersey and somehow survived both of these things. He now lives in an area of Brooklyn where people used to shoot each other and now just shoot independent movies. He has immense experience in sports journalism, having contributed over a billion words of content to mlb.com and several hockey writing websites. He has also written for DC Comics, but that had more to do with Wonder Woman than with Pavel Datsyuk though, if you ask Steven, they both have super powers. Unlike certain former Vice Presidents of the United States, Steven admits he has made many mistakes in his life. He often finds himself in the throes of unspeakable angst due to the fact that People Magazine has never once included him in its “50 Most Beautiful People” edition. He now writes about hockey stuff for todaysslapshot.com and is hard at work on a novel which he hopes will vault him into a rarified air of artistic obscurity.

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