Now that the Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 6 for a 4-2 (best of 7) win, all eyes are on the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft, which is held on June 26-27 at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL. Here are five things you need to know about the 2015 NHL Draft, as well as the top five in the first round picks.
For those unfamiliar with how the NHL Draft works, here is a brief description, from the NHL website itself. After the NHL Draft Lottery set the order for the first 14 picks, it is the end of the Stanley Cup Playoffs that establish the next 16 selections. The order is determined in two parts, the first are non-division winners eliminated in the first two rounds placed in inverse order of regular-season standings. The next are division winners who lost in the first two rounds in inverse order of regular-season point totals.
In case you haven't heard, the NHL announced big changes to the Draft Lottery format that began with the 2014-2015 season as the NHL changed the weighting system that was used in previous years. Now the odds of winning the draft lottery for the four lowest finishing teams in the league decreased, while the odds for the other non-playoff teams increased.
So who won the draft lottery and will pick number 1? Well, it is the Edmonton Oilers, who also have the 16 pick acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins. They were third-overall pick and became first-overall pick.
As for the number two pick that goes to the Buffalo Sabres, and they are also at number 21, acquired by the New York Islanders.
The number three spot belongs to the Arizona Coyotes, and they also have the number 30 spot acquired by the one and only Stanley Cup 2015 champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.
Fourth on the first round draft list is the Toronto Maple Leafs, and they are also number 24, having acquired this from the Nashville Predators.
And the number five spot belongs to the Carolina Hurricanes, and you would have to go to the second round to find their other lower numbers.
As for what will happen in the draft, I'll quote a line from Isiah Thomas that was quoted on Sportsnet. It is very simple as Thomas says: "around the draft everyone lies". The author of this article continues with something very poignant as "It's more strategy than malice, as teams try to keep their true intentions a secret. We know what Edmonton will do. We know what Buffalo will do. And then? You have to work your way through the smokescreens."
In other words, what happens on the NHL draft is going to affect the teams, no doubt about it. What players they will pick is not necessarily anyone's guess.