In the grand scheme of things, no one really cares how the 2017 Draft Lottery affected the Islanders. They came in with the 15th overall pick and thanks to pretty low odds, left with the 15th overall pick. That’s what happens when you miss the playoff cutoff by a point.
And there are a couple of teams who should be super, duper, royally pissed off at what happened tonight in Toronto. We’ll get to them in a minute.
But as fans of a team hoping to have a better season next year, tonight’s results were pretty disappointing. The first two picks in the 2017 Entry Draft went to New Jersey and Philadelphia, respectively, meaning both Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier - the consensus best players in this year’s crop, per TSN, at least - will end up in the Metropolitan Division, barring any trades or other weirdness.
So the Toughest Division in the NHL™, which boasted four 100-point teams this season including the Presidents Trophy winners and defending Stanley Cup champions, should get even tougher next season. That makes Garth Snow and Doug Weight’s already complicated jobs even harder for this summer, and makes the additions and alterations the Islanders will have make a degree or two steeper. Great news for an offseason just getting started...
Dallas will select third overall. The Colorado Avalanche, who endured one of the worst seasons in recent memory (especially for a team that came into the season without clearly taking for the first pick) will draft fourth, one final kick in the nuts for that now tragicomic franchise. Vancouver will draft fifth and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights will make their inaugural pick at the six spot. It’s safe to say neither of those last two teams expected to be that low, but that’s the way the ping pong ball bounces.
The Devils had an 8.5 percent chance before the drawing to jump up five spots, and the Flyers had a 2.2 percent chance to fly (ahem) from 13th to second. That’s either some serious luck or shameless string pulling, either of which will be debated for years to come.
And for the Islanders, they’re both two more potholes on the road back to respectability.