Jack Highes talks before tonight's NHL Draft Lottery. ©2019, Olean Times Herald

Devils win NHL Draft Lottery; Sabres get seventh pick

TORONTO – The New Jersey Devils won tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery and the right to select American center Jack Hughes first overall June 21 in Vancouver.

The Devils had the third-highest odds, 11.5 percent, for the top pick.

The Buffalo Sabres, who had the fifth-highest odds for the top selection, 8.5 percent, will pick seventh. The Sabres, of course, won last year’s lottery and drafted defenseman Rasmus Dahlin first overall.

Hughes, who has spent the last two seasons playing with Team USA’s National Team Development Program Under-18 team, is the No. 1 North American skater for the 2019 NHL Draft, according to Central Scouting.

The 5-foot-10, 186-pound Hughes scored 23 goals and 86 points in 41 games this season captaining the NTDP.

“My biggest things are my inner drive, my competitiveness,” Hughes said before the lottery inside the CBC building. “I want to score, I want to score every shift and make a play happen. But I mean, obviously, I’m a smaller, skilled, speed player. I translate really well.

“I like to say I play like Patrick Kane a little bit, but I feel I’m more of a Mat Barzal in how I carve through the neutral zone, lug the puck, and find my teammates. I feel that’s more my game.”

Stay tuned for more updates.

The full draft order after the lottery:

1. New Jersey Devils

2. New York Rangers

3. Chicago Blackhawks

4. Colorado Avalanche

5. Los Angeles Kings

6. Detroit Red Wings

7. Buffalo Sabres

8. Edmonton Oilers

9. Anaheim Ducks

10. Vancouver Canucks

11. Philadelphia Flyers

12. Minnesota Wild

13. Florida Panthers

14. Arizona Coyotes

15. Montreal Canadiens

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