The Colorado Avalanche will have the top overall selection in the 2013 NHL Draft after winning the league's lottery held on Monday.
The Avalanche came into the event with the second-best odds of coming out on top at 18.8 percent, with Florida owning a 25 percent chance after finishing with the NHL's worst record in the just-completed 2013 season. It marks the first time Colorado has earned the No. 1 pick since the franchise's days in Quebec, when the Nordiques chose Eric Lindros in 1991 before trading the future Hart Trophy winner to the Philadelphia Flyers after he refused to play for the team.
Lindros was the third straight No. 1 overall selection by the Nordiques, who tabbed Hall of Fame center Mats Sundin first in the 1989 draft and plucked eventual 400-goal scorer Owen Nolan the following year.
Florida, whose 36 points were three fewer than the Avalanche, will pick second in the upcoming draft, which will be held on June 30 at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Tampa Bay, which had a 14.2 percent chance of winning the lottery, will choose third, followed by Nashville (10.7 percent), Carolina (8.1 percent), Calgary (6.2 percent), Edmonton (4.7 percent), Buffalo (3.6 percent), New Jersey (2.7 percent) and Dallas (2.1 percent).
The Oilers had held the No. 1 overall pick in each of the last three drafts, which netted a trio of young standout forwards in Taylor Hall (2010), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (2011) and 2013 Calder Trophy candidate Nail Yakupov.
Seth Jones, an 18-year-old defenseman from Plano, TX, is ranked by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau as the top overall prospect for the 2013 draft. Jones is the son of Popeye Jones, who played 11 seasons in the NBA from 1993-2004 that included a stint with the Denver Nuggets (1999-2000).
This year's lottery was the first in which all 14 teams that failed to qualify for the postseason were eligible to claim the No. 1 pick. Previously, only the five clubs with the fewest points in the standings had the opportunity.
Philadelphia, Phoenix, Winnipeg and Columbus will occupy spots 11-14 in the draft, with the remaining order of the first round determined by the results of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.