Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/30/14
TORONTO — The Colorado Avalanche won the NHL draft lottery on Monday. The Florida Panthers own the second pick for June’s draft, while the Tampa Bay Lightning have the third selection. Colorado had an 18.8 percent chance of winning the lottery after finishing the regular season with a 16-25-7 record, worst in the Western Conference. The Panthers, who finished last in the NHL with a 15-27-6 mark, had the best odds of winning the lottery at 25 percent but had to settle for the No. 2 pick. Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones is the No. 1 ranked North American skater according to the NHL Central Scouting Bureau. Jones is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. The lottery adopted a different format this year, with all of the 14 non-playoff teams having a shot at the first overall pick. The remaining 13 squads will be slotted in reverse order of their regular-season points. In previous years, the lottery-winning team could move up no more than four spots in the draft order. Edmonton picked first overall in each of the past three years, becoming the first team to do so since Quebec (1989-1991). The Nordiques franchise went on to capture the Stanley Cup five years later after moving to Denver.
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