While the season may have ended early for our Tampa Bay Lightning, there is still plenty of work to be done. Tonight, representatives from the Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as every other team in the NHL, will find out where they sit in this year’s NHL Entry Draft as the 2013 Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery takes place at 8 p.m. EST on NBC Sports.
The Lightning have a 14.2% chance of winning the first place in the Draft Lottery, which is set to take place Sunday, June 30, at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The only teams with a greater chance of success is our in-state rival Florida Panthers, who have a 25% chance, and the Colorado Avalanche, who have a 18.8% chance. Each team’s chance of winning the top spot is based on their regular season point totals.
The Lightning have only obtained that #1 spot twice since their lottery began. The first time was in 1998. In 1998, Tampa Bay did not win the lottery, the San Jose Sharks did; however, Tampa Bay held the rights to swap first-round picks with the Sharks. They exercised this right and picked our current captain, Vincent Lecavalier. The Lightning did win the draft lottery in 2008. It was this year that they drafted 2-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner Steven Stamkos.
This is the first time in the NHL’s history that all 14 non-playoff teams have a chance to obtain the Number 1 pick. In the past, the lottery winner was only allowed to move up 4 spots in the draft order.
There are many player names that are floating around as the first overall pick, but the one that sticks out is defenseman Seth Jones who currently plays in the Western Hockey League as a part of the Portland Winterhawks. This season with the Winterhawks, Seth Jones has scored 14 goals and 42 assists for a total of 56 points as well as a plus-46 rating.
With the on-going issues that we have had on the defensive side of the ice this season, a player like Jones would surely be a huge impact on the Lightning’s defensive scheme.
However, all speculation depends on the Lightning’s position in the Draft Lottery. We will find out tonight where we sit, then the real fun begins. Then we all get the speculate and debate who the newest Lightning player will be.
I know that I, and presumably the whole of the Bolts Nation will be on the edge of our seats tonight as we see where we end up.
As always, we will keep you up-to-date on all the latest news and updates of our boys in blue this off-season.