The 2013 NHL draft lottery has officially transpired, with the Colorado Avalanche earning the rights to the first overall selection.
The event was filled with intrigue, as the 14 non-playoff teams all vied for the top pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. When the annual selection process rolls around on June 30, 2013, it's expected that we will see the stars of tomorrow enter the professional ranks via this process.
So how did it all go down? Where will your favorite teams be picking?
Let's find out.
2013 NHL Entry Draft First-Round Order
|3.||Tampa Bay Lightning|
|9.||New Jersey Devils|
|14.||Columbus Blue Jackets|
|15.||New York Islanders|
|16.||Buffalo Sabres (via Minnesota Wild)|
|17.||Detroit Red Wings|
|19.||Columbus Blue Jackets (via N.Y. Rangers)|
|20.||San Jose Sharks|
|21.||Toronto Maple Leafs|
|23.||Columbus Blue Jackets (via L.A. Kings)|
|25.||Calgary Flames (via St. Louis Blues)|
|29.||Calgary Flames (via Pittsburgh Penguins)|
Note: Picks 15-30 will be subject to change based on NHL playoff performances.
Three Teams That Must Make Smart Lottery Picks
Florida Panthers: Pick No. 2
The Florida Panthers have ranked 27th or worse in goals scored per game in every season since 2009-10. In 2012-13, the Panthers were tied with the Nashville Predators for dead last in that category at 2.27 goals scored per contest.
When you've been that bad for that long, you need help.
If that's not enough evidence for you, the Panthers have made just one appearance in the NHL playoffs since 2000. While they could stand to improve in every area imaginable, the Panthers would benefit most if they found an offensive playmaker.
While they lost the top pick, Florida has two prime candidates in Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin to save their offense.
Carolina Hurricanes: Pick No. 5
The Carolina Hurricanes haven't made the playoffs since 2009. This season they weren't even close, tallying 42 points and falling 13 short of the eighth-place New York Islanders.
It's time they get the star player necessary to pull them out of this rut.
The Hurricanes did battle injuries this season, but that doesn't discount the fact that they were one of the worst defensive teams in the league. They ranked 29th in goals allowed per game, 28th in penalty-kill percentage and 26th in shots against per game.
It doesn't take a hockey expert to know that Carolina needs help on defense.
Calgary Flames: Pick No. 6, 25 & 29
The Calgary Flames have no shortage of first-round draft choices, and they must use each and every one of them to perfection. With Jarome Iginla out of town, the Flames are now left with an unimpressive roster with holes on both ends.
Ranking third in goals allowed per game should offer insight into where Calgary needs to look first.
If a star offensive player is on the board, Calgary would be wise to pursue them. If it's a toss-up between playmakers and defensive stoppers, however, the answer should be easy for the Flames to make.
With that being said, Calgary has enough first-round draft choices to land quality players at a variety of different positions.
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