The 2018 NHL draft begins in Dallas Friday night at 7 p.m. ET. Follow along here for all the first-round picks. Refresh throughout the evening to see the latest information.
There are also plenty of veteran players on the trading block. In fact, the betting site Bodog placed the over-under on trades during the first round at what seems like a lofty 8.5.
Four Canadian team have selections in the top 10: Montreal at No. 3; Ottawa at No. 4; Vancouver at No. 7 and Edmonton at No. 10. The Senators have a second first-round pick at No. 22. Toronto selects at No. 25. Calgary and Winnipeg do not currently have picks in the first round. They will have to wait until Saturday to start taking players in the later rounds.
Before the picks began, the Washington Capitals made a big cap-clearing trade, sending aging defenceman Brooks Orpik (one more season at $5.5 million) and restricted free-agent goalie Philipp Grubauer to Colorado for the 47th overall pick.
COL is going to see if it can help Orpik land in a preferred spot. Whether it is a trade or a buyout, they are prepared to facilitate. By including him in the deal, they only had to give up one pick.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 22, 2018
1. Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres announced today they will not give goalie Robin Lehner a qualifying offer in order to maintain his rights as a restricted free agent on July 1. AP reports that 24-year-old Linus Ullmark will get a chance to win the job after three seasons in the AHL. He was the Sabres’ sixth-round pick in 2012.
The Sabres have twice had the No. 1 pick in the draft — in 1970, when they took Gilbert Perreault, and in 1987 when they selected Pierre Turgeon. Perreault is, arguably, the greatest player in Sabres history. Turgeon only lasted a little more than four seasons in Buffalo before being traded to the Islanders in the big Pat LaFontaine trade in October 1991.
This is the sixth straight season the Sabres have picked in the top eight in the first round.
2. Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina had only a 3.3 per cent change of moving up to this pick via the draft lottery.
This is the fourth time the Hurricanes franchise has had the No. 2 pick. In the Hartford days, they selected Sylvain Turgeon (Pierre’s brother) in 1983, and took Chris Pronger in 1993. In 2003, the Hurricanes picked Eric Staal at No. 2.
3. Montreal Canadiens
Montreal had a 9.7 per cent chance of moving up to this pick through the draft lottery.
The Canadiens rarely get to pick this high — they have only five top-10 selections since 2000. They got Carey Price at No. 5 in 2005.
When they picked at No. 3 in 2012, they chose Alex Galchenyuk, whose tenure of unfulfilled promise ended this month when he was traded to Arizona for Max Domi.
The Canadiens enter the draft with 10 picks, all in the first five rounds. They have four picks in the second round on Saturday.
4. Ottawa Senators
The Senators had a choice to send their first-round pick in either 2018 or 2019 to Colorado as part of the Matt Duchene trade in November. By keeping this year’s pick, Ottawa now relinquishes their 2019 first-round pick to Colorado.
Ottawa, which had the second worst record last season, was the biggest loser in the draft lottery, getting bumped down to No. 4 because Carolina and Montreal drew into the higher spots.
Ottawa has never picked at No. 4. The Senators have had three No. 1 picks (Alexandre Daigle, 1993; Bryan Berard, 1995; and Chris Phillips, 1996); two No. 2 picks (Alexei Yashin, 1992; Jason Spezza, 2001); and one No. 3 pick (Radek Bonk, 1994).
The Senators also own the No. 22 pick.
5. Arizona Coyotes
The Coyotes franchise has twice picked at No. 5, although it has never had that player in uniform. In 1991, while still the Winnipeg Jets, the franchise selected defenceman Aaron Ward, who was later traded to Detroit.
In 2004, the Coyotes took Blake Wheeler, who didn’t sign with the team after leaving the University of Minnesota. He later signed with Boston as a free agent but has ultimately become a star with the second incarnation of the Winnipeg Jets.
The Coyotes got a compensatory pick in 2008 for not signing Wheeler, the No. 35 pick, which they packaged to move up to the No. 28 pick, where they took Viktor Tikhonov, who also became a draft bust.
Before the picks are announced, preview the other Canadian teams’ plans with Postmedia’s reporters:
No. 7 pick: Vancouver Canucks
No. 10 pick: Edmonton Oilers
No. 25 pick: toronto maple leafs