At the time, few Canucks fans would have traded the way the season ended, with a storybook ending for the Sedins as they retired, for better odds in the draft lottery.
Carolina will select second overall while Montreal will select third. The Sabres became the first team to finish 31st in the standings following the addition of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
At the sixth pick, the worst-case scenario is that the Red Wings will have their choice of three of the second-tier defensemen available after missing out on Rasmus Dahlin. It continued to count down, and when the Montreal Canadiens were meant to be up, the most handsome thing happened, they didn't.
Russian forward Andrei Svechnikov of Barrie in the Ontario Hockey League is also considered a top five pick.
The Buffalo Sabres have an 18.5 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick.
The 15 National Hockey League teams that did not qualify for the playoffs participated in the lottery, which was held in Toronto.
The NHL draft is June 22-23 in Dallas.
Dahlin is a lock to be taken first overall. And Dahlin also had an assist in two games at the Pyeongchang Olympics in February. Islanders (from Calgary Flames), 13.
The Canadiens will select third for the second time since drafting Alex Galchenyuk at that position in 2012.
The lottery settled one more selection with Philadelphia landing the 14th pick to complete a trade in which the Flyers sent Brayden Schenn to St. Louis in June.
Moreover, this is a great opportunity for the Canes to get that final push they need to break a nine year long playoff drought (longest active streak in the NHL).
"We knew with the odds, our highest odds were going to be having the fourth pick, and we think top four is pretty special, and we know that player has a very good chance of playing for us next year, so we're pretty excited about that", Ottawa general manager Pierre Dorion said.
The happiest result from the draft lottery?