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Chicago wins NHL draft lottery and gets first pick of top teens in June

Chicago had only an 8.1 per cent chance of getting the first pick going into the lottery at the league's New York office to determine the order of the first 14 picks. "It's a great opportunity for us to continue to turn things around," said Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon.

"This is a great break for our organization. It allows us to keep adding pieces to our puzzle."

It will be the first time the Blackhawks get the first pick in the modern-day format introduced in 1969, and they quickly identified their biggest need.

"I know we will definitely get something that we need - a goal-scorer," said chief amateur scout Michel Dumas. "The top five or six players in this draft are very good players.

"It's very possible that the player we select will be able to step in and play next year."

The Philadelphia Flyers have the No. 2 spot and the Phoenix Coyotes have the No. 3 position.

The Los Angeles Kings get the No. 4 pick, the Washington Capitals are No. 5 and the Edmonton Oilers are No. 6.

Rounding out the top 14, in order, are: Columbus, Boston, St. Louis, Florida, Carolina, Montreal, Toronto and Colorado

Right-wingers Jakub Voracek of the Halifax Mooseheads, Patrick Kane of the London Knights and Alexei Cherepanov of Omsk of the Russian elite league, centres Angelo Esposito of the Quebec Remparts and Sam Gagner of the Knights, and left-winger James Van Riemsdyk of the U.S. development team are the top-ranked juniors in most scouting reports.

Kane's scoring stats fit the Blackhawks' needs. He's only five foot 10 and 160 pounds but he's a prolific scorer. The 18-year-old native of Buffalo, N.Y., led the OHL with 62 goals and 83 assists for 145 points in 58 games.

The entry draft will take place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, June 22-23.

The weighted lottery system to determine the draft order dictated that no club among those that missed the playoffs could move up more than four positions in the draft order. Thus, the only clubs with the opportunity to get the first overall selection were the five with the lowest regular-season points totals.

The club with the fewest regular-season points, Philadelphia, had the greatest chance, 25 per cent, of winning the draft lottery. Phoenix had an 18.8 per cent chance, Los Angeles 14.2, Washington 10.7 and Chicago 8.1.

Chicago's previous highest position for the draft was third. It has third pick last year and selected Jonathan Toews.

Phoenix gets a top-three pick for the first time since the franchise shifted to Arizona from Winnipeg in 1996.



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