Toronto, ON (WBEN) - The Buffalo Sabres hold the second overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, after the Florida Panthers won the Draft Lottery.
"I'm not dissapointed," said Sabres' GM Tim Murray. "Driving up here, we talked about it. With the new rule where anybody can get to (the first overall pick), not just move four spots, it's kind of what I was expecting."
The Sabres began the night with a 25% chance of landing the top overall pick, the best odds of the 14 teams in the running. Buffalo has only picked first overall in the draft two times in its history; selecting Pierre Turgeon first in 1987, and Gilbert Perreault with the team's first ever pick in 1970.
"We're going to get a good player," said Murray after the drawing. "I think that with the way the draft's set up, we probably have a better chance at getting the guy that we have (ranked number) one than we had at getting the first pick." Murray added that the team has internally reached a consensus on who they believe to be the top forward in this year's draft class.
The question now turns to how many picks in the top five the Sabres will have. The New York Islanders have the option of giving their first round pick (5th overall) to the Sabres in either 2014 or 2015 as part of the Thomas Vanek trade. Many feel that the 2015 draft could be one of the most fruitful in years, with super-prospects Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel leading the pack.
"I know that them staying at five, there's a better possibility of us getting their pick versus if they had moved to one," Murray said about the Islanders situation. "I'm sure that there's a 50-50 chance that we'll have two picks in the top five and we'll be prepared for that." Murray added that he doesn't have a preference of which pick the Islanders choose to give up.