December 9, 2013 Sections
Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
THE Winnipeg Jets retained the 13th slot in the upcoming NHL draft after Monday night's lottery for non-playoff teams was held in Toronto.
Winnipeg had a minute chance, 0.8 per cent, of winning the draft lottery. In the final regular-season standings, the Jets were the second-highest of the 14 teams to miss the playoffs, at 51 points.
It was a new format for the lottery this year. All non-playoff teams had some chance to land the first-overall pick. In the past, only the lowest five teams in the standings could get the first-overall pick and no non-playoff team could move up more than four slots in the draft's first round.
The Colorado Avalanche, who finished second-last in the regular-season standings, won the lottery and move up to the No. 1 pick. The lottery win applies only to the first round.
The Florida Panthers, based on their 30th-place finish this regular season, hold the first pick in Rounds 2 through 7.
Colorado's chance to win the lottery was 18.8 per cent, while Florida's was 25 per cent.
Draft day is June 30 in New Jersey, and Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff has many options in front of him.
Among the things on Cheveldayoff's plate are nine restricted free agents, nine unrestricted free agents and 10 draft picks.
If the Jets stand with what they've got today for the draft, they'll have six selections in the first three rounds and 10 in the seven-round process.
Winnipeg has its own first, three seconds and two thirds in this draft.
If they pick 13th, the franchise won't have had such a late selection since 2007, when they chose 67th after a series of trades.
Of the franchise's 14 previous drafts, the only other time it picked later than 13th was in 2005, when it chose Alex Bourret with the 16th overall pick.
Bourret, FYI, never played an NHL game and this season was a 26-year-old right-winger playing in a semi-pro league in Quebec.
In the last five drafts, the Jets' franchise has drafted ninth (Jacob Trouba), seventh (Mark Scheifele), eighth (Alex Burmistrov), fourth (Evander Kane) and third (Zach Bogosian).
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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 30, 2013 D2