TORONTO – The NHL Draft Lottery meant the world to Toronto. It meant nothing to the Sabres.
The league’s new lottery system failed to impact Buffalo, with the team retaining its eighth overall pick Saturday night. The NHL held drawings for the top three picks, and the Sabres remained in place because the three winners were already scheduled to draft ahead of Buffalo.
Toronto, which finished last, won the opening lottery and will head to the stage first June 24 in First Niagara Center. Winnipeg won the No. 2 pick, while Columbus will draft third overall. The rest of the first round will go in reverse order of the standings.
The Sabres also lost the previous two lotteries despite having the best odds. They had just the eighth-best odds Saturday.
This will be the fourth straight year Buffalo will draft in the top eight. The organization added defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen with the No. 8 pick in 2013 and picked Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel with back-to-back No. 2 picks. The Ristolainen selection was the only other time the Sabres have drafted eighth.