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One lottery ball away: Leafs were closest and Sabres were next in landing McDavid

Tim Murray was plenty frustrated about losing the draft lottery Saturday night. The Sabres GM probably shouldn't read the rest of this post because he'll see how close he came to getting the No. 1 pick and thus landing Connor McDavid.

When you study the NHL's official video of Saturday night's actual lottery (click above to watch), the first three ping-pong balls drawn in order are 5, 14 and 6.

At that point, a Buffalo News analysis of all the possible combinations reveals there were only five teams remaining who could win the draw on the final ball -- Buffalo, Toronto, Edmonton, Carolina and Columbus.

The final ball drawn was 1, which belonged to Edmonton. Nos. 5-6-14 had already been drawn. If the last ball was the following numbers, here's how the result would have played out:

2 -- Toronto
3 -- Buffalo
4 -- Carolina
7 -- Toronto
8 -- Toronto
9 -- Columbus
10 -- Edmonton
11 -- Buffalo
12 -- Buffalo
13 -- Toronto

So going into the last ball, Toronto had the best chance (4 out of 11 numbers). Buffalo had 3 of 11, Edmonton had 2 of 11, while Carolina and Columbus had one each. The Oilers had the last-ball luck on their side.

After all the craziness of the Sabres' season since last October, the entire lottery draw was done in a scant 43 seconds.

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