With last night’s 8-4 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Buffalo Sabres will finish the season at the bottom of the league standings. This is a place that is unfortunately very familiar to Sabres fans, as it seems that for the better part of the last decade, Buffalo has been right around the worst in the league on a consistent basis.
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With the loss and being a lock at the bottom of the league, Buffalo will enter this offseason with the best odds when the draft lottery rolls around. Being at the bottom of the league standings will guarantee the Sabres a top-three pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
According to tankathon.com, Buffalo’s chance at the third overall pick is 65.1%, their chance at the second overall pick is 16.4%, and their chance at the first overall pick is 18.5%. All of these odds are the highest for that pick, and Sabres fans obviously will be hoping for number one overall, which is something that has not happened many times in franchise history.
The Sabres have only held the first overall pick three times in franchise history, and one of which was in 1970, which was the first year of the team’s existence. Gilbert Perreault was the number one overall pick in that draft. The Sabres also had the number one overall pick in 1987, which was used for Pierre Turgeon, and most recently in 2018, which was used for Rasmus Dahlin.
For a team that has been towards the bottom of the league regularly recently, the Sabres seem to rarely get the first overall pick. This year’s draft class may not seem like it is the strongest, but obviously, Buffalo will be hoping for that number one overall pick. Fans should receive some “silver lining” for suffering through another dismal season.