DEVILS VS. CANUCKS
JAN. 15, 2017:
You could make a good case that no team suffered a worse lottery fate than the Canucks, who endured a miserable year, finished 29th, then dropped down multiple spots in the draft to the fifth pick for the second straight year.
But their season would’ve had a much nicer ending if it weren’t for this long-forgotten mid-season contest in Vancouver. The game itself wasn’t especially memorable, with the Devils and Canucks exchanging second-period goals. That was it for regulation, and the two teams headed to overtime.
In hindsight, a Canucks win would’ve flipped them with New Jersey in the final standings, moving Vancouver up to 27th and dropping the Devils behind the Coyotes. But it wasn’t to be, as the Devils picked up the game-winner roughly 90 seconds into sudden death. While we didn’t know it at the time, the goal ended up clinching the first overall pick.
And who scored that lottery-winning goal? Taylor Hall, of course.
Lesson learned, Vancouver. Nobody beats Hall when it comes to the NHL draft lottery.