Ottawa, which finished 31st in the overall standings, could have sent the team's first pick at last June's draft to Colorado, but decided instead to keep the selection before drafting winger Brady Tkachuk at No. 4. Half of that prediction came true. Edmonton drew the No. 8 pick, Vancouver earned the 10th-overall selection and Montreal will pick 15th. They had a 1.5 percent chance of getting the No. 1 overall pick, the 14th-best odds in the league.
Hughes and Kakko are projected to be franchise-changing players that will expedite the rebuilds both teams are now orchestrating.
"You expect to move down", said Shero, whose team entered the derby with the third-best odds (11.5 per cent) of picking first after Colorado (18.5) and Los Angeles (13.5).
It's the second lottery win in three years for the Devils. This time around, don't expect another surprise. This marks the second drawing in three years where New Jersey overcame steep odds to capture the first overall pick at the NHL Entry Draft.
"One of the first people to reach out to Nico was Taylor Hall", said Shero, "And now that Nico's been through it, he'll know to do (the same)".
Thanks to the way things shook out in Toronto, the rebuild will get a huge shot in the arm, likely in the form of six-foot-two Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko.
Hughes' brother, Quinn, is a defenseman the Vancouver Canucks drafted eighth overall in 2018. After first playing in the tournament as a 16-year-old for his native Switzerland, Hischier was arguably the tournament's top player in 2017.
An undersized centre, Hughes' strength is his skating ability.
Jeff Gorton said he believes in Hockey Gods and Karma, and now he believes in luck, too. ". I'd be honored and really happy to play for New Jersey one day. I'd be really excited". "With the way the game is now, how it's speed and skill, I feel like my game translates perfectly".
The top-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, Hughes had 12 goals and 36 assists for 48 points in 24 games for the USNDT this season.
When asked if he always wanted to become a star player, Hughes laughed. That's the competitive nature taking over. They met numerous times head-to-head that season and even opposed each other in CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game that was played at Hall's home rink in Windsor. But the end goal is Stanley Cups.