It's official: The Boston Bruins will pick no later than third in the upcoming NHL entry draft.
Sure, that development came with a bit of a price, as the Rangers dominated the Maple Leafs 5-1 on Wednesday night. That Rangers win tightened the Eastern Conference playoff race, with New York just one point behind Boston. Yet playoffs or no playoffs, the Bruins are set up with an 18.8 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick and about a 60 percent chance of getting either the No. 1 or No. 2 pick. The worst spot they could select from would be No. 3.
That could mean the Bruins are in line to select either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin, two Canadian youngsters who have widely been recognized as franchise forwards of the future. On Wednesday, Seguin leapfrogged Hall in the NHL Central Scouting Bureau's rankings for prospects after Hall had been listed as No. 1 for most of the year.
The draft lottery will take place on Tuesday, April 13. The lottery system is set up so that just one team wins. In winning, that team jumps up four spots, with the four teams ahead of it slotting back one spot. Though the real lottery won't take place for a few days, you can knock your socks off with this draft lottery simulator (just try not to let it consume your life over the weekend).
The Bruins still have plenty to play for over the final three games of the season, as a trip to the postseason should never be taken for granted. Still, management knows it has an ace in the hole, so to speak, for the future, providing at least one silver lining in a season that's largely been marked with disappointment.