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NHL moves up ‘Hughes’ draft lottery to April 9

NHL teams part of the Jack Hughes sweepstakes will find out a lot earlier if they’ll get a chance to draft the highly-regarded American center at No. 1.

The league announced it was moving its draft lottery up to April 9, on the eve of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The event, which will take place in Toronto, typically occurred during the playoffs.

The 15 teams that do not make the postseason are eligible for the No. 1 pick. The team with the lowest amount of regular season points has a 18.5 percent chance at landing the top pick. The team with the second-fewest points has a 13.5 percent chance while the team with the third-fewest has a 11.5 percent chance.

As of Wednesday, the Ottawa Senators have the worst record in the league with an NHL-low 52 points.

The 2019 NHL draft will be held on June 21 in Vancouver. Finnish winger Kaapo Kakko is believed to be the second highest-rated prospect in the draft.

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