It only seems natural to send a guy nicknamed “Lucky” to a lottery drawing.
Kings President Luc Robitaille, known as “Lucky Luc,” will aptly represent the organization on stage for a potential franchise-changing moment when the NHL’s draft lottery is held Tuesday in Toronto.
As the league’s second-worst team, the Kings have a 13.5% chance of getting the overall top pick. The Colorado Avalanche, through a trade with the Ottawa Senators, have the best odds at 18.5%. The New Jersey Devils have an 11.5% chance and the Ducks 6%.
Robitaille said through a team official that he’s not bringing any good-luck charms he might have around the house. The Kings are guaranteed a top-five pick.
“Things will fall where they do,” Robitaille said. “In our minds, getting a top-five pick will really help us take a significant step in recreating the Kings. As difficult as our results were this season, this is an exciting opportunity for us and our fans.”
The lottery winner will get presumptive top pick Jack Hughes, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound center for the U.S. national development team with blazing speed and ability to maneuver through traffic. Hughes has 48 points in 24 games this season.
The projected No. 2 pick is Kaapo Kakko, a Finnish power forward at 6-1, 190 pounds. He has 38 points in 45 games for his club team.
Kings general manager Rob Blake pointed out that a high pick will still be a teenager “but a few of those kids seem like they can step in and play. We’ve seen that over the years. It’s an important spot for the franchise, for sure.”
Kings players weren’t too aware of the lottery when asked Monday, but at least one knew the possible impact.
“I want first overall, obviously,” Drew Doughty said. “But a top-five pick, regardless, is huge. That can help turn around the franchise, right off the bat.”
The Ducks are the most successful team in drafting players into the NHL since 2010. Of their 58 players chosen since then, 30 have made it to the NHL. The Ducks have not had a top-five selection since 2005, when they got Bobby Ryan at No. 2.