"Our franchise, we need more talent".
"He's our lottery guru", joked Devils GM Ray Shero.
The 15 teams that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs were all eligible to win the lottery.
The Devils had a 11.5 percent chance of winning the lottery.
"I like to say I play like (Chicago Blackhawks winger) Patrick Kane a little bit, but I feel I'm more of a (New York Islanders center) Mat Barzal in how I carve through the neutral zone, lug the puck, and find my teammates".
The night's other big victor was the Chicago Blackhawks, who went from No. 12 to No. 3 despite having just a 2.5 per cent chance of securing the top selection. They had just a 2.5 percent chance of winning the lottery.
Hughes is that elite player projected to go at the top of June's entry draft, and Kakko is the one nipping at his heels. At 8 p.m. tonight in Toronto, the National Hockey League will draw the ping pong balls.
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Hughes, who was born in Orlando, Fla., but grew up in Mississauga, Ont., skates with Devils winger Taylor Hall in the summer. But I mean, obviously, I'm a smaller, skilled, speed player. "It's a great spot", Hughes said.
Following a breakout campaign in which they earned their first playoff berth in six years, the New Jersey Devils dropped 25 points in the standings this season. The Senators finished the regular season with the NHL's worst record but did not own their first-round pick, which was traded to Colorado in the Duchene trade.
The Blackhawks will select third overall, followed by the Avalanche, Kings, Red Wings, Sabres, Oilers, Ducks and Canucks. Because of the lottery format, the Wings also had the same odds at the second pick and third pick.
"It feels like the top two would have a chance to help next year". Hughes also has elite vision, which combined with his shiftiness, allows him to exploit open ice and find teammates easily. If the Wild are to get into the top three, they would make a pick in that spot for the first time since their inaugural season.
There is really only one significant challenger for Hughes to be unseated as the No. 1 pick.