NHL notes: Avalanche wins NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall

Rick Pracey, the director of amateur scouting for the Colorado Avalanche, gets a handshake from NHL...

Rick Pracey, the director of amateur scouting for the Colorado Avalanche, gets a handshake from NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. (CRAIG ROBERTSON, QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:31 PM ET

Will the Colorado Avalanche make Seth Jones the No. 1 pick at the 2013 NHL draft?

The Avs earned the right to pick first overall after winning the NHL's draft lottery Monday night.

Jones, a Denver native and son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, is rated as the top prospect heading into the June 30 draft at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The 18-year-old defenceman played for the WHL's Portland Winterhawks this season.

Other potential top picks include Halifax Mooseheads teammates Nathan MacKinnon at No. 2 and Jonathan Drouin at No. 3.

The Florida Panthers had the best chance to land the top pick, but fell to second overall. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes round out the top five.

The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers will select six and seventh overall respectively, while the Buffalo Sabres, New Jersey Devils and Dallas Stars complete the first 10 picks.

POMINVILLE NEARING RETURN

Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville skated at practice Monday after missing the last two regular-season games with a head injury.

Wild head coach Mike Yeo is unsure if Pominville will be able to play in Tuesday's Game 1 of their playoff series against the Blackhawks in Chicago.

"(Pominville) looked good in practice today," Yeo told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "He's a big part of our team in a lot of areas."

The Wild also called up defenceman Marco Scandella from their AHL affiliate in Houston, and sent left wing Stephane Veilleux down.

The team hopes Scandella can make an immediate impact against the 'Hawks.

"We've seen Marco play a lot of good games," Yeo said. "The skating ability, the big body, the execution, his best games are very, very good, and that's what we're counting on him to come up and bring."

STARS HIRE NILL FOR GM JOB

Jim Nill won't rush his future decisions on how to turn the Dallas Stars franchise around.

The team introduced Nill as their new general manager Monday, 24 hours after firing Joe Nieuwendyk from the position.

"Everything has happened very quick here, and I'm going sit down with all of the staff and we're going to go through everything," Nill said.

Nill, who was the assistant GM of the Red Wings for the last 15 seasons, has not decided on head coach Glen Gulutzan's future.

"Right now, we've got a head coach, and that's where I'm going from. Right now, I have a head coach and two assistants, and I'm going to sit down with them and go from there."

REGIER STAYING WITH SABRES

The Buffalo Sabres organization is fine if fans have to suffer for the forseeable future if it means winning a Stanley Cup championship.

Team president Ted Black gave general manager Darcy Regier a vote of confidence Monday, hoping that he is the man to do the job.

"I don't take any of this for granted in any way," Regier said. "I'm extremely grateful.... The reality of it is if I didn't have the confidence that I in the general manager's position, along with the people I work with, could accomplish building a Stanley Cup winner, I wouldn't be here."

Regier, who has kept the GM seat warm since 1997, mentioned the team's Eastern Conference finals appearances in 2006 and '07 as proof of his success.

"There's unfinished business there. I have a lot more insight into an experience, and I've learned a lot more in that process. I'm not an old man. My goal is to come to work every day learning something new, and it hasn't changed.

Regier still has to determine who will coach the team next season following long-time bench boss Lindy Ruff’s dismissal in February.

Regier will sit down with interim coach Ron Rolston over the next couple of weeks to discuss his future.

DEBOER NOT GOING ANYWHERE

Pete DeBoer doesn't have to worry about his job as head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

GM Lou Lamoriello put to rest any inkling that DeBoer will not be back.

"I'm never going to answer those questions one way or the other during the (season)," Lamoriello told the Newark Star-Ledger. "But this coaching staff worked as hard as any coaching staff I've had here. I'll just leave it at that."

He doesn't see any other changes to DeBoer's coaching staff, although he didn't guarantee Scott Stevens, Matt Shaw, Dave Barr and Chris Terreri would all come back.

"I don't know what is on the horizon for tomorrow. Everybody's situation is individually different. Everybody has different contract situations, so I'm not going to sit here today and say A, B and C."

BRIEFLY: Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard, Red Wings centre Henrik Zetterberg and Edmonton Oilers right wing Nail Yakupov were named the NHL's "Three Stars" for the final week of the season. The league also announced Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, St. Louis Blues goaltender Brian Elliott and New York Rangers centre Derek Stepan were named the "Three Stars" for April.

 


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