The Florida Panthers won the NHL draft lottery on Tuesday, jumping up one spot for the right to pick first in June's draft.
The Buffalo Sabres, who had the league's worst record, set a franchise mark with 51 losses and had the best odds at the top pick, will select second. The draft will be held in Philadelphia on June 27-28.
"It means a lot to us. We've very excited," said Travis Viola, Panthers president of hockey operations, said via the Associated Press. "We're looking to continue to build on our core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity."
The Panthers picked second last year after finishing with the NHL's worst mark. Among those who are projected to be selected first are Kingston left winger Samuel Bennett and Barrie defenseman Aaron Ekblad.
The Panthers had an 18.8 percent chance of winning the lottery, behind Buffalo, which had a 25 percent shot.
The Edmonton Oilers have the No. 3 draft pick, Calgary will select fourth followed by the New York Islanders. Vancouver picks sixth, followed by Carolina, Toronto, Winnipeg and Anaheim rounding out the top 10. KWAK AND CAZENEUVE: Boston Bruins top 2014 NHL playoff team power rankings