Blues win draft lottery

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NEW YORK (AP) – The St. Louis Blues won the NHL draft lottery Thursday, getting the first overall pick for the first time in team history.

Pittsburgh will pick second, followed by Chicago, Washington and Boston. The draft is June 24 in Vancouver.

The Blues, who finished the regular season with the fewest points (57), had the greatest chance – 25 percent – of winning the lottery.

Under the NHL lottery system, the five teams with the fewest points had a chance to win the first overall selection. No team could move up more than four spots and no team could move down more than one.

In their 39-year history, the Blues’ highest pick was forward Perry Turnbull, selected second overall in 1979.

Columbus will pick sixth, followed by the New York Islanders, Phoenix, Minnesota, Florida, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Toronto and Vancouver.

The remaining draft positions will be determined by the playoffs.

The drawing was held behind closed doors at the NHL’s New York office, with 14 balls placed in a lottery machine.

AP-ES-04-20-06 1250EDT

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