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Colorado Avalanche win NHL Draft Lottery, will select No. 1 overall

The 2013 NHL Draft Lottery went uneventful for the first 12 envelopes opened by the Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. Then, when it came time to announce who would have the first overall selection at the June draft, it was the Colorado Avalanche who ended up with the golden ticket.

An 18.8 percent chance of winning the lottery heading into the Monday night, the Avalanche finally had some good news to promote after the disappointing end to their season that saw the firing of head coach Joe Sacco on Sunday.

"This gives us a chance to improve our club and add to a strong group of young players we already have internally," said Avalanche Director of Amateur Scouting Richard Pracey.

When asked by TSN host James Duthie if the Avalanche knew who they would be taking at No. 1, Pracey said they were still early in the decision-making process.

Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones was the top-ranked player in Central Scouting's final rankings and he already has a history with the city of Denver as his father, Popeye, played a season with the Nuggets.

If Jones is taken No. 1, he could see the first half of 2013 be incredibly memorable. In January, he was a member of the gold medal-winning Team USA World Junior squad. And next month, the Winterhawks could play in the CHL's Memorial Cup tournament.

Here's how the top 14 picks will go:

1. Colorado Avalanche
2. Florida Panthers
3. Tampa Bay Lightning
4. Nashville Predators
5. Carolina Hurricanes
6. Calgary Flames
7. Edmonton Oilers
8. Buffalo Sabres
9. New Jersey Devils
10. Dallas Stars
11. Philadelphia Flyers
12. Phoenix Coyotes
13. Winnipeg Jets
14. Columbus Blue Jackets

Picks 15-30 will be determined by the results of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

One other draft note: Devils GM Lou Lamoriello announced on Monday they will be keeping their No. 1 pick this year and forfeiting their 2014 first rounder as part of the punishment for the Ilya Kovalchuk/cap circumvention saga two summers ago. It makes sense seeing as how the draft this June is at Prudential Center.

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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