Struggling Ducks land No. 3 pick in upcoming NHL draft

The Ducks will have the third pick in next month’s NHL entry draft. It’s the third time in four seasons the Ducks have had a top-three overall draft pick.

San Jose will pick first, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks.

Boston University forward Macklin Celebrini is widely expected to be the top pick. Celebrini, a 17-year-old freshman, won the Hobey Baker Award this year, making him the youngest player to be selected college hockey’s top player.

The Ducks (27-50-5) had the third-worst record in the NHL this season and were one of 11 teams that had a chance to secure the No. 1 overall pick in Tuesday’s draft lottery. The team has missed the playoffs in each of the last six seasons, the longest postseason drought in franchise history.

The Ducks have never had the top pick in hockey’s annual draft but last summer they choose second, using that selection on forward Leo Carlsson. The Swedish teen had a solid rookie season, scoring 12 times and adding 17 assists in 55 games.

The Ducks also had the second pick in 2005 and 1994, using those selections on Bobby Ryan and Oleg Tverdovsky, and the third pick in 2021. That year, they drafted Mason McTavish, 21, who had 19 goals and 23 assists in 64 games this season. The Ducks opened last season with the fourth-youngest roster in the NHL, with their players averaging 26.7 years of age.

This summer’s seven-round draft is scheduled for June 28-29 at the Sphere music and entertainment arena in Las Vegas.

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