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NHL Notebook: Sharks lock in last place in NHL, best odds to select first overall in 2024 NHL Draft and Stars clinch first division title since 2015-16

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Photo credit:Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
20 days ago
As a long season comes to a close later this week, the San Jose Sharks have officially locked in last place in the NHL. But with the bad comes a little good for them, as the organization now holds the best odds to select first overall at this year’s NHL Draft.
Despite their efforts to prolong their fate for the season with a 3-1 win over the Seattle Kraken on Thursday, the inescapable destiny eventually came to light following a 6-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Sunday evening.
Since the league has expanded past 30 teams, the Sharks have managed to finish 29th or above, making this their first time finishing at the bottom. However, in 1991-92, when the NHL followed a 22-team format, the Sharks finished last with 39 points.
Since the first puck drop of the 2023-24 campaign, the Sharks have been swimming in rough waters, beginning the season with an 11-game losing streak. Another winless streak from December 15th to January 9th saw them hold the fifth-worst streak in franchise history at 12 games.
With just 47 points through 79 games this campaign, the organization will not only miss the playoffs for the fifth season in a row but also be 13 points fewer than the 60-point campaign that saw them secure the 29th spot last season.
San Jose now has a 25.5 percent chance of winning the 2024 NHL Draft lottery, which would see them land the first overall pick on June 28th in Las Vegas, and the ability to draft future star Macklin Celebrini.
As the organization navigates a rebuild, the potential acquisition of their first-ever first-overall pick could be a game-changer. Thanks to the Erik Karlsson trade last summer, the Pittsburgh Penguins have given their first-rounder to the Sharks, providing them with an additional selection and a significant opportunity for the future.

Stars clinch first division title since 2015-16

The Dallas Stars have clinched the Central Division title for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
The Stars celebrated their accomplishment with a 3-1 win over the Seattle Kraken in front of thousands of Dallas Stars fans. The club scored one goal in each period to hold onto their 11th win in the past 13 games.
The Stars have battled relentlessly all season long for the Central Division’s top position. They achieved their goal for 76 days and, as a bonus, secured home ice in the first two rounds. Additionally, Dallas leads The Vancouver Canucks by six points for first place in the Western Conference.
Their statistics outline how good this team truly is as they rank third in goals for per game at 3.36 and 10th in goals against per game at 2.88. Netminder Jake Oettinger has re-found his game after being sidelined with an injury to give them security within the crease.
Their depth is another thing to compliment, with young players such as Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven taking on more prominent roles and Evgenii Dadonov anticipating his return from injury.
Their win over Seattle on Saturday moved the Stars up to 111 points, the third-highest total in franchise history. With three games remaining, it will be a tight battle between the New York Rangers with 112 points and the Stars to see who claims the President’s Trophy awarded to the team with the most regular-season points.
The last time the Stars were awarded the honour was in 1998-99 when they also won the prestigious Stanley Cup.

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