Maple Leafs snag first pick in upcoming NHL draft

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American teenager Auston Matthews (C) is the odds on favorite to be the first overall pick in the NHL draft (AFP Photo/Bruce Bennett)
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Los Angeles (AFP) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will have the first overall pick in the 2016 entry draft which should help lessen the sting of finishing dead last in the NHL standings this past season.

Toronto won Saturday's draft lottery, finishing ahead of runner-up Winnipeg Jets and giving them the top pick in the June 24th draft.

American teenager Auston Matthews is the odds on favorite to be the first overall pick but he will get competition for the coveted spot from a pair of Finnish players.

Forward Patrik Laine, who plays for Tappara Tampere of the Finnish league, is believed to be closing the gap on Matthews.

Laine finished with 17 goals and 33 points for Tappara this season. He also had seven goals in seven games at the 2016 World Junior Championships.

Laine's Finnish junior club teammate Jesse Puljujarvi will likely round out the top three picks.

The Jets will pick second and the Columbus Blue Jackets will pick third.

The Edmonton Oilers will choose fourth and the Vancouver Canucks, who finished 28th in the overall standings, round out the top five picks.