While the No. 1 pick in the NHL Entry Draft could be a consolation prize for any team eliminated in the play-in round, Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno made it clear Sunday he is not interested giving his team a chance at it.
"That one doesn't fly for me. We play to win the Stanley Cup regardless," Foligno told SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, per the league's website. "[The No. 1 pick is] where management's job comes into play; you want to make their job hard on them, and I don't think any of us are looking to play for the first overall pick. Being in that position where my team is drafting first overall is not a position I ever want to be in during my career. If we're coming back, we're coming back to win."
As a result of the Friday's draft lottery, the eight eliminated teams from the NHL's best-of-five series in the Return to Play plan will have a chance to win the top pick in a second lottery. The Blue Jackets, who are scheduled to face the Toronto Maple Leafs, would be included in the lottery if the season does not resume.
Columbus dealt with significant injuries throughout the season, but are expected to have Seth Jones, Cam Atkinson and Oliver Bjorkstrand all back in the lineup when play resumes.
"It's crazy how that ended up playing out, but I'm not looking at any other circumstance than winning a Cup," Foligno said. "I feel this way about our team: That with the way our season went, it's a great chance for us to be healthy, to have a chance to make a run, and it could be anyone's game because of the situation. You don't get many cracks at the Cup, so you're giving everything you can for that opportunity."
Foligno had 10 goals and 31 points in 67 games this season. A veteran of 908 career games, the 32-year-old has never advanced past the second round of the postseason, falling in six games against the Boston Bruins in the second round last season.