With the NHL regular season wrapping up despite it feeling like it just got started, the attention for the non-playoff teams now shifts to the Draft Lottery.
The annual lottery that determines who gets the first overall pick at this year’s NHL Entry Draft will be held tonight and for some clubs it’s the opportunity to draft a cornerstone prospect to build their future Stanley Cup contending team around.
The rules have changed surrounding the lottery as we outlined here last week. In prior years a team could only move up the draft by a maximum of four spots of where they finished the season. This year, every team of the fourteen that missed the playoffs can win the draft lottery but it remains a weighted procedure to ensure the lowest ranked clubs have the best shot.
So who will win this year’s draft lottery? The Florida Panthers have the best odds with 25% followed by the Colorado Avalanche at 18.8%. The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently slotted third and have a 14.2% chance of winning while the Nashville Predators and Carolina Hurricanes round out the top five and have a 10.7 and 8.1% chance respectively.
The Edmonton Oilers who have owned the draft lottery for the past three seasons are in the hunt again this year albeit the odds are stacked against them with just a 4.7% chance of getting the top pick this year. Dare we count them out? It’s hard not to given their luck at last year’s draft but with the revised odds for this year’s lottery we might finally have a year when the Oilers aren’t called upon first to kick off the draft.
As always, we’ll have you covered right here at Too Many Men with all the latest news, updates and analysis from the draft lottery.