It’s not uncommon to hear the word tanking as the end of a season rolls around. Currently the NHL uses a lottery to assign the first overall pick. It seems that starting with the 2015 NHL Draft that lottery system may be changed.
The possible change could affect the draft order 1-5. That idea is in play in part due to stop teams from playing dead, and trying to lose. It seems that the lottery changes are coming at a bad time for a few of the bottom teams in the NHL. Teams like the New York Islanders, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary Flames may have their dream of landing Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel cut short by the changing system.
The NHL may also use a “rolling” five-year period to determine the lottery odds, as a way to diminish teams’ incentive to field less competitive rosters during seasons. [Pro Hockey Talk]
A report by Elliotte Friedman says it best. If the new system is put in place the 30th over all teams would have an 18.9% chance of the 1st overall pick; down from 25%.
This may seem a little crazy to some, but in today’s NHL it’s about money. . There will always be doubt with a lottery, but the NHL could also cash in on this change. There will be a TV opportunity with the 2015 draft.
Say what you will about the NHL, and its motives here, a change to the Draft system could get the NHL some much-needed attention. I would like to see more information on this before saying too much. But, for the time being a league has to do what a league has to do.