For the fourteen teams that missed the playoffs and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, they have one thing in common: they’re hoping Bill Daly is holding a card with their logo on it, announcing that they have the first overall pick.
At 7pm central, NBC, CBC, and Sportsnet will show the NHL Draft Lottery as the Colorado Avalanche lead all teams in terms of percentage for receiving the #1 pick. Below are the odds:
Colorado Avalanche — 18.0%
Vancouver Canucks — 12.1%
Vegas Golden Knights — 10.3%
Arizona Coyotes — 10.3%
New Jersey Devils — 8.5%
Buffalo Sabres — 7.6%
Detroit Red Wings — 6.7%
Dallas Stars — 5.8%
Florida Panthers — 5.4%
Los Angeles Kings — 4.5%
Carolina Hurricanes — 3.2%
Winnipeg Jets — 2.7%
Philadelphia Flyers — 2.2%
Tampa Bay Lightning 1.8%
New York Islanders — 0.9%
TSN has a lengthy writeup on the history of the lottery and how the current format differs from other versions. The biggest change for the draft is that instead of the worst team being guaranteed, at worst, a second overall pick, they are only promised a top four pick. This was placed to discourage teams from “tanking” to draft top-end talent, which hasn’t completely negated the idea of tanking as Toronto won the right to draft Auston Matthews last season with the #1 pick while securing the worst record in the NHL.
What’s new to 2017? From Sportsnet:
For just the second time in NHL draft lottery history, the top three picks are in play. This rule was implemented by the league in 2016 to dull incentive for any team to finish lower in the standings (i.e., tanking).
The odds of winning the second and third draws increases on a proportional basis depending on which team claimed the previous draw.
The addition of a 15th lottery team, Vegas, into the mix also affects the winning percentages.
This draft is different too, since the top two picks for the first time in three seasons are not considered the “generational talent” that Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel, Matthews or Patrik Laine were when looking back at the one and two overall picks respectively.
This isn’t to besmirch the top two candidates, Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier. After all, “can’t miss” prospects have fooled scouts and analysts before while prospects that scouts didn’t think were as good sometimes exceeded expectations.
But before the talent can be chosen, there needs to be an order. Tonight will determine that.
Time: 7pm CST
Where to watch: CBC, Sportsnet, NBC