Explaining the NHL Draft Lottery

NHL to hold Draft Lottery on April 18 –

The NHL has implemented new changes to the current lottery to be phased in over two years starting with the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

From the NHL:

The National Hockey League will be making changes to its annual Draft Lottery, a weighted system implemented and utilized to determine the order of selection in the first round of the NHL Draft for the fourteen teams not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the teams that have acquired the first-round pick of those non-playoff teams).

For 2015

The odds of winning the number one overall pick at the 2015 NHL Draft in Florida for the 14 non-Playoff teams will be adjusted to reflect the current state of competitive balance in the NHL.  This should result in a more balanced allocation of odds, with the 10 highest-finishing non-playoff qualifying teams receiving better Draft Lottery odds than they received previously and the four lowest-finishing teams receiving worse odds.  The revised set of odds will remain in effect year-to-year in the future.

Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine.  The machine randomly selects four balls.  The resulting four-number series (without regard to selection order) is matched against a chart that shows all possible combinations and the NHL team to which each is assigned.

The chart of assigned combinations will be posted at NHL.com on Friday, April 17.  The complete process, including the video of the lottery drawing, also will be available on NHL.com after the lottery is conducted.

McDavid, Connor  (22)

                                                             THE PRIZE                         courtesy of OHL Images

The NHL will hold the lottery for the top prospects in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft on Saturday, April 18.  In Canada the results will be shown at 7 pm local time in Winnipeg (8 pm ET).  The lottery will be shown in a live broadcast on CBC (Canada) and NBC (United States) immediately preceding game two of the first-round playoff contest between the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins.

2015 Draft odds

For 2016

Beginning in 2016, the Draft Lottery will be used to assign the top three drafting slots in the NHL Draft, an expansion over previous years when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection only.

Three draws will be held:

The first lottery draw will determine the team selecting first overall, the 2nd lottery draw will determine the team picking second overall and the 3rd lottery draw will determine the club selecting third overall.

As a result of this change, the team earning the fewest points during the regular season will no longer be guaranteed, at worst, the second overall pick.  That team could fall as low as fourth overall.

The allocation of odds for the first lottery draw will be the same as the above for the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery.  The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the second lottery draw, based on which team wins the first lottery draw, and again for the third lottery draw, based on which team wins the second lottery draw.

The eleven teams not selected in the Draft Lottery will be assigned NHL Draft selections 4 through 14, in inverse order of regular-season points.


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