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NHL Draft Lottery Overview

The NHL Draft Lottery is a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2014 NHL Draft. Teams finishing with the fewest points during the regular season possess the greatest chance of winning the right to the first pick in the NHL Draft. Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expels four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls is matched against a probability chart that divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs.

The 2013 NHL Draft Lottery was the first in NHL history where all 14 clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs, will have a chance at winning the right to the first overall selection. Under the previous lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points in the standings had the opportunity to win the first overall selection as rules dictated no team could move up more than four spots.

While the top pick can now go to any of the 14 non-playoff clubs, or the team owning the rights to the first pick of a non-playoff club, the odds of winning the lottery are unchanged from previous years. The teams in the drawing are ranked in inverse order of their regular season point totals, with team one being the club with the fewest points, and team 14 being the club with the most points among those outside of the playoffs.

The likelihood of each team gaining the right to the first pick is as follows:


Rank at End of Regular Season Percentage of Selection
30th 25.0%
29th 18.8%
28th 14.2%
27th 10.7%
26th 8.1%
25th 6.2%
24th 4.7%
23rd 3.6%
22nd 2.7%
21st 2.1%
20th 1.5%
19th 1.1%
18th 0.8%
17th 0.5%

Results of Previous Draft Drawings

Year    
Selected
Effect On Draft Order Player Selected
1995 Los Angeles Moved from 7th to 3rd D Aki Berg
1996 Ottawa Retained 1st selection D Chris Phillips
1997 Boston Retained 1st selection C Joe Thornton
1998 Tampa Bay Moved from 3rd to 1st via trades C Vincent Lecavalier
1999 Chicago Moved from 8th to 4th RW Pavel Brendl *
2000 NY Islanders Moved from 5th to 1st G Rick DiPietro
2001 Atlanta Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Ilya Kovalchuk
2002 Florida Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Rick Nash **
2003 Florida Moved from 4th to 1st G Marc-Andre Fleury ***
2004 Washington Moved from 3rd to 1st LW Alex Ovechkin
2005 Pittsburgh n/a C Sidney Crosby
2006 St. Louis Retained 1st selection D Erik Johnson
2007 Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st RW Patrick Kane
2008 Tampa Bay Retained 1st selection C Steven Stamkos
2009 NY Islanders Retained 1st selection C John Tavares
2010 Edmonton Retained 1st selection LW Taylor Hall
2011 New Jersey Moved from 8th to 4th D Adam Larsson
2012 edmonton Moved from 2nd to 1st RW NAIL YAKUPOV
2013 COLORADO MOVED FROM 2ND TO 1ST C NATHAN MACKINNON
2014 FLORIDA MOVED FROM 2ND TO 1ST TBD

* NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall.

** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall

*** Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.