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Blues Win Lottery, Hawks To Pick 3rd

by Staff Writer / Chicago Blackhawks

When and where was the Draft Lottery held?
Thursday, April 20, at Noon ET, in New York.

Who won?
The St. Louis Blues won and retained the 1st overall pick.

Which teams participated?
The 14 clubs that did not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and clubs that acquired the first-round drafting positions of the non-playoff clubs.

What were the Blackhawks' chances of winning?
The Blackhawks finished the season 28th with 65 points, ahead of Pittsburgh (58 pts) and St. Louis (57 pts.), giving them a 14.2% chance of winning.

Have the Blackhawks won the Lottery before?
Yes. The Hawks moved up from the No. 8 pick to No. 4 in 1999. Former GM Bob Murray traded it to Vancouver for Bryan McCabe and the Canucks' first choice in 2000 (became Pavel Vorobiev).

Who will be the #1 pick this year?
Wait and see. Central Scouting rates defenseman Erik Johnson the top skater in the draft with forwards Phil Kessel, Jonathan Toews and Jordan Staal also in the mix.

When and where is this year's draft?
The 2006 NHL Entry Draft will take place in Vancouver on Saturday, June 24.

How many picks do the Blackhawks have?
The Hawks currently have 10 picks, including 7 in the first four rounds.

What is the highest the Blackhawks have ever picked in the draft?
The Blackhawks have picked 3rd three times -- defenseman Cam Barker in 2004; Hall of Famer Denis Savard in 1980; and Ed Olczyk in 1984. In 1965, when the league had just six teams, Chicago had the 2nd pick (Andy Culligan).

Who has won the Lottery recently?

2005: Pittsburgh - With an altered format due to the lockout, the Penguins won the Lottery and selected C Sidney Crosby 1st overall.

2004: Washington - The Capitals finished with the NHL's 4th-worst record (10.7% chance). Washington selected forward Alexander Ovechkin 1st overall.

2003: Florida - The Panthers finished with the NHL's 4th-worst record (10.7% chance). They traded the pick to Pittsburgh, who used it to select G Marc-Andre Fleury. Florida selected Nathan Horton at #3.

2002: Florida - The Panthers finished with the NHL's 3rd-worst record (14.2% chance). They traded the pick to Columbus, who used it to select Rick Nash. Florida selected Jay Bouwmeester at #3.

2001: Atlanta - The Thrashers finished with the NHL's 3rd-worst record (14.2% chance). They used the pick to select Ilya Kovalchuk.

2000: New York Islanders - The Islanders finished with the 5th-worst record (8.1%). They used the pick to select Rick DiPietro.

Why was the Lottery started?
To prevent weak teams from deliberately losing in order to get the 1st pick in the upcoming draft.

How did it work exactly?
Fourteen balls, numbered 1-14, will be placed in a lottery machine and four will be expelled, forming a series of numbers. A probability chart divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The four-digit series that results from the expulsion of the balls will be compared to the probability chart to determine the team to which that combination has been assigned.

How do teams move up?
The team selected in the Lottery moves up a maximum of four spots in the draft order, which means only the five clubs with the lowest regular-season point totals (or clubs that acquired those clubs' first-round drafting positions) have the chance to receive the first overall selection. No club can move down more than one position based on the outcome of the drawing.

What were the chances of winning?
Under the weighted lottery system, the club with the fewest regular-season points will have the best chance (25%) to win the drawing and will pick no lower than second. Here is how the rest of the percentages break out:

29th - 18.8%

24th - 4.7%

19th - 1.1%

28th - 14.2%

23rd - 3.6%

18th - 0.8%

27th - 10.7%

22nd - 2.7%

17th - 0.5%

26th - 8.1%

21st - 2.1% 

25th - 6.2%

20th - 1.5%


After the club selected moves up, the balance of the first 14 draft selections are adjusted by one, with the appropriate clubs moving down one slot to accommodate the winner, if necessary.

There are 1,001 numerical combinations possible, and one combination has been eliminated to make the odds equitable. If the eliminated series of balls is drawn, a 0.1% probability, the drawing is re-held immediately.

Still got a question? Email web producer Adam Kempenaar at:

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