NEW YORK -- The Chicago Blackhawks won the National Hockey League Draft Drawing and gained the first overall drafting position for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, June 22 and 23 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
The Blackhawks, who would have picked fifth based on inverse order of regular-season finish, had the fifth-greatest percentage likelihood, 8.1%, that one of the numbered sequences assigned to them would be the winning combination. Under the lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points had the chance to win the first overall selection; no team could move up more than four spots and no team could move backward more than one.
The Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals, who would have picked first, second, third and fourth, respectively, now own the second, third, fourth and fifth drafting positions in the first round.
The Blackhawks have never selected first overall. Denis Savard (1980), Ed Olczyk (1984), Cam Barker (2004) and Jonathan Toews (2006), each of whom was claimed with the third overall selection, are the highest-drafted Blackhawks players since 1969.
The order of selection for the first 14 drafting positions in the first round, only, of the 2007 Entry Draft is as follows:
1. Chicago Blackhawks 2. Philadelphia Flyers 3. Phoenix Coyotes 4. Los Angeles Kings 5. Washington Capitals 6. Edmonton Oilers 7. Columbus Blue Jackets 8. Boston Bruins 9. St. Louis Blues 10. Florida Panthers 11. Carolina Hurricanes 12. Montreal Canadiens 13. Toronto Maple Leafs 14. Colorado Avalanche
The remaining drafting positions will be determined at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Drawing was conducted at the NHL’s New York office.
Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine expelled four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls was matched against a probability chart that divided the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The chart showed that the Blackhawks had been assigned the numbers (4-5-7-11) that were expelled.
The Draft Drawing is a weighted system to give the teams that finished with the fewest points during the regular season the greatest chance of having their combination selected. The Flyers, who finished the regular season with the fewest points (56), were assigned the greatest number of combinations, representing a 25% likelihood that their combination would emerge. The Coyotes were assigned 18.8% of the combinations, followed by the Kings (14.2%), the Capitals (10.7%) and the Blackhawks (8.1%). The remaining teams had the following chances: 6.2%, 4.7%, 3.6%, 2.7%, 2.1%, 1.5%, 1.1%, 0.8% and 0.5%.
The 2007 NHL Entry Draft will take place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The first round will take place on Friday, June 22 commencing at 7 p.m., ET (VERSUS, TSN, RDS, NHL Radio, NHL.com audio stream) and the subsequent rounds (two through seven) will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 23 (NHL Network, NHL.com video stream).