MONTREAL - After missing the playoffs with a 96-point season - tied for most points by a team not making the playoffs in League history - the Canadiens will be keeping a close eye on the NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday night in Toronto.
The Lottery gives all non-playoff teams a shot at the top three picks at the Draft, being held this year on June 21-22 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver. But not all shots are created equally: teams are given weighted odds depending on where they finished in the standings this season.
With the best points total of all teams participating, the Canadiens have just a 1% chance of picking up the first overall selection this year. Compare that with the Colorado Avalanche - who own the Ottawa Senators' first-round pick this year - who have an 18.5% chance at winning the Lottery.
After the first pick is set, odds for the remaining clubs increase on a proportionate basis for the second and third lottery draws to round out the top-3 picks for 2019.
If the Canadiens fail to land one of the top three picks, they'll end up with the 15th overall selection this year, as the 12 clubs not selected in the 2019 NHL Draft Lottery will be assigned 2019 NHL Draft selections 4 through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.
Last year, the Habs used the third overall selection to pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who played 79 games and recorded 11 goals and 34 points in his rookie season in the NHL in 2018-19.
The Lottery will be shown live in a one-hour show that will be broadcast on Sportsnet and TVA Sports starting at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday.