GLENDALE - The Coyotes will participate in the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night in Toronto looking to land the first overall pick. The lottery will determine the order of selection for the first 15 picks of the first round of the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago on June 23.
Fifteen teams - the 14 non-playoff teams and the expansion Vegas Golden Knights - are eligible to win the draft lottery/first overall pick. The Colorado Avalanche, who finished the 2016-17 season with a League-low 48 points, have the best chance at 18.0 percent. Next comes the Vancouver Canucks, who have a 12.1 percent chance. The Coyotes and the Golden Knights are tied for the third-best chance at 10.3 percent. (See full odds below).
General Manager John Chayka will represent the Coyotes at the draft lottery, the results of which will be broadcast live on NBC starting at 5 p.m. Arizona time.
"Hopefully this will be my first and last time at the draft lottery," said Chayka, who saw the Coyotes post a 30-42-10 record in his first season as G.M.
Per the NHL, the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting third overall. The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 1st Lottery Draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery Draw, based on which club wins the 2nd Lottery Draw. The 12 clubs not selected in the NHL Draft Lottery will be assigned NHL Draft selections 4 through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.
Thus, the best-case scenario for the Coyotes is to win the first overall pick, and the worst-case scenario for the Coyotes is to drop to the seventh overall pick.
As mentioned above, the Coyotes have a 10.3 percent chance to win the first overall pick. Here are the odds, per SportsNet, of Arizona winning picks 2-7.
• Coyotes win 2nd overall pick: 10.3 percent
• Coyotes win 3rd overall pick: 10.1 percent
• Coyotes win 4th overall pick: 2.1 percent
• Coyotes win 5th overall pick: 22.8 percent
• Coyotes win 6th overall pick: 34.6 percent
• Coyotes win 7th overall pick: 9.7 percent
"The mind-set entering the draft lottery is that it's out of your control," Chayka said. "It's a luck-based part of our industry and our League, and we're hoping that this year is the year that we get lucky."
Chayka said Jake Barroway, son of team majority owner Andrew Barroway, is heading to Toronto to serve as Arizona's good luck charm.
"I've heard Jake's a lucky guy so he's coming along for the ride," Chayka said. "… I think it's a deep draft with a lot of quality players so no matter where we end up picking in the first round we're going to get a good player. We consider all of our scenarios for the draft lottery to be positive."
Another positive for Arizona is that it owns Minnesota's first-round draft pick in this year's draft thanks to the trade that sent forwards Martin Hanzal and Ryan White to the Wild back in February. Minnesota, of course, is one of the 16 Stanley Cup Playoff teams not participating in the draft lottery.
Four of the first six teams in last year's draft lottery results - Toronto (1), Columbus (3), Edmonton (4) and Calgary (6) - made the playoffs this season. But unlike the past two years, experts believe there are no franchise-saving players such as Connor McDavid or Auston Matthews among this year's draft prospects, nor is there even a clear-cut No. 1 pick. Some experts predict center Nolan Patrick (Brandon, WHL) will be drafted first. Others believe center Nico Hischier (Halifax, QMJHL) will hear his name called first. Meanwhile, center Gabe Vilardi (Windsor, OHL) and defenseman Miro Heiskanen (HIFK, Finland) are considered just below Patrick and Hischier.