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2021 NHL Draft Lottery Primer

by Bill Meltzer @billmeltzer /

The 2021 National Hockey League Draft Lottery is set for June 2, 2021. The event will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network at 7 p.m. EDT.

The Flyers will enter the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery with the default 13th overall spot, and have a 91.3 percent probability of picking 13th in the first round. The team has a 1.8 percent chance of winning the first overall pick and a 2.0 percent chance of selecting 2nd overall. 

On the flip side, there's a 4.9 percent probability of the Flyers dropping one slot in the selection order and coming away with the 14th overall selection. There is a miniscule but not mathematically impossible chance of dropping to 15th; this would happen if the both the first and second picks of the Draft are won by the Dallas Stars and New York Rangers, who enter the lottery with the second-lowest and lowest odds probabilities of drawing the first or second picks. 

In actuality, the Flyers' have the 14th-highest (3rd lowest) odds of winning the first or second overall pick in the Draft. However, because the Arizona Coyotes were compelled by the NHL to forfeit their 2021 first-round pick, the Flyers' default selection spot is 13th overall. 

The Coyotes are technically in the Draft lottery, with the 11th-highest lottery odds of coming up for the first (3.1 percent) or second (3.3 percent) pick. However, the NHL will simply do a re-draw for the spots if the Coyotes are selected. The Coyotes had to forfeit both their 2020 second-round pick and their 2021 first-round selection as a result of rule violations tied to NHL Draft Combine testing/ interviews.

The brand new Seattle Kraken have been issued the default 3rd overall highest odds (11.5 percent) in the lottery. That's why the Flyers are 13th rather than 12th in the default Draft order with Arizona unable to make a pick.

Back in 2017, the Flyers entered the Draft Lottery with the default 13th overall selection spot. In the lottery, the Flyers came up for the second overall pick. Philadelphia used the selection on Brandon Wheat Kings (Western Hockey League) center Nolan Patrick.

This year, University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power, a late birthday player born in 2002, is widely considered to be the top candidate for the first overall selection. The 2021 Draft, which was affected by pandemic-related cancelations of the latter part of the 2019-20 season and belated starts to (or in the case of the Ontario Hockey League, the cancelation of) the 2020-21 campaign, is considered a below-average Draft crop in terms of top-end talent and overall depth. 

However, it also is considered one where surprises could emerge both in initial selection spots and long-term development of the prospects in the Draft crop.

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