Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Vegas Golden Knights

History Of Players Drafted By Teams In Vegas' Draft Lottery Position

The Golden Knights enter the draft lottery on Saturday with the league's third best chances of securing the first overall pick in the NHL Draft.

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

In typical hockey seasons, every team that doesn't qualify for the playoffs has a chance of landing the No. 1 overall selection in the NHL Draft.

The way it works is, the lower the team finishes, the higher the odds they have of earning the top pick.

RELATED: Gallant updates his search for assistant coaches

This goes all the way to the league's 14th worst team, which is the team with the league's best record to not make the playoffs.

Within these odds, the draft order usually stays relatively close to the reverse regular-season standings.

But with the Golden Knights entering the NHL as an expansion team, this system is thrown a bit off, with Vegas being entered for a chance to receive the top pick, similar to the other clubs that didn't make the playoffs.

Team/Chances Of Winning First Pick

Colorado Avalanche/18.0%
Vancouver Canucks/12.1%
Vegas Golden Knights/10.3%
Arizona Coyotes/10.3%
New Jersey Devils/8.5%
Buffalo Sabres/7.6%
Detroit Red Wings/6.7%
Dallas Stars/5.8%
Florida Panthers 5.4%
Los Angeles Kings 4.5%
Carolina Hurricanes 3.2%
Winnipeg Jets 2.7%
Philadelphia Flyers 2.2%
Tampa Bay Lightning 1.8%
New York Islanders 0.9%


With the same odds of selecting first overall as the league's third worst team from this past season, the Golden Knights have a 10.3% chance of securing the top pick, but may end up selecting anywhere from 1-6. Vegas cannot select lower than sixth overall.

But how do teams that normally enter draft lotteries with the same odds as the Golden Knights normally end up picking?

Below, we detail each draft lottery over the past 14 years with specifics on what player teams entering the draft lottery with the same odds as the Golden Knights ended up taking with their top draft picks.

The draft lottery will be held this Saturday.

RELATED: Practice Faclity roof construction is completed (photos)

Vancouver Canucks
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 5th Overall

Olli Juolevi: Entering last year's NHL draft with the third best odds at selecting first overall, the Canucks were bumped down in the draft lottery to No. 5. They used this pick to take Finnish defenseman Olli Juolevi, who's in the process of expediting his transition to North America by playing in the Canadian Hockey League for the London Knights. Over the past decade, this is the lowest that a team which entered the draft lottery with the third best odds ended up selecting.

Edmonton Oilers
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 1st overall

Connor McDavid: This one doesn't need much of a description. When the Oilers won the 2015 NHL draft lottery, it earned them the chance to select Connor McDavid No. 1 overall. Now 20, McDavid led the NHL with 100 points this season, and is a leading candidate to win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP.


Watch: Youtube Video


Edmonton Oilers
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 3rd overall

Leon Draisaitl: Riding shotgun on the Edmonton Oilers' top line with Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl finished the 2016-17 eighth in the NHL scoring race with 77 points.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 3rd overall

Jonathan Drouin: After a near falling out with the Lightning as a teenager, when he was unable to establish himself as a top-line player, Jonathan Drouin has since emerged as one of Tampa Bay's top scorers as he's entered his early 20s. He finished this past season with 21 goals and 32 assists in 73 games, and helped the Lightning to the Eastern Conference Finals last spring with 14 playoff points in 17 games.

Montreal Canadiens
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 3rd overall

Alex Galchenyuk: Rotating between center and wing for large portions of his first five NHL seasons, Galchenyuk took a step back in 2016-17, putting up 44 points in 61 games. This is compared to last season, when he tied for the Canadiens lead with 30 goals.

Florida Panthers
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 3rd overall

Jonathan Huberdeau: After a sterling junior career where he played for Gerard Gallant with the Saint John Sea Dogs, Huberdeau has had five solid, albeit extremely injury plagued seasons with the Florida Panthers. Huberdeau's best NHL season came last year, when he registered career highs in both goals (20) and points (59).

RELATED: Expansion Draft selections to be made during NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena

Florida Panthers
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 3rd overall

Erik Gudbranson: A rock-solid, stay-at-home defenseman, Gudbranson cracked the NHL as a 19-year-old (rare for a defenseman) in 2011, and played five seasons for the Florida Panthers before being traded to the Vancouver Canucks last summer. Coincidentally, each of the top six picks in the 2010 NHL Draft have already been traded by the teams that selected them.

Colorado Avalanche
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 3rd overall

Matt Duchene: After producing 24 goals and 31 assists his rookie year and helping the Avalanche to a surprising playoff berth only a year after he was drafted, Duchene has settled in as a consistent offensive threat in Colorado. Now 26, Duchene is a two-time NHL All-Star and won a gold medal with Canada at the 2014 Olympics.

Atlanta Thrashers
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 3rd overall

Zach Bogosian: In a year that there were three elite defensemen that experts had slotted to going 2-4 overall (behind consensus top pick Steven Stamkos), the Thrashers took Zach Bogosian third overall. Bogosian has shown flashes of brilliance in the NHL, but hasn't reached the level of the other two defensemen he was selected between, Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo. Bogosian moved with the Thrashers to Winnipeg, and has since been traded to the Buffalo Sabres.

Los Angeles Kings
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 4th overall

Thomas Hickey: In 2007, the draft order was knocked topsy turvy when the league's fifth worse team that season, the Chicago Blackhawks, surprisingly won the draft lottery and selected Patrick Kane first overall. This bumped the team with the third best draft lottery odds, the Los Angeles Kings, down to fourth pick, where they went off the board to select skilled (but undersized) defenseman Thomas Hickey. Hickey never broke into Kings' crowded blue line, having joined his current team, the New York Islanders, coming out of the 2012-13 NHL lockout.

RELATED: Gallant explains the origins of his "Turk" nickname
Chicago Blackhawks
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 3rd overall

Jonathan Toews: With centers pegged to go second and third overall (behind consensus No. 1, defenseman Erik Johnson) in 2006, many pundits thought the Pittsburgh Penguins were the draft's big winners by nabbing Jordan Staal No. 2 overall. History has shown, however, that the most successful pick from the 2006 Draft was that "second best" center, Jonathan Toews, who went to the Chicago Blackhawks at No. 3. Toews has since captained the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups, has won a pair of Olympic gold medals and has captured a slew of individual awards. These include the Conn Smythe Trophy as NHL playoff MVP and the award for the best forward at the 2010 Olympics.


Watch: Youtube Video


Washington Capitals
Draft Lottery Outcome: Picked 1st overall

Alex Ovechkin: For George McPhee, the day of the 2004 draft lottery may go down as the "luckiest" of his managerial career, winning the right to pick first overall despite entering the draft lottery with only the third best odds of landing that selection. Winning this draft lottery enabled McPhee to select Alex Ovechkin first overall. Since entering the NHL in 2005, Ovechkin has been nothing short of the game's best goal scorer, and is a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer.

View More