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Canes to Play Lottery Tonight

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes’ draft position will be officially determined during tonight’s NHL Draft Drawing, which will be televised live on VERSUS at 8 p.m.

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As the league’s 24th-placed team, the Canes would pick seventh overall before the lottery process. Things could very well stay that way if a team above them or too far below them in the pecking order to catch up wins the weighted-odds drawing, which has an 85.4 percent chance of happening.

However, if the Hurricanes were to win the lottery (odds on that are 4.7 percent), they would move up the maximum four spots to third place. They could also potentially drop to eighth if one of the four teams immediately ahead of them in the standings – Atlanta, Minnesota, the New York Rangers or Dallas – gets lucky (9.9 percent chance).

Only two teams slated to pick seventh or lower have won the lottery in the past 15 years – Los Angeles in 1995 (they selected defenseman Aki Berg) and Chicago in 1999 (that pick ended up with the Rangers, who selected former Hurricane Pavel Brendl). In each of the past two years, the team with the league’s worst record won the drawing to retain the first overall pick. Could we be due for something wacky this time around?

The Canes themselves could be due for some better luck, having lost the lottery in 2003 despite a 25 percent chance of winning as the 30th-placed team. Of course, that worked out just fine, as they got the player they wanted, Eric Staal, with the second overall pick anyway.

In what is considered to be a deep draft, high quality forwards and defensemen are likely to be available regardless of where the Hurricanes pick in the top 10. With the team currently holding 11 total choices, including four in the top 60, the possibility trades to move up or down are a possibility.

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