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The Islanders' Shot at the #1 Pick

by Staff Writer / New York Islanders

The National Hockey League Draft Drawing, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, will take place Monday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET at the NHL’s New York City office. Following Friday night's defeat of the Rangers, the Islanders are set in lottery position No. 5. on Monday.

The Islanders are one of only five teams with an opportunity to win the Draft Drawing and come away with the first selection in the 2008 Draft, which will take place in Ottawa on Saturday, June 21.

Based on their final NHL standing – 26th in the NHL - the Islanders will have the fifth-highest probability of winning the lottery. In the weighted system, the Islanders have an 8.1% chance. The team that wins the lottery draft can move up four spots in the first round of the Entry Draft.

If the Islanders do not win the Draft Drawing, they will choose fifth in the first round of the Entry Draft only if the four teams directly behind them do not win the draft. If any of the 25th-22nd teams win the Draft Drawing, the Islanders will be bumped back to the sixth spot in the opening round, but retain their fifth spot in the subsequent rounds.

“Monday night is going to be an exciting time for our team and our fans,” said general manager Garth Snow. “At 8.1%, we understand we’re a bit of a long shot to get the first pick, but we also know we’re going to get an outstanding young player no matter how the Lottery ends up. This is one of the most impressive draft classes in a long time.”

Islanders fans who want to know where their team will pick in the first round of an extremely deep NHL Draft this summer will be able to find out via live TV.

The League, in cooperation with TSN, announced that the results of the Draft Drawing will be televised live by VERSUS in the U.S., TSN in Canada and the NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada.  Furthermore, the results will be streamed live on and and broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio.  It will be only the second time the Draft Drawing results will be televised live, and the first time since 2005, when the Pittsburgh Penguins won the right to select first overall and drafted Sidney Crosby.

The 30-minute, live program – titled “Scotiabank NHL Draft Lottery” – will begin at 8 p.m. ET and will originate from the NHL on TSN studios in Toronto.  Each of the five teams with a chance at the first overall selection will be represented by a popular former player. The Islanders will be represented by Hall of Famer Mike Bossy, who is Executive Director of Corporate Relations and the Islanders Business Club.

TSN’s James Duthie will host the program, with Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie and analyst and former Islanders GM Mike Milbury.          

The Draft Drawing involves Clubs that do not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the Clubs that acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs.  

Per NHL rules, the club selected in the Draft Drawing may not move up more than four positions in the draft order.  Thus, the only Clubs with the opportunity to receive the first overall selection are the five teams with the lowest regular-season point totals, or the Clubs that acquired an eligible Club’s first-round draft pick.  No club will move down more than one position as a result of the Draft Drawing.

Under the weighted system, the club with the fewest regular-season points will have the greatest chance (25%) of winning the Draft Drawing and will pick no lower than second.  Based on team finish, the percentage chance of being selected in the Draft Drawing is:

30th place team         - 25.0%                        23rd place team         -   3.6%
29th place team         - 18.8%                        22nd place team         -  2.7%
28th place team         - 14.2%                        21st place team         -   2.1%
27th place team         - 10.7%                        20th place team         -   1.5%
26th place team         -   8.1%                        19th place team         -   1.1%
25th place team         -   6.2%                        18th place team         -   0.8%
24th place team         -   4.7%                        17th place team         -   0.5%

The 2008 NHL Entry Draft will take place at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario.  The first round will take place on Friday, June 20 commencing at 7 p.m. (local time) and the subsequent rounds (two through seven) will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 21.

Results of Previous Draft Drawings

1995 Los Angeles Moved from 7th to 3rd D Aki Berg
1996 Ottawa Retained 1st selection   D Chris Phillips
1997 Boston Retained 1st selection  C Joe Thornton
1998 Tampa Bay Moved from 3rd to 1st via trades C Vincent Lecavalier
1999 Chicago Moved from 8th to 4th RW Pavel Brendl *
2000 NY Islanders Moved from 5th to 1st      G Rick DiPietro
2001 Atlanta Moved from 3rd to 1st        LW Ilya Kovalchuk
2002 Florida Moved from 3rd to 1st  LW Rick Nash **
2003 Florida Moved from 4th to 1st G Marc-Andre Fleury ***
2004 Washington Moved from 3rd to 1st     LW Alex Ovechkin
2005 Pittsburgh n/a C Sidney Crosby
2006 St. Louis Retained 1st selection       D Erik Johnson
2007 Chicago Moved from 5th to 1st   RW Patrick Kane

* NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl fourth overall.
** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash first overall.
*** Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury first overall.

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