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Getting ready for the lottery

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

By Saturday night, we’ll know exactly where the Maple Leafs will select in the upcoming NHL entry draft.

Here’s what you need to know heading into the McDavid sweepstakes.

There will be 14 balls marked ‘1’ through ‘14’ that will be selected at random. Each team will have different four-number combinations of these 14 balls. There 1001 different combinations and the Leafs will have 95 different combinations at play to try and win the lottery.

Each team will have representatives that will be present as the lottery takes place behind closed doors. They will be sequestered from the outside world. No way to communicate to the outside world until the results are revealed on national TV.

Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan will represent the team during the televised portion.

Connor McDavid as well as teammate Dylan Strome and collegiate prospect Noah Hanifin will be in attendance for the big day.

While this is not the first time the NHL will have a lottery with all 14 non-playoff teams, it is the first time all 14 teams have a chance at winning the number one pick.

Previously, the lottery permitted the winner to move up in the selection process no higher than four spots. Leaving teams that finished sixth to 14 out of contention for the first overall pick.

Next year, the lottery moves to lottery format similar to that of the NBA, where the top three selections will be determined by lottery.

The Buffalo Sabres hold the best chance of winning the lottery with a 20 percent chance.

The lottery was instituted back in 1995 and the Leafs have never won it.

The Florida Panthers have won the lottery the most amount times, winning it on three occasions.

For the Maple Leafs, the odds work out as follows;

Drafting first: 9.5 percent

Drafting fourth: 45 percent

Drafting fifth: 45.5 percent

All eyes will be on Connor McDavid. There is no denying it. But regardless of where the Leafs pick, they are bound to get a solid prospect that will help the franchise in their build going forward.

Saturday night is going to be big with the Leafs draft order being an essential part of the healing the team needs after a dismal season.

The player that is selected with the Leafs pick will be remembered as one of the first moves the Leafs made shortly after they pushed the massive reset button.

Do you feel lucky?

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