(NEW YORK - NHL Public Relations) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning won the National Hockey League Draft Drawing today and retained the first overall drafting position for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, June 20 and 21 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario.
The Lightning had the greatest percentage likelihood, 25%, that one of the numbered sequences assigned to them would be the winning combination. Under the lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points had the chance to win the first overall selection; no team could move up more than four spots and no team could move backward more than one.
The Los Angeles Kings, Atlanta Thrashers, St. Louis Blues and New York Islanders own the second, third, fourth and fifth drafting positions in the first round.
The Lightning have selected first overall twice before in franchise history. With those picks, the team selected Roman Hamrlik (1992) and Vincent Lecavalier (1998).
The order of selection for the first 14 drafting positions in the first round, only, of the 2008 Entry Draft is as follows:
1. Tampa Bay Lightning 2. Los Angeles Kings 3. Atlanta Thrashers 4. St. Louis Blues 5. New York Islanders 6. Columbus Blue Jackets 7. Toronto Maple Leafs 8. Phoenix Coyotes 9. Nashville Predators (from Florida) 10. Vancouver Canucks 11. Chicago Blackhawks 12. Anaheim Ducks (from Edmonton) 13. Buffalo Sabres 14. Carolina Hurricanes
The remaining drafting positions will be determined at the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Drawing was conducted at the NHL’s New York office and, for only the second time ever, the results were televised live on TSN and NHL Network in Canada and VERSUS and NHL Network in the U.S. The results also were streamed live on NHL.com and TSN.ca and broadcast live on XM Satellite Radio.
Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, were placed in a lottery machine. The machine expelled four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls was matched against a probability chart that divided the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The chart showed that the Lightning had been assigned the numbers (2-5-6-7) that were expelled.
The Draft Drawing is a weighted system to give the teams that finished with the fewest points during the regular season the greatest chance of having their combination selected. The Lightning and Kings both finished the regular season with the fewest points in the League (71). As a result of winning fewer games (31), Tampa Bay was assigned the greatest number of combinations, representing a 25% likelihood that their combination would emerge. The Kings (32 wins) were assigned 18.8% of the combinations, followed by the Thrashers (14.2%), the Blues (10.7%) and the Islanders (8.1%). The remaining teams had the following chances: 6.2%, 4.7%, 3.6%, 2.7%, 2.1%, 1.5%, 1.1%, 0.8% and 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 the subsequent rounds will take place on Saturday, June 21.