It will determine the order of selection for the first 16 picks in the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft. It includes the 15 teams that failed to qualify for the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs and the expansion Seattle Kraken, who begin play next season.
The draft will be held virtually with the first round July 23 and rounds 2-7 on July 24.
As part of changes to the draft lottery announced March 23, the number of drawings was reduced from three to two. The first draw will determine which team receives the No. 1 pick and the second draw will determine which team gets the No. 2 pick.
The reduction in the number of draws ensures that the team that finished last in the NHL standings, the Buffalo Sabres, will pick no lower than No. 3.
Under the previous system, which had been in place since 2016, the team that finished last in the NHL standings could drop to No. 4. That occurred in 2017 (Colorado Avalanche), 2019 (Ottawa Senators) and 2020 (Detroit Red Wings).
The odds for the 15 teams that failed to qualify for the playoffs are based on the inverse order of the regular-season standings, with Sabres receiving the best odds (16.6 percent). To accommodate the addition of Seattle, the odds of the 15 other teams participating in the lottery were reduced proportionally from the odds utilized in the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery.
The Kraken enter the lottery as the No. 3 seed, as the Vegas Golden Knights did in their inaugural draft lottery in 2017. Seattle will have the same odds (10.3 percent) as the No. 4 seed, the New Jersey Devils, who finished with the third-worst regular-season record.
The Kraken are guaranteed to pick no lower than No. 5 in the first round.
The Arizona Coyotes will forfeit their first-round pick as part of sanctions, announced Aug. 26, 2020, for violating the NHL Combine Testing Policy during the 2019-20 season. The Coyotes also had to forfeit their second-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
If Arizona wins either lottery draw, a redraw will be conducted.
Defenseman Owen Power (University of Michigan), defenseman Luke Hughes (USA Hockey National Team Development Program) and forward Dylan Guenther (Edmonton, Western Hockey League) were the top three draft prospects in the latest NHL.com rankings.
The odds for the first draw of the 2021 NHL Draft Lottery are as follows:
1. Buffalo Sabres, 16.6 percent
2. Anaheim Ducks, 12.1 percent
3. Seattle Kraken, 10.3 percent
4. New Jersey Devils, 10.3 percent
5. Columbus Blue Jackets, 8.5 percent
6. Detroit Red Wings, 7.6 percent
7. San Jose Sharks, 6.7 percent
8. Los Angeles Kings, 5.8 percent
9. Vancouver Canucks, 5.4 percent
10. Ottawa Senators, 4.5 percent
11. Arizona Coyotes, 3.1 percent
12. Chicago Blackhawks, 2.7 percent
13. Calgary Flames, 2.2 percent
14. Philadelphia Flyers, 1.8 percent
15. Dallas Stars, 1.4 percent
16. New York Rangers, 1.0 percent
Two other changes to the draft lottery will be implemented beginning in 2022:
-- Teams will be restricted from moving up more than 10 spots if it wins one of the lottery draws.
-- Teams cannot win the lottery more than twice in a five-year period. Wins in the lottery prior to 2022 will not be counted toward this total.
The 2022 NHL Draft Lottery will include the 16 teams that fail to qualify for the playoffs next season.
The restriction on teams moving up more than 10 places in the first round means the bottom 11 teams in the standings will be eligible to win the No. 1 pick. The bottom 12 teams would then be eligible for the No. 2 pick if one of them doesn't win the first drawing.
The NHL said the changes will reduce the likelihood of the worst-finishing team dropping in the draft order and not retaining the right to the No. 1 pick; reduce the magnitude of any possible drop in draft order for the worst-finishing team; limit the number of teams eligible to win the No. 1 pick (based on final regular-season standings); and limit the number of times the same team can benefit from winning a lottery drawing.
The 2021 NHL Draft Lottery will be held at the NHL Network studio in Secaucus, New Jersey.