The Draft Drawing is a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the NHL Entry Draft. It gives the teams that finish with the fewest points during the regular season the greatest chance of having their combination selected.
Only the 14 teams that do not qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or clubs that acquired those clubs’ first-round draft picks, participate in the drawing.
Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expels four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls is matched against a probability chart that divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs.
The team that finishes the regular season with the fewest points in the League (30th overall) is assigned the greatest number of combinations, representing a 25% probability that their combination would emerge.
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 with the lowest regular-season point totals, or those that acquired an eligible club's first-round draft picks. No club can move down more than one position as a result of the Draft Drawing.
The probability of a team being selected in the Draft Drawing:
Results of Previous Draft Drawings
|Rank at End
|of Regular Season
||Percentage of Selection
* San Jose was selected, but Tampa Bay held the right to exchange first round selections with the Sharks.
** NY Rangers obtained Chicago's pick in a trade (via Vancouver and Tampa Bay). The Rangers selected RW Pavel Brendl
*** Columbus obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Blue Jackets selected LW Rick Nash
^ Pittsburgh obtained Florida's pick in a trade. The Penguins selected G Marc-Andre Fleury
^^ Due to a work stoppage, the draft order was not based on the previous seasons standing; all 30 teams were eligible for the first-overall selection.