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NHL Draft Drawing Overview @NHLdotcom
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:

Rank at End
of Regular Season Percentage of Selection
30th 25.0%
29th 18.8%
28th 14.2%
27th 10.7%
26th 8.1%
25th 6.2%
24th 4.7%
23rd 3.6%
22nd 2.7%
21st 2.1%
20th 1.5%
19th 1.1%
18th 0.8%
17th 0.5%

Results of Previous Draft Drawings

Effect On Draft Order Player Selected
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
2008 Tampa Bay Retained 1st selection C Steven Stamkos
2009 NY Islanders Retained 1st selection C John Tavares

* 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 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.

^^ 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.

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