The National Hockey League Draft Drawing, a weighted lottery system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2003 Entry Draft, will take place Monday, April 7, at 2:00 PM ET, in the NHL's New York office. The Draft Drawing will involve clubs that do not qualify for this season's Stanley Cup Playoffs, or clubs that acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs.
Under the weighted lottery system, the club with the fewest regular-season points will have the greatest chance (25%) of winning the Draft Drawing and will pick no lower than second at the 2003 Entry Draft.
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 clubs with the lowest regular-season point totals (or clubs that acquired those clubs' first-round drafting positions). No club can move down more than one position as a result of the Draft Drawing.
The drawing will be supervised by the independent public accounting firm of Ernst & Young to ensure complete objectivity and randomness of the draw. Fourteen balls, numbered 1-14, will be placed in a lottery machine and four will be expelled, forming a series of numbers. A probability chart, created by Bortz & Company, divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. The four-digit series that results from the expulsion of the balls will be compared to the probability chart to determine the team to which that combination has been assigned.
The current percentage chance of being selected in the Draft Drawing is as follows, based on team finish:
There are 1,001 numerical combinations possible, and one combination has been eliminated to make the odds equitable. If the eliminated series of balls is drawn, a 0.1% probability, the drawing will be re-held immediately.
After the club selected moves up, the balance of the first 14 draft selections are adjusted by one, with the appropriate clubs moving down one slot to accommodate the winner, if necessary.
The 2003 NHL Entry Draft will take place at Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville on Saturday, June 21 (rounds 1-3) and Sunday, June 22 (rounds 4-9).