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2018 NHL Draft Lottery primer

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

With the 2018 NHL Draft lottery set for this Saturday night in Toronto, here's a look at everything you need to know to get you ready.

For starters, if you aren't familiar with how the lottery works now, it actually consists of three drawings.

From the NHL:

The 2018 NHL Draft Lottery will consist of three drawings: the 1st Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting first overall, the 2nd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting second overall, and the 3rd Lottery Draw will determine the club selecting third overall.

Pretty straight forward.

Basically all 15 non-playoff teams (or teams that acquired a first round selection from a non-playoff team) are in the mix for the first overall selection as well as a top 3 pick with the odds being readjusted after each drawing. The 12 teams that are not selected in the lottery will be assigned draft selections 4 through 15, in inverse order of regular-season points.

Here's a quick look at the odds of winning the first overall pick or a top 3 pick for each of the 15 teams in the lottery:

Team

1st overall

Top 3

Buffalo Sabres

18.5%

49.4%

Ottawa Senators

13.5%

38.8%

Arizona Coyotes

11.5%

33.9%

Montreal Canadiens

9.5%

28.8%

Detroit Red Wings

8.5%

26.1%

Vancouver Canucks

7.5%

23.3%

Chicago Blackhawks

6.5%

20.4%

New York Rangers

6.0%

19.0%

Edmonton Oilers

5.0%

16.0%

New York Islanders

3.5%

11.4%

Carolina Hurricanes

3.0%

9.9%

New York Islanders (via CGY)

2.5%

8.2%

Dallas Stars

2.0%

6.6%

Philadelphia Flyers (via STL)

1.5%

5.0%

Florida Panthers

1.0%

3.3%

 

The Sens own a 13.5% chance at landing the top pick which is the second highest among eligible teams. Since 1995, the team with the second best odds in the draft lottery drew the first overall pick 4 times. That's over a span of 22 lotteries (I'm not counting the one from 2005 since the rules were drastically different) and calculates out to an 18.2% winning percentage from the #2 spot. What's kind of crazy is that it actually happened three times in a row a few seasons back.

Teams with the second best odds and won the NHL Draft Lottery:

  • 1998 - San Jose Sharks (pick was swapped with Tampa Bay)
  • 2012 - Edmonton Oilers
  • 2013 - Colorado Avalanche
  • 2014 - Florida Panthers

The team with the best odds has won the lottery on 7 occasions including Ottawa back in 1996 when they drafted Chris Phillips. On the flip side, the worst team has only won the Draft Lottery once in the past 7 years (Toronto in 2016). A team on the outside the top 5 have hit the jackpot just 3 times in the history of the lottery (Los Angeles in 1995, Chicago in 1999 and New Jersey in 2011) and those all happened in the "can only move up 4 spots" era but that's obviously changed.

So, where will the Sens end up? We'll just have to wait until Saturday night to find out. You can watch the Draft Lottery unfold on CBC and TVAS this Saturday and if you're looking to make a night out of it, we've got you covered. Join us at the Sens House on Saturday, April 28th for the Official Ottawa Senators Draft Lottery Party. Reservations are recommended so be sure to call 613-241-5434 to book your table today. More details on the event right here.

Tweet from @Senators: Join us at the @SensHouseOttawa on this Saturday for the Official #Sens #NHLDraft Lottery Party. Reservations recommended, call 613-241-5434 to book your table today! pic.twitter.com/3TzbD1CjRl

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