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NHL Announces Changes To The Draft Lottery

NEW YORK (August 20, 2014) -- The National Hockey League announced today changes to its Draft Lottery, a weighted system implemented and utilized to determine the order of selection in the first round of the NHL Draft for the 14 Clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the Clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams).

These changes will be phased in over a two-year period, beginning with the Draft Lottery in 2015.

2015 NHL Draft Lottery 

The odds of winning the first overall selection in the NHL Draft for the 14 non-Playoff teams will be adjusted to more appropriately reflect the current state of competitive balance in the League. This will result in a more evenly-balanced allocation of odds, with the 10 highest-finishing non-Playoff qualifying teams receiving higher (better) Draft Lottery odds than they received previously and the four lowest-finishing teams receiving lower (worse) odds. The revised set of odds will remain in effect year-to-year in the future.

Non-Playoff Team
(Fewest Pts. to Most)
New Draft Lottery Odds Odds Under Former Allocation
1 20.0% 25.0%
2 13.5% 18.8%
3 11.5% 14.2%
4 9.5% 10.7%
5 8.5% 8.1%
6 7.5% 6.2%
7 6.5% 4.7%
8 6.0% 3.6%
9 5.0% 2.7%
10 3.5% 2.1%
11 3.0% 1.5%
12 2.5% 1.1%
13 2.0% 0.8%
14 1.0% 0.5%

2016 NHL Draft Lottery

Beginning in 2016, the Draft Lottery will be utilized to assign the top three drafting slots in the NHL Draft, an expansion over previous years when the Draft Lottery was used to determine the winner of the first overall selection only.

Three draws will be held: 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.

As a result of this change, the team earning the fewest points during the regular season will no longer be guaranteed, at worst, the second overall pick. That club could fall as low as fourth overall.

The allocation of odds for the 1st Lottery draw will be the same as outlined above for the 2015 NHL Draft Lottery. The odds for the remaining teams will increase on a proportionate basis for the 2nd Lottery draw, based on which Club wins the 1st Lottery draw, and again for the 3rd Lottery draw, based on which Club wins the 2nd Lottery draw.

The 11 Clubs not selected in the Draft Lottery will be assigned NHL Draft selections 4 through 14, in inverse order of regular-season points.

Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Hank1974's avatar

I know this is a nutty thought and probably flies in the face of what the NHL wants to accomplish with the draft, buuuut…

Wouldn’t it be cool if the league used a similar format as the one they used for the ‘05 Crosby Sweepstakes?

Give all 30 teams a chance for the #1 pick, with the lesser teams having more balls in the drum than the successful clubs.

I know this would mean bottom feeding teams would have less odds of rebuilding (like Pittsburgh and Chicago had to do in order to win a Cup(s)), but it would make for great drama and excellent TV ratings.

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/20/14 at 03:43 PM ET

Chris in Hockey Hell's avatar

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/20/14 at 03:43 PM ET

I’m sure that 60% of the time, it would work every time.

Posted by Chris in Hockey Hell from Ann Arbor, MI but LIVING in Columbia, TN on 08/20/14 at 04:37 PM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I call it ‘The Octagon’. Play your cards right and you might meet the whole gang. wink

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/20/14 at 10:26 PM ET


That particular draft was unusual because of the lockout the season before.

Posted by evileye on 08/21/14 at 10:33 AM ET

Hank1974's avatar

I agree evileye, but wasn’t it exciting?
It also received great ratings too.

Something like that would definitely get the NHL on ESPN and in the news throughout North America.

It would also prevent a lot of teams from tanking just to load up on talent; ie Pittsburgh, Chicago and Edmonton.

Posted by Hank1974 on 08/21/14 at 10:35 AM ET

Tripwire32's avatar

this whole nba modeled draft lottery gimmick needs to be scrapped in the first place.

it’s really amazing how this league keeps having the need to come up with fixes for fixes implemented that weren’t really necessary in the first place.

Posted by Tripwire32 from Kay He Mar Heart on 08/21/14 at 01:40 PM ET

Bradley97's avatar

I wish they continued drawing the non-playoff teams for spots 4-13, with the remaining team automatically falling into the 14th spot. Like Hank1974 said, it will prevent teams from tanking and make the lottery more exciting.

For the playoff teams, the 8 teams eliminated in the first round should have their own lottery for spots 15-22. The 4 teams eliminated in the second round should also have their own lottery for spots 23-26. The 2 teams eliminated from the conference finals should have a lottery for spots 27 and 28. Finally, the Stanley Cup runner up should draft 29th, with the champion falling to 30.

The lottery for the first 14 spots should be held at the end of the regular season before the playoffs begin. The other lotteries should be held immediately after the completion of each round.

This system could also potentially lead to more draft related trades starting during the playoffs. At the very least it would generate more interest and excitement surrounding the non-playoff teams and the eliminated teams, particularly one-and-doners.

Posted by Bradley97 on 08/22/14 at 04:58 AM ET

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