The Vancouver Canucks pushed and pushed, but ultimately their quest to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs came up short.
The consolation prize? They could win the lottery.
The Canucks, who went 32-15-10 in 57 games since hiring Bruce Boudreau to replace Travis Green on December 5, will now enter the 2022 NHL Draft Lottery with a chance to advance their position at the 2022 draft.
They’re not great odds, though.
Vancouver will enter the lottery with a 0.5% chance of winning the whole thing.
Even if they do, the Canucks will not have the shot at netting themselves the No. 1 pick thanks to rule changes determined last season and set for implementation this year.
This season, a team can only move up a maximum of 10 selections, meaning the Canucks would jump from the No. 15 pick to the No. 5 with a win. That means only the top 11 seeds will be eligible to receive the No. 1 pick, and the right to potentially select consensus No. 1 pick Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League.
The number of lottery picks has also been lowered from three to two, meaning Vancouver has just two chances to jump into a more favourable position. Teams are no longer permitted to win the lottery more than twice in a five-year period, though the Canucks don’t necessarily have to worry about that element just yet.
Vancouver has a 97.9% chance of selecting in their original No. 15 spot, according to Tankathon.
The lottery is set for Tuesday, May 10. Broadcast plans for the 2022 NHL Draft lottery include Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada, and ESPN in the USA.
The Montreal Canadiens, who finished last in the NHL this season after playing in the Stanley Cup Final, have the best odds of winning the lottery at 18.5%.
The 2022 NHL Draft is scheduled for July 7-8 at Bell Centre in Montreal.